• Highlights of Middle North West

    Code: VOT05 - Duration: 9 Days 8 Nights
    Start: Hanoi | Finish: Hanoi
  • Many travelers to Vietnam are attracted by the inspiring nature and colorful ethnic culture of the Middle Northwest. This beautiful region starting from Hoang Lien Son mountain range covers impressive mountains, amazing terraced rice fields, agricultural activity in rhythm with the seasons and fascinating ethnic markets. Throughout this journey, you will meet local ethnic groups such as Flower Hmong (Red Mong) living in high mountains, Black Dzao in flamboyant costumes, Tay, Nung, La Chi, Phu La and other minority groups. Let’s come and experience it for yourself!

    Highlights:Highlights of Middle North West

    • Walk from village to village to enjoy the fresh atmosphere and completely escape from busy city life
    • Meet ethnic minority groups in their colorful costumes and authentic culture
    • Enjoy home-stay at local house to experience their daily life
    • Pay a visit to Can Cau and Bac Ha market - the most typical markets of minority people in Vietnam
    • Take a relaxing boat trip in Thac Ba Lake 
    • Charming hotels in great locations
    • Comfortable & spacious vehicle for transfers

    Itinerary in brief:

    Day 1: Hanoi arrival (-/-/D)
    Day 2: Hanoi - Nghia Lo (B/L/D)
    Day 3: Nghia Lo - Than Uyen (B/L/D)
    Day 4: Than Uyen - Sapa/Home-stay  (B/L/D)
    Day 5: Ta Van - Cat Cat - Sapa (B/L/-)
    Day 6: Sapa - Can Cau - Bac Ha (B/L/-)
    Day 7: Bac Ha - Thac Ba Lake/Homestay (B/L/D)
    Day 8: Thac Ba - Hanoi (B/L/-)
    Day 9: Hanoi - Departure (B/-/-)

    • Ability to change the direction of the program
    • Possibility of an extension in Laos or Cambodia 


    + We specialize in “tailor-made” tours for groups of two or more. We carefully inspect each step of your journey from the accommodation to the perfect guide to suit your needs
    + The itinerary is open to modification to fit your personal travel needs
    + Modifications to the itinerary may increase the price of the package
    + For the price of this trip, just ask for a quote by clicking on "TOUR PRICE"

    + If you are looking for a trip modified to your requirements, please send us your needs by filling out the form in Customize your trip” 
    + We will contact and send you a quote, excluding holiday period, within 48 hours of receiving your request .

  • Day 1: Hanoi arrival (-/-/-)

    Hanoi – Airport: 30km, ~40min drive

    hanoi daily tours - tonkin travel

    Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, meet our guide and driver who then escort you to the city center. After making sure of your successful hotel check-in, they will be pleased to leave you free time for your own lunch and leisure to recover after the long flight.

    In the late afternoon, we enjoy Water Puppet Show, the unique Vietnamese traditional art originated from rural festivals in Vietnam. The artists-men and women-stand waist-deep in the water to manipulate the puppets, making them move, talk and laugh and even dance on the surface of the water. Dinner is then served at a nice local restaurant.

    Meals Included: Dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

    Day 2: Hanoi – Nghia Lo (B/L/D)

    Hanoi – Nghia Lo: 200km, ~5h drive

    mu cang chaiBreakfast is served at hotel. 7:30 am: Leaving bustling streets of Hanoi, we depart for Nghia Lo along Highway 32 through the Red River Delta passing verdant rice paddies and farmland . By early afternoon you'll be moving away from the Red River Delta and into the mountains of Yen Bai province, on your way to your destination of Nghia Lo. Nghia Lo is situated along a beautiful mountain ridge separating the Red and Black River with lush forests, tea plantations, rice terraces and gum trees, the picturesque valleys are stunning. The area is home to ThaiNung, H'mong, La Ha and Ma ethnic minority peoples.             

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Accommodation: Guesthouse in Nghia Lo

    Day 3: Nghia Lo – Than Uyen (B/L/D)

    Nghia Lo – Than Uyen: 135km, ~3h25min drive

    mu cang chai 2This day starts with a visit to the local market in Nghia Lo Town, a chance to explore and shop for local handicrafts. Today's drive will take us along one of the most exciting stretches of road in Vietnam and offers some of the lushes and verdant scenery found anywhere. As climbing over the mountain pass to Mu Cang Chai, we will meet H'mong, La Ha and Dzao hill tribe communities along the way. The road, which is not sealed and can be muddy and exiting at times, winds along the Nam Kim River which descends the valley over some cascading gorges. At the bottom of the valley is the town of Than Uyen.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Accommodation: Guesthouse in Than Uyen

    Day 4: Than Uyen – Sapa/Home-stay (B/L/D)

