Northern Vietnam Photo Tour – 15 Days/ 14 Nights

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This Northern Vietnam Photo Tour is conducted in the remote areas of Northeast and Northwest Vietnam –Mai Chau Valley, Hoa Binh province – Ha Giang province and Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province – Ban Gioc Waterdall and Ba Be Lake, Bac Kan province. This 15 days trip allows you to travel from Hanoi to remote hill tribe villages, inhabited by the Thai ethnic minorities; Muong, H’mong (Black Hmong, Blue Hmong and Flower Hmong), the Dzao (Red Dzao, Black Dzao and Dzao Tien), the Tay, Dzay, the Nung, Pho Xa, Lolo, Bo Y ethnic minorities. We will explore the colorful and authentic ethnic markets: Pha Long market, Bac Ha Market, Dong Van market and Meo Vac market. All the the dates mentioned in the itinerary are designed to correspond with the days the markets are operational.

This tour has all the key ingredients for an ideal shoot  – Landscape, portrait photography and Nature.



Day 1/ Wed: Hanoi Arrival (Welcome Dinner)

Upon your arrival in Noi Bai Airport, you will be picked up by our tour guide and driver, then transfer you to your hotel in Hanoi. Free day at your own leisure.

In the evening, at 7:00 PM, you will be picked up by Jenny Trinh – Your Travel Advisor, Jenny will bring you to the finest restaurant in Hanoi, you will have chance to enjoy the authentic Vietnamese foods and chance to enjoy traditional performance at this restaurant. After dinner, we will drive back to Hanoi Old Quarter, explore and experience the Hanoi night life. Overnight in Hanoi.

  • Accommodation: Boss Legend Hotel
  • Room Type: Deluxe balcony with city view

Day 2/ Thursday: Hanoi – Mai chau Valley – Ban Lac – Pom Coong village (Breakfast/Lunch/-)

This morning we depart Hanoi and head west towards Hoa Binh province, after two hours driving we will stop for refreshments and visit Hoa Binh hydro station built in the 1980s. Leaving Hoa Binh, we drive towards Mai Chau valley, about another two hours away to White Thai village of Poong Coong. Enjoy the stunning views while lunching on tasty local dishes cooked by the White Thai girls of the village.

In the afternoon we walk to the surrounding of Poong Coong village and head down to visit a Thai minority village at Ban Lac to have more experiences on ethnic tribal life. Dinner tonight is at a traditional house of ethnic Thai minority, followed by their traditional music show. Overnight in Mai Chau.

  • Accommodation: Mai Chau Eco-Lodge Resort
  • Room Type: Superior Double/ Twin sharing.

Day 3/ Friday: Pom Coong village – Black River – Pu Luang Natural Reserve – Mai Chau Valley (Breakfast/ Lunch/ -)

Enjoy spectacular views on your transfer to Pu Luong Natural Reserve. We will taking a short boat trip on the Ma River, and then a 2 to 3 hour walk through beautiful hill side villages and magnificent rice paddies. Then experience the beauty of Pu Luong Nature Reserve and the everyday life and culture of the Thai people.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve is highlight for your trekking to discover Hang village and admire the daily life of local hill tribe people and landscapes.

Our lunch will be served at Ban Hang village.

After lunch, we will trek through steeps climbs, stream crossings, valley to reach Kho Muong village and have more discovery of tribe people and spend a night at a typical eco-stilt house, enjoy their local customs and culture as well.

In the late afternoon, we will drive back to Mai Chau valley, Ban Lac village, stay overnight at Mai Chau Eco-lodge resort.

  • Accommodation: Mai Chau Eco-Lodge Resort
  • Room Type: Superior Double/ Twin sharing.


Day 4/ Saturday: Mai Chau Valley – Hanoi – Night train to Lao Cai (Breakfast/ Lunch/-)

After breakfast at Mai Chau Eco-lodge Resort, you will have free time at your own leisure.

We will check-out before 12:00 PM, and then get on the car heading up to Pom Coong village. Our lunch will be served at local restaurant in Pom Coong village.

After lunch, we will drive back to Hanoi.

Arrive Hanoi at around 4:00 PM. Free to relax at your own leisure.

At 20:00 PM, you will be picked up by our tour guide and driver, drop you off at Hanoi train station, take a night train to Lao Cai.

  • Accommodation: King Express Deluxe Train – Soft sleeper cabin.

Day 5/ Sunday: Lao Cai – Bac Ha Sunday Market (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

Arrive Lao Cai Train station early morning at 6:00 AM, be picked up by our local guide and driver, then transfer to our hotel for taking shower and breakfast. After breakfast, we will drive to Bac Ha Sunday Market.

Bac Ha Market is held every Sunday and is the biggest minority peoples market in Northwest Vietnam. Alive with the bright colours and extravagant costumes of the local people, here you will meet Flower Hmong (Red Hmong), Black Dao, Tay, Nung, La Chi, Phu La and other minority groups who come from far and wide to buy and sell a wide variety of goods and livestock, to exchange news and to renew friendships. In the past the market was a centre for trading horses but now that motorbikes have replaced them it is more common to see buffalo, cows, goats, fish and other livestock being traded. The market opens at around 7.30am and closes mid-afternoon, so an early start is advisable.

