Northern Vietnam The roads less traveled


Nestled in the far northeast of Vietnam on the border with southwest China, Ha Giang is an immensely rewarding experience for the travellers who are interested in cultural insights, local markets, stunning scenery and taking photographic opportunities.

The sprawling Ba Be Lake in Ba Be National Park is where you can enjoy the rich natural surroundings of Vietnam and meet the local Tay communities to give you a glimpse into the past of the country.

Relax on an overnight cruise on Lan Ha Bay, a new tranquil part of Halong Bay before concluding the trip in the vibrant city of Hanoi.


  • Admire the beautiful landscape and scenery with terraced rice paddies, primary forest and winding mountain paths.
  • Gain deeper understanding about the colorful cultures and lifestyles of the ethnic minorities by visiting the untouched remote villages.
  • Visit Ba Be Lake here you can enjoy the rich natural surroundings and meet the local Tay communities.
  • Explore historic monuments & culture via Hanoi’s highlights
  • Relax on the overnight cruise in Lan Ha Bay, a new tranquil part of Halong Bay.

Start your journey today!

  • Duration


  • Destinations

    Hanoi - Ba Be - Pac Ngoi - Meo Vac - Lung Cu - Dong Van - Quan Ba - Ha Giang - Hoang Su Phi

  • Best Time to Travel

    March - May & Sept - Nov

Our Services Include:
  • Hotels accommodation in double or twin sharing with breakfast
  • Ground operation with vehicle (with Air-con), horse cart & boats
  • Activities and sightseeing mentioned in the program
  • English speaking station guide (not throughout guide)
  • Entrance fee in all destination
  • Porter fee at the airport only
  • Meals as mentioned in the program
Our Services Exclude:
  • Tipping for tour guide & driver
  • Surcharge for single supplement.
  • Surcharge for other language speaking guides accompanying guests on board.
  • Other services that were not mentioned in our program.

The additional surcharge applies for bookings on Christmas, New Year & Tet (Lunar New Year).



Hanoi - Ba Be (215km) 5-6hrs

Meet our representative at the hotel lobby and depart along the new highway for 4 hours’ drive to Ba Be National park. Lunch will be served at the local restaurant.

Upon arrival, transfer to the local pier and enjoy a 4 hours cruise to explore the beauty of Ba Be Lake including the visit of Dau Dang waterfall. Later, check-in the homestay in Pac Ngoi & have dinner with home cooked dishes of the Tay.

Overnight at a local homestay. 

Optional: Enjoy traditional music and dance of the Tay Ethnic in the village.

Pac Ngoi - Meo Vac (260km) 8 hours

Walking/Sightseeing (3hrs)

After breakfast, leave Pac Ngoi for a long day to Meo Vac town. There is a break at Tinh Tuc before reaching Bao Lac where we will have lunch at a local restaurant. Continuing the journey by driving along the GAM River to Ly Bon before getting up and down the steep mountains of the remote lands of Cao Bang, this portion of the road trip offers a great chance to see the rural sides of Vietnam.

There are a few stops on the way for shooting photos and observing the beautiful landscape when driving along the border between Vietnam & China which is the highlight, surrounded by a magnificent landscape of walled-up limestone mountains and deep valleys.

Arrival in Meo Vac. Check-in and free at leisure.

Stay overnight at Auberge de Meo Vac.

Meo Vac - Lung Cu - Dong Van 90km (3hrs) 

Sightseeing (5hrs)

A quick breakfast and leave Meo Vac in the early morning.

Stop on Ma Pi Leng Pass which is well-known for its magnificent and spectacular scenery. Continue the journey by visiting the Hmong village nearby which is set amongst limestone rocks where the highest value of fresh water and cultivating land can be seen evidently.

Upon arrival in Dong Van, spend an hour walking through this stunning valley and explore the ancient streets of the area before having lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, follow the narrow road through local communes of the ethnic people where you can enjoy marvellous sceneries of the Rocky Plateau. Upon arrival, visit a small village of the Hmong and drive to Lung Cu where is known as the northernmost land of Vietnam. Climb up to the flag tower at the top of the mountain for a panorama view of the vast landscapes.  Head back Dong Van. 

Dong Van check in and have dinner at your hotel.

