Vietnam

7-Day Pan Hou Rice Terraces, Dong Van Geopark & Ba Be Lake

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Tour type

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Superior

Tour Period: 7 Days

English, French, German, Spanish, Russian

tour highlights

  • Travel over high mountain passes and spectacular valleys
  • Take in the breathtaking scenery of the beautiful valley and stunning terraced fields
  • Be immersed in the hill-tribe culture and stay in homestay hosted by the local minority

tour details

Visit Vietnam’s northernmost province of Ha Giang which offers some of the most striking sceneries and be stunned by the rock formations and bizarre landscape at Dong Van rock plateau, a UNESCO World Geopark. Other highlights of the tour include the home-stay in Ba Be National Park and kayaking on Ba Be Lake. The best time to visit is during rice harvest season in late September and early October or in May when farmers water the fields for new crop or October to December when Tam Giac Mach (Fagopyrum esculentum) fields are in full blossom.

Why choose this tour?

Escape to Vietnam’s northernmost province of Ha Giang and be amazed by the cascading views of rice fields, surrounded by hidden villages, vegetation, mountains and open land. Hike hidden paths of the picturesque valley with ever-changing scenery for a nature retreat like no other. 

07:30 hours
Pick up early at your hotel and today you will set off on a full day journey to Hoang Su Phi, a rural district of Ha Giang province in the north-eastern region of Vietnam. The province may be the last one to open to tourism and offers some of the most striking sceneries in Vietnam like the rice terraces sculpted into the mountains, rock formations split by breath-taking canyons. Enjoy beautiful landscape along the route with chance to encounter different ethnic minority peoples who have settled in the area and are masters of the terraced rice fields which have been recognized as a national heritage site by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Upon arrival, you will check in Pan Hou Village Ecolodge which nestles in a lost valley hidden at the heart of the high Chay River valley.

Estimated driving time/distance:
About 6.5 hours/ Hanoi – Thong Nguyen/Pan Hou: 292 km

Meal included:
Lunch at a restaurant
Dinner at Pan Hou Ecolodge
08:00 hours
Have breakfast and get ready for an active day.

09:00 hours
Your hike day starts with a walk through a village of the long-tunics Dzao ethnic minority people, who have settled on this mountainside for centuries and live in their stilt house. Continue hiking through the terraced rice fields and the bamboo forests with a stop at a Red Dzao family. Have a welcome tea while interacting with the hosts. You can either have a rest or join your local guide in the preparation for lunch.

After lunch, the walk will continue to a village of Tay ethnic minority people, which is nestled in the lush valley. You will then follow the river on the way back to Pan Hou Village.

Accommodation at Pan Hou Ecolodge, Bungalow

Estimated walking duration/Topography
About 5 hours/ +300m/-300m

Meal included:
Breakfast at Pan Hou Ecolodge
Lunch at a local home
Dinner at Pan Hou Ecolodge
08:30 hours
Continue your journey to Ha Giang City. Enjoy the scenic drive with endless photo opportunities. Along the way, you will see many ethnic minority groups.

Arrive in Tien Thang village on the outskirts of Ha Giang City, check in your homestay and have lunch. Tien Thang village is an old and beautiful Tay ethnic minority village that well preserves the identity, cultural traditions and architecture. The village’s picturesque scene boasts lush palm leaves resembling thousands of green suns overshadowing beautiful Tay houses on stilts.

Overnight at home-stay in Tien Thang Village on traditional stilt house. Mattresses will be placed on large floor shared with other clients with individual mosquito net and electric fan. Separations made of traditional blackout curtains offer a minimum of privacy. Western toilets are located outside the room and can be shared with other guests.

Estimated driving time/distance:
About 2.5 hours/ Thong Nguyen/Pan Hou – Tien Thang Village: 75 km

Meal included:
Breakfast at Pan Hou Ecolodge
Lunch at the homestay
Dinner at the homestay
08:00 hours
The remote region of Dong Van and Meo Vac is a land of rugged mountains and beautiful hill tribe villages which have remained unchanged for centuries. The Dong Van rock plateau has been enlisted by UNESCO as a World Geopark.

