- Active Adventure
- Culture & Heritage
- Home Stay
- Learning Discovery
- Nature & Landscapes
- Off The Beaten Path
- Tours for Couples
- Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
- Day 2: Hanoi – Lang Son – Na Pang Village
- Day 3: Na Pang Village – Pac Khoang Village
- Day 4: Pac Khoang Village – Dong Khe – Na Nieng Village
- Day 5: Na Nieng Village – La Village
- Day 6: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall & Nguom Ngao Cave
- Day 7: Cao Bang – Ba Be National Park
- Day 8: Ba Be – Thai Nguyen – Hanoi
- Day 9: Hanoi – Departure
This tour is designed to show the stunning nature of Vietnam’s north-eastern region. From Hanoi, travel north to explore the villages of the Tay and Dzao ethnic minorities. Hiking along the trails, you get an insight into the lives of the locals while enjoying the breathtaking views of the endless green valleys, limestone mountains and terraced rice fields. Head to Cao Bang and get close to Ban Gioc waterfall – the most striking waterfall in Vietnam and Ba Be National Park. Arriving back in Hanoi, you’ll explore the capital of Vietnam to round off this amazing 9-day tour!
Arrival in HanoiDay 1
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Hanoi. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Lang Son – Na Pang VillageDay 2
After breakfast, you will meet your private guide and driver then begin the adventure. The three-hour journey on a 4W vehicle through the picturesque countryside of green paddy fields and spectacular mountains will take you to Lang Son in the Northeastern region of Vietnam.
Upon arrival, you will visit Tam Thanh Cave, a vast and seductive cave with a water pool inside and natural ‘window’ offering a sweeping view of the surrounding rice fields. A few hundred metres above the cave exit are the ruins of the Mac Dynasty Citadel, a lovely, deserted spot.
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to drive to That Khe, a small quiet town. From there you will embark on a medium trek (10km) to Na Pang Village in Trang Dinh district, home to the Tay minority group. Arrive at the village in the late afternoon and check into the local home.
Enjoy home-hosted dinner and stay overnight with a traditional house on-stilt of a Tay family.
Overnight in a local homestay
Na Pang Village – Pac Khoang VillageDay 3
After breakfast at the homestay, you will start your trek to Pac Khoang – a village of Dzao ethnic minority people. Today the trek will be longer, 16 km but you will be rewarded with the breathtaking scenery. You will walk along the valleys on small paths that only used by the locals to go to their farms and surrounding villages. You will cross some small streams and tackle some easy hill slopes.
After enjoying a picnic lunch en-route you will continue your trek. Arrive Pac Khoang village in the late afternoon and check into a local homestay.
Tonight you will enjoy dinner with your family hosts and spend the night in comfortable bedding accommodation.
Overnight in a local homestay
Pac Khoang Village – Dong Khe – Na Nieng VillageDay 4
After breakfast and check out you will embark on another adventure. The trek distance today is the same yesterday 16km. The morning trek is mainly downhill, on village road and jungle trails with stunning views of rice and corn fields along the green valleys.
Around midday, you will arrive at Dong Khe town, known as the first major battlefield of the Resistance War against the French back in the 1950s. The war ended with Viet Minh victory, marked with the national hero Vo Nguyen Giap.
After enjoying lunch in Dong Khe, you will continue trekking to Na Nieng Village, home to the Tay ethnic minority people. The trek in the afternoon is a bit harder than the one in the morning since you have more uphill terrain to tackle.
Arrive at Pac Khoang Village in the late afternoon. Enjoy dinner and stay overnight in a local home in the village.
Overnight in a local homestay
Na Nieng Village – La VillageDay 5
After breakfast at the homestay, bid a fond farewell to the family hosts and depart for the village for Ta Lung that shares the border with China. The final trek today is also within 16km. You will walk through the jungle and cross some small streams.
In the late morning, you will arrive near Ta Lung where you will take the bamboo raft to cross Bang Giang River which flows through Cao Bang and ends at Ta Lung border Gate before it returns to Guangxi, China.
