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Ha Giang and the North East of Vietnam

14 days from £2990 per person

Vietnam’s dramatic interior is easily reached from capital Hanoi and this fascinating journey is a wonderful introduction to what is a relatively undiscovered region of north-east Vietnam. An area famed for its untouched local traditions, unique cultures and colourful minority people, this itinerary is an excellent way to understand and explore Vietnam’s unrivalled diversity whilst marvelling at spectacular mountain scenery. Highlights include Ba Be National Park, the Sunday markets at Meo Vac and Dong Van, the rice terraces of Hoang Su Phi and the minority villages around Yen Minh.

Route: Hanoi – Ba Be National Park – Meo Vac – Yen Minh – Ha Giang – Hoang Su Phi – Bac Ha – Hanoi

Itinerary Highlights

A city of broad boulevards, large lakes and parks, French colonial architecture and atmospheric markets, the Vietnamese capital is a vibrant place with much to see and do.

Ba Be National Park was created to protect a freshwater lake and surrounding forests. The picturesque region is home to pangolins, slow loris and macaque monkeys.

Ha Giang Province forms the border with China and steep, forested mountains and valleys provide a rugged home to many indigenous tribal people, farming, hunting and trading.

Itinerary: Ha Giang and the North East of Vietnam

Today depart the UK on the Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. To ensure that the markets of Meo Vac and Dong Van are visited on a Sunday, we recommend that this itinerary is started on a Tuesday. Alternatively, should you prefer to visit the Sunday market in Hoang Su Phi, this itinerary should commence on a Friday or Saturday. (N)
Arrive into Bangkok and connect onto a Thai Airways flight to Hanoi for a two night stay. A handsome city of tree-lined boulevards, temples, lakes, parks and a frenetic, vibrant old colonial centre, Hanoi’s charm lies in the preservation of a distinct North Vietnamese culture and way of life distinct to that of the south of the country. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Today explore Hanoi with your guide starting at Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum before continuing to his house, in the compound of the former Presidential Palace, and nearby One Pillar Pagoda which was originally built during the 11th century AD. From here continue on foot to the wonderful Temple of Literature – the largest temple complex in the city. Nearly 1,000 years old, the temple was dedicated to Confucius and the cult of literacy and education. End the day exploring the narrow lanes and historic buildings of the atmospheric old quarter. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Following breakfast, this morning leave Hanoi and drive to Thai Nguyen to visit the local ethnology museum which has an interesting exhibition on the local ethnic groups of northern Vietnam. Continuing north, travel through beautiful scenery to Ba Be National Park which where the afternoon will be spent exploring the reserve by boat. Stay for two nights in a local village homestay. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Ba Be National Park: Pac Ngoi Village Homestay
Today further explore Ba Be National Park and the many caves that dot this beautiful reserve. Ba Be’s diversity of flora and fauna is staggering with the park home to over 400 species of plant, 100 species of butterfly and 110 species of bird. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Ba Be National Park: Pac Ngoi Village Homestay
After breakfast continue by road north to Meo Vac where you will stay overnight. Crossing the spectacular Colia Pass, visit the small village of Bao Lac, home to the San Chay, and after lunch enter the remote province of Ha Giang arriving into Meo Vac during the afternoon. Later explore the Niem Son Valley and discover the cultural life of the different minority groups that live in the surrounding area. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Meo Vac: Hoa Cuong Meo Vac
Follow Vietnam’s northern border to Yen Minh visiting the wonderful Sunday markets at Meo Vac and Dong Van. Rising early, spend the morning at Meo Vac’s market – a colourful affair frequented by Hmong, Tay and Lo Lo people – before driving to the market at Dong Van. The scenery today is spectacular with the Ma Phi Leng Pass a particular highlight. Leaving Dong Van continue to Yen Minh, stopping en-route to visit Hmong, Ma Le and Lung Tao villages, and stay overnight. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Yen Minh: Thao Nguyen Hotel (or similar)
Crossing the Yen Minh Pass, arrive in the commune of Lung Tam and visit a local workshop where Hmong and Zao women produce works of traditional weaving and embroidery. Travel on, arriving in Ha Giang during the afternoon, and later visit the nearby village of Me. Occupying a picturesque position on the banks of the Lo River, the provincial capital sits at the heart of a region rich in minority culture and life. Stay overnight in Ha Giang. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Ha Giang: Hoa Cuong Dong Van Hotel
Leaving the mountainous limestone scenery behind, today continue on to the district of Hoang Su Phi where you will stay for the next two nights. Covered in lush and green forest and sprawling tea plantations, this region is home to the most impressive rice terraces in the country. Winding roads give way to precarious mountain roads while picturesque wooden villages cling spectacularly to precipitous lime-green hillsides. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Hoang Su Phi: Pan Hou Lodge (or similar)
Today explore Hoang Su Phi, the surrounding countryside and nearby villages. If today is a Sunday, spend the morning at the local market where Hmong, Red Zao, Nung and Tay arrive for a day’s trading. The cattle market in Hoang Su Phi is a particular highlight. Later spend time visiting local villages and hiking the terraced fields which have been cultivated for centuries and provide valuable crop-growing space. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Hoang Su Phi: Pan Hou Lodge (or similar)
After breakfast follow the Chinese border west towards Bac Ha where you will stay overnight. Stop en-route and visit the village of Lung Cai which occupies a dramatic setting high on a ridge looking down a narrow valley where the glinting Chay River winds its way between Vietnam and China. In the afternoon visit Hoang A Tuong Castle, built at the start of the 20th century, and the Ban Pho valley. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Bac Ha: Sao Mai Bac Ha Hotel (or similar)
Today you are at leisure before continuing by road to Lao Cai where a day room will be available for use at a local hotel. In the early evening transfer to the railway station and board the Victoria Express Train for the overnight journey back to Hanoi. Offering elegant accommodation, the Victoria Express transports passengers in two luxurious sleeping carriages between the Vietnamese capital and the country’s far north-west. (B/L)
Arrive into Hanoi in the morning where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Today transfer to Hanoi Airport for the onward flight to Bangkok. Here connect onto the Thai Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
Arrive in the UK in the morning. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
  • Wildlife viewing with local naturalist
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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