North West Vietnam Discovery
- Off The Beaten Path
Day 1: Hanoi – Duong Lam – Nghia Lo
Day 2: Nghia Lo – Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen
Day 3: Than Uyen – Quynh Nhai – Son La
Day 4: Mai Son – Moc Chau
Day 5: Moc Chau – Hanoi
Your private guide and transport will pick you up at your hotel to leave the bustling streets of Hanoi to travel past verdant rice paddies and farmland along Highway 32. After a one hour drive, you will reach Duong Lam Ancient village ‐ a rich historical site with fascinating old houses, churches and a temple of the two famous Kings, Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen. Despite the passing of time, these relics have been very well preserved, retaining the original features of our ancient houses. You will then take a walk around this old village, a great photo opportunity; and get to meet the local people and observe their daily life. After that, you will go on a short bicycle ride to the outskirts of this village to allow more picture taking.
You will enjoy a home-cooked lunch here, prepared and served by a local village family.
After lunch, you will continue on to Nghia Lo. Nghia Lo is situated along a beautiful mountain ridge with lush forests, tea plantations, rice terraces, and gum trees, with stunning picturesque valleys. This area is home to Thai, Nung, H’mong, La Ha and Ma ethnic minority tribes. You will arrive in the late afternoon and check into our hotel. The rest of your day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.
Overnight in Nghia Lo
Early this morning, after breakfast, your private tour guide will take you to the local market in Nghia Lo Town, where you can explore and shop for local handicrafts. After this, you will continue on to Mu Cang Chai, known for its terraced fields, which are mainly rice paddies. They create a stunning landscape stretching down the mountainside. Wooden houses and guard boxes can be spotted between the terraced fields. This area is a definite photo opportunity!
You will enjoy a beautiful scenic drive today. While climbing over the mountain pass to Mu Cang Chai you might be able to see the H’mong, La Ha and Dzao minority people along the way. Descending to the valley below, we will arrive in the town of Than Uyen, where you will spend the night in a hotel.
Overnight in Than Uyen
This morning, you will depart Than Uyen after breakfast for a short drive to Quynh Nhai. After arriving in this peaceful town, you will stop for lunch.
After lunch, you will take a 01-hour boat trip around the picturesque reservoir here, dotted with islets. The water from this reservoir supplies the Son La Dam, the largest hydroelectric power station in Southeast Asia.
After the boat trip, you will continue your journey to Mai Son town by a 02-hour drive. After arriving at Mai Son, you will go to the home of a local family where you will be spending the night. Tonight your hosts will cook a delicious local-style dinner for you. They will take you into their garden to pick fresh vegetables and also show you how to select the best chicken for the meal.
You can then sit back and relax with a cold beer while watching them prepare your meal!
Overnight in Son La
After breakfast, you can take some photos with your host family before bidding them farewell. You will then take the 03-hour drive to Moc Chau Highland. Moc Chau Plateau is blessed with the most wonderful natural scenic beauty, with boundless meadows where grazing cows offer an unlimited supply of milk!.
Around noon, we will arrive in Ban Doi, a small black Thai village with a community-based tourism project. Ban Doi is an untouched village nestled in a lush valley. This village is known for its bamboo “stilt houses” which are elevated 10–12 feet off the ground in order to avoid water damage, and also serves to shelter animals from the elements.
After checking into one of the stilt houses you will have lunch.
After a short rest, you can take a gentle walk throughout the village. You will also visit one of the tea plantations and the and Dai Yem waterfall. This evening, you will be served a local style dinner by your Thai hosts and enjoy their company.
Overnight in Moc Chau
After breakfast, you will leave Ban Doi and drive to Phieng Canh, a H’mong tribe hamlet situated in a middle of nowhere. From the main road, you will take a one hour walk along the corn and rice fields to access this remote village. The location is very scenic, and the dwellers are truly hospitable. You will take a trip back in time in this charming village until your private tour guide brings you back down to earth when you return to the main road! Here you will be met by your private driver for the journey back to Hanoi.
On the way back, your private van will stop for lunch at Giang Mo village, home of the Muong minority people. These people have similar houses to the Thai people but a very different lifestyle and culture, further illustrating the rich diversity of Vietnamese ethnic groups.
After lunch you will wind your way back to Hanoi, arriving at your hotel around 4:00 pm. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.
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 the 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.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Vietnam
- Vietnam entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
Free service. No credit card required
Reviews on Our Service
Incredible Vietnam experience with Tony
Great company, great service
Amazing People and Great Service
We travelled for 7 weeks so the tour that we structured gave us a great mix of guided and free time. We were able to see the normal tourist sites, as well as spend some in-depth time in the villages and communities. This gave us a much greater insight into life in Vietnam and Cambodia. All I can say is that they are amazing and incredible people!
Our guides were great. Our drivers were safe and looked after us very well. I would not recommend anyone try driving on thier own if you are coming from a country where people obey the traffic laws. We learned over time that is is actully very organized chaos!
If you are looking for a great agency, we can assure you that Asia Pioneer cares about you and will look after you with every detail!
Thank you to Mr. Lam and the entire staff.
Maria & Tom – BC, Canada