North Vietnam Explorer

North Vietnam Explorer information and booking

  • Duration
    9 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
    Adventure touring
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

  • 9 day trip
  • 4 nights hotel
  • 3 nights homestay
  • 1 night traditional boat
Equipment Required
A comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking.


  • Amazing landscapes that offer fantastic photo opportunities
  • Visit the marvelous palace of a former H'mong king
  • Experience Northern Vietnam's ethnic minority groups
  • Relax, swim, and kayak in the stunning surrounds of Halong Bay

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

A trip to Vietnam’s Northern Highlands is an experience no-one will easily forget. This region hasn’t been discovered yet by mass tourism and offers the more discerning traveler a unique opportunity to learn more about Vietnam and the different ethnic minorities who live in this enchanting part of the world. The ideal trip for those into photography and adventure. Amazing valleys, majestic mountain ranges, local market visits and a mixture of cultures and ethnicities will leave a long-lasting impression.

What's included

  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Airport transfers if arriving on day 1
  • Services of a bilingual guide
  • Accommodation on twin share basis
  • Private vehicles
  • Kayak equipment in halong bay


Day 1 Join Hanoi
Xin chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam. Please look for the WORLD EXPEDITIONS welcome sign in the arrivals hall. You are greeted by your guide and driver at Noi Bai International airport for your transfer to the hotel. Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities, full of culture, history and the engaging contradictions of a rapidly developing and deeply traditional society. In the evening, a welcome dinner at a nice local restaurant is waiting for you. Overnight at your hotel Hanoi
Day 2 Hanoi to Tien Thang village (345kms)
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive Northwest to Ha Giang. Our 7-hour-drive today will offer beautiful scenes of Vietnam’s northern mountains and a chance to interact with friendly locals. Stop at King Hung’s Temple in Phu Tho, a major Vietnamese pilgrimage site. Ha Giang town arrival in the late afternoon and continue to Tien Thang village. Inhabited by Tay people and set in a beautiful valley surrounded with rice fields, this peaceful village provides a fascinating insight into village life. The rest of the day is free at your own leisure. Strolling around the village, interacting with the friendly locals, or assisting the host to prepare the dinner. Overnight at your homestay, Tien Thang village.
Day 3 Tien Thang village trekking (Approx 15km)
After an early morning wake up, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the Vietnamese countryside, feeding the poultry or assisting our host to prepare breakfast. After breakfast we make our way to the village of Dao and start our scenic trek through bamboo forest, rice terraces and small villages dotted between the mountains. Returning to Tien Thang village in the afternoon. Afternoon is free to enjoy at your own leisure. Overnight at your homestay, Tien Thang village.
Day 4 Tien Thang village to Dong Van (170kms)
Today, drive but you will soon be enjoying the wonderful sightseeing of this vast limestone mountain range and perpendicular walls of rock, which brings one a feeling of adventure whilst being lost in a magic land, passing the Quan Ba Heaven Gate to Yen Minh Town. Driving into the area of Dong Van, you will find one of the most challenging and amazing landscapes in Vietnam, and its first Geopark. This rugged and unforgiving terrain is ideal for exploration and nature photography, and is also home to some of the most graceful and enduring ethnic minority groups in the country. Lunch in Yen Minh Following, you drive to Meo Vac Town. The scenic route climbs over a pass, and then you descend down to MeoVac valley, a beautiful valley situated very close to Chinese border. Embark on the longest road “Hapiness road” which connect Meo Vac with Dong Van, crossing the Ma Pi Leng Pass. The Ma Pi Leng Pass is probably the most spectacular Sightseeing spot of Dong Van Karst Geopark, both in terms of landscape and history; it is the perfect platform for you to view the wonder which eons of geological forces have created. Keep zigzagging down to the centre of Dong Van Town, you will see the market and two villages which have long made up the heart of Dong Van Commune. Built in the early 20th century, the structures along the Old Street are largely similar in appearance, but many contain unique architectural features of the owner's ethnic group.’ Overnight in Dong Van
Day 5 Dong Van to Ha Giang (147kms)
Dong Van is a paradise for the photographer in you. Here you will find stunning landscapes set off by the colourful traditional costumes of ethnic minority people. Wake up early to capture the moment of the town. If your stay is fall into weekend, you will have a chance to attend the most colourful, lively tribal market in the area is held in Dong Van every Sunday. On sale are local products made by Mong, Han, Dao, Giay and Tay ethnic people. To reach the market on time, the vendors have to leave their mountain homes very early in the morning or even the day before. Today you drive back to Ha Giang city, snaking through stunning scenery and minority villages. First stop is at about 14km from Dong Van District centre, you will stop by the Vuong family house, once home to the man considered the King of the H’Mong ethnic people in the Dong Van highland area. The architecture of the building bears highly artistic value and clearly reflects ancient Chinese architecture (Man Thanh Dynasty). It was not only a home, but also a fort in the middle of a rocky highland valley. Lunch enroute. Upon arrival Ha Giang City, rest of the day is free to explore the city. Overnight at your guesthouse/ hotel in Ha Giang
Day 6 Ha Giang – Hanoi (300kms)
After breakfast we say farewell to the city of Ha Giang and return by road to Hanoi. Overnight at your hotel in Hanoi
Day 7 Hanoi – Halong
This morning we transfer 3 hours to commence our Ha Long Bay cruise. On arrival we will join our traditional ‘junk’ sailing boat and head out into the Gulf of Tonkin amongst the huge limestone outcrops and emerald waters. We will spend the rest of the day cruising in our boat around the myriad of tiny islands and exploring the many grottoes created by the wind and the waves. While on board we will have a fresh seafood lunch followed by a swim and exploring some of the limestone caves in this area. We will spend the night on board the boat in our own cabins Overnight on boat Note: Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be cancelled due to poor weather. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
Day 8 Halong – Hanoi
Start your day with Tai Chi on the Sundeck while complimentary tea & coffee are served. Bhaya Classic weighs anchor to cruise through the Bay passing beautiful spots like Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet, etc. Return to Bhaya Classic. Buffet brunch is served onboard. The vessel cruises leisurely back to harbor. Disembark at Bhaya Café, Halong City at 1100hrs and have the transfer back to Hanoi. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi
Day 9 Depart Hanoi
After breakfast, take the time to enjoy last minute shopping at Hanoi Old Quarter for your friends and relatives and the day as you wish till we transfer to the airport for your onward flight or flight home.