Take time to wander around the market, enjoy the atmosphere and have fun trying out your trading skills with the friendly local people.

Have lunch in a local restaurant where a variety of foods are available for your delectation and delight. You can even try the traditional local lunch of Thang Co (horse stew) and strong corn wine!

After lunch you will be driven to Ban Pho village where you can take a short walk around the village where Flower Hmong, Tay and Nung minorities live.

Drive back to Bac Ha Town. Stay overnight at Bac Ha Town.

  • Accommodation: Sao Mai Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Double/ Twin sharing.


Day 6/ Monday: Bac Ha – Hoang Su Phi (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

After breakfast, we will have a short trekking through one more village in Bac Ha, then drive to visit the H’mong King’s house (King Hoang A Tuong) built by the French colonists and the Chinese in 1920. Our lunch will be served at local restaurant in Bac Ha.

In the afternoon, we will drive to Hoang Su Phi.  On the way to Hoang Su Phi, we will discover significant terraces of Hoang Su Phi area. Visit Ho Thau commune of Dao ethnic minority people.

Overnight at Pan Hou Village Resort in Hoang Su Phi.

  • Accommodation: Pan Hou Village Resort
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 7/ Tue: Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

Early morning, visit one of the following commune markets: Ban Luoc, Tung San, Ho Thau. You can see various kinds of ethnic minority people from hill tribe villages gather here. Then, continue exploring Hoang Su Phi area, take visit to San Chi ethnic minority people (one of the smallest ethnic group in Vietnam) villages of Ban May, Ban Phung and Ban Diu to see locals wearing traditional customs working on terrace fields.

On the way we will visit Chu Ha school. Stopover Chu Ha School for a while then we will toward Ha Giang city in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Ha Giang city.

  • Accommodation: Ha An Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 8/ Wed: Ha Giang Trekking (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

We set off and trek to the village Nam Hong (5-6 hours). You have the chance to contemplate the beauty of the rice terraces , mountains and bamboo forests. Ethnic minorities such as Man and Ta Pan Dao live in the region. We will have a picnic lunch and continue the journey to the remote village of Ta Pan Man . On the route, you can see farmers working in the fields and there may be the opportunity to experience some their work at first hand. Dinner will be served by our local guide. Overnight at homestay in Ta Pan Man


Day 9/ Thurs: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

After breakfast, we will drive to Quang Ba. En route we stop for visiting some hill tribe villages to meet local ethnic people. After that we will drive toward Yen Minh. Overnight in at hotel in Yen Minh.

  • Accommodation: Thao Nguyen Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 10/ Friday: Yen Minh – Dong Van – Stopover Sungla – Pho Bang – Dong Van (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

After breakfast, we will drive toward Dong Van, en-route we will stopover Sung La, visit some hill tribe villages in Sung La, then we will explore Pho Bang. Overnight in Dong Van

  • Accommodation: Hoang Ngoc Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 11/ Saturday: Dong Van – Lung Lu – Dong Van (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

We will continue our way to Dong Van, home of the Lo Lo Ethnic and colorful Blue Hmong, White Hmong and Flower Hmong minority groups. The route between Dong Van and Lung Lu is one of the most beautiful and spectacular in all of Northern Vietnam. Overnight in Dong Van.

  • Accommodation: Rocky Plateau Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing


Day 12/ Sunday: Dong Van Market – Meo Vac Market – Meo Vac – Cao Bang (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

Recommends: Get up at 5:00 AM, walk to Dong Van Market, spend around the market 2 hours then drive to Meo Vac market.

Wake up early for  Sunday market in Dong Van. Hunt the amazing shots in Dong Van Sunday market, then we will drive toward Meo Vac Sunday Market and Khau Vai commune.

The market is not only where the locals living in the karst plateau trade cattle, it is also a gathering place for the Mong ethnic minority. Market goers must start early in the morning. Those selling cattle have to wake up the earliest, usually around midnight, to walk their cows to market. Many walk dozens of miles, climb mountains and cross streams to get there, yet they never appear to be tired and are always smiling and cheerful. In addition to cattle, there are also dogs, goats and pigs for sale at the market. Despite being tied up, a few chubby pigs are still able to run around while the goats lie near their owner’s feet and dogs wag their tails to greet passers-by. The first sellers start to arrive around 5 am. The echoes of the clop, clop, clop of cattle hooves can be heard throughout the forests and mountains as they make their way to the market. We can see the traditional costumes of the local Mong people at the market; the men wear long black dresses while the women dress in their best, most colourful costumes and their children run alongside them. There are food shops selling traditional Thang co (stewed meat soup) and fragrant maize wine near the area reserved for selling cattle. Most Mong men insist on sampling the wine before leaving at the end of the day.