    Than Uyen – Sapa: 100km, ~2h30min drive

    sapaEnjoy breakfast in a local restaurant, then it’s time to hit the road for Sapa. From Than Uyen the road rolls along the base of the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range, home to Mt. Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak. Tea plantations and rice terraces hug the Nam Ma River that winds along this valley dotted with Tay, Dzao and H'mong villages. At Binh Lu junction we will reach the main road and start climbing up the highest mountain pass in Vietnam at 1900 Meters, then glide down into the town of Sapa. Sapa itself is a somewhat bedraggled village meshing crumbling, mildewed French colonial architecture with the pencil-thin, brick-and-concrete mini-hotels that have become so ubiquitous in recent years all across Vietnam. It’s time to enjoy lunch and relax before a 3 hour short trek down this stunning valley sculpted with steep rice terraces, to Ta Van village for a home-stay. Your guide will cook you a savory dinner of traditional Vietnamese food that you'll be raving about, as you enjoy the hospitality of your Dzay hosts.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Accommodation: Homestay in Ta Van Village

    Day 5: Ta Van – Cat Cat – Sapa (B/L/-)

    sapa tourMorning after breakfast, we get ready for a short trek to the bridge where the vehicle waits and transfer back to Sapa. We first sneak through the market and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, we then embark on a lovely walk that will take us along buffalo paths and trails downhill to Cat Cat village. There will be a stop by a waterfall and a hydroelectric station built by the French people long time ago. We take a rest here before trekking downhill to get Sin Chai village. Enjoy beautiful scenery on the way back to Sapa town by car for lunch. The rest of the day is free on your own to discover Sapa in the afternoon.

    • Distance : 5km
    • Duration : 3h trekking
    • Speed : Average

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa

    Day 6: Sapa – Can Cau – Bac Ha (B/L/-)

    Sapa – Can Cau: 140km, ~3h drive; Can Cau – Bac Ha: 20km, 30m drive

    can cau market

    Early morning after breakfast at hotel, we depart for the 3 hour drive to Can Cau Market (Saturday only). Situated in the mountains in border area, 20 km north of Bac Ha, Can Cau is a very colorful and vibrant market. Opening only on Saturdays, it always delivers a very photogenic display of Flower Hmong, Black Zao, Phu La ethnic costumes. You can also find various types of livestock and local corn wine. Chinese people also come for trading. After spending the whole morning exploring the market, we will leave the market for Bac Ha town for lunch.

    In the afternoon, we will take a walk to Ban Pho village of Nung, Tay and Flower Hmong whose inhabitants grow vegetables and fruit trees. One of the most famous fruits of the area is plum. You will be able to visit a local house, meet and talk with the family.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Ha

    Day 7: Bac Ha – Thac Ba Lake/Home-stay (B/L/D)

    Bac Ha – Thac Ba: 180km, ~4h30min drive

    bac haAfter breakfast at hotel, we visit the lively Sunday market of Bac Ha, one of the most colorful markets in Asia! Again a wonderful opportunity to meet the locals such as Flower Hmong (Red Mong), Black Dzao, Tay, Nung, La Chi, Phu La and other minority groups in which  Flower H’Mong predominantly  live in the area. The Sunday market is a social gathering for all groups living in the high remote villages, here they meet, drink alcohol and trade goods. Wandering around the market, you can enjoy the atmosphere and have fun trying out your trading skills with the friendly local people. We continue our trip to Thac Ba Lake. The night is spent in a beautifully constructed stilt house down by the lakeside.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Accommodation: Home-stay in Thac Ba

    Day 8: Thac Ba – Hanoi (B/L/-)

    Thac Ba – Hanoi: 160km, ~4h drive

    thac ba tours - tonkin travelCreated by construction of the Thac Ba hydroelectric plant in the 1960s, Thac Ba is one of the largest and most beautiful artificial lakes in Vietnam and captivates travelers with its incredible authentic beauty and more than 300 islands under lush vegetation. We participate in a boat trip and visit some Dzao and Tay villages. After lunch in a local restaurant, our expedition North West comes to an end. In the afternoon we arrive back in Hanoi.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

    Day 9: Hanoi – Departure (B/-/-)

    After breakfast at hotel, time is free until our driver meet and transfer you to Noi Bai airport for your flight to your next destination or back home. Thank you very much for travelling with us!

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  • Prices

    This trip is private and therefore can be altered to suit your needs, date of commencement and budget requirements.

    Prices vary due to a number of specifics:

    • Seasonal: during high season (October-April), the prices of services are generally higher when compared to the low season (May-September).
    • The number of participants: the more of you that travel together the less you will pay!
    • The choice of hotels: Fairly obvious one here; a 5-star hotel can cost ten times as much as a 2 star hotel.
    • The activities during the trip: Two trips on the same itinerary and of the same length can have two different prices depending on the number and nature of activities included.
    • The booking date: In some cases, booking your trip late can drastically affect prices due to their low availability.


