Northern Vietnam loop trip worth it?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Apr 17, 2012 3:26 AM Last Post By: Otford1
Apr 11, 2012 7:19 PM
Apr 11, 2012 7:21 PM
Apr 11, 2012 7:23 PM
Apr 11, 2012 7:25 PM
Apr 11, 2012 7:27 PM
Apr 13, 2012 12:37 AM
5Yeap.Hanoi - Mai Chau - Moc Chau -Son La - Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau - Phong Tho - Tam Duong - Binh Lu - Sapa - Hanoi.That's great!
Apr 13, 2012 3:43 AM
6Worth it? It depends how you like to travel. If you like exploring, can appreciate things not going as expected, are fairly flexible , can eat whatever is available, be interested in the way people live, love great scenery but can also tolerate ( even enjoy) delays and a little discomfort, then you will love travelling around the north.
You might also try Cao Bang and Ha Giang. I decided that 4 hours was enough for a bus trip and really enjoyed having an overnight in the towns in between the tourist destinations.
Apr 13, 2012 4:11 AM
Apr 13, 2012 7:50 AM
8the anti-clockwise loop is better...i.e. hanoi- cao bang- bac lac- meo vac- dong van- ha giang- bacha- lao cai- sapa........motorcycling is better.....
meo vac to dong van is one the most or the most spectacular road in SE Asia....but the roads at northern indian himalayas are more spectacular..hehe!! was there two weeks ago...
Apr 13, 2012 11:07 PM
Apr 16, 2012 7:23 AM
Thanks for your replies. :D. I am in Ha Giang right now and am going up to the Meo Vac area. You will notice in you're guidebooks that Karst Travel is the one to help you out - and let me assure you they are. I haven't even booked a tour and they have helped me more than you can imagine. Just email him, and I can say that these guys are who I would go through for a tour, given that they are doing nothing but helpIing me and understand there is no tour because I am alone. I think the best way up here is via a tour booked from Hanoi or in Ha Giang. You will get more out of it. Unfortunately I am on a bus for mist of it but the Meo Vac area I can book a mini tour with the Hmong guides and hire a moto with driver or maybe even rent one.
The permit was no trouble - but I recommend that you do you're homework before coming here. The farther you go in Blvietnam the more difficult it gets because they do not speak English. It makEs everything difficult but they try to help. Some of the nicest people I have met in Asia! There is no map in my guidebook for Ha Giang - beware! It is not as small as it seems. Also the permit offic is hard to find as is the bus station!
For people who don't mind eating goat meat and working a bit to get travel plans off the ground, this is it.
The scenery and drive from Bac Ha to Ha Giang by motorbike I will never forget. Everyone was staring at us - how many white people go through there? I can honestly say not many. Much much better scenery than Sapa, just because it was so remote.
Apr 16, 2012 7:50 AM
Apr 17, 2012 3:26 AM
12We were in the Ha Giang province in December and on 2 occasions were called, not tourists or white people but 'Russians'. I think the Russian road builders left in 1991.
The distances over some very rough roads (many blasted for widening and repairs but not yet finished or even graded) made many of the days travels over Northern Vietnam very slow and long, and this was in a 4 WD. It was a great 8 day trip but if we knew what we know now about some of the day's travels we would probably change the itinerary a little.
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