Call us: +44(0)1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • A Vietnamese local leader assisted by local guides
  • All airport transfers
  • Good standard of hotel and lodges
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Ha Long Bay cruise as specified
  • Sightseeing as specified
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Carbon offset flights (flight inclusive only)
  • Visa assistance at the airport
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms kit bag
  • The opportunity to attend one of our pre trip meets in the Cotswolds

Hill Tribe Trails of Northern Vietnam Community Treks

Walking & Trekking

Vietnam | Walking & Trekking

Hill Tribe Trails of Northern Vietnam
Gentle / Moderate

Gentle: Suitable for people who enjoy easy-paced walks or exploring the countryside on foot.

Moderate: Suitable for anyone who enjoys hill walking.

Find out more...

Grade: Gentle / Moderate ? Gentle / Moderate
Duration:  14 days from the UK  
On trek: 3 days
Walks on: 3 days

Flight inclusive from £2,225,
Land only from £1,595

Book now or call 01453 844400

Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s captivating natural beauty, Hanoi’s vibrant city life and the north's traditional rural life.

Highlights

  • Delve into the 36 streets of 36 trades in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • Trek through rice paddies in Sapa
  • Explore remote Hoang Su Phi on foot, and experience a night at a traditional homestay at a Red Dzao minority house
  • Cruise through the stunning unique Karst landscape in Ha Long Bay.

Reviews          

I enjoyed my holiday overall because of the wide variety of cultural experiences, areas visited, food, and Chin was a very knowledgeable guide. I was really impressed by the quality of the accommodation, food and friendliness of the ship’s crew in Ha Long Bay.
Mr E, Suffolk

A holiday of adventures and extremes - from the first adventure of the overnight train to the hills; the comparison of the varied ethnic minorities’ lifestyles; the contrast between the luxury (and peace and quiet) at Topas Ecolodge and on the Ha Long Bay cruise; the privilege of being a part of the remote home-stay family’s basic way of life; the delights of glimpsing Hanoi’s...
Mrs T, Hertfordshire

Vietnam has jumped to the top of my list of favourite destinations within Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese are warm and welcoming, the landscapes are stunning, and the walking is culturally diverse. I cannot wait to return to this incredible country.
K Robins, Mountain Kingdoms

View All

Our cultural walking holiday sets out to explore the charming, less visited regions of northern Vietnam. We discover remote villages and experience a night in a traditional homestay at a Red Dzao minority house, appreciating the gentle nature of northern minority hill tribes and gazing at picturesque rice terraces in scenic Sapa and Hoang Su Phi.

We immerse ourself in Hanoi’s vibrant city life and its stunning cultural delights and gain an in-depth insight into ethnic Vietnam. Cultural visits include Ba Dinh Square, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda.

To conclude this wonderful adventure we spend two nights cruising on the emerald seas, amongst the stunning islands of Ha Long Bay, a fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Site, bringing a relaxing finale to this stimulating holiday.


At a glance

Grade: Gentle / Moderate
Gentle / Moderate

Duration:  14 days from the UK  
On trek: 3 days
Walks on: 3 days

Max. Altitude: 1,200m

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Hanoi

Accommodation types: Hotel, Lodges, Train, Homestay, Boat

Meal arrangements: 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners

Itinerary overview
DayActivity
1-2
Depart UK. Arrive Hanoi and transfer to your hotel for an early check in. After lunch we explore the charming Old Quarter of Hanoi and visit the traditional house at 87Ma May Street.
3
Today we have a full day exploring Hanoi, cultural visits include Ba Dinh Square, The Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda, the Ethnology Museum and the Temple of Literature. In the evening we board the night train to Lao Cai.
4
On arrival in Lao Cai we transfer to Sapa, here we enjoy a valley & river walk before lunch. In the afternoon we walk to Muong Hoa valley, following the trail to Lao Chai village and Ta Van village before transferring to Topas Eco lodge.
5
Explore on foot Thanh Phu village of Tay minority. After lunch, walk to the small village of My Son, and the quiet Red Dzao village of Nam Cang. Late afternoon we take a community walk around Nam Cang village.
6
Morning walk up through the jungle, stopping at the river for tea, snacks and an optional swim. Return to Nam Cang Riverside Lodge for lunch before returning to Topas Eco Lodge for the evening.
7
Transfer from Sapa to Hoang Su Phi, visiting Hoang A Tuong Palace en route. Afternoon walking tour of local minority village.
8
Trek to Giang Ha village, experience a night at a traditional homestay.
9
Trek to Nam Nghi for lunch. Trek to Lang Giang Valley and Pan Hou village.
10
Transfer to Hanoi. Visit Sword Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and attend a traditional water puppet show.
11
Optional early morning flower market visit. Transfer to Ha Long Bay. Board Au Co cruise boat. Optional kayaking.
12
On board Au Co Cruise in Ha Long Bay. Optional kayaking and swimming.
13
Visit Surprise Cave, buffet brunch and return to dock. Transfer to Hanoi and on to the airport for the flight home.
14
Arrive UK
Leader: Local Leader, Vietnam
Local Leader, Vietnam

