Trekking Pu Luong Nature Reserve and Kayaking Halong Bay 6 days

The multi-activity tour is a combination of a 4-day trek to Pu Luong nature reserve and a two-day tour to Halong bay, in the northern Vietnam. Depart from Hanoi, you travel to the north western area to Mai Chau. You trek from Mai Chau through local Thai, Muong villages to the center of the Pu Luong nature reserve. Sharing the house with family, sleep on wooden floor, eating local food…offers a real life experience. The overnight cruise tour to Halong bay can be provided on both sharing or private basis. This is up to your budget. Standard and luxury options are also avaialbe for the two-day boat cruise. Contact your travel consultant for more details.

Trekking Pu Luong Nature Reserve and Kayaking Halong Bay 6 days

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. Trek to Sai and Hang villages (Pu Luong Nature Reserve).

We will leave Hanoi for Hoa Binh province and up then to Mai Chau valley. This scenic drive takes around four hours. Along the way we pass fields of tapioca and sugar cane as well as rice paddies. Upon arriving in Mai Chau valley, we take a short walk around Lac & Poom Coong villages to have the first experience of the White Thai community local life and their culture. Lunch will be served at local home. We will then leave Mai Chau for a short ride along the Ma river (22km) to Sai village. Off the bus, we begin our trek to Duom and Hang villages. We will trek through outstanding mountain scenery and pituresque rice paddies, see hand-crafted bamboo water wheels, and talk with the lovely local people. Spend the night in a local Thai family’s traditional home on stilts.

 Day 2: Continue trekking Pu Luong Nature Reserve (Hang village – Eo Ken – Kho Muong villages).

After having breakfast with our new Thai friends, we will be walking for a approximately 5 to 6 hours. The first section is hard with some steep climbs and stream crossings. The second stage is glorious with beautiful views of the valley, rice terraces, rich rain forests, and meandering streams. Your picnic lunch will be provided on the way at Eo Ken village. Arrival in Kho Muong village is always special as the setting of the village is perhaps the most beautiful in Vietnam, nestled between steep karst mountains with rice terraces in the afternoon sun. Spend our second night nearby in a typical Thai eco – stilt home in Kho Muong village.

Day 3: Continue trekking Pu Luong (Kho Muong village – Hin village).

After having breakfast, we will trek to Hin village (5 – 6 hours). On this route we will encounter some steep climbs and more stream crossings. Along the way we will visit an incredible cave, only recently discovered, now protected by the Forest Rangers.

The trekking tour will become more and more remote although one is never that far from a villager tending their fields. Pass steep limestone mountains and curiosty conjuring caves, through the dense rain forests all inside the borders of the Pu Luong Nature Reserve and onto Nua village.

Our picnic lunch will be served in a local house of the village. Then we continue to Hin village of the Thai people. Overnight at Hin village.

Day 4: Continue trekking Pu Luong Nature Reserve (Hin village – Ton village). Travel back to Hanoi.

Get up early morning if you would like to observe or take part in daily life of the local people. Then breakfast is served by our Thai host family in preparation for a hard but pleasurable trek (6 – 7 hours) through rich and wild rain forests. This challenging hike wanders through the biodiversity of the Pu Luong Nature Reserve. We will have a picnic lunch inside the Pu Luong Nature Reserve, then continuing our trek to Ton village. Our vehicle will picks us up here for our drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 5: Hanoi – Halong bay. Boat cruise. Kayaking.

After breakfast, we will depart to Halong. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life.

Arrive in Halong bay around noon and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Take a kayaking trip to explore the Bay. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.

Day 6: Halong bay – Hanoi.

Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City. En route the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons. After another wonderful fresh seafood lunch (early) on board disembark at the dock at Halong City. Transfer back to Hanoi.

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Sapa Hiking and Halong Bay Cruises with Canoeing Tour 6 days

The 6-day tour includes the most important travel highlights of the northern Vietnam are Sapa and Halong bay. Take the overnight train to Lao Cai, travel to Sapa where you enjoy the 3-day hiking through terraced rice fields, ethnic villages, mountain hill sides. Sharing the house with family at night (homestay) for the real life experience. You will meet up with different ethnic groups including H’mong, Red dzao, tay, Giay, Xa Pho. They still keep their customs and traditions. The overnight cruise to Halong bay is more relaxing as you spend most of your time on board junk. Optional water sports are available including sea canoeing, scuba diving. Contact your travel consultant for more details.

Sapa Hiking and Halong Bay Cruises with Canoeing Tour 6 days

Day 1: Overnight train to Lao Cai.

Take the night train to Lao Cai. Departure at around 20h30. Overnight on the train.

Day 2: Arrival in Laocai Railway Station. Transfer to Sapa. Sapa trekking.

Upon your arrival in Lao Cai Railway Station early in the morning, you will be greeted by another Lotussia Travel local guide and driver and transferred uphill to Sapa. Your breakfast will be provided at a local restaurant in town. Then, you will travel by car to Su Pan Hmong village from where you will begin walking downhill through the breathtaking scenery. On the way you will pass through the Ban Ho village where you will be able to witness the stunning views of the valley and rice paddy terraces. You will have the opportunity to explore the Ban Ho village of Tay minority before crossing the suspension bridge over the river. The walk then continues uphill to the Red Dao minority village of Nam Toong where your lunch will be provided.

After lunch, you will descend to a beautiful valley inhabited by Xa Pho ethnic minority, one of the smallest ethnic group in Northern Vietnam. From there you take a short walk to Thanh Phu where you will spend the night in traditional house of the Tay.

Day 3: Continue trekking Sapa.

