Northern Vietnam Photo Tour -17 Days/ 16 Nights

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This Northern Vietnam Photo Tour’s highlight is discovering the hill tribe villages’ and beautiful landscapes in the remote areas in Northeast and Northwest Vietnam – Halong Bay – Quang Ninh province – Ha Giang province and Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province. Across the 17 days we will travel from – Halong Bay which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders to remote hill tribe villages, inhabited by the 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: Hanoi arrival (Welcome Dinner)

Transfer via: International flight

Upon your arrival in Noi Bai airport, we will be picked up by our local guide and driver then transfer to Hanoi City center. Take rest of the day at your own leisure.

In the evening, meet Jenny Trinh again for Welcome Dinner.

Overnight in Hanoi.

  • Accommodation: Medallion Hanoi Hotel – 3 Stars
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

At 7.30 – 8.00 Pick-up from your hotel in Hanoi. Drive to Halong City through the paddy fields in the Red River Delta.

10.00 Stopover on the way for refreshments

12:00 – 12:30 Check in Pelican, Glory & Image café (Tuan Chau Island)

12:30 – 13:00 Transfer to Glory Legend boat by tender

13:00 – 13:15 Welcome on boat enjoy welcome drink and follow Operation Manager briefing safety on boat as Glory Legend Cruises heads to Hoa Cuong, Ngon Tay, Duoi Ca.
13:30 – 14:30 Have lunch on boat

15:00 – 15:45 Transfer to small bamboo boat to visit Luon cave. Kayaking service available.
15:45 – 17:00 Visit Titov / Soi Sim Island for swimming.

17:00 – 18:00 Back to the boat continues cruises to find safety place for overnight (near 587 islet or Luon cave). Free time on boat

18:00 – 19:00 Cooking Class &Happy hour (buy two drinks, get one free)

19:30 Have dinner on boat

21:30 – 23:00 Join squid fishing. Overnight on boat

  • Accommodation: Glory Legend Cruise – 3 Stars
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing


Day 3: Halong bay – Hanoi (Breakfast/ Lunch)

06:15 – 06:45 Enjoy Tai Chi instruction on the Sundeck

07:00 Have breakfast on boat

07:45 – 08:45 Explorer Visit Surprise cave (about 60 minute by walk)

09:00 – 09:30 Check out, payment in reception area

10: 30 Have lunch on boat

11:30 Back to Tuan Chau pier. Transfer by tender to Pelican, Glory & Image cafe.

12.00 Return from Halong to Hanoi by shuttle bus.

14.00 Stopover in Dong Trieu town to visit a ceramics workshop

16.00 Arrive in Hanoi. Free day at your own leisure.

Overnight in Hanoi.

  • Accommodation: Medallion Hanoi Hotel – 3 Stars
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 4: Hanoi – Free day – Night train to Lao Cai (Breakfast/-/-)

Today you have free day at your own leisure.

In the evening, meet up our guide and driver, transfer to Hanoi railway station to take a night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.

  • Accommodation: King Express Train
  • Room Type: Soft sleeper cabin

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

Meet our local guide and driver at Lao Cai Station upon your arrival, freshen up and enjoy breakfast before heading north overland 55km to Muong Khuong and turn right for 25km along the Chinese border line to Pha Long Market. This very rural market is not very famous among tourists because of poor transportation and special government permission but really fascinating one for its special festive atmosphere. Joining local tribal peoples you will spend some hours at the market place where all local products and farming tools as well as Chinese cheap consumer goods can be seen for sales. But more than that, you can see and even contact friendly and cheerful minority peoples of different tribal groups in their colorful traditional dresses who come from remote villages mainly for enjoying meeting others for socializing.

After the Pha Long market, we will drive forward to Bac Ha town to have lunch in a local restaurant where you can try the traditional lunch of Thang Co (horse stew) and corn wine (alternative dishes are available!).

After lunch we will drive to Ban Pho village and take  a short walk around where the Flower Hmong, Tay and Nung minorities live.

We will see the local people making corn wine in their houses, ready for the Bac Ha market on Sunday.

End the afternoon with a visit the house of Mr. Ho, a local Hmong man who performs traditional music, dance and story telling.

Overnight in Bac Ha.