Our holidays in Vietnam are led by professional English-speaking Vietnamese tour leaders. They have an intimate and expert knowledge of the history, culture and nature of Vietnam.

They will be sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience in their wonderful country of Vietnam.


  1. Day 1 - Fly London To Hanoi

    Fly London to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) by overnight flight.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  2. Day 2 - Arrive Hanoi, afternoon sightseeing introduction to Hanoi.

    Xin chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam. You are greeted at the Noi Bai International Airport by your guide and driver, and then transferred to your hotel to check in. You will have time to relax at your hotel and adjust to the pace of Hanoi, prior to meeting your guide and group for a true taste of Vietnam; your first Vietnamese lunch. This beautiful city is bustling with energy and will soon dispel even the slightest feeling of jetlag the moment you start to explore.

    It's a short drive from your hotel to Hanoi Centre, where you'll start your exploration by visiting the lively Old Quarter of Hanoi. This bustling heart of Hanoi has been a commercial centre since King Ly Thai To built his palace here in the 11th century. Skilled craftsmen started to migrate and artisan guilds were formed on the famous "36 Streets". Previously, each street carried the name of the item produced and sold there, and many still have the same names. This is a place you must see to experience Hanoi, where you will find shopping and cultural/historical sites all wrapped into one. You will also pay a visit to a traditional house at 87Ma May Street and learn more about the captivating local architecture of Hanoi.

    You will have time to relax before having dinner at a local restaurant.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Quoc Hoa Hotel, Hanoi
  3. Day 3 - Hanoi sightseeing and night train to Lao Cai City.

    Following breakfast, you will head to Ba Dinh Square, an area where a number of Hanoi's impressive and most historic sites are located. Here, on foot, you will visit to The Presidential Palace, formerly the Palace of the Governor-General of French Indochina, Ho Chi Minh's house-on-stilts and, nearby, the One Pillar Pagoda.

    You continue to the Ethnology Museum, for the perfect introduction to the country's diverse ethnic minority groups, their customs and individual ways of life. The highlight here is the large, beautiful outdoor area featuring genuine houses and compounds as built and used by the ethnic groups.
    After lunch you visit the Temple of Literature - a peaceful complex dedicated to Confucius, a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. Built in the 11th century, it was the first university in Vietnam and, still today, students come here to burn incense before important exams. You will find it great for photography; the solemn atmosphere tinged with incense smoke and the sunken lotus ponds populated by fish and turtles, create a peaceful, divine environment.

    The remainder of the day is at leisure. Discover the vibrancy of Hanoi by wandering the colourful energetic streets, take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake or sit peacefully in a shaded boulevard outside one of the many small cafes and watch the world go by; it's easy to spend hours admiring this traditionally hospitable city.

    The hotel check out is scheduled for 6pm, allowing time for you to prepare for your overnight train to Lao Cai City. In the evening your guide will take you to a restaurant of choice for dinner before transferring the group to the train station.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Overnight train, Hanoi
  4. Day 4 - Arrive Lao Cai, transfer to Sapa. Valley, River & Village walks. Walking: approx. 12km/4-5hrs

    On arrival in Lao Cai in the early morning a scenic drive takes you to Sapa, a beautiful mountainous region close to the Chinese border. Sapa overlooks traditional rice terraces and is a popular starting place for trekkers hoping to experience the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of northwest Vietnam. After having breakfast, and a short bus transfer, you set off on a walking trail. It runs through delightful vegetable gardens before descending down the valley on a dirt trail, through picturesque rice paddy terraces. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery en route, before arriving at Y Linh Ho village of the Black H'mong minority, where you will rest and have lunch near the river.

