North Vietnam Trek starts from Dien Bien with a car transfer to Muong Lay, Lai Chau where you begin a 5 day hard trek which leads you through remote hill tribe villages to Sin Ho, Tam Duong, Lai Chau. Discover the unique culture and traditional way of life of Vietnamese local tribes living in the mountainous highlands of Northwest Vietnam.
Map of north Vietnam trek
North Vietnam Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Dien Bien Phu – Muong Lay.
Upon your arrival at Muong Thanh airport, you will be welcome by our local team and transferred to the downtown of Dien Bien. Have lunch in a local restaurant, then continue traveling by road to Muong Lay. It takes the whole afternoon with some optional short walk along the way to visit tribal villages. Arrival in Muong Lay, check in hotel and relax.
Day 2: Muong Lay – Tu Cu Phin.
Breakfast and leave Muong Lay for 18km road transfer along the national road 12 for nearly an hour to Chan Nua Village of the Thai people. Start trekking from here(196m) along a stream for 1,5 hour. Short break and then continue trekking along a narrow path up steep mountain for about 2 hours to the lunch break point at the hight 680m. The view of the valley stretching far from here, fabulous forest dotting with farm land and villages. Continue along a tough trail mostly uphill for about 3 hours in the afternoon through narrow passages to Tu Cu Phin village of the Red Hmong which located in a large valley surrounded by high hill and mountain(1,299m). Spend the rest of the afternoon walking around exploring this remote village.
Day 3: Tu Cu Phin – Ta San – Nam Pe.
Breakfast and then leave Tu Co Phin 08.30. Follow a dirt road downhill for ½ hour to the center of Lang Mo Commune. Turn right from here and follow a narrow trail which winds its way through a hamlet of the White Hmong and then getting through thick rain forest for nearly 3 hours. Arriving to an isolated hamlet of the Zao Tuyen, paying visiting to several local homes before crossing a stream to the other side. Lunch break for an hour here. Continue trekking after lunch for about over 2 hours through young offshoot forest on steep mountain side which offers great view of beautiful valley on right hand with terraced rice fields and villages. The last portion of the trail gets downhill for an hour to the bottom of the valley, where the Nam Pe Village of the Zao Tien sits amongst rice paddies. Explore this village before it gets dark.
Day 4: Nam Pe – Nam Ngap.
Leaving Nam Pe after breakfast, follow a narrow dirt trail which goes along the Nam Pe Stream for nearly an hour and then uphill through corn and dry rice fields for 1,5 hour to the hill top. Taking a short break and then trekking downhill for an hour to Seo Phin village of the Black Zao, paying visit to local homes and then lunch break. Afternoon trek to the second hamlet of Nam Ngap. Walking around this charming village of the Lu ethnic people whose population is just about 7 thousand individuals in Vietnam, who live the sedentary life style mainly along the Nam Mu River in Lai Chau Province. The rest hours of the afternoon is for relax.
Day 5: Nam Ngap – Lai Chau.
Leaving Nam Ngap at about 08.30 through a narrow valley along the Nam Ma Stream for 2 hours to Nam Tam Village of the Thai, paying visit to this village. Then wal along a rocky road for about ½ hour to Hong Quang village. Picked up for a three hour road transfer to Lai Chau Town with several stops along the way for stunning scenery of the Sin Ho highland and the Phong Tho Valley. Arriving to Lai Chau at about 1,30 pm, late lunch and then free in the afternoon to explore the new township of Lai Chau Province.
Day 6: Lai Chau – Lao Cai – Hanoi.
Breakfast, check out hotel for car transfer to Hanoi. The first hour of the road ride offers stunning scenery of the Phong Tho Valley, Giang Ma mountain Pass and the lush Binh Lu Valley. There will be some stops along the way before taking a long break at Binh Lu Town let for having a quick look at Binh Lu Market where the Lu, Lao and Red H’mong often comes every morning. Then continue along road 4D uphiil the Hoang Lien Son Mountain range for 1,5 hor to Tram Ton Pass. Enjoy a long break here for magnificent landscape before transferring downhill for 20 km to Sapa Town. You may wish having a short visit of Sapa before driving downhill to Lao Cai. Follow the new highway Laocai -> Hanoi.
Vietnam private guided tours
Lotussia Travel is a Hanoi tour operator offering a wide selection of multi-activity holidays in Vietnam. Options include countryside cycle, mountain biking, road cycling, jungle trek, trekking homestay, mountain hiking, peaks climbs, motorbike, scouter touring, camping, caving expeditions, kayaking, boat trips, cruise, sightseeing, culture tours. Most of our trips are private customized, and specially designed for small group tours, family vacations. The itinerary above – North Vietnam Trek is only a sample that can be further customized to better fit your requirements. Just follow it or contact us for designing your perfect adventure.
Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Depending on the proposed option (semi-guide tour or all-inclusive package tour), the price may include the following services. Please bear in mind Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.
Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
International travel insurance.
Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.
Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.
Principally, Lotussia Travel requires all the trip associates to know the destinations well by any means of traveling or enquiry to the local suppliers to figure out all the relative details of any trip. For adventure tours such as jungle trekking, mountain hiking, sea kayaking, river rafting or biking, cycling tours, LOTUSSIA Travel will never add any new routes into available schedule until survey or pre-view it.
Lotussia Travel carefully choose all the hotels, guest-houses or home-stays based on service quality, location, and characteristics, doing best to make the accommodations in the remote small places as comfortable as possible. Please bear in mind that hotels in Vietnam might not be in the same standard in other country. Generally hotels in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hoian, Hue…are much better than hotels and guest-houses in mountainous areas.
Lotussia Travel take dinning as an indispensable experience to clients since it is an important part in Vietnamese culture. Therefore, Lotussia Travel will not intend take clients to the most expensive restaurants but non-touristy local ones which offer delicious, local food, with nice or interesting atmosphere. The restaurants might be simple in the country but LOTUSSIA Travel guarantee is sanitary and cleanliness. Or even on our trek, we encourage our cook offer client food with new tastes from day to day. During adventure itineraries to mountainous or remote areas, there is sometimes no choice for hotel and restaurants. We will try our best to bring you the best taste of local food.
As the tap water in Vietnam is undrinkable, Lotussia Travel recommend clients to drink bottled water throughout your trip, or boiled water on treks. Lotussia Travel offers bottle water all the day, and soft drinks like Cola, Sprite or Vietnamese Tea or if possible juice in restaurants (if mentionned in itinerary). This is not automatically included in the packages. In simple restaurant or on camping, Lotussia Travel offers boiled water, instant coffee or juice, wrapped milk (Details are confirmed in bottom of your itinerary).
In most destinations of Vietnam, all the roads are well paved though the traffic is quite messed up like in Hanoi, Hai Phong… We use proper vehicles, car, minibus or coach in good condition based on the size of the groups. We use 4WD only on the rough road where the other vehicles could not pass through or based on clients requirement on overland journeys or treks. For cycling itineraries, we usually use our support minibus or minibus with support truck. For sea kayaking, river rafting trips, diving packages we use standard boat as support. Detailed information is provided on our service proposal.
We use drivers who are native or local of each travel destination and maintain good safety records for all trips. Most of our drivers can speak English but a little bit. This is just enough to understand basic words such as “time of departure”, “stop”, “restaurants”, “hotels”…If you want to learn more about Vietnamese culture and information about sightseeing sites, booking a tour guide is highly recommended.