Stay overnight at Hoa Cuong Hotel.

Dong Van - Quan Ba - Ha Giang: 180km (6hrs)

After breakfast, check out and head to Xa Phin Valley where we will visit the unique century-old palace, which is a national reli, belonging to the Vuong royal family who once ruled a vast area of the border region. The family was renowned for opium production and trading until 1945.

Later, head to Sung La, another beautiful valley which is well-known for scenes in “Pao’s Story”, a film shooting destination. 

Spend some time strolling around the hidden village before continuing the journey to Ha Giang. Stop at Quan Ba Heaven Gate, with a walk up to the top of Co Tien Mountain for marvelous panoramic views of the Quan Ba Valley. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, head to Ha Giang with an estimated arrival time  to be in the late afternoon. 

Check in your hotel and overnight in Ha Giang.

Stay overnight at Phoenix Hotel.

Ha Giang - Hoang Su Phi 85km (3hrs)

Depart from your hotel in Ha Giang then drive straight to Hoang Su Phi. Upon arrival, check in your accommodation and rest for a while (Early check-in subject to availability).

In the afternoon, if the weather permits, we can trek around the local village by passing the rice fields and bamboo forests then meet and interact with locals for a cup of tea before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon. If we are still amused by the surroundings, we may hang around the local market nearby or relax at the eco-lodge.

Stay overnight at Hoang Su Phi Lodge.

Hoang Su Phi - Hanoi: 300km (7-8hrs)

Breakfast and check out of the hotel then drive back to Hanoi and via Tuyen Quang. There will be several stops on the way back, including the evergreen tea plantation and Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

Estimated time to Hanoi is sometime in the late afternoon. 

Stay overnight at La Siesta Diamond.

Hanoi sightseeing 7-8hrs

After breakfast, visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century and one of Hanoi’s best-preserved buildings. This is the most important of the “Temples of Literature” to be found throughout the entire Vietnam. Continue to “Hanoi Hilton” (or Hoa Lo prison), one of the most notorious sites from the Vietnam War, it was used by the French between 1896-1954 to imprison Vietnamese political prisoners before it housed American POWs. During the Vietnam War, scores of American pilots and soldiers were detained and tortured here, including Douglas Peter Peterson, who later became the first US Ambassador to Viet Nam and John McCain, a US Senator.

In the afternoon, drive to the Ethnology Museum (Closed on Monday) which will give you a comprehensive overview of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities through its colorful, interactive displays. Drive back to Hanoi center for a 1hr cyclo tour to explore the bustling streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter which is known for its ‘36 alleyways of 36 wares’ named after the original 36 artisan guilds that date as far back as the 13th century. In the evening, enjoy the water puppet show. Free time. 

Stay overnight at La Siesta Diamond.

Hanoi - Lan Ha Bay (140km) 3hrs

In the morning, pick up and depart for a 3 hours drive to Cat Hai Port. Upon arrival, embark on the jetty which will connect you to our overnight cruise. Enjoy a welcome drink while the cruise manager briefing about the itinerary and safety info. A tasty lunch will be served on board when our cruise starts sailing towards Lan Ha Bay – another tranquil part of Halong bay. Later, hop on the bamboo boat for the visit at the Bright Cave, a serene round lake surrounded by lush trees and high stone cliffs. Then enjoy swimming in the private emerald water. Return to our cruise and relax on the sundeck or enjoy a massage at our Spa center (at your own expense). End of the day enjoy dinner on the top deck and overnight on the cruise ship in the Lan Ha Bay area.

(flexible program of the cruise - subject to changes; no private guide on board).

Lan Ha Bay - Hanoi (140km) 3hrs

In the early morning, start your day with a Tai Chi lesson on the upper deck and have breakfast on board.

Later, enjoy kayaking to explore Tra Bau area and visit the fishing farm then return to the boat. Pack your luggage and check out.

(flexible program of the cruise - subject to changes; no private guide on board). 

A buffet brunch will be served while the boat cruises to the harbor. Drive back to Hanoi and estimate arriving in the afternoon.

Relax at your hotel and explore Hanoi within your free time. 

Stay overnight on the Perla Dawn cruise.

Today is free at your own leisure until a transfer to the airport for a flight back home or connection to your next journey.