    After lunch, the walk takes you deeper into Muong Hoa Valley, a superb valley well-known for the most impressive rice paddy terraces in the Sapa region; photographers grab your cameras when you pass through the hills as the views are spectacular. Following the trail to Lao Chai village of the Black H'mong minority, you will notice the colourful headdresses and traditional costume of the villagers. The Hmong reside at high altitudes and cultivate rice, vegetables and fruit, in addition to medicinal plants. They also raise chickens, pigs, cows and horses and are well-known for their weaving skills. They are the largest, and most underprivileged, of the ethnic groups.

    Walking to Ta Van the only village in the Sapa area inhabited by the Giay minority, there is time to stroll around the village, interact with the local people and learn more about their day-to-day lives. This is a wonderful introduction to the people of northern Vietnam. From Ta Van, you transfer to the beautifully positioned Topas Eco Lodge, perched on a scenic hilltop. On arrival (weather permitting) you are greeted by stunning views of the valley below and welcoming smiles from the local community. In the evening a delicious evening meal is served in the lodge restaurant. It is constructed from two old traditional Tay stilt houses, carefully moved piece by piece from its original site and reassembled at the lodge, with added equipment to meet modern standards while respecting its original and historical qualities.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Topas Eco Lodge, Thanh Kim Commune
  5. Day 5 - Explore on foot Thanh Phu village. Walk to Red Dzao village of Nam Cang. Walking: 7km/3hrs

    Surrounded by impressive 360 degree views at the lodge you'll enjoy breakfast before heading out to discover Thanh Phu Village of the traditional Tay minority. Here you can easily identify the differences in culture to the H'mong minority, as the group wears lighter colours and more delicate silk clothing. After lunch, you will explore the small village of My Son, home to Xa Pho people, the smallest minority group in the Sapa area. Walking along small roads you will soon understand that this area is off-the-beaten-track; people are welcoming and the walking is pleasant. Superb views and charming local encounters abound, and the locals' livestock, including inquisitive pigs, waddling ducks, and calming buffalo wander freely, and cannot fail to raise a smile.

    Next is the remote and quiet Red Dzao village of Nam Cang, where finally you will cross a private bridge and check in to your private room in the comfortable Nam Cang Riverside Lodge. You can explore the enchanting, picturesque village with your local guide, and learn more about the fascinating and old culture of Red Dao minority people, take a dip in the river, or simply relax and absorb this wonderful environment, with a beverage on the riverside veranda. It would be difficult to find a better location for staying overnight in an old traditional minority village, in the heart of the Vietnamese mountains. This experience is truly wonderful.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Nam Cang Riverside Lodge, Nam Cang
  6. Day 6 - Morning walk up through the jungle. Transfer to Topas Eco Lodge. Walking: 8km/4hrs

    Wake up to the sounds of nature in this superb location. The Red Dzao minority dominate Nam Cang and the surrounding villages. The Red Dzao women wear some of the most colourful and diverse costumes of all Vietnam's ethnic groups. You will explore the village and learn how the local villagers make writing paper, jewellery and embroidery. Then take a morning walk uphill through the jungle, stopping at the river for tea, snacks and an optional swim. Weather and water level permitting, a swim in the river is a great experience. During the walk, you will be inspired by the pristine nature of the area, and enjoy the feeling of serenity. Returning the same route downhill to Nam Cang Riverside Lodge, you'll enjoy a freshly prepared lunch, made from locally-produced ingredients from the village, and take time to relax before returning to Topas Eco Lodge for your final evening in the Sapa Valley. From your bungalow balcony, you can enjoy your aerial view over the mountainous area that you have just visited.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Topas Eco Lodge, Thanh Kim Commune
  7. Day 7 - Transfer from Sapa to Hoang Su Phi. Afternoon walking tour of local minority villages

    Today you transfer from Topas Eco Lodge to Pan Hou Eco Lodge in Hoang Su Phi, travelling via Sapa and covering a distance of just over 200km. You drive via a scenic route along zigzag roads running past small villages and the characteristic regional markets of ethnic minorities. To add variety to your journey you will make regular stops and include a visit to Hoang A Tuong Palace. Built in the style of Asian - European architecture, the Hoang A Tuong Palace used to be the most powerful house in the northwest region.

