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Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour

                                                                                                                  11 days, 11 nights                                                                  Photo Gallery for this trip


Introduction

Starting from Hanoi, we’ll take you on a tour combining all the best destinations of Northeast Vietnam.  Highlights of the tour include Ba Be Lakes, the remote areas of Ha Giang Province, a visit to Uncle Ho’s home along the border of China, a magnificent waterfall, the rustic life in villages in Cao Bang Province and Ha Long Bay as the grand finale of the trip! 


Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi - Visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen - Ba Be Lake
Day 2: Boat trip in
Ba Be Lake
Day 3:
Ba Be Lake - Ha Giang - Visit the minority and Ho Chi Minh museum
Day 4: Ha Giang -
Dong Van - Visit to the Vuong Palace - Meo Vac
Day 5:
Meo Vac - Bac Me - Bao Lac
Day 6:
Bao Lac - Tinh Tuc - Pac Po Cave - Uncle Ho Museum - Cao Bang
Day 7:
Ban Gioc Waterfall - Stop at giant irrigation water-wheels - Visit Cao Bang town
Day 8:
Cao Bang - Dong Khe - That Khe - Dong Dang - Lang Son
Day 9:
Lang Son - Nhi Thanh-Tam Thanh Caves and Mac Dynasty Citadel - Van Don
Day 10: Van Don - Boat to visit the remote outlying island - Hydrofoil to Ha Long
Day 11: Ha Long - Hanoi


Day to Day Itinerary


Day 1: Hanoi - Visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen - Ba Be Lake

 We depart Hanoi early and are on the way north to Bac Kan Province, home to Ba Be Lakes.  We stop in Thai Nguyen for a short visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology for a little background on the minorities of northern Vietnam.

We continue on stopping for lunch along the way in Cho Ra town and then the final short drive to the lake.  Upon arrival at the lake, we meet our host family for the night and enjoy a short walk around the lakeside, possibly a swim.  In the evening, we have dinner with our host family and learn about the daily life of the family.  We sleep in a traditional stilt home this evening, far from the hectic pace of Hanoi and the sounds of crickets, frogs and fish jumping from the water lull us to sleep.


Accommodation: Home stay in a stilt house
Transit: 5 - 6 hours by car
Walking time: 1 hour
Meal plan: B, L, D


Day 2: Boat trip in Ba Be Lake

We spend the whole day exploring the lake. The boat trip is combined with trekking to a Tay village.  The boat takes us to Dau Dang Waterfall, a series of spectacular cascades between sheer rock walls.  Puong Cave is also visited and we enter the cave on one side of a small mountain and exit on the other side, making an interesting cruise.  We journey by Widow Island and hear about the legend of this tiny islet in the middle of the lake.  The day trip is very pleasant.  Enjoy yourself!


Accommodation: Home stay in a stilt house
Transit: 5 -6 hours by boat
Walking time: 1 - 2 hours
Meal plan: B, L, D


Day 3: Ba Be Lake - Ha Giang - Visit the minority and Ho Chi Minh museum

We enjoy the fresh morning air lakeside while having breakfast and then depart for Ha Giang.  The journey is along Highway 279 and we’ll pass many villages and photo stops are at your request but our goal today is to arrive in Ha Giang before 13:30 to get a permit to travel to Meo Vac.  Lunch today is along the way, most likely in Viet Quang.
 
Upon arrival at the hotel, your guide will apply for the permits and you can visit the minority/Ho Chi Minh museum located on the banks of the Lo River. Ha Giang is located at kilometer marker 0 on Highway 1 and this is Vietnam’s longest road traversing the country over 2000 km to the deep south of the country.

Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse from our list
Transit: 5 +/- hours driving
Walking time: limited
Meal plan: B, L


Day 4: Ha Giang - Dong Van - Visit to the Vuong Palace - Meo Vac

After breakfast, we head toward the most remote part of the north.  Northern Ha Giang Province has some of the most picturesque and varied scenery.  Our drive will take us over high passes and we can view deep valleys along the entire journey.  We’ll stop along the way at The Vuong Palace, the beauty of Chinese-style architecture.  This was the seat of government for the Hmong during the first Indochina war.  We continue on to the town of Dong Van, a small outpost, but won’t be disappointing as it the starting point to a wildly scenic road, one of the top 5 of Vietnam.
 
The road is only 22 km long but most of it has been simply cut into the side of a cliff face.  Below, the Nho Quy river flows and above, the towering cliff rises to the clouds, a truly beautiful gorge below is completes one of the most spectacular natural sights in the country. Take your time and soak it up, as this is one journey to savor!

Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse from our list
Transit: 5 hours driving
Walking time: 1 -2 hours
Meal plan: B, L


Day 5: Meo Vac - Bac Me - Bao Lac

Today we drive on one of the most remote roads in Vietnam from Meo Vac to Bao Lac via Bac Me. You may encounter various minorities along the ride.  Besides stunning mountain scenery, the minorities dressed in colorful and unique costumes make the trip more interesting. Our simple lunch will be served along the road and we spend the night in a simple local guesthouse in Bao Lac.


