Trip Overview

Discover the rich cultures, traditions, and stunning nature of remote Northern Vietnam on this adventure off the beaten path. Trek through villages of local ethnic minorities to experience the stunning diversity of Vietnam and explore the breathtaking Ba Be Lake by boat.

You will be picked up in Hanoi on Day 1 and transferred to Ba Be national park where you’ll stay the night with a Tay ethnic family. On Day 2 trek through stunning countryside and strenuous terrain to Dzao & H'mông ethnic villages before staying at another homestay. Trek back to Ba Be on Day 3, seeing more villages and a waterfall and see Ba Be Lake by boat. Return to Hanoi on Day 4, ending with an accommodation drop-off.

Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi Accommodation Pick-Up - Ba Be Lake (L/D)

You will be picked up from your Hanoi accommodation around 7:30-8am. Our first stop is the Museum of the Cultures of Vietnam’s Ethnic Groups in Thai Nguyen (Closed on Monday). Here you can browse the objects, photographs and exhibits that give a better understanding of the various ethnic groups and their agricultural tools, handicrafts and traditional costumes worn for worship. We will stop for lunch before your transfer to Ba Be National Park. You will arrive in the early afternoon and enjoy some free time to rest and soak up the tranquility of this stunning place. Tonight you will have dinner with a local Tay family and spend the night in their home, a traditional wooden stilt house typical of the region.

Driving Time: Approx. 5 Hours

Day 2: Trekking to Dzao & H'mông Ethnic Villages (B/L/D)

Today you will begin your trekking adventure! Our first stop is Coc Toc, village where the local Tay people maintain a traditional lifestyle of fishing and farming. After crossing the Pelu stream, you will then have some rough terrain to navigate, but as you gain height your efforts will be rewarded by spectacular views of the emerald-green countryside. As we head into the highlands, you will stop in a H'mông ethnic village for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon the guide will take you through mountains and valleys to see the stilt houses and school of the Dzao people, another local ethnic minority. You will then continue on the trail to visit another H'mông village. Here you will have a traditional Vietnamese dinner and spend the night in a local homestay in a Dzao ethnic minority village. Prepare yourself as they are generous with their corn wine!

Trekking: 15-17km

Day 3: Trekking & Ba Be Lake Boat Trip (B/L/D)

Enjoy breakfast at your homestay and have the opportunity to try on some traditional Dzao ethnic clothing before saying your farewells and setting out for another day of trekking. Today you’ll take some slightly gentler trails, visiting a Black H'mông ethnic village before descending through the lush forest with some spectacular views to visit Dau Dang Waterfall, which lies on the border of the Bac Kan and Tuyen Quang provinces. After viewing the waterfall, your guide will take you to have lunch with 'Mr. Pirate' who was the main actor in the “Ba Be Lake Pirate Movie”. After lunch, you will take a relaxing motorboat trip up the river to visit the breathtaking Puong Cave, a huge limestone structure that spans the river and is home to thousands of bats (of 18 different species) which flit between the many stalactites and stalagmites. Continue by boat to visit the An Ma temple before heading to your local homestay for dinner and a good night's sleep.

Trekking: 5-7km

Day 4: Ba Be Lake - Hanoi Accommodation Drop-Off (B/L)

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at the homestay before heading out for today’s journey toward Hanoi. First we will visit the Hua Ma cave, only recently made accessible, as few locals would enter due to ancient beliefs and superstition. The cave has thousands of stalactites and stalagmites and is a truly breathtaking sight. Rest your legs on the drive back to Hanoi, stopping for lunch at a local restaurant on the way. We should arrive in Hanoi at about 5:30pm, where you will be dropped off at the accommodation of your choice.

Driving Time: Approx. 5 Hours

Included

  • Private Transportation in A/C Vehicles
  • 3 Nights Accommodation in Homestays
  • 2N Ba Be 
  • 1N Dzao Village
  • Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • All Activities as per Itinerary
  • Private Experienced English-Speaking Guide Throughout Trip
  • Entrance Fees 

Excluded

  • Airport Transfers
  • Personal Expenses
  • Other Meals/Drinks
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance 

Good to Know

Physical rating: You must have a high level of fitness to take part in this trek. You will be walking at high altitudes every day and it will be physically demanding.  In the months leading up to your trek, try walking with your daypack, climbing long staircases and add a couple of bricks to it for real training. Undertake regular aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling. The more preparation you have done in advance, the more you will enjoy it.

Suggested Packing List: Backpack (10 - 15 liters), sleeping bag (if desired-- sheets & blankets are provided), hiking poles, rain pants, plastic rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals/flip flops, thermals (socks, t-shirts, sweater), windbreaker, hiking trousers, shorts, wool hat/beanie, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sunglasses, flashlight/torch, camera (with extra batteries & memory card), personal medications, reusable water bottle, water purification tablets, toiletries (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toilet paper, towel).

