SAPA & THE NORTH-EAST LOOP TRIP

Code: SP13  | Duration: 14 days  | Style: Moderate to Challenging  | Type: Private  | Operate: All year round
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Travel Route: Hanoi - 100km - Ninh Binh - 185km - Bac Binh - 250km - Bac Ha - 80km - Vinh Quang (HSP) - 30km - Thong Nguyen (HSP) - 180km - Yen Minh - 75km - Meo Vac - 165km - Ba Be Lake - 130km -  Cao Bang City - 85km - Ban Gioc Waterfall - 85km - Cao Bang City - 130km - Bac Son Valley - 200km - Halong Bay - 165km - Hanoi
BRIEF ITINERARY:

 

DAY 1: Hanoi - Ninh Binh

DAY 2: Ninh Binh - Bac Binh Silkworm Village

DAY 3: Silkworm Village - Sapa

DAY 4: Sapa Trek to Muong Hoa Valley - Drive to Bac Ha

DAY 5:  Bac Ha Hill Tribe Market - Drive to Hoang Su Phi

DAY 6: Hoang Su Phi Trek - Drive to Yen Minh

DAY 7: Heritage Drive and Visit (Dong Van Karst Geo-park)

DAY 8: Meo Vac - Ba Be National Park

DAY 9: Ba be National park - Cao Bang

DAy 10: Ban Gioc Waterfall & Nguom Ngao Cave

DAY 11: Drive to Bac Son Valley & Trek the Valley

DAY 12: More trek in Bac Son & Drive to Halong City

DAY 13: Morning Relax & Start the Cruise in Halong Bay

DAY 14: Halong Bay Cruise & Drive back to Hanoi

DETAILED ITINERARY

 

DAY 1: THUNG NANG SAMPAN BOAT RIDE & BICYCLING 

From 8:00 AM, you will commence from your hotel with your private car for a 2,5 hour drive to Ninh Binh province. Upon arrival at Thung Nang boat dock in Trang An Heritage Complex, you will enjoy 2 hour sampan boat ridde along a little river which is winding in between towering limestone karst mountains. You may also be able to view some rural activities by the locals along the row. The rowing trip is also through two tunnel-like caves. Back to the dock and transfer to a restaurant for the lunch. In the afternoon, you will embark on an easy bicycling tour around the area and visit  Bich Dong Pagoda, built on a steep mountain. Dinner and overnihgt in Ninh Binh.  Included meals: Lunch, Dinner 

  • Accommodation: Hotel room    

 

DAY 2: HANG MUA HIKE & WALK 

After the breakfast at the hotel, we will transfer to Hang Mua Mountain for a hike to the highest summit in this so-called "Inland Halong Bay" to admire the stunning landscape of the karst formations (The 500-step hike is not recommended to senior people in hot day or those with high-blood pleasure). After Hang Mua summit, we will continue on with a walk on the flat ground through a village and to rice fields, along the feet of the mountains. This takes about 2 hours. This is also a great time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of a beautiful part of Trang An UNESCO's heritage. After lunch, we will drive toward Hanoi and then onward to another rural area in Vinh Phuc province. Arrive at Bac Binh Village, check in a local house for dinner and overnight.  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

  • Approx: 5km on the ground & 500 steps to the summit/ 3 hours 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner    

 

DAY 3: SILKWORM VILLAGE VISIT AND DRIVE TO SAPA 

This morning, you will take a walk to the neighborhood and visit a family where you can learn the sericulture (is the rearing of silkworms for the production of silk). After that, get back to the homestay for breakfast. you then take an easy bicycling ride to the fields and villages. This is another opportunity for you to learn more about the local agriculture in the region. You will see that there is big variety of cereals and vegetables are planted beside the wet rice. You may have a chance to visit a workshop that is run by a family who specializes in reeling cocoons and you can see how a silk yarn comes from. Around 10:00 AM, bid farewell to the host family and set out for our drive toward Lao Cai province. Lunch is on the way. Arrive in Sapa town, check in  the hotel and rest. Dinner and overnight in Sapa 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch    

 

DAY 4: MUONG HOA VALLEY TREK  & DRIVE TO BAC HA

After breakfast, you will start the day with a short transfer by car to a trekking point to Y Ling Ho Village, Muong Hoa Valley. Muong Hoa is the biggest valley in Sapa region and bottomed by a rocky river. To start, you trek downhill the valley, the scenery of the rice terraces along your way are very beautiful and be the highlight of the day. Crossing the river on a small suspension bridge and continue the trek uphill. This is rather challenging when it is wet but definitely offers you spectacular view over the valley. Finish your morning scenic trek at Lao Chai Village where your private vehicle awaits you. Get on your car and drive uphill back to Sapa town for lunch. The afternoon drive will take you to Bac Ha district. Check in a homestay and stay for the night.

Approx: 7km/ 3 hours 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

  • Accommodation: Homestay at a local house

 

DAY 5: DRIVE TO BAC HA MARKET & ONWARD TO HOANG SU PHI

This morning, after your breakfast at the homestay, you will take a short rive to the town and accompanied with the tour guide to visit the market (Bac Ha market on Sunday, Can Cau market on Saturday). Strolling around the market, you have chance to take beautiful photos, alive with the bright colours and extravagant costumes of the local people, specially the Flower H'mong. Together with other minorities, the Flower H'mong people come from different villages at the surroundings to buy and sell a wide variety of goods and livestock. It is more common to see buffalo, cows, goats, horses and other livestock being traded. After the market, we make our way to Xi Man town for lunch at a local food store. In the afternoon, continue on driving to Hoang Su Phi. Take about 1-hour hike to Ban Luoc, a Tay ethic village for a homestay night on a stilt house.