Accommodation: Guesthouse or Hotel from our list
Transit: 5 hours driving
Walking time: limited
Walking difficulty: Easy
Meal plan: B/L/D


Day 6: Bao Lac - Tinh Tuc - Pac Po Cave - Uncle Ho Museum - Cao Bang

Following breakfast, we continue to Cao Bang following the least traveled road. Arriving at lunch time, you check into your hotel and have lunch in a local restaurant.

After lunch, we drive northwest of Cao Bang to visit Pac Po Cave.  Here, Ho Chi Minh re-entered Vietnam ready to lead the revolution after living abroad.  It is a lovely, quiet spot and undeveloped.  At the entrance to the cave, there is an Uncle Ho Museum to visit.  We then return Cao Bang for the night. Cao Bang is high above sea level and has pleasant climate.  We spend two nights in Cao Bang as the area attractions can be seen in one day and further travel completed.


Accommodation: Guesthouse or Hotel from our list
Transit: 5 hours driving
Walking time: 2 hours
Walking difficulty: Easy
Meal plan: B/L/D

 
Day 7:
Ban Gioc Waterfall - Stop at giant irrigation water-wheels - Visit Cao Bang town

Today, we drive to Ban Gioc Waterfall, a very scenic spot directly on the border with China.  Half the pleasure of the visit to Vietnam’s largest waterfall is walking across rice paddy fields to reach the base of the falls.  On the way back, we may have time to stop at several giant irrigation water - wheels that lies along the road overlooking villages.

We return Cao Bang and stretch your legs with a walk to the market nearby. We make a climb to the War Memorial with an overview of the town.


Accommodation: Guesthouse or Hotel from our list
Transit: 4 hours driving
Walking time: 2 hours
Walking difficulty: Easy
Meal plan: B/L/D


Day 8: Cao Bang - Dong Khe - That Khe - Dong Dang - Lang Son

We continue our journey to Lang Son. The road is narrow passing undeveloped rural area as you will see by where we have lunch along the way. Some 13 km before Lang Son, we stop at Dong Dang to have a look at the ruins of town and the devastated frontier village.  The town was rebuilt and little remains of the Chinese incursion of 1979, but the memory still lingers with the older residents.

We arrive in Lang Son, check into your hotel and stretch the legs by taking a walk to the market for a look.
 
Accommodation:
Hotel or Guesthouse from our list
Transit: 5 hours driving
Walking time: limited
Meal plan: B, L


Day 9: Lang Son - Nhi Thanh-Tam Thanh Caves and Mac Dynasty Citadel - Van Don

In the morning, we are off to visit some interesting sites around Lang Son.  Close to Lang Son, there are a couple of impressive caves, Nhi Thanh and Tam Thanh Caves, deep in the surrounding limestone hills.  We then continue to Mac Dynasty Citadel, a lovely remote spot with stunning views across the countryside.  We return to town for lunch.

In the afternoon, we depart for Van Don Island. Van Don is the largest and most populated island of Bai Tu Long Bay.  The bay is as enchanting as its famous neighbour and in some way it is even more beautiful as it is not visited by many tourists. We spend the night in Van Don Island.  Just offshore there are stunning rock formations similar to those in Ha Long Bay.  If we are lucky, the fishing fleet rigged for squid will set sail after sunset, truly a unique and bright site!


Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse from our list
Transit: 4 - 5 hours by car
Walking time: 1 hour
Walking difficulty: Easy
Meal plan: L/D


Day 10: Van Don - Boat to visit the remote outlying island - Hydrofoil to Ha Long

After breakfast, we get on a boat at Cai Rong pier to visit the remote outlying island.  We try to take you to less visited areas as possible as we have done in the northern mountains!  We then return to Van Don for a late lunch before taking the hydrofoil that leaves for Ha Long at 3pm.

On arrival in Ha Long, we embark again on the junk where we spend the night in the Ha Long Bay. The cruise passes various rock formations until sunset. You will then have dinner on board while watching sunset.  Should you feel like taking another swim, there will plenty of time.
 

Accommodation: Junk from our list
Transit: 1 hour by hydrofoil, boat tour around Van Don Island
Meal plan: B, L, D


Day 11: Ha Long – Hanoi

You enjoy breakfast in the fresh air morning and serenity of the bay and the junk will continue its way among thousands of islets. You will then cruise through several beautiful views of Teapot Island, Chopstick Island, Horse Saddle and even Charles De Gaulle Island. You may wish for a swim before your lunch is served. The Junk will disembark Ha Long wharf at noon, where your bus is waiting to transfer you back to Hanoi. You will arrive in Hanoi about 16.00.

On arrival in Hanoi, we have an end of trip drink at a local Bia hoi!  Farewells are made and we hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did when we first went on it!


Accommodation: Hotel or Guesthouse from our list
Transit:3 hours by car or minivan
Drink: not included
Meal plan: B, L


Our trip includes

  • English speaking guide
  • Accommodation as indicated
  • Meals as indicated
  • Transportation by car or minivan with air condition
  • Tour as indicated
  • Entrance fee

 Our trip excludes

  • Domestic and international flights
  • Visa & visa arrangement
  • Meals not indicated
  • Drinking water, soft drink and alcohol
  • Tips & personal expenses

 Prices contact info@remoteasia.com