Food BudgetPlease expect to spend at least 20 USD per day on food and beverages. Please note that food costs will vary depending on the number of portions consumed, location and availability.

Gratuity: Tipping is by no means mandatory, but is customary. For a job well done, we recommend tipping 10% to your guide, porter, and driver.

First Aid: All guides for this tour have completed first aid training

Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi Accommodation Pick-Up - Ba Be Lake (L/D)

You will be picked up from your Hanoi accommodation around 7:30-8am. Our first stop is the Museum of the Cultures of Vietnam’s Ethnic Groups in Thai Nguyen (Closed on Monday). Here you can browse the objects, photographs and exhibits that give a better understanding of the various ethnic groups and their agricultural tools, handicrafts and traditional costumes worn for worship. We will stop for lunch before your transfer to Ba Be National Park. You will arrive in the early afternoon and enjoy some free time to rest and soak up the tranquility of this stunning place. Tonight you will have dinner with a local Tay family and spend the night in their home, a traditional wooden stilt house typical of the region.

Driving Time: Approx. 5 Hours

Day 2: Trekking to Dzao & H'mông Ethnic Villages (B/L/D)

Today you will begin your trekking adventure! Our first stop is Coc Toc, village where the local Tay people maintain a traditional lifestyle of fishing and farming. After crossing the Pelu stream, you will then have some rough terrain to navigate, but as you gain height your efforts will be rewarded by spectacular views of the emerald-green countryside. As we head into the highlands, you will stop in a H'mông ethnic village for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon the guide will take you through mountains and valleys to see the stilt houses and school of the Dzao people, another local ethnic minority. You will then continue on the trail to visit another H'mông village. Here you will have a traditional Vietnamese dinner and spend the night in a local homestay in a Dzao ethnic minority village. Prepare yourself as they are generous with their corn wine!

Trekking: 15-17km

Day 3: Trekking & Ba Be Lake Boat Trip (B/L/D)

Enjoy breakfast at your homestay and have the opportunity to try on some traditional Dzao ethnic clothing before saying your farewells and setting out for another day of trekking. Today you’ll take some slightly gentler trails, visiting a Black H'mông ethnic village before descending through the lush forest with some spectacular views to visit Dau Dang Waterfall, which lies on the border of the Bac Kan and Tuyen Quang provinces. After viewing the waterfall, your guide will take you to have lunch with 'Mr. Pirate' who was the main actor in the “Ba Be Lake Pirate Movie”. After lunch, you will take a relaxing motorboat trip up the river to visit the breathtaking Puong Cave, a huge limestone structure that spans the river and is home to thousands of bats (of 18 different species) which flit between the many stalactites and stalagmites. Continue by boat to visit the An Ma temple before heading to your local homestay for dinner and a good night's sleep.

Trekking: 5-7km

Day 4: Ba Be Lake - Hanoi Accommodation Drop-Off (B/L)

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at the homestay before heading out for today’s journey toward Hanoi. First we will visit the Hua Ma cave, only recently made accessible, as few locals would enter due to ancient beliefs and superstition. The cave has thousands of stalactites and stalagmites and is a truly breathtaking sight. Rest your legs on the drive back to Hanoi, stopping for lunch at a local restaurant on the way. We should arrive in Hanoi at about 5:30pm, where you will be dropped off at the accommodation of your choice.

Driving Time: Approx. 5 Hours

Included

  • Private Transportation in A/C Vehicles
  • 3 Nights Accommodation in Homestays
  • 2N Ba Be 
  • 1N Dzao Village
  • Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • All Activities as per Itinerary
  • Private Experienced English-Speaking Guide Throughout Trip
  • Entrance Fees 

Excluded

  • Airport Transfers
  • Personal Expenses
  • Other Meals/Drinks
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance 

Good to Know

Physical rating: You must have a high level of fitness to take part in this trek. You will be walking at high altitudes every day and it will be physically demanding.  In the months leading up to your trek, try walking with your daypack, climbing long staircases and add a couple of bricks to it for real training. Undertake regular aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling. The more preparation you have done in advance, the more you will enjoy it.

Suggested Packing List: Backpack (10 - 15 liters), sleeping bag (if desired-- sheets & blankets are provided), hiking poles, rain pants, plastic rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals/flip flops, thermals (socks, t-shirts, sweater), windbreaker, hiking trousers, shorts, wool hat/beanie, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sunglasses, flashlight/torch, camera (with extra batteries & memory card), personal medications, reusable water bottle, water purification tablets, toiletries (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toilet paper, towel).

Food BudgetPlease expect to spend at least 20 USD per day on food and beverages. Please note that food costs will vary depending on the number of portions consumed, location and availability.

Gratuity: Tipping is by no means mandatory, but is customary. For a job well done, we recommend tipping 10% to your guide, porter, and driver.

First Aid: All guides for this tour have completed first aid training