This trip combines the tour to the north west highlands of Mai Chau and the tour to South of Hanoi, Ninh Binh province with scenery of Tam Coc river, the “Dry Halong bay on Land” the historical of Dinh & Le Dynasty before 1010 AD. And a balance of cultural and physical activities set amongst some of northern Vietnam’s most stunning scenery. We spend 5 nights in the ethnic minority villages walking an average of 5 hours a day. We trek for four days through villages in the Mai Chau area and overnight in White Thai and H’mong villages where we have the opportunity to observe the lives of the minority peoples. From the mountainous region of Mai Chau, we travel back to the capital, Hanoi. Travelers who prefer to get off the beaten track often prefer Mai Chau to Sapa..
Day 1: Hanoi – Tam Coc River (L, D)
At 08: 00am : Our guide picks you up for departure to Ninh Binh, enjoying the rural scenery along the road. Visit Hoa Lu old citadel, the capital city of Vietnam before 1010 AD and discover an important piece of the country’s early history in the ‘Ancient Capital”. Have lunch at restaurant before take the rowing boat along the tiny canal among the rice fields to visit Tam Coc (Three Grottoes). Stay over night at hotel in Ninh Binh town.
Day 2: Ninh Binh – Mai Chau – Hang Kia Village (B, L, D)
After breakfast at hotel we heading west to Hoa Binh Province where we stop for refreshments. From our stop we climb towards the Mai Chau valley, about another two hours away, stopping on the way to take in the spectacular scenery. Following lunch in Mai Chau town we drive to the White Thai village of Sa Linh from where we commence a 3-hour trek to the village of Hang Kia. Our hosts for this evening will be the H’mong minority people. Whilst enjoying their hospitality, we will discover a little more about their lives and culture. Tonight’s accommodation could probably be a little more rustic than you would be used to.
Day 3: Hang Kia – Van Village (B, L, D)
This morning our guide takes you to Van Village with a 7-hour trek , home of the White Thai people. The trek will take you through some unforgettable scenery and provide us with an opportunity to closely observe rural life in Vietnam. A picnic lunch will be provided along the way. Arriving in Van village by mid to late afternoon there will be time to take a stroll down to the nearby stream. Our hosts for this evening will treat us to a fine meal and stories of life in Van village. They will also share their home brewed rice wine and toast our good health and happiness.
Day 4: Van Village – So Village (B, L, D)
After breakfast we spend the morning strolling around the surrounding villages and meeting villagers along the way. After a morning’s exploring our guide transfers you back to Van village for lunch. With lunch finished there will time for a short siesta or stroll down to the river before embarking on a 3 hour walk to the village of Xo (pronounced Soh). This evening following dinner, we will have the opportunity for more cultural interaction, before retiring for our second night in a stilt house.
Day 5: Van Village – Pông Kong Village (B, L, D)
Free on your own to explore Sapa town or hang around the market until time transfer back to Laocai railway station for night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
Day 6: Hanoi – Departure
You will arrive in Hanoi around 05:00 AM. End of tour.