Vietnam 7 day Tour example



During the period of Vietnamese feudalism, the North-West was a far-away mountainous and secret area. Stories of the people from these remote areas were more like fairy tales characterized by mystical lands populated by nomadic tribes having such a special relationship with the environment these people were considered savages by the rest of the nation and the more developed populations in the area. These ‘savages’, living in a large area from the North-West to borders of Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and China depended entirely on the local wild life for its subsistence living with little trade with groups out side the area. It was only when the French colonized Vietnam did researches adventure into this mystical area could the habitant’s secret and wild lives be revealed to the outside world.

Currently, once you have had the opportunity to visit the North-West, you have ravelled the opportunity to be witness to a variety of ethnic diversifications which exist nowhere else in the world. The North-West is the home to heroic historical figures; known through historical stories honouring their triumphs in the battle against nature and its beasts from deep in the forest. The North-West is also the location of single ethnic and culture identity of mountainous tribes. Motorcycling through 1000km and crossing 6 provinces on a Minsk, you are offered a perfect opportunity to discover the intimate culture of various minority groups, such as the Thai, Muong, Dao, Lu, Khang, H'mong and Giay. It is also a unique chance for you to explore information about the 9 magnanimous years while engaging in battle against the French colonialists during the period between 1945 and 1954.

Be ready to travel and discover the majestic miracles of the area on the open road, and the secrets of the beloved North West - a land which always draws open jaw amazements and curiosity from tourists, even from ‘the composer who travel and stay in the North-West for over 10 years’.

Day 1: Hanoi - Mai Chau. 170 km, ~4-5 hrs.

Heading out of Hanoi, we travel by road to Mai Chau, and idyllic valley populated by the many White Thai ethnic people. Visiting Mai Chau, you have a chance to enjoy folk songs and traditional colourful culture of White Thai in Mai Chau. The scenery of the arrival to Mai Chau is characterized with beautiful limestone mountains and colourful hill tribes who can be seen and visited on the way. We also have an opportunity en route to learn about the culture of the rice cultivating inhabitants in the Red River valley and Da River down stream. Following lunch, we have the afternoon free to climb up to the top of Thung Nhuoi pass. From the top of the pass there is a beautiful view of Mai Chau valley, usually mostly engulfed by clouds it is still a sight to be enjoyed. After visiting this wonderful site, we drop down to further explore the area of White Thai people.

In the evening, we can enjoy a local dinner and overnight in a beautiful village at the edge of a river. After dinner, you can spend the evening sitting together around a fire and join in a Thai traditional music show. In their traditional attire, typical of their cultural identity, Thai women invite visitors to participate in the Xoe dance. To the rhythmical and ebullient music, the hosts and guests will dance for hours hand-in-hand. When they get tired, they stop for a while to drink special sticky rice liquor called “ ruou can”. Visitors who participate in the Xoe dance once, especially by the light of a fire at night are likely to remember it forever.

Overnight and dinner in our host family of Thai.
B, L, D & all Drinks, permits, entrance fees, traditional dancing show.

Day 2: Mai Chau - Thung Man. 100 km, ~4 hrs.

Today we continue venturing onto Northern Vietnam by following the old National Highway No 6 which has been left fallow for 20 years. The narrow and bumpy road, cutting through many hill-tops make the topography difficult to manoeuvre, so the inter-transportation is very limited. Sometimes, if lucky you might catch the appearance of a horse-drawn carriage or buffalo-drawn carriage, but apart from that, this road is quite deserted. Along the way, we have excellent opportunities to learn about the people of different culture, such as the Red Dao, Dao Tien, Muong and Thai ethnic groups. The people living here are very friendly and live a simple life style. They typically live on cultivating dry rice, vegetables and fruit at high altitudes, and hunting in the wild forest.

At noon we stop for lunch at the top of the pass from which a beautiful view of spacious Moc Chau grassland and the Da River can be enjoyed.

The afternoon will provide a real challenge. After heading out of New Highway 6, we make our way onto the torturous and bumpy road. However, the exploring of the H'mong hill tribe’s colourful customs and majestic mountainous scenery, it will make the hardship all worthwhile.

2 options:
- Overnight and dinner in our host family of H’Mong people or
- Standard Hotel in Moc Chau.

B, L, D & all drinks, permits, entrance fees.

Day 3: Thung Man - Phu Yen. 130 km, ~4 hrs.

After breakfast and farewell with the hosts, we pay a visit to Thung Mai, the most timeless village of the H'mong ethnic people residing at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level and in complicated topography. The H'mong people have lived here for nearly 100 years. While on the way to Ha Giang, they were forced to run away from French colonialists. That’s the reason they are located in this remote area. To reach Thung Man, it takes about one and half hours to the top of the mountain. Up on arrival, you will see a pretty village with about 20 houses built from “stone” surrounding a small, fairy pond at the mountain top. The village seems isolated from mainstream world. There is no appearance of motorbike and Karaoke here. The owners of this mountain still retain their age old cultural and traditions. Moreover, visitors to this remote area will have opportunity to discover the unique customs and the simple lifestyle of the local and even share the culture experience with the elders who enjoy the happiness of living under the same roof with 5-6 generations. You also have a chance to hear the legend story about the “toward South” process from their voice.

After lunch, we have the afternoon free to explore the dreamlike grasslands. These beautiful grasslands of Moc Chau have the best of both words, breath-taking scenery and it’s favoured by nature and covered with clouds all year round. So it seems to have the most ideal climate condition in North-West Mountain. Moc Chau’s flora is diverse, ranging from forests and tea plantations to fruit hills.

Besides, we can enjoy walk to visit the local dairy farms and try produce from the local processing factories. Dairy produce is Moc Chau’s specialty being exported to many other countries.

