Dien Bien Phu Battle Fields & Sweet Landscapes of The North

Off-the-beaten-track, in the heart of an authentic and charming mountainous region, the North-West of Vietnam offers you splendid landscapes of rice terraces, grandiose mountains with lush vegetation, Thai, Hmong, Dao, Lu ethnic groups, Dzay, Tay, ... still living to the rhythm of ancestral traditions, as well as the authenticity of the surroundings of Ninh Binh, region of “Halong Bay on land” and the distinctive charm of the legendary Halong Bay.




Itinerary :

Day 01: Arrival
Day 02: Hanoi
Day 03: Hanoi - Duong Lam - Mai Chau
Day 04: Mai Chau
Day 05: Mai Chau - Son La
Day 06: Son La - Dien Bien
Day 07: Dien Bien - Sapa
Day 08: Sapa
Day 09: Sapa - Bac Ha
Day 10: Bac Ha - Ha Noi
Day 11: Ha Noi - Ninh Binh
Day 12: Ninh Binh - Cat Ba - Cruise in Halong Bay
Day 13: Cat Ba - Ha Noi
Day 14: Hanoi - Departure flight



- Depending on your desires and your budget, this tour can be adapted and modified in terms of duration, content, as well as the date of departure.
- The price of this trip varies according to the number of participants, the services chosen (accommodation category, activities and board during the trip, ...) as well as the tourist period of the year.
- Do not hesitate to contact us for more information. We are always ready to listen to you.


Day 1: Hanoi arrival
(guide, car, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Welcome by Zen Vietnam Travel guide and driver. Transfer to downtown Ha Noi.

An orientation walk or rickshaw in the old town district, otherwise called the 36 Trades Streets of Ha Noi because most of the shops on the same street sold the same thing: Rue des bambous, Rue de silk, Traditional medicine street, Bronze street, etc. A really typical district, with its shops on the sidewalks, the small narrow houses, scooters everywhere.

Installation at the hotel for the shower and rest. Warning ! hotel rooms are only available from 2 p.m.

Gourmet dinner at the famous ¨Cha Ca¨ dish in a local restaurant.
Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi - Visits
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Today you will start the visit of the capital Hà Nội with a very old Buddhist pagoda, the 6th century Trấn Quốc pagoda, located in a beautiful setting by the large West Lake. Then, you will visit the Quán Thánh temple at 300m.

Then, the visit of the ethnographic museum, which gives you a panoramic view of the life of the 54 ethnic groups with 54 different cultures in the territory of Vietnam.

Time for lunch at the restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit of the political district with the mausoleum of Hồ Chí Minh, the founding father of modern Vietnam, the presidential palace, the house on stilts of Hồ Chí Minh, the pagoda with the one pillar. Visit of the Temple of Literature, the first university in the history of the country.

At the end of the day, you will witness the spectacle of the Water Puppet Theater, a unique culture that you will never find in any other country in the world. Vietnam is the only country that practices this art.

Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 3: Ha Noi - Duong Lam - Mai Chau
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Departure at 8:30 am towards the ancient village of Duong Lam, a typical village of North Vietnam, famous with ancient laterite houses. Visit on the road to a very beautiful Thay pagoda, the Master's pagoda, one of the best preserved ancient pagodas in Vietnam. Arrival at Duong Lam village, where you will see some typical houses, visit its pagoda.

Lunch in an old house. In the afternoon, continue driving to Mai Chau, a very peaceful place. Visit of the small village Gia Mo, inhabited by the Muong ethnic group, with stilt houses with thatched roofs, more authentic in Mai Chau. Continuation of the road and arrival in Mai Chau.

Dinner and overnight at the inhabitant with standard comforts.

Day 4: Mai Chau - Visits
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Breakfast at the inhabitant's.

You will take a long bike ride (or on foot) to discover the villages around Mai Chau, such as Ban Van, Pom Coong, Ban Lac, etc. famous with their very nice stilt houses, inhabited by a minority ethnic group from Vietnam, the Thai. A quiet day with the visits at a gentle pace.

Dinner and overnight at the inhabitant.

