Head from Hanoi up into northern Vietnam for six days of highland journeys. You'll make your way over mountain roads, past dramatic scenery through villages and markets, then spend two days amid the tranquility of the Ba Ba Lakes before you return to Hanoi.

Highlights

  • Admire the karst plateaus of Dong Van Park
  • Experience northern Vietnamese village life
  • Boat across the serene Ba Be Lakes

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Hanoi to Quan Ba Quản Bạ, Hà Giang
Day 2 Village Trek & Drive to Dong Van Đồng Văn, Hà Giang
Day 3 Dong Van to Bao Lac Bảo Lạc, Cao Bằng
Day 4 Bao Lac to Ba Be National Park Vườn Quốc gia ba Bể
Day 5 Boating in Ba Be Lakes Vườn Quốc gia ba Bể
Day 6 Ba Be to Hanoi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi to Quan Ba

Mountain views along the road
Mountain views along the road

Start off your journey bright and early as you make your way north from Hanoi, with stops on the road for sightseeing and snack breaks. You'll take a break in Tuyen Quang town for lunch, then continue on to Tam Son hill town in the Quan Ba district, where you can spend the night in a homestay. 

Driving distance: 280 miles (450 km)

Day 2: Village Trek & Drive to Dong Van

Road to Dong Van
Road to Dong Van

Start the morning with a village-to-village trek, passing through rice fields and past waterfalls. Make your way down the valley to the Lung commune to visit the village hemp shop and have lunch at a local food stall.

In the afternoon, get back on the road through landscapes of limestone mountains, valleys, and hidden villages. Make a stop at the Vuong Palace before you arrive in Dong Van town.

Driving distance: 96 miles (155 km)

Trekking distance: 5 miles (8 km)

Trekking time: 4 hours

Day 3: Dong Van to Bao Lac

Dong Van Market
Dong Van Market

Spend the morning exploring Dong Van before you depart for your day's route. You'll make your way through the Geographical Park of Dong Van, Ma Pi Leng peak, the NhoQue River, and MeoVac town, taking in the scenery and meeting members of the area hill tribes on your way.

Stop for lunch in MeoVac before you continue to Bao Lac, where you'll spend the evening.

Driving distance: 62 miles (100 km)

Day 4: Bao Lac to Ba Be National Park

Ba Be Lake
Ba Be Lake

Depart for the Ba Be Lakes today, continuing the drive through scenic mountains and rural villages. Getting on the road early should allow you to arrive at a Tay minority village inside Ba Be National Park by midafternoon, where you can participate a homestay and refresh yourself with a walk around the park or swim.

Once you've gotten settled, take a bicycle or motorbike to the park's cave 9 miles (13 km) away, then head back to the homestay for the evening.

Driving distance: 93 miles (150 km)

Day 5: Boating in Ba Be Lakes

Morning in Ba Be
Morning in Ba Be

Greet the day among the birdsong of Ba Be as you board a boat to explore the lakes. You'll glide along the lakes and river, through a cave, and past a powerful waterfall, where you'll stop for lunch near the cascade. Boat back to the Ba Be Lakes and hop in for a swim, then dry off for a trek through more villages before you return to your homestay.

Day 6: Ba Be to Hanoi

Tea plantation
Tea plantation

Start early for breakfast in the village before you depart. You'll stop at a tea plantation on the road for lunch and some of their homemade tea, then continue on your way back to Hanoi. From Hanoi, you can make your way home or onward to your next adventure.

Driving distance: 155 miles (250 km)

Map

Map of Hidden Beauty of North Vietnam - 6 Days
Map of Hidden Beauty of North Vietnam - 6 Days
Nga
Written by Nga Le, updated Mar 18, 2019