Wow, what an incredible 7-day itinerary exploring the northern region of Vietnam! You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions of the different ethnic groups, trek through stunning landscapes, visit markets, and experience authentic homestays. It sounds like a very active and adventurous trip, and I hope you have a wonderful time!
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Walking 2.5 Hours (L, D)
At 9:00 am, your tour guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel to start the seven-day trip around the north of Vietnam. You will overnight in a traditional Thai stilt house, with modern and comfortable amenities available. Upon arrival, you can take a walking tour through the rice fields, away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. Dinner will be served by the homestay family.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Moc Chau – Son La – Walking 4-5 Hours (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will continue to drive north to Son La, with plenty of photo stops along the way to capture the magnificent landscape. You will visit Moc Chau, a highland town known for producing some of Vietnam’s best tea and milk products. On arrival in Son La, you will check in to your hotel and have lunch. After lunch, you will tour the old French Prison and explore the local market, mingling with different ethnic minority groups and finding handicrafts of interest.
Day 3: Son La – Pha Din Pass – Dien Bien Phu – Walking 2 Hours (B, L, D)
An early start is required to enjoy the beautiful views as you drive north over the impressive mountain passes to Dien Bien Phu. You will stop at the Pha Din Pass for a photo opportunity before arriving in Tuan Giao town. In Dien Bien Phu, you will tour the battlefield sites that played a significant role in shaping current Vietnam. Starting with the bunkers used by the French, you will visit Bunker Headquarters and A1 Hill, where bitter fighting took place. Afterward, you will visit the Dien Bien Phu Museum for an overview and relics of the battlefield.
Day 4: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau – Tam Duong – Sapa – Short Walk (B, L, D)
On this day, you will embark on one of the most beautiful drives in the entire country. Your destination is the Topas Eco-Lodge, which is 20 km south of Sapa or stay at a hotel depending on your preference. You will pass many minority villages and see a vast array of colors from the minority dresses, including Black Hmong, Black Thai, Black Dao, Lu People, and Giay minority. After lunch in Tam Duong (old Binh Lu), you will ascend to the highest road pass in Vietnam, Tram Ton Pass/Heaven Gate. You will stop several times for photo opportunities, and depending on the time of year, there will be a fine layer of fog at the pass. You will continue down the other side, pass through Sapa town, and arrive at the Eco Lodge or hotel, where you can rest in your bungalow’s balcony.
Day 5: Sapa – Muong Hoa Valley – Topas Eco-Lodge or Hotel in the Center – Short Walk (B,L,D)
After breakfast, visit the daily market and observe the locals going about their daily shopping. Take the opportunity to peruse the handicrafts and purchase directly from the makers. During the market visit, you may be approached by a local Hmong girl who may engage you in conversation and offer souvenirs for sale.
Following lunch, embark on a short walk from Lao Chai village of Black Hmong to Ta Van village of Giay through the stunning Muong Hoa valley. En route, you may stop at local houses to interact with the locals or take photos. The car will pick you up at Ta Van and continue the drive to the isolated Eco Lodge or hotel, with photo stops available upon request.
Day 6: Ban Ho Valley Trek then Drive to Bac Ha in the Afternoon (B,L,D)
Travel by car to Su Pan and begin your walk downhill through the picturesque surroundings. Pass through the Tay Minority village of Ban Ho village to admire the breathtaking views of the valley and rice paddy terraces. Take time to explore the Ban Ho village of Tay minority before crossing the suspension bridge over the river, where you will savor a delectable lunch in a local house.
The walk continues through the rice fields to the Red Dao village of Nam Toong, where you will relish a cup of tea before returning to Ban Ho to take a refreshing swim in the nearby river. You will then walk uphill to Su Pan and return to the lodge by car.
Day 7: Bac Ha – Si Ma Cai – Coc Ly – Lao Cai – Hanoi – Short Walk (B,L)
We will drive along the stunning roads to the north of Bac Ha, with our first destination being the border village of Si Ma Cai. Tourists were recently allowed to visit this small town, making the drive in and out a fantastic experience. On Saturdays, we will double back to visit the weekly Can Cau Market. After lunch in Bac Ha, we will continue to Bao Nhai and board a small boat for a short excursion up the river to Coc Ly. On Tuesdays, we will go directly to Coc Ly for the weekly market and then take the boat downriver.
Upon arriving in Lao Cai, we will visit the Friendship Bridge linking Vietnam to China and the pagoda near the Vietnamese border during sunset. After checking in to a hotel for showering, we will have a farewell dinner in Lao Cai before boarding the overnight train to Hanoi.
The North West Loops Tour will conclude with your early morning arrival in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel.
||Price per person in USD
||Solo travelers with private rooms
||3 – 4 pax
||5 – 7 pax
||8 – 10 pax
(Seasonal prices apply and will be confirmed when booking)
COMPASS TRAVEL VIETNAM – We accompany you on every journey!