Day 5: Mai Chau - Moc Chau - Son La
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Breakfast at the inhabitant's.

At 8:30 am departure towards Son La, an important city in the mountains of North Vietnam, 180 km from Mai Chau. On the road you will see a new landscape, surrounded by tea plantations, majestic mountains and you will have the chance to meet and talk with the ethnic groups of Black Thai and White Thai, Hmong and Muong of hill tribes.

Meal on the road at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit the Son La Prison Museum, which remains a poignant reminder of the inequalities of the former French colonial regime.

Dinner at the restaurant.

Night at the hotel.

Day 6: Son La - Dien Bien Phu
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Breakfast at the hotel.

The further you go on the road, the more impressive the mountainous landscapes become, heralding another great day to be experienced. You will be able to visit small villages and meet the local population throughout this day, on the road to Dien Bien Phu. After a lunch stop in Tuan Giao, you continue on Dien Bien. Prepare to be blown away by the stunning scenery of Pha Din Pass.

Afternoon in Dien Bien Phu which is first the largest valley in the northern mountains, a very beautiful place surrounded by high mountains and inhabited by several ethnic minorities, and also the last battlefield between the French army and the Viet Minh.

Visit of the Dien Bien Phu museum and some main battle sites. It will be an emotional visit for you because ofits history, but we visit the past to better appreciate the present!

Dinner at the restaurant.

Night at the hotel.

Day 7: Dien Bien Phu - Sapa
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

After a good breakfast at the hotel, it will be a tiring day ahead with 7 ~ 8h of mountain driving. Still beautiful landscapes but a bit long. A tiring but inevitable day of the course!

Lunch on the road at the local restaurant. Arrival and crossing of the largest pass in Vietnam, Hoang Lien Son pass or otherwise called O Quy Ho, with about 70 km long, a magnificent landscape.

Arrive in Sapa at the end of the day.

Installation at the hotel and exit for a massage offered by Zenvoyage Vietnam after a tiring day.

Dinner at the restaurant.

Night at the hotel.

Day 8: Sapa and its surroundings
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Departure for a 4 hour hike in the beautiful villages of Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van, contemplating superb beautiful rice terraces. Time to meet local minorities, discover local life through their agricultural activities, weaving, breeding….

Arrival at Ta Van village, inhabited by the Day. Time for lunch at Mr. Tang's.

Possibility of continuing the hike through Giang Ta Chai village.

Return to Sapa. Free time.

Dinner at the restaurant. Night at the hotel.

Day 9: Sapa - Matra Village, Ta Phin - Bac Ha
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning, a short 3 hour hike through the Ma Tra and Ta Phin villages, the two villages that are inhabited by the Black Hmong and the Red Dao, the two main ethnic minorities in Sapa. A little meeting, the discovery of their daily life and contemplate the magnificent landscapes, here is what awaits you.

Lunch at the inhabitant in the village of Ta Phin.

In the afternoon, 2.5 hours drive to Bac Ha, a small town 100 km from Sapa where the weekly Bac Ha market is located. Arrival at Na No village, a small beautiful village inhabited by another minority ethnic group, the Tay. Walk in the village.

Dinner and overnight at the inhabitant.

Day 10: Sapa - Bac Ha - Ha Noi
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Today is Sunday, the day of the biggest weekly market among the Hmong Fleur, Bac Ha market.

Due to the limited means of transport and the very mountainous terrain of the region, the locals are unable to meet every day to exchange their agricultural products, their animals or to buy things. So weekly markets are created.

The locals come to the market not only for the goods but also to meet, have a drink together after a week. Indeed, the market is not only an opportunity for shopping but also an opportunity to meet local people, a small local festival for young people, to meet each other. An opportunity to find the husband or wife of their life.

Lunch at the local restaurant.

In the afternoon, 5 hours on the highway towards Ha Noi.

Dinner at the restaurant.

Night at the hotel.

Note: Depending on your arrival, Zenvoyage Vietnam will calculate the visit to the appropriate weekly market, either the Bac Ha market on a Sunday or a market on another day.