Today you will head northwest out of Ha Giang City towards this northernmost tip of Vietnam. The former H’mong royal house at Sa Phin is a primary attraction of the region, but the blend of the hill tribe people's colourful costumes and the majestic mountainous scenery make this long and sometimes bumpy trip an unforgettable experience.

Accommodation at hotel in Dong Van

Estimated driving time/distance:
About 5 hours/ Ha Giang City – Dong Van: 147 km

Meal included:
Breakfast at home-stay
Lunch at a local restaurant
Dinner at a local restaurant
06:30 hours
You may want to wake up early to enjoy a bowl of Pho and a sip a cup of coffee in the Dong Van. Today, the journey takes you through the rolling hills and the picturesque scenery to Ba Be National Park. Have time to visit Dong Van Town before continuing to Meo Vac which is inhabited mostly by the Lo Lo and Pu Peo ethnic minority people. They still retain their centuries old cultural traditions and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress.

The remoteness and the simple lifestyle of the area’s local people are highlights of Meo Vac. Living conditions are very basic here. Roads are bumpy and zigzagging through the mountains. But the journey is more than rewarding. Meet the locals and learn more about the life and culture of the Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung ethnic minorities who make for the main population in this region. Surely, your presence will attract the locals’ attention as this part of the country still receives very few visitors.

Depending on road and traffic conditions, we arrive in Ba Be by late afternoon or early evening.

Overnight at home-stay in Ba Be National Park on traditional stilt house. Mattresses will be placed on large floor shared with other clients with individual mosquito net and electric fan. Separations made of traditional blackout curtains offer a minimum of privacy. Western toilets are located outside the room and can be shared with other guests.

Estimated driving time/distance:
About 1 hour/ Dong Van – Meo Vac: 23 km
About 7 hours/ Meo Vac – Ba Be National Park: 234 km

Meal included:
Breakfast at the hotel
Lunch at a local restaurant
Dinner at the home stay
08:00 hours
Take a boat trip to visit Puong Cave a large cave in the north of the park through which the Nang River flows. The main cave is up to 50 meters high and about 300 meters long

Continue to visit Dau Dang waterfall which is formed by the Nang River. It consists of a sequence of rapids which stretch over a length of almost one kilometre.
The legendary Widow Island is a small, cone-shaped islet near the centre of the southern lake. According to the local myth, the islet was once the home of an old widow who was spared from a flood through divine intervention. Have some kayaks on-board for exploration of small creeks and lagoons.

Overnight at home-stay on a traditional stilt house. Mattresses will be placed on the large floor shared with other clients with individual mosquito net and electric fan. Separations made of traditional blackout curtains offer a minimum of privacy. Western toilets are located outside the room and can be shared with other guests.

Meal included:
Breakfast at the homestay
Picnic lunch
Dinner at the homestay
08:00 hours
Have breakfast, savour the peaceful village life, then say good bye to your host family and drive to Hanoi. Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the winding road dotted with the lush green tea gardens, palm trees and stilt houses of the local ethnic minority peoples.

Arrive in Hanoi, drop off at your hotel.

Estimated driving time/distance:
About 5 hours/ Ba Be National Park – Hanoi: 208 km

Meal included:
Breakfast at the hotel

customise the tour

You can combine this with tours to Mai Chau Valley and Pu Luong Nature Reserve for more experience of the tribal life and picturesque scenery. We also have modules in central and southern Vietnam for longer active holidays and diversified landscapes. Most of the tours can be customized to suit individual interests and schedules.

includes

  • Accommodation in shared twin room with air conditioning (AC) and private bathroom at hotels as mentioned
  • Homestay at villages with simple accommodation as mentioned
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Transfers and tours with local English-speaking guides in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Permits to the border areas in Ha Giang and Cao Bang Provinces
  • All entrance fees and boat fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Drinking water and cold towels available on the vehicles

Excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to/from Vietnam (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for night-time services, especially applied for transfers with arrivals after 23:00 hours and arrivals or departures before 06:00 hours.
  • Surcharges for Lunar New Year (TET) holiday
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • Visa application and visa stamp fees at Vietnamese embassies overseas and/ or upon arrival (Please note that a visa is compulsory for most nationalities.)
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
Tour code: HANDHFT7

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