Rendez-vous With The Ethnics - North Vietnam - 14 Days

Unusual sites, superb landscapes, varied ethnicities, scenes of life and authentic markets ... These are the highlights that this ten-day trip will bring you to the heart of the mountainous region of the Far North of Vietnam, off the beaten track , without forgetting the legendary Halong Bay.


Itinerary :

Day 01: Arrival
Day 02: Ha Noi - Visits
Day 03: Ha Noi - Sapa
Day 04: Sapa
Day 05: Sapa - Bac Ha
Day 06: Sin Cheng Market - Hoang Su Phi
Day 07: Hoang Su Phi - Nam Dam Village
Day 08: Nam Dam - Dong Van - Meo Vac
Day 09: Meo Vac market - Ba Be
Day 10: Ba Be - Cao Bang
Day 11: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Falls - Cao Bang
Day 12: Cao Bang - Lang Son - Ha Noi
Day 13: Ha Noi - Cat Ba - Cruise in Halong Bay
Day 14: Cat Ba - Ha Noi - 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 depending on 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, private car, dinner, accommodation, visits)


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

An orientation walk on foot or by pedicab in the old town district, otherwise known as 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 truly typical and charming district, with its shops on the sidewalks, 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, private 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, visit the Ethnographic Museum, which gives you a panoramic view of the life of 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 - Sapa
(guide, private car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)


Breakfast at the hotel.

Departure at 8:30 am towards Sapa. After 4 hours on the motorway, you arrive in Sapa, the former summer resort founded by the French in colonial times.

Time for lunch.

In the afternoon, visit the Cat Cat village, a small village inhabited by the Black Hmong. You will attend traditional musical performances performed by young minority people.

Dinner at the restaurant.

Night at the hotel.


Day 4: Sapa - Y Linh Ho - Ta Van - Sapa
(guide, private car, lunch, accommodation, visits)


Breakfast at the hotel.

Departure for a 4 hour hike in the beautiful villages of Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van while contemplating superb rice terraces. Moment 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. A foot massage offered by Zenvoyage Vietnam will do you good after a day of walking.

Dinner at the restaurant.

Night at the hotel.


Day 5: Sapa - Matra Village, Ta Phin - Bac Ha
(guide, lunch, dinner, private car, accommodation, visit)


Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning, a short 3 hour hike through Ma Tra, Ta Phin, the two villages which 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 magnificent landscapes to contemplate, here is what awaits you.

Lunch at the inhabitant in the village Ta Phin.

In the afternoon, drive to Bac Ha. Visit of the Sino-Vietnamese border, a small tea plantation on the road.

Arrival at Na No village, a very nice little village surrounded by mountains and inhabited by the Tay ethnic group. Walk in the village.

Dinner and overnight at the inhabitant.


Day 6: Sin Cheng Market - Hoang Su Phi - Panhou
(guide, lunch, dinner, private car, accommodation, visit)


Breakfast at the inhabitant's.

Today is Wednesday, the day of the Hmong Fleur's weekly market, Sin Chen Market. Departure around 8 am from your hotel. After a 3h30 drive, you arrive at the market where the Flower Hmong from the region come to exchange their agricultural products, have a drink together after a week. In fact, 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.

Departure to Ha Giang, the extreme province in the north of Vietnam via Xinman, Coc Pai. Visit the superb rice terraces at Ban Nhung, Ban Phung villages.
Arrival in Panhou, a bungalow that gets lost in the middle of the mountain, very nice. Time to rest. Night and dinner at the PanHou hotel.


Day 7: Panhou Bungalow - Nam Dam
(guide, lunch, dinner, private car, accommodation, visits)


Breakfast at the hotel.

Leaving Hoang Su Phi, you will still see beautiful landscapes. Join the RN 2, towards the town of Ha Giang. Visit the village of Thon Tha, a paradisiacal village, with houses on stilts with thatched roofs and surrounded by hills of palm trees.

Lunch time.

Continuation of road to Quan Ba. You will start to ascend the Dong Van Karst Plateau, the geological park of the world. A new kind of landscape that you have never seen in 7 days.

Arrival at the Dao village in trousers, Nam Dam village. A great village with mud houses. A walk at the end of the day will be unforgettable.
Dinner and overnight at the inhabitant.