Day 11: Ha Noi - Van Long - Ninh Binh
(guide, car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Road towards Ninh Binh, nicknamed the terrestrial Ha Long Bay because of the similarity between the landscapes and the geological formation, with thousands of rocks covered by beautiful vegetation, a succession of natural cirques linked together by dug caves by erosions.

Arrival in Hoa Lu, visit of Bai Dinh pagoda, the largest Buddhist pagoda in Southeast Asia, a pharaonic building equipped with thousands of small statues of Buddha, hundreds of statues of Buddhist saints in marble, statues of a hundred-ton bronze Buddha. It's a building to see in life

Arrive at Mr Huan's family where you will have lunch crossing the World Heritage Center of Trang An, the center of Halong Bay on land with stunning landscapes.
In the afternoon, departure to Tam Coc for the bike ride around to Thung Nham for another rowboat ride. It will be a very small moment to contemplate the beauty of the terrestrial Halong Bay with rocks, rice fields, caves ....
Visit of the Bich Dong pagoda.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Ninh Binh - Cat Ba - Cruise in Halong Bay - Overnight on board
(guide on board, bus, lunch, dinner, visits, private or shared junk)

Breakfast at the hotel.

At 7:30 am, departure by bus to Hai Phong 150 km away for thBoard a shuttle bus that takes you to Cat Ba Island. 30 minutes more bus and you arrive at the Ben Beo pier where you will board our beautiful private junk (or collective boat) and start the 24 hours on board for the discovery of one of the natural wonders of the world, the Halong Bay.

From our ¨zen¨ criteria for trips, we have chosen the part of the south of the bay where the large mass tourism boats do not pass yet, just a few small traditional junks in this area. A part of the bay that is still very authentic with thousands of rocks, wild beaches and huge floating villages that you cannot find in the other part of Ha Long Bay.

Lunch on board with seafood. Time for swimming or simply resting on the deck to admire this miracle that nature offers us. After 3 hours of navigation, we arrive at Hang Ca, a beautiful place for the kayak ride, another way to see the bay up close.

Around 5:30 p.m., we anchor in a magnificent circus in the middle of the bay where you will be alone. A hell of a time to watch the sunset over the bay.

Dinner on board and a test of squid fishing in the evening will be great memories.

Overnight on board.

Note: The order of visits during the cruise may be changed, depending on the weather conditions on site.

Day 13: Cat Ba - Ha Noi
(guide on board, bus, lunch, accommodation, visits)

An early morning awakening in a magical setting around 5 am to admire the sunrise over the bay, why not?

After a good breakfast, the junk continues to sail in the bay and takes you to Viet Hai village for a nice bike ride or visit the fish farm or just enjoy the tranquility on a beach. You choose !

Lunch on board and disembarkation around 11:30 am.

Visit of the old French fort cannon. Magical point of view on the bay.

Return to Ha Noi.

Night at the hotel

Day 14: Ha Noi - Departure
(transfer, guide)

Breakfast at hotel.

Completely free day for your activities, until you meet the driver for the transfer to the airport for your return flight.

End of the trip!


Travel with passion!





3 Stars
4 Stars
5 Stars
Ha Noi
Golden Lotus Hotel
Impressive Hotel
Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel
The Ann Hotel
Opéra Hotel
Métropole Légende
Ha Long

Traditional Cruises


Traditional Cruises

Traditional Cruises
Nomad Trails Boutique Hotel
Sapa Wings Hotel
La Fressia Hotel
Paris Boutique Sapa Hotel
Pao's Hotel
Victoria Hotel
Bac Ha
Sao Mai Hotel
Kungfu Hotel
Hoang Su Phi
Panhou Ecolodge
Panhou Ecolodge
Nam Dam
Nam Dam Lodge
Dong Van
Tung Lam Hotel
Hoa Cuong Hotel
Ba Be
Sau Gite
Saigon Ba Be Resort
Note: These are simply hotels that Zen Vietnam Travel often works with but depending on your desire, budget or the availability of these hotels, we can find other equivalent hotels for you.  



Discover the impressions and opions from our customers after their explorations with us