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BAC HA, HA GIANG – NORTHERN PROVINCE TOUR – 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

Enjoy the breath-taking landscapes of Vietnam's northern provinces (Lao Cai, Bac Ha, and Ha Giang) with a tour in the heart of the most iconic minority villages.

From 50 USD based on 2 people or more

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    IN CONSTRUCTION

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    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Bac Ha local minority market
    • Ha Giang province and its ricefields terraces
    • Amazing routes and lanscapes


    Enjoy the breath-taking landscapes of Vietnam’s northern provinces (Lao Cai and Ha Giang) with a tour in the heart of the most iconic minority villages.

    DAY 1
    Departing from Hanoi, the adventure starts with a night trip on the local train that will take you to Lao Cai city in the early morning. Don’t worry, the cabin might be shared but it’s still comfortable and air-conditioned.

    DAY 2
    After a local breakfast near the train station, you will immediately dip in the daily life of the inhabitants at the local market. It’s a colorful place that is daily frequented by the different minorities living in the region: Dzao, Giai, Han, Xa Fang, Nung, etc… It’s the opportunity to observe how diverse ethnicities coexist peacefully in this little piece of green paradise.
    The meeting with the locals will be pursued around a shared lunch with a family of the village, before heading to Ban Pho Villa in Bac.
    There, you’ll learn about the Minorities’ rural life.

    On your way back to the homestay, make a stop at the ancient Hmong Royal Palace. The palace was the seat of the Hmong kings who ruled over the region during the French colonial era up until Vietnam regained independence in 1945. The entrance of the royal residence is surrounded by majestic 100-year-old cunninghamia trees, while the path is laced with large stone slabs.

    Dinner will be served in a traditional stilt house homestay where you’ll get to spend the night. The accommodations may seem very bare and basic, and you might share the House with other groups but rest assured that this will be more than compensated by the kindness of our hosts and by the beauty of the location. It’s also the best way to completely immerse in the local culture.

    DAY 3
    Following mountainous roads and going through the notorious paddy fields of Xin Man village, you will be transferred to Hoang Su Phi Village. After a lunch break and several stops to admire the amazing landscape, you will get to relish in the exceptional view of the village’s miles of stunning verdant green or golden sun scorched fields, depending on the season.
    You’ll spend the night at a local hotel.

    DAY 4
    After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, you will go for a nice long walk through the villages’ surroundings. You’ll notice the incredible diversity of the locality with the different houses of minorities. You’ll also get to witness them working on the field, wearing colorful traditional clothes.
    Lunch will be served along the road with a local family.

    This trekking day will come to an end while you’re going back through the rice paddies, tea, and medicinal plantations.
    You’ll spend the night at the local hotel.

    DAY 5
    Sadly, your incredible journey through the beautiful landscapes comes to an end as it’s time to get back to Hanoi. But, don’t be too upset, the used road follows a river and several stops for photos will be offered along the way. Also, you’ll stop at a local restaurant for lunch.
    The arrival to Hanoi is programmed at the end of the day.

    Useful Information
    Available everyday 5 Days – 4 Nights
    From 6 yo till 99 yo Landscape might change depending on the season Accommodation at local homestay in the village with basic facilities

    Q&A

    Official Language: Vietnamese
    Capital: Hanoi
    Surface: 330 967 km2
    Population: 97 338 579 (in 2020)
    Political System: Republic Single-party communist state
    Currency: Đồng (VND)
    Telephone code: +84

    The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Although many places in Vietnam will accept payment in US dollars, and euros, most prefer to be paid in Dong, so it is important to keep an amount of local currency when travelling to Vietnam. Some purchases or expenses can be made directly in US$ or Euros, but this is most often limited to shops in large cities, or in hotels. For your expenses, we advise you to arrive with US$ and/or €uros in large and small values.
    Wars, high arms spending, the US embargo and economic planning have greatly weakened Vietnam’s economy. However, the positive effects of economic liberalization helped to revive the economy after the end of the US embargo, more specifically since the late 1980s. Since the 2000s, there has even been talk of an economic takeoff since the real GDP growth rate rose from 4.7% in 2001 to 7.8% in 2007, although it fell to 6.3% in 2008 and 5.3% in 2009 due to the economic crisis. However, it rose in 2010 to 6.8%. Rice agriculture is very important economically. To feed an ever-increasing population. Vietnam is one of the 10 countries in the world that grow and export the most rice in the world.

    The specificity of Vietnamese cuisine is based on mixtures of herbs and spices that are not found anywhere else, as well as on cooking methods and a set of eating habits specific to the Vietnamese people. Vietnamese cuisine is a little-known cuisine compared to other Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese or Thai cuisine. The cuisine offered by the Vietnamese hostess must be both an expression of her respect for the guests and a demonstration of her propensity to work.

    Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia, surrounded to the west by Laos and Cambodia and to the north by China. It is bordered by the China Sea, Gulf of Tonkin and Gulf of Thailand. It has a surface area of 331,212 km2. Its maritime border is 3,260 km long. Vietnam is made up of three large regions, called Bộ:

    In the North (Tonkin or Bắc Bộ), with Hanoi and Hai phong as main cities
    In the Center (Annam or Trung Bộ), with Hué and Danang (former Tourane) as its main cities;
    In the South (Cochinchina or Nam Bộ) with Hô Chi Minh City (former Saigon) and Can Tho as its main cities

    Vietnamese people have lived for centuries in a moral and religious universe shaped by beliefs and values from ancestor worship, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, not to mention Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) and Islam (very minority). Ancestral worship is the oldest religious practice in Vietnam, prior to Buddhism, Catholicism and Confucianism. The Vietnamese believe that the souls of their parents survive after their death and that they protect their descendants. The dates of the main holidays vary from one year to another, according to the lunar calendar on which most are modeled.

    No vaccination is required. However, it is recommended to protect yourself against hepatitis A and B (ask your doctor for advice). We advise you to bring your own:

    of a broad-spectrum antibiotic;
    of your usual medications if you are undergoing treatment;
    an anti-diarrheal and an intestinal antiseptic (Intetrix, Immodium…);
    a protective cream against mosquitoes;
    moisturizing sunscreen, lip stick;
    a healing ointment and a local antiseptic.

    Water is not drinkable in Southeast Asia. Avoid tap water, require bottled water. It is harmless and safe to brush your teeth, but do not drink it.

    Vietnam is officially a “Socialist Republic”. Only one party is allowed, the Vietnamese Communist Party, which controls all the country’s political institutions. The position of President is currently held by General Trần Đại Đại Quang. In May 1993, multi-party parliamentary elections were held. A new constitution was ratified and Norodom Sihanouk was once again proclaimed king. In 2004, he abdicated in favor of his younger son Norodom Sihamoni, currently in charge of the kingdom.

    Vietnamese (in Vietnamese: Tiếng Việt) is the official language of Vietnam. It belongs to the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asian languages. It is the Austro-Asian language with the most speakers (about ten times more than the second, Khmer). It is an insulating and monosyllabic language, with a 6-tone system. It is the mother tongue of about 85% of Vietnam’s population2, as well as of about two million migrants. Some 1,000 years of Chinese occupation have led to the adoption of a large number of words transcribed from Chinese and the old sinogram writing (the Chữ nôm now abandoned).

    MINI GLOSSARY

    Hello : Xin chào
    Good Bye : Tạm biết
    Thank you (so much): Cảm ơn (nhiều)
    Can i have the bill ? : Tính tiền
    How much does it cost ? : Giá bảo nhiều ?
    I don’t understand : Tôi không hiểu
    My name is : Tôi tên là …
    Where are the toilets? : Nhà về sinh ở đầu ?

    You can use your mobile phone in Vietnam, it is not necessary to acquire a local sim card when you arrive. Easily available for the traveler. A local SIM card will almost always be cheaper than using your SIM card from your country abroad. In addition, the Internet has made its entry into daily life. Most tourist sites are equipped, hotels and restaurants have Wi-Fi.
    Vietnam offers a wide range of handicrafts that can be found on the markets, in the shops or directly within workshops. Amongst the great classics: coffee, fabrics, lacquers, lanterns and the famous conical hat.
    Tipping is not mandatory but is commonly practiced (between 10 and 15% of the price). As an indication we recommend 5$ per day and per person for the guide and 3$ per day and per person for the drivers for small groups of less than 10 people. For groups of more than 10 people we recommend $3 per day per person for the guide and $2 per day per person for the driver.
    No special rights to pay for photographing or filming in Vietnam. In some places, photos are prohibited … thank you to carefully follow the instructions on this subject to avoid any inconvenience.

    220V with several possible socket types: two flat plugs, two round plugs or three plugs. Plan to bring a universal adapter. Power cuts are frequent, but most hotels have their own generators.

    On your way, you will often have the opportunity to meet local people. Wherever you are, be discreet and humble. The multiplicity of cultures and traditions means that certain attitudes are perceived differently in different countries. To avoid being disrespectful, take the time to understand the people you meet, take the time to make connections. There too, listen to the advice of your guide! He knows better than anyone the behaviors to avoid or adopt. 

    For example, if you want to take a picture of someone, always ask them for permission. The best way for acceptance is to have established a prior contact. Similarly, do not distribute gifts at all … This often encourages children to beg, to avoid this kind of drift, it is better to refer to the local structures competent (donate to school, hospital, village chief etc.). Finally, be careful not to wear too light clothing (short shorts, cleavage …) and avoid exuberant behavior.