Tour code:
9 days 8 nights
Start in
Finish in
Places to visit
Hanoi - Ba Be - Cao Bang - Lang Son - Bai Tu Long Bay - Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam Hanoi, Vietnam


Discover the untamed beauty of Vietnam's far north on this adventurous yet accessible tour. Journey to the remote regions near the Chinese border, where vibrant ethnic minorities reside. Immerse yourself in a world where traditional attire distinguishes families and communities, offering a glimpse of an era untouched by globalization. Experience a kaleidoscope of colors, from the intricate ethnic garments to the picturesque rice paddies. Engage with the local culture by staying in Homestays nestled among diverse villages and scenic mountains.

Here's a concise overview of the points of interest in 9 days in Northern Vietnam:

  • Hanoi: Capital city renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and iconic landmarks such as Hoan Kiem Lake and the Hanoi Old Quarter. See more Things to do in Hanoi !
  • Ba Be Lake: Vietnam's largest natural lake located in Bac Kan Province, offering stunning scenery, boat cruises, and opportunities for trekking in Ba Be National Park.
  • Ban Gioc Waterfalls: Spectacular cascades situated on the border between Vietnam and China in Cao Bang Province, surrounded by lush greenery and impressive limestone formations. See more Things to do in Cao Bang!
  • Lang Son: Border province known for its historical sites, vibrant markets, and scenic landscapes. Highlights include the Tam Thanh Cave, Dong Kinh Market, and Mau Son Mountain.
  • Halong Bay: UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its emerald waters and thousands of limestone islands topped with rainforests. Visitors can explore the bay on cruises, kayak tours, or overnight junk boat stays. Things do to in Halong Bay!

Itinerary Expand All

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival
Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by the guide and driver, who will take you directly to the downtown massage salon. You can indulge in an oriental oil massage, which will rejuvenate you and eliminate fatigue after a long flight.
Dinner is at your leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel in Hanoi.
Note: Generally, the check-in time is 2:00 PM.
Day 2: Hanoi - Ba Be (Breakfast, Dinner)
We will take the road towards Ba Be, a region known as the "Halong Bay of the mountains." Passing through the Thai Nguyen province, famous for its green tea cultivation, you will witness a remarkably beautiful change in landscapes. You will cross stunning tobacco fields and rice paddies surrounded by small hills covered with tea plantations, fruit trees, and palm trees. Along the way, you will have a great chance to encounter ethnic minorities such as the Tays, Nungs, San Chi, and Then, dressed in their traditional costumes.
Arriving at Ba Be National Park in the early afternoon, you will discover a site characterized by a natural lake fed by three rivers and surrounded by towering limestone formations mostly covered in subtropical primary forest. The villages lining the lake are mainly inhabited by the Tay ethnic group, while the higher regions are occupied by the Dao and Hmong.
You will be accommodated in a homestay owned by the Tay ethnic group in the village of Pac Ngoi. This homestay is a stilt house that the family has prepared to welcome travelers. You will have the entire afternoon free to peacefully explore the village and discover the surrounding landscapes of the lake.
Dinner and overnight stay with a local family.
Day 3: Ba Be - Boat Tour (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We will embark on a full-day motorboat excursion to explore the enchanting Ba Be Lake in detail. Throughout the journey across the lake, you will be mesmerized by the breathtaking landscapes: the reflections of trees and mountains in the water, scenes of village life along the shores, encounters with fishermen and boatmen, and the interwoven tree roots.
After a leisurely cruise, we will disembark at the village of Cam, belonging to the Tay ethnic group. You will have the opportunity to visit the village and its school on foot. Then, we will return by boat along the Nang River to reach the Puong Cave.
Lunch will be served at Mr. Hai's place. We will take a short walk along a trail in the park to reach the Dau Dang waterfall.
Afterward, we will return to the lake by boat, disembark, and walk back to the homestay.
Overnight stay with the local family.
Day 4: Ba Be – Hua Ma Cave - Cao Bang (Breakfast, Lunch)
Car Bicycle
In the morning, you can take a bike ride to Hua Ma Cave, located in the commune of Quang Khe. This cave is considered one of the most beautiful and interesting in the national park due to its magnificent stalactites and the legend that has been passed down through generations.
Around noon, you will return to the village of Pac Ngoi for lunch.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Cao Bang via a picturesque mountain road, passing through the Ngan Son Pass. Cao Bang is a province in the northern highlands, located on the border with China, and is inhabited by several ethnic minorities such as the Tay, Nung, Dao, and Hmong.
You will arrive in Cao Bang in the late afternoon and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 5: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfalls - Cao Bang (Breakfast)
After breakfast, you will hit the road towards Quang Uyen. Along the way, you will make a stop to visit the village of Phuc Sen, one of the last villages preserving traditional forging techniques of the Tay and Nung ethnic minorities.
Next, you will continue your journey to the famous Ban Gioc Waterfalls, considered the most beautiful in Northern Vietnam. They are located on the border with China, where the main waterfall is shared between the two countries.
You will visit the waterfalls, and then you will have free time for lunch at a local restaurant. In the early afternoon, on the way back to Cao Bang, you will make a stop a few kilometers from the waterfalls to explore the mysterious Nguom Ngao Cave, sculpted by nature in a chain of limestone mountains. This cave is considered one of the most beautiful in Vietnam.
You will arrive in Cao Bang in the late afternoon.
Overnight stay in Cao Bang.
Day 6: Cao Bang - Dong Khe (Colonial Route 4) - Lang Son (Breakfast)
We will depart for Dong Khe, located 43 km from Cao Bang and 88 km northwest of Lang Son. Our guide, Mr. Lam, a retired lieutenant colonel, will accompany us on this trek and share the history of the devastating battle that took place there in October 1950, known as the "Battle of Colonial Route 4 (RC4)."
After a few kilometers on a rough road, we will be dropped off at the beginning of the Quang Liet Valley, which we will descend on foot along its western edge for about an hour and a half. We will follow the river that runs through the valley and pass through some hamlets. Our walk will take us to the village of Coc Xa, located at the foot of the fateful cliff, where the small pass is located.
Upon returning to Dong Khe, we will visit a Vietnamese commemorative monument by climbing to the top of the hill overlooking the town, where the citadel once stood.
Before continuing to the city of Lang Son, we will have free time for lunch. Upon our arrival in Lang Son, you will have the opportunity to visit Tam Thanh Cave, located near the city center, on the side of a small karst sugar loaf next to To Thi Mountain. You can also choose to visit the Ky Lua Central Market, where you will mainly find products "Made in China."
You will spend the night at a hotel in Lang Son.
Day 7: Lang Son - Bai Tu Long Bay (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Car Cruise
Departure to Bai Tu Long Bay, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay.
Around noon, board the boat. The crew will brief you on your cruise and settle you into your room.
Enjoy a delicious lunch as Oriental Sails continues its cruise around the limestone islands of Bai Tu Long Bay, heading towards the fishing village of Vung Vieng - one of the largest fishing villages in Halong Bay - to observe the daily life of the locals. You can take a bamboo boat ride around Vung Vieng fishing village or go kayaking, with the assistance and instructions of the village's tour guide.
Around 5:30 PM, return to Oriental Sails and take a bath, then relax while witnessing the sunset. Enjoy the happy hour at the bar and treat yourself to a cocktail before the cooking class.
Dinner is served. Rest or mingle with other travelers. You can also try squid fishing at night or simply relax.
Overnight on board near Cong Do Island.
Day 8: Bai Tu Long Bay - Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch)
Car Cruise
At 6:30 AM, start the day with a tai chi class on the deck before having breakfast.
Marvel at the morning seascape while enjoying your tea or coffee. Have breakfast as the cruise heads towards Thien Canh Son Cave, a hidden gem untouched by mass tourism.
Luggage check-out will be around 9:30 AM.
Enjoy lunch before disembarking around noon.
You will be greeted by a driver at the pier and transferred directly to your hotel in Hanoi.
In the evening, attend a water puppetry show, a traditional Vietnamese theatrical performance.
You will spend the night at the hotel in Hanoi.
Day 9: Hanoi City Tour - Departure (Breakfast)
After breakfast, your day kicks off with a visit to the square in front of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, honoring the nation's founder. Your guide will narrate the country's independence history before you capture memories in photos.
Next, head to the Defense Pagoda by West Lake, ending your morning with an insightful trip to the Hanoi Ethnography Museum, showcasing Vietnam's diverse ethnic cultures.
Finally, you will be transferred directly to Hanoi Airport for your departure flight.
End of North Vietnam itinerary 9 days !
  • What’s Inclusion