After visiting this scenic sight, we drop down to Da River and take a specialized boat to pass the river. Then we ride along the river to visit Phu Yen valley, one of the most prosperous and beautiful villages of Thai people in North-West.

2 options:
- Overnight and dinner in our host family of Thai people or
- Standard Hotel in Phu Yen.

B, L, D & All Drinks, permits, entrance fees.

Day 4: Phu Yen - Tuan Giao. 210 km, ~6 hrs.

The journey north continues onto Son La, following the 113 Highway. Along the way, there are superb landscapes with green valley and rice fields in terraces. Passing the Bac Yen Mountain top, through Chen Pass to the largest “maize” and “manioc” forest, we arrive at Son La plateau.

After lunch in Son La town, we will visit the former French Prison and provincial museum. It’s also time to keep our willingness to climb over a range of Pass, such as Son La, Chieng Pac, and Phadin. While passing these scenic sites, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape on your way from Son La to Lai Chau town. The afternoon will provide free time to climb over the top of the Pha Din Pass - known as the interference between Heaven and earth. Pha Din forms a natural border between Son La and Dien Bien, the site of the decisive battle in Vietnam’s struggle for independence in 1954. Then we take time to travel to Tuan Giao to view the sun set.

Standard hotel in Tuan Giao.
B, L, D & All Drinks, permits, entrance fees.

Day 5: Tuan Giao - Sin Ho. 150 km, ~5 hrs.

Today we continue venturing in to northern Vietnam with the 98 km remainder of the historical Highway 6. The road is rough, but the scenery is unbelievably beautiful and magnificent with the 7 tall passes cutting though steep mountain along the Da River flowing around the foot of the passes, which can not be found nowhere else in the North-West route. Moreover, a part of the pleasure of travelling by motorbike in this region is the simple joy of seeing friendly smile and waving of the local people, which make the hardship all worthwhile. Along the way, we make stops to visit the Black Thai, Kho Mu, Lu , Black H’mong, Green H’mong and White H’mong, just some of the many hill tribe groups who have settled there and discover their simple lifestyle and colourful culture.

After lunch at Lai Chau, we take a boat to travel along the Nam Na River, passing the high, dangerous and sheer rocks, the pretty villages on the two sides of the river and the hillside green rice fields. The boat is not a big one, but the coxswain is skilled enough to make your cruise safe and adventurous to the next destination. After that we make our way to Sin Ho.

Basic guesthouse in Sin Ho.
B, L, D & All Drinks, permits, entrance fees.

Day 6. Sin Ho - Tam Duong. 110-170 km, ~4-5 hrs.

Due to the environment and a height of 1,700m, getting there is very hard journey, so the people living here mostly keep to their very long lasting lifestyle. The unchanged way of life from ancient days is hard to be done anywhere. However, it should be said that there is no way for urbanization to occur in these areas. Moreover, only a hand full of tourist’s agencies can get their tourists to this remote area. The reason why Sin Ho is regarded as the richest mountains market in the North-West province, is because anybody who is courageous and enough to visit the area is rewarded with the fortune of visiting. This does nothing to limit the motley colours of traditional clothes of various ethics such as the Green H'Mong, the Black H'Mong, the White H'Mong, the Dzao Dau Bang, and the Lu.

Sin Ho market lasts till late in the afternoon. But due to a long hard road to go down the mountain, so we need to prepare lunch and equipment for the trip. When arriving to the mountain foot, we will ride along Nam Na River to Pa So. After climbing Hong Thu Man pass of the Dzao Khau and the H'mong people, we will meet Tam Duong, a small town surrounding by brilliant tea fields and green woven mountain ranges.

Standard Hotel in Tam Duong.
B, L, D & All Drinks, permits, entrance fees.

Day 7: Tam Duong - Sapa. 70 km, ~2 hrs.

This morning find us on the road for the 50 km ride to the village of Lu ethnic minority whose origin comes from Lao. We’ll have a chance seeing the girls who blacken the teeth with seductive smile and the beautiful stilt houses. After that we have to cross the Muong Kim River and back to National Highway 4D to travel to Sapa.

We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the top of Tram Ton Pass, the most beautiful one in Sapa. Following lunch we have the afternoon free to explore Sapa, usually being engulfed by clouds. After enjoying an Artichaux tea cup, a special drink from Sapa, we embark on a walk to discover this charming town and get acquainted with the host people who are the soul of this area.

Sapa was founded in the early years of the last century as a hill resort for the French administration at the time. It soon became famous in Indochina for its ideal climate. Nowadays, Sapa’s breathtaking scenery is some of the best in ASEAN.

Standard hotel in Sapa.
B, L, D & All Drinks, permits, entrance fees.

Day 8: Sapa - Muong Hum - Lao Cai, night train to Hanoi. 100 km, ~4-6 hrs.

While Sapa is characterized with the beauty of European architecture, the path to Muong Hum is absolutely different from the scenic beauty of Sapa. This road passes through many neglected villages and fallow paths. During the rainy season, no one dares to ride out the muddy and slippery road off the highway. Despite it links closely to Sapa, this road receives very few visitors.

This road was newly upgraded and bitumen covered in 2004, but the journey of 100 km in this road is a tad difficult. However, it is defiantly worth wile as the scenery is breathtaking. Moreover, on the way back to Lao Cai, you will ride along the Red river which forms the natural border between Vietnam and China and enjoy a visit to Lao Cai, the international border town with China. Dinner in a restaurant en route to Hanoi and arrive back in Hanoi by 5.30 am.

Over night in night train to transfer to Hanoi.
B, L, D & All Drinks, permits, entrance fees.