In the afternoon, we will drive to Cao Bang  via Bac Me and Bao Lac. Arrive Cao Bang in the late afternoon. Overnight in Cao Bang.

  • Accommodation: Hoang Anh Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

 Dong Van plateau in Ha Giang

Day 13/ Monday: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall – Ba Be National Park (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

Route magnificent falls to Ban Gioc, with the crossing of the pass My Phuc and the region Trung Khanh. Time devoted to visit the waterfall Ban Gioc, the River Quay His which rushes over rocks down in spectacular waterfalls. In the midst of the waters, there is a prominence limestone covered with trees, which divides the current three, thus creating a beautiful sight and pleasantly cool the atmosphere. At the foot of the waterfall runs a wide creek, transparent as a mirror, surrounded by a multitude of flowers. Ban Gioc is also famous for its fish tram huong. Numerous opportunities to bathe.

We enjoy our lunch at the local restaurant near Ban Gioc Waterfall. After lunch, we will drive to Ba Be National Park.

Arrive Ba Be National Park in the late afternoon. Discovery walk including areas where red Dzao and H momg live. Meeting with authentic minorities  as they carry out their lakeshore activities. Enjoy dinner with local family.

Overnight at home-stay in Pac Ngoi Village.

  • Accommodation: Tay Ethnic’s home-stay in Pac Ngoi village

Day 14/ Tuesday: Pac Ngoi Village – An Ma Islet – Puong Cave – Dau Dang Waterfall – Pac Ngoi Village (Breakfast/ Lunch/-).

After our breakfast at the host family, we board on our private boat for a cruise on the Ba Be Lake. We can have a swim in crystal clear waters before having lunch in the local restaurant near the  Dau Dang waterfall. Following lunch we have the opportunity to work off our feast with a trek to Tay ethnic minority villages. A visit to this small hamlet will enable us to witness how little the lives of the people in these remote areas have changed. Cruise further to Puong Cave and head back to Bo Lu village for overnight.

  • Accommodation: Tay Ethnic’s home-stay in Bo Lu village


Day 15/ Wednesday: Ba Be National Park – Hanoi – Hanoi Departure (Breakfast/ Lunch/-).

After our breakfast at the homestay then say good bye to the warm-hearted, friendly hosts. We take a short boat ride from Bo Lu Village to the dock where we get on our van for the ride back to Hanoi.

Our lunch will be served at local restaurant in Thai Nguyen city.

On the way back to Hanoi, we will visit the Thai Nguyen Minority and Culture Museum where we can learn something about the culture and traditions of the different minority groups in Vietnam.

Arrive Hanoi in the afternoon. Wait until departure flight; you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home. Tour ends.

The itinerary above could be customized to suit your desire, feel free to get in touch with us for the ideas and best quotation.



The price is valid till the end of December, 2015

Price is quoted in American USD dollar at the newest exchange rate

Number of customers: 02 Pax 3 ~5 Pax 6~9 Pax
The Tour Price in USD per person US$  NA NA


  • This is a cash price. Credit cards incur a 2.5% fee
  • This is private tour design for your group only
  • This price is Nett. price and non-commission


What’s included?

  • Entrance Fees: To scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
  • Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary with authentic Vietnamese food.
  • Private Transfers: 07 seats car - Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing by private air conditioned vehicle with a driver and English-speaking guide (as listed above). Your comfort is our priority!
  • Guide: As outlined in the itinerary an Hmong English-speaking guide, Amateur Photographer  and driver will be provided in each city they will remain with you throughout your time in that city. A new guide and a new driver will meet you at each city on your tour, to provide you with the best local knowledge available.
  • Hotels: Hotel fees are based on two people sharing with Double (Twin) Rooms. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily Western or Local breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
  • Tay Ethnic Home-stay with river & mountain view, private room in Pac Ngoi Village, Ba Be National Park
  • Private boat trip in Ba Be Lake
  • Admission fees and private boat in Ban Gioc Waterfall
  • Daily 02 bottle of mineral water/ person/ day
  • Ethnic Villages admission fees and documents
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

What’s excluded?

  • Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone calls, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the tour itinerary.
  • Tip
  • Single Room Supplement
  • International insurance



  • Please be aware that flight times, hotels and all other logistics, services and days of travel are subject to availability. Where flights are cancelled or delayed, we will endeavor to secure alternative arrangements of similar value as noted in our booking conditions.
  • The overnight sleeper trains used on this trip are the comfortable available although they cannot be compared to European standards. Please note that whist we always endeavor to secure soft sleeper berths on overnight trains there may be occasions when we are unable to do this due to circumstances beyond our control. In these situations we will secure the best available class.
  • The traveling times mentioned within this dossier are approximations only. These times will vary according to weather, road, traffic or any other prevailing conditions.
  • This itinerary and supplementary information has been complied in good faith and was accurate at time of writing. However it DOES NOT form part of a contract between the client and Green Discovery Indochina.


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

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