Vietnam Northwest Loop is a combination of overland tour and easy treks we design for family holidays, senior travel, and those who like walking about 2 – 4 hours per day.
Map of Vietnam northwest loop
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau.
7:30am you will be met up with Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi. Depart for Mai Chau. Enjoy some short treks on the way before we arrive in Mai Chau in the late afternoon. Check into a local stilt house for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La.
Transfer 17 kilometers then trek in an area of inhabitants of ethnic minority Thai, Muong the villages of Cun Pheo and Hang Kia. Arrive Bai Sang wharf for the cruising on Black river by local boat. Arrive at Suoi Lon for overnight in Muong’ Village.
Day 3: Son La Trekking.
Transfer to Ta Sua plateau, you can contemplate the highland scenery of it. Visit some villages of ethnic Black H’mong and discover the daily life and custom of local inhabitants here, especially you can enjoy the local specialties: Ta Sua Tea and agriculture products then come back the town for lunch. After lunch, visit the local market, the handicraft and farming products made by local villagers. Then continue trekking for about 5 Kilometers through villages of the Thai and the Muong. During the hike you can take a rest and taste some local wine is distillated by the local villagers. Transfer to Thu cuc. Overnight in a Muong village.
Day 4: Son La – Nghia Lo.
Trek through Thai, Dao, Mong villages. Visit the water wheel. It is used to scoop the water for the rice fields near the streams. Continue going to Nghia Lo through the direction of Lung Lo pass. Arrive at Nghia Lo, check in hotel. If time permit, have a short walk to the local market. Walk back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Nghia Lo – Tu Le.
After breakfast, leave Nghia Lo. Trek and visit some villages of ethnic’s minorities along the road: black Dzao, H’mong, white Thai, etc. Arrive in Tu Le village, dinner and overnight in a house on stilt. You will have the opportunity to experience the culture of the local Thai people in the area.
Day 6: Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen.
After breakfast, we say goodbye to our host and continue our journey driving to the village center. You may have the opportunity to visit the local market. Transfer to the foot of Kau Pha pass where we will start trekking for about 9 Km through the forest and ethnic villages. This trail runs parallel with the famous and beautiful Kau Pha pass. We finish the trail at the peak of the pass (1800m above sea level). Transfer to Mu Cang Chai for lunch. Visit the local market and go move on to Than Uyen. Arrive in Than Uyen about late afternoon. Check into a local guest house for overnight.
Day 7: Than Uyen – Sapa.
Transfer to Sapa. We can have some more treks on the way to visit villages of ethnic minorities. Especially,
you can meet the most typical ethics of the region – Lao, Lu (Xa Pho). They wear the long traditional and colorful costumes with jeweler hand made. Arrive in Sapa. Check into a local hotel. Rest of the day at leisure or enjoy a short walk to discover the town. Sapa town has such highlights as the Ham Rong mountain, Sapa market, Dzao traditional spa…
Day 8: Sapa – Cao Son – Lao Cai – Hanoi.
Transfer to Muong Khuong district, via tea plantation and forest of pine. You might encounter Giay tribe in their traditional dress in Ban Lau or Thanh Binh. Reaching Cao Son about 10.am, enjoy the excitement of this weekly market. The shining dress of colorful Hmong girls attracts you much as you fall down to a new world, a world of interest and fun. Having lunch in Cao Son lodge. In the afternoon, commence your walk to the most secluded yet peaceful village – Tin Thang. In this village, people still distill the wine from corn, making bacon in the most basic way and offering special corn cake to anyone who drop by their house. Transfer back to Laocai. Take the overnight train back to Hanoi. Train ??? Departure (to be advised). Overnight on board train.
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 – Vietnam Northwest Loop 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.
Halong bay cruises
Inclement weather, tide levels and operating conditions at sea may force changes in cruise itinerary and schedule at any time. Kayaking and swimming excursion, in particularly, may be canceled due to rough weather.
The cruise offer fusion cuisine: international, seafood and Vietnamese. Please advise our reservation team at least one (01) week ahead of departure about any specific food preference, dietary or food allergies.
Port authority insists on advance registration including full name, gender, date of birth, nationality and passport number. At check-in, a valid passport is required. Port authority may deny boarding if these conditions are not met.
Free Wifi available on terrace deck, but note that the internet signal at sea suffers frequent interruption.