Itinerary in details:
D1 / Hanoi
Reception and transfer to downtown, where we check in the hotel, in center of old Hanoi lined with typical small old houses . The rest of the day is free to rest or start exploring the city. Welcome dinner. Overnight at hotel.
D 2 / Hanoi - Vi Xuyen
Transfer to Vi Xuyen via a nice mountain road. Lunch in road at local restaurant. Arrive at Vi Xuyen in the afternoon, there's still enough time to prepare equipment for the trek. Overnight guest house in Vi Xuyen. 280 km in total. 8 hour drive.
D3 / Vi Xuyen - Ha Giang - Ban Pan - Trekking - Homestay
We are still 150 km of road to rally untille Khuoi Duoc, a village inhabited by the Tay and the San Chay. Short stop in Ha Giang. Beyond that, the landscape changes completely. We see many beautiful houses on stilts in the middle of the palm forests along the river Gam. Several stops on the road to take pictures. After lunch, a stroll takes us 2 hours to Ban Pan. Overnight homestay in a house on stilts.
3 hours of walking. M: 210 m.
D4 / Pan Ban - En Co - Trekking - Homestay
We begin our trek by an easy climb during 2h:30. We are entering a very wild region inhabited by the main ethnic groups of North Vietnam: Mong, San Chay, Dao, Thai, Nung ... We reach a beautiful mountainside covered with fields of corn and rice terraces. Panoramic views over a beautiful valley, dominated by Da Ping Mount . Picnic lunch in a school where teachers and children are curious to see us. Before reaching the village of En Co, one must pass a pass at 1400 meters. Overnight homestay in a very small village Nung.
7 am walk. M = 970 m - D = 175 m, highest point of the day: 1 281 m.
D5 /En Co - Khau Sang - Trekking - Homestay
We climb gently to the side of a mountain (about 300 m vertical) by following the trail of the French, through a beautiful rain forest still preserved. After crossing a beautiful ridge crest, we descend into a valley inhabited by red Dao. Every ten days, a beautiful local market place. After several ups and downs, we reach the village of Khau Sang. Overnight homestay in a house on stilts.
5-6 hours of walking. M = 180 m - D = 455 m, highest point of the day: 285m 1.
D6 / Khau Sang - Bao Lac - Trekking - Homestay
On leaving the village of Khau Sang, long climb to beautiful villages inhabited by the Lo Lo, for outstanding costumes. We continue our journey on a pleasant balcony path where we encounter many mountaineers. They still wear their traditional costumes. A quick descent takes us to the town of Bao Lac. Night in local guesthouse.
6-7 hours of walking. M = 270 m - D = 900 m, highest point of the day: 1 000 m.
D7 / Bao Lac - Cao Bang - Phuc Sen - Homestay
We leave Bao Lac to go to Cao Bang. Road to Quang Uyen and night in a village of Nung, Phuc Sen, in an old house on stilts.
D8 / Cao Bang - Ta Lung - Ban Duc Long (515 m) - Trekking - Homestay
Waked early in the morning by forging furnace, singing roosters and barking dogs, we visit this village which is the center of the forging area. Here, men work day and night for the intruments tillage of super quality with secrets passed down from generation to generation. Then start to go to Ta Lung border between Vietnam and China. We cross the river Bang Giang. The road plunges into the hills, crossing four "bumps" growing wild ... The walk pass by the villages inhabites by Tay peoples , lost in small valleys. From Valley to valley, very small and covered by thick vegetation, we arrive to Duc Long, not far from the border. Overnight in homestay in front of immense rice fields.
4-5 hours of walking.
D9 / Ban Duc Long - Danh Si - Na Nieng(555 m) - Trekking - Homestay
We start walking on a paved trail 3 km, surrounded by villages and rice paddies. A steep ascent to us through an adjacent valley. Along the way, we can see the limestone rocks.We reveal at every turn an enchanting landscape. Then the road enters the forest to cross the ridge. The undergrowth, very wet, dense. The stones, hidden in vegetation, are slippery. This is the only tricky part of our itinerary. Fortunately, the descent on the opposite side is sunnier easy. The arrival in the magnificent rice fields surrounded by limestone peaks of Na Nieng is superb. The valley is all times eternally green with crops. Night in Homestay at Na Nieng.
4-5 hours of walking.
D10 / Na Nieng - Dong Khe - Lang Son (830 m) - Trekking
We start to climb the longest term (2 h 30) to join a new pass. A pleasant trail follows balcony that gives us a view of dragon chines. We reach over the town of Dong Khe. In 1950, nearly five thousand French troops there were killed in fierce battles against the troops of Ho Chi Minh. Today is a quiet town on the RC 4 (Colonial Road 4). Lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer by bus to Lang Son. Arrival at Lang Son, we visit the Dong Kinh Market, the largest in Lang Son city. Overnight at hotel
3 hours of walking. - 3 h by bus
D11 / Lang Son - Bai Chay - Ha Long Bay
Departure by minibus (5 pm) for Bai Chay, where we discover the wonderful Halong Bay (Vinh Ha Long). We spend two half days to sail in the middle of the three thousand islands and islets of Halong Bay, the eighth wonder of the world! The water is emerald green, hence the name "Sea of Jade". On the way, we visit one or two caves (one of the Lake and / or those on the island of Surprises). The lunch and dinner, consisting of excellent fish and seafood, are served on board. Overnight aboard the boat, good standard cabins with private bathrooms and hot water.
D 12 / Halong Bay - Bai Chay - Ninh Binh - Tam Coc
After visiting the "floating village" of fishermen, we climb the hill Udders. Remarkable panoramic view over the bay of Along. Us "back on earth" (literally, figuratively as ...) to make our transfer to Ninh Binh. Hotel in Tam Coc.
D13 / Tam Coc - Hoa Lu - Van Long - Ha Noi
We'll take a cycling trip after visiting the famous Tam Coc to Hoa Lu with a stop to visit two temples dating from the nineteenth century dedicated to kings Dinh and Le. This province is also known as "Halong Bay on Earth". A bamboo boat awaits you for an unforgettable ride from 1 hour to Van Long, a spectacle at once sublime and relaxing. Transfer to Ha Noi. Overnight at hotel
D14 / Ha Noi - visit and departure
Depending on flight schedules, possible visit of the Ethnographic Museum, which houses a comprehensive collection devoted to the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. Return flight.
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