After lunch, you will continue trekking until you reach your 4W car. Then your private driver will transfer to your hotel in Cao Bang City. After checking in, you will spend the rest of the day at leisure. You may take a walk around the town.
Overnight in Cao Bang
Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall & Nguom Ngao CaveDay 6
Get up early to take a short visit to the Central Market of Cao Bang. Afterward, you will take a scenic drive to Ban Gioc Waterfall close to Vietnam’s northern border with China.
On arrival to Ban Gioc Waterfall, you will board the bamboo raft for the most up-close discovery of the most beautiful Waterfall in Vietnam.
After lunch at a local restaurant, the trip will continue with a visit to Nguom Ngao limestone Cave, one of the most spectacular cave systems in the north of Vietnam. Created by an underground river, it extends for several kilometres underground; villagers sheltered here during the 1979 war with China.
Finish the tour and return to your hotel in Cao Bang where the balance of the day will be at your leisure.
Overnight in Cao Bang
Cao Bang – Ba Be National ParkDay 7
After breakfast, you will depart Cao Bang for a two-drive to Ba Be National Park, a rainforest area that is known for the spectacular waterfall, rivers, deep valleys, natural caved and small lakes. Ba Be region is home to 13 tribal villages, most belonging to the Tay minority plus smaller numbers of Dzao and Hmong.
En route, you will pay a visit to the village of Phuoc Sen, home to Nung minority people. This is a small village famous for the production of farming tools. The local people largely live by farming the terraced rice paddies that you will see all around.
Upon arrival at Cho Ra town, you will embark on a motorized boat trip for three hours to explore Vietnam’s largest natural lake Ba Be. The boat ride also takes you to the impressive giant Puong Grotto, the tiny Widow Island, and the rapids of the Dau Dang waterfall.
After enjoying a picnic lunch by the waterfall, your guide and driver will transfer you to Pac Ngoi Village, home to the Tay ethnic minority people, where you will stay overnight at a local thatched house.
After checking into the local home your guide will take you a walking tour around the village, meet and interact with the local people.
After a nice and hot shower, enjoy dinner cooked and served by the family. You may want to join them in the cooking activity. This is great fun.
Overnight in Ba Be Lake
Ba Be – Thai Nguyen – HanoiDay 8
Get up early to watch the sunrise over the lake followed by breakfast at the homestay.
Check out, say goodbye to the family hosts and transfer to visit the Hua Ma Cave, one of the least visited caves not only in the north but also in the whole of Vietnam, which locals still regard as a religious site.
After exploring the cave, you will wind your way for 5 hours back to Hanoi. En-route, pause to visit the Ethnology Museum – located in the center of Thai Nguyen province on the poetic Riverside. It is considered to be a cultural work with a large scale and beautiful architecture. 3000 documents and original items on the traditional culture of 54 ethnic groups are exhibited and stored at the Museum.
Return to your hotel in Hanoi where you will spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – DepartureDay 9
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Hanoi International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Inquire this trip
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.
- Discovery the beauty of natural and historical in Lang Son located in the Northeastern region of Vietnam
- Trek to Pac Khoang – a village of Dzao ethnic minority people with the breathtaking scenery
- Meet ethnic minority tribes and experience traditional life in the mountainous villages
- Pay a visit to Ban Gioc Waterfall, an impressive sight and in a highly scenic location
- Discovery Ba Be Lake, the biggest natural lake in Vietnam is surrounded by limestone cliffs and covered by primary forests.
- 8 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 5 dinners and 6 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Vietnam, the entry visa to Vietnam, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
How to Plan a successful Trip to Vietnam, Step-by-Step
Why to visit Vietnam
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
How to Book a Tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to visit Vietnam
Vietnam, the S-shaped country, also commonly likened to the shape of a dragon, is located to the west of the South China Sea. The perfect combination of colonial elegance and rustic charm, it guarantees to satisfy all types of travelers with its rich experiences made all the more special by its charming people.
With cities to explore, temples to admire, and green countrysides to roam, there is plenty to see and do in Vietnam. Known as a colorful and diverse country from the wild mountainous north, with its myriad of ethnic communities, to the sleepless city of Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon) on the edge of the Mekong Delta, it is difficult to pick just one region to visit when coming to Vietnam.