    Your destination is the fabled terraced fields of Hoang Su Phi. Well-known for the fabulous rice terraces, Hoang Su Phi attracts photographers from around the country and travellers come to take snapshots of striking moments when the rice fields start to become ripe in early autumn. Upon arrival at Pan Hou Eco Lodge, you are free to enjoy your eco lodge facilities or take a walk to a small village of Tay people nearby, and to interact with friendly locals and learn more about their culture. The eco lodge within Pan Hou village is hidden at the heart of the High Song Chay mountains. The Ha Giang province was the last to open to tourism and offers some of the most striking scenery in Vietnam. Virgin forests abound, natural fortress mountains are sculpted into terraces and rock formations are split by breath-taking canyons. Plus these majestic landscapes shelter the largest diversity of ethnic minorities in Vietnam.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Pan hou Eco Lodge, Thong Nguyen
  8. Day 8 - Trek to Giang Ha village. Trekking: approx. 12km/5hrs

    Wake early this morning, and after breakfast, you will start your trek to Giang Ha village, pausing for a picnic lunch at a Red Dzao village. The scenery is spectacular; mountains, forests, and terraced fields of rice provide the perfect backdrop. You trek along undulating local trails that connect local villages and farmland, water buffalo are regularly seen en route, and you will meet various ethnic minorities, many working the land.

    The local minority groups all have unique traditional costumes, language and housing and this evening you experience an unforgettable night at a local house of the Red Dzao minority. The Red Dzao females wear the traditional costume of plain black trousers with a loose fitting black jacket brightly embroidered in red on the collar, the sleeves and on the back. An embroidered red bodice is worn under the jacket like a vest, together with a black embroidered apron, a red belt and a colourful turban covered by a red scarf. This evening the accommodation is basic, however the experience is one to be treasured.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Homestay, Giang Ha village
  9. Day 9 - Trek to Nam Nghi, the Lang Giang Valley and Pan Hou village. Trekking: approx. 14km/5hrs

    It is worth getting up early to make the most of the fresh air and peaceful atmosphere in this enchanting mountainous area. After breakfast you will say goodbye to your friendly Red Dzao hosts, and continue your trek through picturesque cassava fields, lush forests and rich tea plantations, towards the Lang Giang Valley and back to your delightful accommodation in Pan Hou Village, stopping for a lunch break at Nam Nghi; another striking traditional Red Dzao village. Similar to the previous day's trek you will discover local village trails, the path leading you past abundant tree ferns, rhododendrons and banana trees. Large bamboo and secondary scrubs grow on both sides of foot paths and there are many atmospheric cascading streams, waterfalls, and scenic pools.

    Arriving at Pan Hou Eco Lodge in the mid-afternoon you are again free to enjoy the eco lodge's facilities, perhaps take a relaxing tea and medicinal herbal bath; a speciality of the Lu Mien tribes, or simply enjoy the lodge's well-maintained grounds.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Pan hou Eco Lodge, Thong Nguyen
  10. Day 10 - Transfer to Hanoi. Visit Sword Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and attend water puppet show.

    After breakfast, you say goodbye to Pan Hou Village and journey back to Hanoi, following the zigzag valley road south. Travelling approximately 295km you pass by many stunning mountainous limestone outcrops, rice terraces, small communities situated by the roadside and numerous Vietnamese and minority groups going about their day-to-day business. Although the drive is long the scenery is rewarding. Taking stops along the way, you will be able to take colourful photos and stretch your legs. You will have lunch en-route and arrive in Hanoi in the afternoon.

    This afternoon you will visit Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) and the little island of Ngoc Son Temple in the historical centre of Hanoi, and in the evening finish your day by attending a fascinating Vietnamese water puppet show; a unique folk art that originated a thousand years ago during the Ly dynasty.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Quoc Hoa Hotel, Hanoi
  11. Day 11 - Early morning flower market visit. Transfer to Ha Long Bay.

    Today you have the option to wake up early and head out to Hanoi's biggest flower market in Quang Ba. Grab your cameras, as this is a fantastic spot for photographers to catch some exceptionally colourful scenes. On your way back to the old centre you visit the banks of Truc Bach Lake. Every morning, the local people gather at Truc Bach Lake to practice Tai Chi, do their daily fitness exercises or play badminton. It is the perfect opportunity to encounter real life in Hanoi. You can join in or simply observe this oasis of peace and serenity in the middle of the city centre. You can join the locals for breakfast in the streets and enjoy a bowl of Pho. This aromatic beef noodle soup is without doubt Vietnam's most famous dish. Alternatively, you can enjoy breakfast at the hotel - however the former is highly recommended.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Au Co Cruise, Ha Long Bay
  12. Day 12 - On board Au Co cruise, Ha Long Bay.

