Discover Ha Giang & The Far North
- Active Adventure
- Culture & Heritage
- Off The Beaten Path
Day 1 – 2: Hanoi
- Arrive in Hanoi. Visit a local village and meet the host family.
Day 3 – 4: Bac Ha
- Transfer to the remote town Bac Ha. Visit the villages of the ethnic groups. Discover the famous Bac Ha Sunday Market.
Day 5 – 6 – 7: Ha Giang
- Drive to Ha Giang. Explore Quan Ba Valley, Yen Minh Town, Lung Cu, Meo Vac and Ma Pi Leng Pass. Marvel at the remarkable scenes along the way.
Day 8 – 12: Cao Bang – Ba Be National Park - Hanoi
- Drive to Cao Bang. Visit Ban Gioc Waterfalls, Nguom Ngao Cave and Bac Bo Cave.
- Transfer to Ba Be National Park. Sightsee Ba Be Lake, Dau Dang Waterfall and Puong Cave.
- Return to Hanoi, relax and then board your departure flight.
The “Discover Ha Giang & The Far North” tour is designed to show you the most majestic landscapes in 13 days! Drive from Hanoi to Van Giang village and Bat Trang village to experience rural life in Vietnam. Hike along local tracks and terraces in hill tribe villages and spend time exploring the colourful Bac Ha Sunday market. Travel through Ha Giang – a stunning but lesser-known region in the north with limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops. Discover the areas of Quan Ba, Yen Ninh, Lung Cu, Dong Van, Meo Vac, and learn about the distinctive traditions of the hill tribes. Explore the wonderful nature of Cao Bang and Ban Gioc waterfall – the magnificent waterfall lies at the Vietnam / China border. Breathe in the clean fresh air when venturing through Ba Be National Park – a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site with fantastic lakes, waterfalls and caves.
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Hanoi. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast, leave the busy capital behind and venture off into the countryside for a fabulous half-day excursion.
A scenic hour drive through the lush Red River Delta will bring you to the charming village of Hung Yen. Come to Mr. An and Mrs. Mien’s home where you can admire their three-hundred-year-old wooden house. You’ll enjoy a cup of green tea as get acquainted with the hosts and hear the village’s history. After that Mr. An will take you on a small cycling excursion around the village and visiting home families who do their traditional jobs. You will also stop at the local market where you can mingle with the locals, visit their shops and perhaps do some shopping.
Spend the rest of your morning learning with Mrs. Mien to cook a few traditional Vietnamese dishes, before sitting down to enjoy the delicious meal you’ve prepared with your new family.
Bid a fond farewell to the family, you will wind our way back to Hanoi. En route, you will stop at Bat Trang ceramic village to learn about this 1000 years old village with their stunning traditional works.
Return to Hanoi in the late afternoon where the balance of the day is at your leisure. You may take a stroll around the Old Quater of Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast and check out of the hotel your private guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you for 6 hours to the remote town of Bac Ha. Nestled deep in the mountains, Bac Ha is a quiet backwater Monday to Saturday, but by Sunday crowds of locals from thousands of surrounding villages descend on the town for the colourful Sunday market. Here you will have a chance to meet some of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups.
En route, you will take a riverboat ride on the Chay River. During the ride of 6km upstream, you will have the opportunity to visit Fairy Cave – closely connected with a legend about 3 fairies who hid there. You also stop to visit Bao Nhai and Ta Trung Do village where local people built a sacred temple called Ba Co (Three Girls). Enjoy a home-hosted lunch in the village before continuing your road drive.
Arrive in Bac Ha and check into a local home where you will enjoy an authentic Vietnam homestay. Clean linens and fresh towels are standard, and mattresses and pillows are comfortable. Every bed has a mosquito net and curtains that you can pull across for extra privacy.
After a short rest and getting to know your family hosts, your guide and driver will transfer you to visit Ban Pho village where you can take a short walk around the village where Flower Hmong, Tay and Nung minorities live.
Continue to visit the Hmong King Palace. Completed in 1921 the Palace is the former home of a wealthy landowner from the Tay ethnic group named Hoang Yen Chao. Supported by the French colonial government the Hoang family owned the majority of the areas fertile land and had trade monopolies on virtually everything.
Return to the homestay for your leisure time. Enjoy a nice and hot shower and get ready for dinner with the family.
