9 days Northern Explorer

Written by  CaoBangTravel.com Asia Pacific Travel Team
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This trip from Ba Be Lake to Bai Tu Long Bay is diverse and adventurous, offering out-of-the-way experiences that many travellers miss out on: We visit Pac Po, trek through hill tribe villages and explore Bai Tu Long Bay.



Day 1: Hanoi / Ba Be Lake (L,D)



Departing from Hanoi, we embark on a route up into mountain areas north of Hanoi. Then onwards to Ba Be Lake National Park, one of the largest natural lakes in Vietnam, home to many kinds of bird, scenic valleys, towering rocky outcrops, underground tributaries rivers, a gigantic cave and local ethnic minorities, including the Tay, Red Dao and Hmong.
Following a relaxing boat trip, we stroll along the river front. The night is spent in the traditional stilt-house of a Tay family. (Lunch and dinner are included).

Day 2: Ba Be Lake / Cao Bang (B,L)

We take to the road again for a 90 km drive, arriving in Cao Bang town around lunch time. The rest of the day we go to the border village of Pac Po, home to the local Nung ethnic minority and visit Coc Bo (the Source), the tiny natural cave lived in briefly by Ho Chi Minh when he returned to Vietnam after thirty years of self-imposed exile.
We hike along a rocky path, take in the cave and explore its stunning visual neighborhood, before we return to the town for an overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 3-4: Cao Bang Trek (B,L,D)

The day begins by driving to the border town of Ta Lung, in an area marked by massive limestone cliffs jutting out of the rice fields, spotted by scenic hill tribe hamlets. We begin our adventure with a trek.

We trek for 15 km per day, with breathtaking scenery, staying in simple village accommodation with our friendly hosts of the Tay ethnic minority people.

Day 5-6: Cao Bang Trek (B,L,D)

Another serious day’s trekking through several minority hamlets. We stop for lunch at the village of Dong Khe before venturing on to the Red Dao settlement of Pac Khoang.
The following day we cover a 17 km trek to the Tay village of Na Pang where we stay overnight.

Day 7: That Khe / Lang Son (B,L)

We leave our hosts this morning and trek for a further 12 km until we reach the village of That Khe. After lunch in a local restaurant we meet up with our vehicle for a 2-hour drive to the border town of Lang Son.
This town has become a booming trading town since the normalization of relations between China and Vietnam in the early 1990s.
We go to visit To Thi Mountain, which received its name from the local legend concerning the lady named To Thi. The night will be spent in a hotel in Lang Son.

Day 8: Lang Son / Bai Tu Long Bay – Bai Tu Long Bay – Thien Canh Son Cave (B,L,D)

07.45 Transfer you to Ha Long.
12.00 Embark at Hon Gai International harbor.
13.00 Check-in, enjoy a welcoming drink and cruise briefing.
13.30 Have lunch while cruising in the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay, admiring the fascinating rock formations in the bay.
15.00 Enjoy swimming in the crystal clear water.
15.40 Explore the well – hidden Thien Canh Son Cave.
16.45 Short cruise to Hon Co Island where you can relax on a white sandy beach, swim or kayak.
18.00 Back to the junk for relaxation.
19.00 Have dinner and stay overnight on boat
 

Day 9: Vung Vieng Fishing Village – Hon Gai Harbour – Hanoi (B,L)

07.30 Enjoy the bay’s morning landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the open air.
08.30 Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic rowing boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms.
09.30 More time for swimming in the middle of the bay.
10.00 Start cruising towards the harbor while an a la carte lunch is served.
11.45 Disembark. Fare well.
15.45 Arrive in Hanoi. End of trip.
Physical activities:

Your itinerary includes walks and hikes with:

- 3-5 km hike on Day 1.
- 5-7 km hike on Day 2.
- 12-14 km trek from Day 4.
- 14-16 km trek on Day 5.
- 10-12 km trek on Day 6.
- 15-16 km trek on Day 7.
You need to be reasonably fit as the hikes and the treks can be challenging sometimes, depending on the weather conditions.
From July to September, the climate is usually humid and hot. From October to June brings cooler and more pleasant weather.

Tour Guides

Our experienced and friendly Tour Guide(s) speak excellent English or French.
They are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.
We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, markets or homes.
We also cater for Vegetarians please request this at time of booking.

The cost of the trip includes:
- Accommodation.
- Transportation.
- Meals listed on the itinerary.
- Tour Guides.
- Entrance fees.
- Permits during guided excursions.

The cost of the trip does not include:
- Travel insurance.
- Expenditure of a personal nature, such as drinks, gratuity etc.

What to take:
Pack essentials for 9 days, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable walking shoes. Take a small day pack for walking, hiking and trekking.
It is essential to bring your passport on this trip. We also recommend packing: towel, swimsuit, personal articles, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...

CaoBangTravel.com Asia Pacific Travel Team

CaoBangTravel.com Asia Pacific Travel Team

CaoBangTravel.com is a Hanoi, Vietnam based tour operator for those with a yearning for discovery, adventure, and fun. We specialize in small group cultural travel and wilderness adventures in north Vietnam and especially in HaGiang province area. Our standard or tailored programs will allow you to meet the local people of these exotic lands. With an excellent staff and our personal service, you will have lots of fun on a quality holiday that you will never forget. We have served thousands of tourists from all over the world to visit Vietnam and neighboring countries for more than 10 years .Most of them are individual - small group tourists.Somes are student groups from German, Uk and France ...on cross cultural trips to hill tribe villages in HaGiang. We look forward to welcoming you to Vietnam !

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