  • Accommodation: Ngan Nga Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Pha long market

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

Breakfast at the hotel. Take a walk to Bac Ha market, a big market crowded with people from many different hill-tribes. This is the most colorful market in North Vietnam. Here, you have chance to enjoy the BacHa people’s simple but unique kinds of food with special wines made from rice, cassavas, corn and different sorts of fruits such as plums, apples and peaches. Talk to the locals using the guide as your interpreter. Leave the market for the H’mong King’s house (King Hoang A Tuong) built by the French colonists and the Chinese in 1920. Return to the town for lunch.

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 : 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: 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: 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

Hoang Su Phi Rice Terraces

Day 10:  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.

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

Day 11:: 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: Hoang Ngoc Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 12: Dong Van Trekking – Free day (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

 Today’s trek will be on dirt paths, through some villages of the Tay and Giay ethnic minority groups. You will have more opportunities to explore the beauty of landscape dominated by rice terraces, high mountains and fruit gardens. The first part of the trek is on a dirt path set by the river on one side and numerous bushes and orchards on the other. The track is then sometime with big ascents to villages located on mountain side.

In the afternoon, you are free at your own leisure. Overnight in Dong Van.

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

Day 13: Dong Van Market – Meo Vac Market – Khau Vai commune – Meo Vac (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

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 explore more ethnic minorities villages around Meo Vac. Overnight in Meo Vac.

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


Day 14:  Meo Vac – Lung Phin – Yen Minh (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

Drive to Yen Minh. On this route, we will visit Lo Lo ethnic minority villages in Sung La commune, Hmong Hoa’s town of Pho Bang, and Pho Cao market. Explore surround ethnic villages in Meo Vac area.

Overnight in Meo Vac.

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

Day 15: Yen Minh – Quan Ba – Ha Giang (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

Depart from Meo Vac to Yen Minh, continue driving for Ha Giang via Yen Minh. On the way, we will visit some ethnic minority villages to explore traditional weave of White H’mong and Dao ethnic groups.

After lunch in Quan Ba, we will visit Bo Y ethnic minority people’s village in Quyet Tien commune.

Arrive Ha Giang city in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Ha Giang.

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

Day 16: Ha Giang – Hanoi (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Farwell Dinner)

Today we will drive back to Hanoi. On the way back to Hanoi, we will visit several White Hmong villages and Red Dzao village. Arrive Hanoi in the late afternoon. In the evening, meet Jenny Trinh again for Farwell Dinner in town.

Overnight in Hanoi.

  • Accommodation: Medallion Hanoi Hotel
  • Room Type: Superior Room – Double/ Twin Sharing

Day 17: Hanoi – Departure (Breakfast/-/-)

Transfer via: International flight – Your own arrangement.

Today you are free at leisure and free time to relax before meet our tour guide and driver then transfer us to airport for departure flight. End of services

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 Dec, 2015

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

Number of Photographers 2 Pax 3~5 Pax 6~9 Pax
The price in USD per person US$  NA NA
Single supplement US$ NA NA
  • Hotel 3 Stars and Resort Category:
Destination Hotel Name
Hanoi Medallion Hanoi Hotel
Halong Bay Glory Legend Cruise
Bac Ha Ngan Nga Hotel
Hoang Su Phi Pan Hou Resort
Ha Giang Ha An Hotel
Yen Minh Thao Nguyen Hotel
Dong Van Hoang Ngoc Hotel
Meo Vac Hoang Cuong Hotel


  • This is a cash price. Credit cards incur a 2.5% bank fee
  • This tour is private tour designed for your group 4 Photographers only




  • Entrance Fees: To scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
  • Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary with authentic Vietnamese food.
  • Private Transfers during the trip with the drivers as the itinerary.
  • An excellent English-speaking guide throughout the trip as the itinerary at each region.
  • 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.
  • Train tickets Hanoi – Lao Cai
  • Pha Long Market/ Bac Ha Market/ Dong Van Market/ Meo Vac Market
  • Daily bottle of mineral water
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes


  • Excess Baggage Charges. Passengers holding an adult fare or half fare ticket are entitled to a free baggage allowance of 20kg, for economy class. Total weight of carryon baggage each passenger may not exceed 5kg. The size may not exceed 20x40x 55cm.
  • 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
  • Visa
  • Single Room Supplement



  • 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 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.

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