Day 8: Nam Dam - Dong Van - Meo Vac
(guide, lunch, dinner, private car, accommodation, visit)


Breakfast at the inhabitant's.

Departure to Dong Van. Today, you will return to the heart of the park, a grandiose landscape awaits you! Visit pretty Hmong villages on the way to Sung La. Before arriving at Dong Van town, you will visit King Hmong Palace, typical architecture of Hmong region.

Arrival in Dong Van, coffee break and visit of its old quarter.

In the afternoon, you continue the road towards Meo Vac passing through the Ma Pi Leng pass with its splendid landscapes.

Arrival at Meo Vac. Installation at the hotel.

Dinner at the local restaurant.

Night at the hotel.


Day 9: Meo Vac - Ba Be
(guide, lunch, dinner, private car, accommodation, visit)


This Sunday morning, you will participate in the weekly market of Meo Vac, the large local market for the ethnic minorities of this region. A bustling market that you cannot pass up.

After the market, we leave Meo Vac in the direction of Lake Ba Be.

Local lunch.

Arrival at Ba Be Lake in the afternoon, time to rest with the Tay family by the lake.

Dinner and overnight at the inhabitant in the house on stilts.

Note: A bit tiring day, with a long road, but inevitable. Be brave :)


Day 10: Ba Be - Boat trip - Cao Bang
(guide, lunch, dinner, private car, accommodation, visit)


Breakfast at the inhabitant's.

This morning, you will leave for the discovery of the lake.

Boat trip on the lake, visit Dau Dang waterfall and then climb back up the Na Nang river to Puong bat cave while gazing at the lush vegetation next to it.
Take the car back to the road towards Cao Bang.

Lunch at the local restaurant.

Arrival at Cao Bang.

Dinner at the restaurant.

Night at the hotel.


Day 11: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc
(guide, lunch, dinner, private car, accommodation, visit)


Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning, departure for the Ban Gioc falls taking a beautiful road surrounded by beautiful landscapes and peaceful villages on both sides.
Ban Gioc Falls is one of the most beautiful in the country. The roar of falling water can be heard miles from Trung Khanh and an opaque mist forms on the side of the mountain. A point of refreshment of the most appreciable. A river lined with rare flowers is located at the foot of the fall. In the early 1920s, the French had started building chalets by the river for their vacation.

Lunch at the local restaurant.

On the way back and just before the falls is the Nguom Ngao cave, considered the second most beautiful in the country after that of Phong Nha. It stretches for 3 kilometers, it seems to the falls. The part that can be visited is lit and includes a huge room over 100 m long with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. A wonderful underground.

Still on the way back, stop and visit the Nung blacksmith village, named Phuc Sen. A little discovery on how to work iron and the opportunity to bring back some artisanal knives as a souvenir.

Arrive in Cao Bang in the late afternoon.

Dinner at the restaurant.

Second night in Cao Bang.


Day 12: Cao Bang - Lang Son - Ha Noi
(guide, lunch, private car, accommodation, visit)


Breakfast at the hotel.

Depart for Lang Son, the very important border town for import and export between Vietnam and China. Visit the Dong Kinh market where you find all the cheap Chinese products, from clothes and food, to electronic tools.

Lunch at the local restaurant, tasting of the superb lacquered duck from Lang Son.
Continuation of road to Ha Noi. Arrival around 4 p.m. at the hotel.

Rest time.

Night at the hotel.


Day 13: Ha Noi - Cat Ba - Cruise in Halong Bay - Overnight on board
(guide on board, bus, lunch, dinner, visits, private junk or collective boat)


Breakfast at the hotel.
At 7:30 am, departure for Hai Phong 150km away to embark on a shuttle that takes you to Cat Ba Island. 30 minutes more bus and you arrive at the Ben Beo pierwhere 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, 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 local weather conditions.


Day 14: Cat Ba - Ha Noi - Flight Departure
(guide on board, bus, lunch, 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 !

Brunch on board and disembarkation around 11:30 am.

Drive back to Ha Noi towards the airport for your flight home.


End of the trip!



Travel with passion!



 Hotels List

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
Luxury Cruises
Luxury 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