  • Included meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Accommodation: At another homestay

 

DAY 6: HOANG SU PHI TREK & DRIVE TO YEN MINH 

This morning, after the breakfast at the family. We trek the scenic dirt trail up and down the rice terraces in Ban Luoc area. This is one of the national rice terrace heritage cores in Hoang Su Phi. The beauty of the landscape is at its best at the yellow season (early half of October). Get picked up by our car for transfer to Vinh Quang town for lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy the beautiful drive to Yen Minh little town with some stops on the way for taking photos.

Approx: 7km/ 3hours

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Accommodation: At a local Guesthouse.

 

DAY 7: YEN MINH – MEO VAC 

The drive today is spectacular as the entrance of the geo-park opens from here. The imposing grey limestone mountains and unbelievable life of the H’mong people on the rock will definitely amaze you. Visit the H’mong King Palace, Pho Bang ancient town whose lanes are filled with traditional Chinese-style houses. Have lunch at a restaurant in Dong Van town. In the afternoon, take a short walk through the old quarter and onward to the foot of rocky mountains before carrying on your drive to Meo Vac. The last stop with breathtaking scenery at Ma Phi Leng Pass over Nho Que River is also a great highlight of the day. Check into a hotel and overnight in Meo Vac. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Accommodation: At a hotel in town

 

DAY 8: MEO VAC – BA BE NATIONAL PARK

 On Sunday, there is a big market in the town so we are open for this and see how our schedule could work it out. The long drive today will take you downhill to Ba Be National Park. Lunch on the way. Arrive at Cho Ro little town which is about 20km from Ba be National Park, check in a mini hotel for the night.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Accommodation: At a mini hotel near Ba be National Park

 

DAY 9: BA BE NATIONAL PARK – CAO BANG 

After breakfast, transfer to Ba be national Park. Get on a motorboat at  Buoc Lom dock for a downstream cruise along Nang River which leads you into the lush park in the Northeastern region. The cruise takes you though Puong Cave, then turn into the Vietnam's largest fresh water lake, Ba Be. Around noon, finish your cruise at an ethnic Tay people and enjoy the lunch at a local house. In the afternoon, you will head for Cao Bang. Arrive in Cao Bang City and check into a hotel for the night.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Accommodation: At a hotel in Cao Bang City

 

DAY 10: BAN GIOC WATERFALL & NGUOM NGAO CAVE 

After the breakfast at your hotel, we will embark the morning drive to the remote area, Trung Khach District. Have a short stop on the way to visit Phuc Sen village of the Nung people where you can learn how basically the local blacksmiths are making their farming tools such as knives, sickles, plough plates... Arrive at the Waterfall around 11.30. Take a short walk down to Quay Son River and get on a bamboo raft to visit the most beautiful waterfall of Vietnam. Have lunch at a local restaurant nearby. In the afternoon, continue on with a visit to Nguom Ngao limestone Cave, which is located about 2 km from Ban Gioc. Walking through this cool cave offers you a great chance to admire how wonderful the stalagmites and stalactites have been formed. Back to car and return to Cao Bang City.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Accommodation: At the hotel in Cao Bang City   

 

DAY 11: CAO BANG – BAC SON VALLEY 

Check out of the hotel after breakfast and get ready for the morning drive to Bac Son Valley in Lang Son province. The drive includes some stops on the way for you to take photographs whenever you want. Arrive at Quynh Son village of the ethnic Tay people and have lunch on a stilt house. This afternoon you will walk to visit the village and hike up to the top of the telephone-station mountain for a stunning scenery over the valley. This is a great point for those who love photographing. Dinner and experience the last homestay on stilt house.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner    

  • Accommodation: Homestay at a local house

 

DAY 12: BAC SON – HALONG CITY 

After the traditional breakfast, this morning we will embark on a 3,5-hour hike on a rural back road. Along the hike, you can have a close look at the local farming, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in a good harmony of mountains, forests and local life. At the end of the hike we get picked up by our private transport and go for lunch. In the afternoon, we will head down to the coast and stay overnight at a hotel in Halong City. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch    

  • Accommodation: At a hotel in Halong City

 

DAY 13: HALONG BAY CRUISE 

This morning, you will have breakfast at the hotel and have an easy morning: free and rest. Check out your hotel by 11.00 AM and transfer to the pier for boarding a boat for discovering the UNESCO listed heritage. Visit a cave, swimming on a sandy beach, kayaking around the karsts… Dinner and overnight on boat. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Accommodation: On boat in Halong Bay    

 

DAY 14: HALONG BAY CRUISE & DRIVE BACK TO HANOI

You can wake up early for a hot coffee and enjoy sunrise with fresh air on the sun deck or you can remain in your cabin until breakfast time. The boat will have further cruise to other part of the bay and you will have time for visit a beautiful limestone cave which is decorated by hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites. Lunch is served early today on boat as you need to disembark before noon. The private 4-hour drive from the pier will bring you back to Hanoi to end the trip. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Early lunch

 

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PRICING INFORMATION

This is a sample itinerary that has been enjoyed by many of our past travelers to the region. It can be custom-made to meet your expectation. The prices very much depend on your group size and type of accommodation. Please send us a quote request and we will get back to you with the detail.

 

INCLUSIONS:

  • Private air-conditioned vehicle and transfers

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast

  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

  • English speaking tour guide

  • Local way leader while trekking

  • Sampan boat ride and bicycles in Ninh Binh

  • Sightseeing tickets and permits during guided time

  • Motor-boat ride in Ba Be Lake

  • Cruise package in Halong Bay

  • Bottled water on the car

 

EXCLUSIONS:

  • Travel insurance (Compulsory)

  • International flight tickets

  • Hotel in Hanoi (On request)

  • Drinks and other meals

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Others are not mentioned clearly in the INCLUSION list

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