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Tribal Trails


16 days

Click here for full itinerary of this journey


Ba Be lakes - National Park






This is an adventure to the far-east and west of Vietnam, it takes you away from the worries of life to the northernmost region of Vietnam where the people are still very poor and especially, it is home to many ethnic minorities whose lives are not existed in our modern world and are something that we need to learn.
You also have an opportunity to view beautiful landscapes, the landscape here is so different from anywhere in Vietnam. During the trip you will meet many ethnic minorities who live in the remote, untouched areas, and still keep their unique traditions, cultures. Experience such a tour, is an adventure for life!


- Breathtaking scenery along the way
- Colourful hill-tribes
- Mountain's cool climate
- Great trekking amongst ethnic hill-tribes villages
- Homestay experience



Day   1 Mai Chau
Day   2 Son La
Day   3 Dien Bien Phu
Day   4 Lai Chau
Days 5-6 Sapa
Day   7 Bac Ha
Days 8-10 Ha Giang
Days 11-12 Ba Be lakes
Days 13-14 Cao Bang
Days 15-16 Lang Son

View trip map
trip map - click to zoom



  Brief itinerary


Day 1 Mai Chau homestay
Climb up mountain passes with beautiful scenery of rice fields and valleys before descending into Mai Chau, a village of White Thai minority. Sit together around a fire drinking "Ruou Can", a local rice wine and join in a traditional music show before ending the day in stilt house of a family.

Day 2 Son La
Drive onto Moc Chau plateau, we pass dairy cow and tea plantations on our way to Son La. This town is historically important for its involvement in the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France. The provincial museum and the nearby old prison are some of this hill town's major sights.

Day 3 Dien Bien Phu
It's a long day driving as we cross over the Pha Din Pass before reaching Dien Bien Phu, the site of the decisive battle in Vietnam's struggle for independence in 1954. At times the roads are steep but the stunning panoramas afford us more than compensate for any hardship.

Day 4 Lai Chau
Lai Chau town lies on the floor of a very steep valley near the convergence of three river systems. Crossing a large suspension bridge we head along the eastern banks of the Nam Na river and view the spectacular gorges with precipitous cliffs towering over the river sides and hill-tribe villages scattered on sandy bank.

Days 5-6 Sa Pa
Soak up the fresh climate by spending our time wandering around this charming town and some legacies of the French period, visit the bustling Sa Pa Market where the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay and Xa Pho ethnic minorities converge from the nearby mountainsides and valleys to trade their goods and buy provisions.

Day 7 Bac Ha
Bac Ha is situated in the highlands and is mostly populated by the beautifully dressed Flower H'mong minority. On Sunday mornings, thousands of people from every corner of the area flock out to market for their most important weekly activity. In spring you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the white plum blossom.

Days 8-10 Ha Giang
The final frontier in northern Vietnam, a lunar landscape of limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops, this remote area is a land of rugged mountains and beautiful hill villages which are unchanged for centuries. The former H'mong royal house at Sa Phin is a primary attraction.

Days 11-12 Ba Be lakes
A day to explore Vietnam's largest natural lake. Take in some river markets, relax on a boat cruise, go fishing, explore caves, dine with friends at the edge of a waterfall, enjoy the hospitality of the minority peoples who inhabit this area.

Days 13-14 Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfalls 
A venture out into the most northern region of Cao Bang Province - the spectacular Ban Gioc Waterfall, which boasts the largest waterfall in Vietnam, and the enormous Nguom Ngao Caves which has two main entrances and one branch reaching almost all the way to the waterfalls where there is a "secret” entrance 

Days 15-16 Lang Son, return to Ha Noi
As a trading post, Lang Son is where you can find Chinese products flooding the town. Just spend a couple of hours walking around town, stopping at the bustling market of Ky Lua and the beautiful Ki Kung River, which is Vietnam’s unique river flowing to China.



travel style: Independent
If you're looking for something different (perhaps classic tours aren't for you) or you want an extension to your trip, an Independent adventure could be just the thing. These private itineraries will take you to a new level of personal experience and self discovery. Transport and accommodation are provided and to give you maximum flexibility, inclusions vary from trip to trip - please check the trip notes for full details.
group size
N/A as this trip is on a private basis.
accommodation & meal inclusions
13 nights in standard class hotels or guesthouses, 2 nights homestay
Mai Chau: Thai village homestay
Meals included: breakfast
Son La: Cong Doan Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Dien Bien Phu: Muong Thanh Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Lai Chau: Lan Anh Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Sapa: Royal Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Bac Ha: Sao Mai Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Ha Giang: Pan Hou Eco Resort
Duc Giang Hotel
Meals included: breakfasts
Dong Van: Dong Van Guesthouse
Hoang Ngoc Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Bac Me: Song Gam Hotel
Meals included: breakfast

Ba Be: Thuy Dung Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Tay village homestay
Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Cao Bang: Huong Thom Hotel
Thanh Loan Hotel
Meals included: breakfasts
Lang Son: Huy Hung Hotel
Meals included: breakfast

Tour includes:
• Accommodation with daily breakfasts
• Extra meals as per the itinerary
• Private transfer round trip by 7 seater
• Tours and excursions as described in the program
• Entrance fees and permits where applicable during guided time

Tour excludes:
Pre & post trip arrangements
• Transfers beyond the itinerary
• Local English speaking tour guide (30 usd/day)
• Entrance fees and permits during free time
• Travel insurance (compulsory)
• Food & drinks not mentioned within the itinerary
• Tips and gratuities
• Expenses of a personal nature such as bar bills, laundry and telephone charges
• Other services not clearly described in the program



Tour cost: US $1300 per person in the party of 2





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