    You can choose an early start today with some Tai Chi, or to take in the beautiful views as the boat raises its anchor and sets sail again. After breakfast you will leave the boat to explore the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng where you will be guided around the village by one of the locals in a traditional bamboo boat. The tour gives you an insight in to the lives of the fishermen and the tradition of pearl farming in the area; there will also be a chance to see the iconic gateway to Vung Vieng. On returning to the boat there will be an opportunity to visit the Captain's bridge and venture below deck to the engine room. The boat will make its way towards Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island. Here you will join a guided walking/cycling tour of Cat Ba Island. After the tour you'll have the chance to have a swim or kayak in the Viet Hai lagoon. The rest of the evening is free for you to relax and enjoy dinner.

    It is important to note that the cruise itinerary and schedules are subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions without prior notice. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be cancelled due to poor weather.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Au Co Cruise, Ha Long Bay
  13. Day 13 - Morning on board Bhaya cruise, Ha Long Bay. Transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight home.

    Today will be your last day on board the boat and a final chance to take part in one of the Tai Chi classes available. After breakfast you'll leave the boat to view Sung Sot cave, also known as the Cave of Surprises. The cave is vast, and lit with an array of fantastic colours and natural light. Your tour guide will lead you around the cave pointing out the various features including stalactites and stalagmites that look like different creatures; some requiring more imagination than others! As you come to the end of the tour there is a viewing platform which overlooks Ha Long Bay, yet another visual delight and a great place to get a final photo of the bay. After a final traditional tea ceremony it is time to say a fond farewell to the crew members and disembark back on to dry land. You will then be transferred back to Hanoi in time for your flight home.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  14. Day 14 - ARRIVE UK

    Today you will arrive back in the UK.

Map

Map Key

  • AirportAirport
  • General point of interestPoint of interest
  • Mountain RangeMountain Peak
  • TrekDay walk in this area
  • FlightsFlights
  • Internal TransfersInternal Transfers
  • Trek routeTrek

2017

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sun 5 Nov - Sat 18 Nov 2017Guaranteed£1695 Book£2345 Book

2018

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sun 18 Mar - Sat 31 Mar 2018Available£1650 Book£2225 Book
Sun 14 Oct - Sat 27 Oct 2018Available£1715 BookContact us
Sun 4 Nov - Sat 17 Nov 2018Available£1715 BookContact us

2019

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sun 17 Mar - Sat 30 Mar 2019Available£1765 BookContact us

Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single Room - Hotels, Lodges & Cruise
    From £430
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £114
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • A Vietnamese local leader assisted by local guides
  • All airport transfers
  • Good standard of hotel and lodges
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Ha Long Bay cruise as specified
  • Sightseeing as specified
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Carbon offset flights (flight inclusive only)
  • Visa assistance at the airport
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms kit bag
  • The opportunity to attend one of our pre trip meets in the Cotswolds

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees for Vietnam, if applicable at time of travel
  • Lunch and evening meals in Hanoi, as per day by day itinerary
  • Tips


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 3 reviews)

Trekking in Vietnam          

I enjoyed my holiday overall because of the wide variety of cultural experiences, areas visited, food, and Chin was a very knowledgeable guide. I was really impressed by the quality of the accommodation, food and friendliness of the ship’s crew in Ha Long Bay.

A trip of adventures and extremes in northern Vietnam!          

A holiday of adventures and extremes - from the first adventure of the overnight train to the hills; the comparison of the varied ethnic minorities’ lifestyles; the contrast between the luxury (and peace and quiet) at Topas Ecolodge and on the Ha Long Bay cruise; the privilege of being a part of the remote home-stay family’s basic way of life; the delights of glimpsing Hanoi’s French colonial architecture; and the enjoyment of delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Congratulations, another great Mountain Kingdoms trip.

Welcoming culture          

Vietnam has jumped to the top of my list of favourite destinations within Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese are warm and welcoming, the landscapes are stunning, and the walking is culturally diverse. I cannot wait to return to this incredible country.


Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with Mountain Kingdoms: book extra hotel nights, relax at a beautiful beach resort, take a warm-up trek, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as rafting, birdwatching or a safari.

We're happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 or email info@mountainkingdoms.com and we will be pleased to help.

Back to top link