Overnight in Hac Ha
After an early breakfast at the homestay, your guide will take you to Bac Ha Sunday Market in time (to avoid the crowds) to discover this lively market. The market itself is a kaleidoscope of color, noise, and culture, where locals in an array of traditional dress barter for cows and show off delicately embroidered and embellished designs. Wander, camera in hand, and soak in the lively atmosphere while fending off the persistent sellers. The scent of fresh herbs and fragrant, strong tobacco wafts among the tented stalls and the overpowering smell of animals drifts down from the live market above.
Depart the Market you will embark on a three-hour driver to Ha Giang, one of the most remote parts of northern Vietnam. Ha Giang boasts an amazing landscape of limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops and has some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.
After having lunch at Xin Man town continue your road journey to Ha Giang. Along the way, you will have the chance to see beautiful rice terraces, waterfalls, and various ethnic minorities.
Later, you will arrive in Ha Giang and check into Truong Xuan ecolodge. Take your time to relax and chill out or explore a Tay Hill Tribe village, beautifully set in a stunning valley close to town.
Overnight in Ha Giang
After breakfast, you will depart Ha Giang for Quan Ba Valley – an area of stunning natural beauty with green hills and abundant limestone caves. Travel through Quan Ba Pass – known as Heaven’s Gate with its panoramic views of the terraced rice fields below.
Following lunch at a local restaurant in Quan Ba, you will visit Lung Tam where you will learn about Hmong handicraft. The craftswomen will demonstrate the techniques of hemp weaving and other traditional handicraft.
After this educational segment, you will continue your scenic drive towards Yen Minh town. Arrive and check in to your mini-hotel. The rest of the afternoon and evening will at your leisure.
Overnight in Yen Ninh
After breakfast, you will leave Yen Ninh for Lung Cu. Along the way, you will get to visit the local market if it is the day of the week it is open. Alternatively, you can admire the scenery of the Landscape and the cornfields. You will also visit the small remote village where you can mingle with the Hoa people.
Continue to drive until you reach Dong Van town, a Geopark littered with an array of ancient karst formations. In Dong Van you will visit the former residence of the Vuong family, still called “Palace of Hmong King”. Then check in to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Dong Van
After breakfast, you will embark on a moderate hike to the rocky mountains on backroads which leads you to some hill tribe villages which is situated in between the grey rocks. After the morning hike, you’ll get back to Dong Van town for lunch.
You will leave Dong Van and drive over the massive Ma Pi Leng Pass to Meo Vac town. Have a break on the pass to admire the panorama over the huge abyss which is bottomed by the Nho Que River.
Arrive at Meo Vac town in the late afternoon and check into the Auberge de Meo Vac Mountain Lodge. The rest of the day will be at your leisure.
Overnight in Meo Vac
You’ll have a long drive today to Cao Bang but it will be broken up with numerous photo stops and more dramatic scenery. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant on the way.
In the late afternoon, you will arrive in Cao Bang and check in to a mini-hotel in the City centre.
Overnight in Cao Bang
An early start today as you’ll pay a visit to Ban Gioc Waterfall. The falls, fed by the Quay Son River that marks the border with China, is an impressive sight and in a highly scenic location. At 30 metres high and 300 metres across Ban Gioc is the widest – but not the highest – waterfall in the country. From here you’ll have a short walk to nearby Nguom Ngao Cave. This immense cave holds a series of majestic, jaw-dropping caverns, filled with delicate, intricate formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will return to Cao Bang where the balance of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Cao Bang
You will have an excursion to Pac Bo Cave driving through a scenic landscape of green rice paddies and water wheels. Pac Bo Cave is revered in Vietnam as the place where Ho Chi Minh stayed briefly upon his return from China in 1941. It was here that the Vietnamese Independence League or Viet Minh was established.
After lunch in Cam Bang, you will depart for Ba Be Lake. Again the roads are bumpy but the views are enough to make up for this.
In the late afternoon, you will arrive at Cho Ra Town, from here you will be transferred to the Center of the National Park. Tonight you will spend the night in the village of Tay People in a homestay.
Overnight at a local homestay
After breakfast, you will take a boat trip down the Nang River to discover Ba Be Lake, Vietnam’s largest natural lake and the centrepiece of an extensive National Park. The park and the surrounding area is limestone country, so lakes, waterfalls, caves and unusual rock formations abound. The whole area is richly forested and is home to many ethnic minority communities.
After the two-hour boat trip and the visits to Dau Dang Waterfall and Puong Cave, you will get back to the homestay for lunch and then check out.
Depart Ba Be Lake you will drive back to Hanoi. En route, you will stop at the Museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen.
Arrive in Hanoi and check in to your hotel. Enjoy your last night in Hanoi before going home.