Today’s trek will be relatively short and soft. Once leaving Thanh Phu village, you will follow the trekking route built in the bottom of the valley, which offers the best view to the surrounding mountains. Stop at a nice spot for lunch.

After lunchtime, you continue the walk toward Sin Chai Red Dzao village where the night will be spent in bamboo huts.

Day 4:   Continue Sapa trek. Travel to Lao Cai. Overnight train back to Hanoi.

After good nights sleep in bamboo hut, you wake up for an early breakfast and repack your luggage for the long trek heading towards Lao Cai. Once you leave Sin Chai, the trip takes you into a fabulously mountainous area, the most remote part of Sapa. Red Dao ethnic minority inhabits the entire area. Your lunch will be provided on spot. After lunch, your trek will be mostly downhill. After about half an hour, you will have an opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of days over a green valley lying along the Red River. You eventually arrive in Ta Thang village of Tay minority. Here you will be transferred by car to Lao Cai.

Day 5:   Arrival in Hanoi. Travel to Halong Bay. Boat cruise. Kayaking.

Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning, transfer to a local restaurant for early breakfast then depart to Halong. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life.

Arrive in Halong around noon and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or Bhaya junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Take a kayaking trip to explore the Bay. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.

Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi.

Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City. En route the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons. After another wonderful fresh seafood lunch (early) on board disembark at the dock at Halong City at around 11h00am. Transfer back to Hanoi.  Trip ends.

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North West Vietnam Overland and Trek Travel Hanoi Mai Chau Son La Dien Bien Lai Chau Sapa 7 days

The 7-day tour takes you to the less travel places in the north-western Vietnam. Begin the tour in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital and travel through Mai Chau village, Son La, Tuan Giao, Dien Bien Phu, Lai Chau, Tam Duong, Sapa. You also enjoy a full day hike in Sapa villages before taking the overnight train to get back to Hanoi. If you arrive in Tam Duong on Saturday, you will have the opportunity to visit the Tam Duong market on Sunday morning. The market is open only once a week. You meet different ethnic groups such as Giay, Nhang, Tay, H’mong, Dzao…

North West Vietnam Overland and Trek Travel Hanoi Mai Chau Son La Dien Bien Lai Chau Sapa 7 days

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. Overnight in Maichau.

You will be met up by Lotussia local guide and driver at your hotel in Hanoi and head west towards Hoa Binh province. Following lunch in a White Thai village in Mai Chau valley we spend the afternoon walking through the various ethnic minority villages in this area. In the evening, enjoy the traditional music and dance shoe which will be performed by local villagers. Overnight in Mai Chau.

Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La. Overnight in Sonla.

After breakfast served by the Thai people under their house-on-stilts, we leave Mai Chau making our way west to Son La. Upon our arrival in Son La late in the afternoon we check into our local guesthouse where we spend the night. Son La is located in a scenic valley, inhabited mostly by the Thai, the Muong and the H’mong minority people. This area is historically important for its involvement in the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France during the first half the 20th century. Overnight in Sonla.

Day 3: Son La – Dien Bien Phu. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

Following breakfast we will visit the remains of former French prison and enjoy a dip in the local hot- springs. We then board our vehicle for the drive to Dien Bien Phu around 170 km away. It is a 7-hour journey on rough roads, but it is worth while as the scenery is dramatic. We will encounter many ethnic minority people along the way. In the late afternoon we arrive in Dien Bien town and check into our guesthouse for the night. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

Day 4: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau. Overnight in Lai Chau.

After breakfast this morning we will visit some war sites in Dien Bien including Dien Bien Phu museum, A1 Hill, De Castries Commandment Post and set out on our drive to Lai Chau, around 7 hours away. This is in quite a remote area and as a result some of the roads will be fairly rough and uneven. Yet this is to our advantage as there will be fewer tourists along the way to spoil our views of the beautiful and dramatic scenery which we will encounter along the way. Overnight in Laichau.

Day 5: Lai Chau – Tam Duong Sunday Market – Sapa. Overnight in Sapa.

From Lai Chau we drive east to Sapa, which is a five-hour drive. We will stop on the road to visit Tam Duong Sunday market which is one of the most colorful markets in Vietnam. The local hill tribe ethnic minority come from different surrounding area to the market where they will sell their homemade handicraft, agricultural products such as vegetable, fruits and also pork, ducks, chickens…

After visiting the market, we continue our drive to Sapa. As the roads become even rougher, the more deserted they get. But the rougher they get, the better the scenery becomes. The beautiful hill station of Sapa has the best-of-both worlds, breath-taking scenery and modern-day comforts. In the afternoon, we will have half day walking excursion to the Red Dzao village. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 6: Sapa full day trekking. Sapa – Laocai – Hanoi. Overnight on the train.

Today we start our trek with a five to six hour trek to villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cau May situated in idyllic valleys, which are covered with a patchwork of rice terraces. Cat Cat is home to the H’mong people who originated from China, where they emigrated from about 300 years ago. The H’mong people are easily recognizable due to their dark clothing, usually blue or black. The dye is fashioned from the indigo or hemp plant that is native to the area. H’mong women wear long aprons with embroidered waistcoats and have their hair rolled up into a turban-like hat, whilst the men wear a black skullcap, long waistcoat and loose trousers.

In the late afternoon, we will be picked up again by our car and transferred to Lao Cai Railways Station four our journey back to Hanoi. Overnight on the train.

Day 7: Arrival in Hanoi.

Upon your arrival in Hanoi Railways Station, you will be welcome by our local driver and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi or directly to the airport for your onward flight. End tour.

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