    • Accommodation as recommended or similar category according to availability.
    • Transfers according to program by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver except free day
    • English-speaking guide’s assistance at every stage
    • Meals as indicated in program (B: Breakfast /L: Lunch / D: Dinner)
    • Entrance fees for attractions included in the program
    • All activities and cruises clearly mentioned in the program
    • Boat excursion in Thac Ba
    • Home-stay in Sapa, Thac Ba
    • Water and cool tissues
    • Government taxes & service charge


    • Other drinks and meals not clearly mentioned
    • Early check-in, late check-out
    • Personal expenditures, tips
    • Personal insurance (compulsory)
    • Any service not clearly mentioned in the program
    • International air transfers associated with airport taxes
    • Visa and visa arrangement (available upon request)


    Here are 2 steps to book your trip with Tonkin-Travel:

    Step 1. Focus on your travel program:

    You can choose this trip as is or customize it to your specific desires. Just click on the “Customize this trip” tab and fill in the form. One of our travel consultants will contact you within 48 hours to develop the travel program based on your specifications.

    Step 2. Booking:

    • Following the first step, tour program is selected and we access the rates.
    • Upon confirmation of the trip, the registration must be accompanied by a deposit up to 25% of the total estimate.
    • For programs with private junk (cruise) and/or 5 star hotels, the deposit is represented by 30% of the total estimate.
    • Tonkin-Travel carries out the booking process upon receipt of the deposit. Confirmation of these reservations is sent to customer within 10 days via email

    Nature of travel

    This trip is private. That implies:

    • You will be escorted by a private guide and driver. This approach guarantees a smooth trip with fewer organizational constraints.
    • You will be the master of your trip. We guarantee flexibility in organizing visits at your request.
    • Our services will be personalized according to your desires. Thus the proposals in this package are not fixed and you can bring suggest all the desired changes.
    • You receive individualized care: ample food, organizing small events (anniversary, honeymoon, etc.), targeted information, followed necessary modifications, etc.


    • Accommodation is an important expenditure of your trip. When you choose a luxury trip for example, the accommodation can represent three quarters of the price. Thus, your choice of hotels is closely related to your budget.
    • Tonkin-Travel has negotiated rates with a wide range of hotels from 2 to 5 stars.
    • In some places you will have the option to choose ‘home-stay’. Although this provides less comfort that a hotel it is a truly authentic experience and highly recommended for at least one night of your journey.


    All transfers during your trip are covered by private vehicle with driver, unless otherwise indicated in our offer. We ensure that our vehicles are new and comfortable. Fuel, tolls, accommodation, compensation and the driver are included in our offer. Only gratuities are not included and are at your discretion.

    The size of the selected vehicle is based on the number of tour participants according to the following quality standards:

    No. of participants

    2 pax

    3 pax

    From 4 to 7 pax

    From 8 to 14 pax

    From 15 to 20 pax

    Vehicle size

    Car 4-7 seats

    Car 7 or minivan 
    16 seats

    Minivan 16 seats

    Bus 24 seats

    Bus 35 or 45 seats

    Domestic flights

    If your trip includes domestic flights if any, they will be operated by Vietnam Airlines, the largest airline in Vietnam. The fleet consists mainly of Airbus and Boeing. On some short trips, the company operates 72 ATR and some Fokker.

    Rail transport

    Train travel can be offered (particularly between Hanoi-Lao Cai and Hanoi-Hue). Travelling at a speed of 60km/h on average it is not necessarily the fastest but an interesting experience nonetheless.

  • This form allows us to establish a tour proposal suitable for your needs. It is free and without obligation

      (*) : Required fields

      Have you already booked the flight?
      What type of accommodation do you want?

      Regarding meals, you want the agency to offer you:

      Your message (Ex: The desired steps and activities, what you like, what you do not,
      the health condition of the participants, your questions on this trip...)

    • This form allows us to establish a tour proposal suitable for your needs. It is free and without obligation

        (*) : Required fields

        Have you already booked the flight?
        Which country would you like to discover? *
        What type of accommodation do you want?
        Regarding meals, you want the agency to offer you:
        Describe your trip
        These ideas are a guide for creating a trip suitable for your needs and expectations
        • Your desire to travel (culture, adventure, beach extension, local meetings, nature, etc.)
        • The desired pace of your trip (moderate, free and easy, etc.)
        • Your knowledge of the country. Your interests
        • The opportunity of your trip (vacation, wedding anniversary, cultural group, etc.)
        • Remarks (Room types, diet, special requests, etc.)

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