The charming capital of Hanoi is a fascinating mix of fading colonial buildings and national monuments; the scenery of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is bound to leave you speechless; Hue, home to the old Kings of Vietnam, appears to have been frozen in time for several hundred years with its ancient atmosphere and architecture.
With a 3260km coastline, Vietnam is home to many top-tier beaches; the country’s most unsung beauties. My Khe beach – “one of the most attractive beaches on the planet” as described by Forbes – offers blue skies, smooth white sand, clear & warm water year-round. Phu Quoc island, boasting several luxury resorts, is also a favorite escape for the rich and famous. The abundance of mountains, rainforests, and natural lakes also makes Vietnam a great destination for trekking, hiking, mountain biking, sea and river kayaking, and classic overland tours.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Vietnam
• Sapa & Mai Chau – visit the hill tribe villages and plantations
• Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam
• Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site
• Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam
• Hoi An – the kitchen of Vietnam and paradise on Earth
• Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) – the economic heart of Vietnam
• The Cu Chi Tunnels – walk through the history of the Vietnam War
• Mekong Delta – see the floating markets
When to Go
Even though Vietnam lies entirely in the tropic zone, its climate varies surprisingly from region to region. Therefore this charming land is well-known as an “all-year-around” available destination for travelers.
In the north, from Sapa to Hanoi, there are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
In the central region, from Nha Trang to Hue, sunshine lasts throughout the year, except for the months of November and December when heavy rainfalls occur. Dalat, at an altitude of 1500m, is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March. Da Nang and Hue both experience typhoon activity from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.
In the south, from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, there are two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season falls between April and September, with sudden heavy showers that don’t last very long. The dry season spans the months of October to March, with higher temperatures and long days of sunshine, followed by cooler nights.
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
Almost all visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country, although some exemptions apply for citizens of countries with reciprocal agreements with Vietnam. Depending upon the nationality and passport of the applicant, a tourist visa can be obtained at the Vietnamese diplomatic office or consulates in foreign countries. Visas can also be obtained with the help of a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, known as a “Visa on Arrival”. Visas may be either single-entry or multiple-entry, as requested at the time of application.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The easiest way is to get your visa through a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, such as Indochina Pioneer. We can quickly and efficiently organize your pre-arranged VOA if you wish. Our visa processing fee is a reasonable rate of USD$10 / person only. Except for American citizens who are required to pay a stamping fee of USD$135 to get a 1-year, multiple-entry tourist visa, other nationalities need to pay just USD$25 / person for a single entry and USD$50 / person for multiple entries.
- To apply for your VOA please email us the following information:
- Arrival and departure dates
- Full passport details:
- Passport number
- Issuing date
- Expiry date
Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport.
- Once we have received your information, we will secure a Visa Approval Letter for you. This usually takes about 2 – 4 working days (ie. excluding weekends). We will then send you the letter via email or fax. You must present this letter upon boarding your flight. Also, you will need to prepare two photos (6 cm high x 4 cm wide – white background, no glasses, no smiling).
- On arrival at the airport (in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City) please find the Visa on Arrival window/counter where you will hand over your passport and photos, and be given a simple form to fill out. Pay the stamping fee of USD$25 for the single entry and USD$50 for multiple entries. The staff at the airport will shortly return your passport with your visa, after which you will be allowed to exit the airport.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a certain amount of time:
- Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Philippines (maximum stay of up to 21 days)
- Japan, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
- Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for a VOA and will have to apply at their nearest Vietnamese embassy/consulate :
South Asia – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Africa – Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
Starting from February 1st, 2017, the Vietnamese government officially launched the electronic visa plan for foreign tourists of certain countries visiting Vietnam. To apply for an e-visa, please visit http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or http://www.immigration.gov.vn. For the list of
countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for an e-visa to Vietnam, click here.
How to Book a Tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (MR. LAM) or +84 983 145 799 (MR. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at [email protected] with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
Reviews on Our Service
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"Lifetime of Memories"
Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.
We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.
"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"
If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.
"Excellent from the very beginning"
We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!