    • Accommodation in a double or twin room with daily breakfast
    • Overnight cruise on board a shared good-quality boat in Halong Bay (private boat upon request).
    • Private air-conditioned vehicle during all tours and transfers.
    • English-speaking guide during all tours.
    • Entrance fees for all visits as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Lunch or dinner as specified in the itinerary
    • Water & cool towels
    • Government taxes & service charge.
  • What’s Excluded

    • International airfare and departure taxes
    • Drinks and meals not mentioned
    • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, drinks, tips… etc.
    • Personal travel insurance.
    • Vietnam Visa (If you are not exempt from the visa).
    • All other services not specified in the itinerary
  • Notes

    • Domestic flights: We quote separately and can book for you without fees.
    • Surcharged for Gala dinner on 24th and 31st December if any
    • Surcharged for Public holidays (30/4-1/5, Lunar New Year)
    • The timing of check-in and check-out at the hotels: Check-in at 14:00, check-out at 12:00. (Early check-in/
    • late check-out is upon your request).
    • A single supplement is required if you are traveling alone.
    • The triple room is possible upon your request.

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  • Tommy X

    Tommy X

    Mar 19, 2024
    5.0 Excellent

    Tran assisted me in planning a North Vietnam itinerary 9 days for me, my partner, and our toddler

    Tran assisted me in planning a North Vietnam itinerary 9 days for me, my partner, and our toddler. He not only suggested a fantastic itinerary but also took care of booking all the accommodations, internal flights, transfers, and tours. Remarkably, even with a toddler in tow, everything went smoothly!He introduced us to a helpful app that clearly outlined our daily activities, making it easy to follow. Throughout the trip, Tran was readily available on WhatsApp to provide suggestions and arrange any additional bookings. His presence in Vietnam, along with his own family experience, gave us ..View More
  • Bella Thorne

    Bella Thorne

    Jun 26, 2023
    5.0 Excellent

    unforgettable trip

    Our 9-day journey in northern Vietnam was unforgettable. We had the opportunity to connect with local ethnic communities and indulge in delicious food. The guide provided an amazing experience. We extend our gratitude to Autour Asia for their exceptional organization.


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