Overnight in Hanoi
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Hanoi International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.
- Visit a charming village of Hung Yen to experience the traditional life and authentic culture in the countryside of Vietnam
- Discover the Hill tribe villages and lively local market of ethnic minority groups
- Explore incredible mountainous Ha Giang and admire the scenery of the landscape with panorama views
- Pay a visit to Ban Gioc Waterfall, an impressive sight and in a highly scenic location
- Discovery Ba Be Lake, the biggest natural lake in Vietnam is surrounded by limestone cliffs and covered by primary forests.
- 11 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 3 dinners and 6 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Vietnam, the entry visa to Vietnam, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
Free service. No credit card required
Reviews on Our Service
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
Vietnam Luxury Vacation Review: Sightseeing, Culture, 12-Day Travel
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sightseeing, Rice Fields, Boat Rides, 18-Day Trip
We started searching for our tour for Vietnam / Cambodia back in October 2022 to start the tour in the first week of January 2023. We selected this travel agency, and contact name provided to us was Elly. She was extraordinary with her communication with us. Excellent English speaking language capability & excellent in communication on Whats app and email communication. We went back & forth few times to arrange the tour we wanted. She was very accommodating in arranging our schedule. We requested automobile tour for both countries, just for two of us.
We requested SUV FOR OUR COMFORT AND WE GOT IT!
We requested to get the high end hotel in each city and she gave us choices and not only that but send videos of each hotel for each City and then waited for us to decide which hotel we select. All the Hotels turned out to be one of the best we would expect to be. M/s Elly, personally came to visit with us on the evening of our first day tour. Very respectful and asked if she could do anything for us.I had requested before in our communication, if she would arrange for power converter for us, since my camera chargers are all in 110. So brought two power converters for us! Something, not everyone will do this kind of service. So all the kiddos to her!
as to the drivers in each city were very courteous, very professional and very careful in how and where they have to do driving.
our Guides in each city were so friendly, courteous and knowledgeable in where ever we visited. How ever wish two guides in Hue An and Ho Chi Minh City spoke English more clearly.
We only wish we had one extra day in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, , however, there is so much to see in the world! Perhaps next time will visit Vietnam.
As to Cambodia, same thing to express about site seeing and our Guide and drivers. Guides and drivers really made our travel thro’ the countries where we do not speak that language, made it so comfortable and enjoyable.
Hi Lam…hope you don’t mind me contacting you directly. My wife Barb & I (Paul) have just arrived home after completing a great tour of Vietnam which was organised through your company Asia Pioneer Travel.
We want to tell you personally how impressed were were with the level of service that we received…it was amazing and the best that we have experienced anywhere. After we made initial contact with you, you handed us over to Chloe to arrange the trip which she did in very quick time and the amount of detail that she went to was fantastic. From the moment that we walked out of Hanoi airport on arrival to see our guide waiting, we knew that we were in for a great trip. The drivers & guides were fantastic and Chloe was in contact by email constantly making sure that everything was going to plan & that we were happy. At one stage we need to vary the itinerary by extending accommodation & changing air tickets and Chloe did that without any fuss or bother.
We also met some wonderful Vietnamese people along the way and Ive got to say that they are our kind of people, very generous & friendly.
Enough of my ramblings, thanks for a great visit to Vietnam, and a special thank you to Chloe for looking after us in such a terrific manner…she is a very special caring lady.
Kind regards & I hope that we have the opportunity to use Asia Pioneer Travel again….Paul & Barb Little from Newcastle Australia
Superbly organised and very flexible
We travelled to Vietnam for two weeks, booking the whole trip through Lizzie at Asia Pioneer, including hotels, excursions, trips, guides and internal flights. Lizzie was so helpful and flexible, accommodating changes to our schedule until the last minute, especially as we missed our connecting flight in Dubai and arrived a day later than planned (our fault). Nothing was too much trouble, including getting my wallet back to me after I left it in the car taking us to the airport.
We started in Hanoi in the North and worked our way south to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), taking in Ha Long with its amazing sea stacks and sleeping on a boat, then to Sa Pa on the overnight sleeper train from Hanoi, with its wonderful countryside and rice terraces. Afterwards, we went to Hoi An for three days of relaxation. Hoi An probably my favourite place and three days are enough to cover it. Then onto Hue, the original capital, my least favourite place and then finally on to HMC, which was a real contrast to the North.
The 3-star hotels that Lizzie picked were very good and comfortable, and the guides were very knowledgeable. I would definitely use Asia Pioneer again for future Asia trips.