VIETNAM’S LAST FRONTIER
15-day, 14-night tour of the far north of Vietnam starting November 26, 2017
Vietnam is one of our favorite destinations and the hill tribe country of the far north, close to the Chinese border, is scenically spectacular and the many different hill tribes present endless exotic photo opps.
The trip itinerary:
November 26, 2017 DAY 01: ARRIVE IN HANOI
Upon arrival in Hanoi, welcome by our guide and transfer to the Gondola Hotel.
November 27 DAY 02: HANOI-SON LA (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, transfer to Son La. Sơn La is a province in the Northwest region of Vietnam bordering Laos to the south. The population includes Black and White Tai.
Lunch and dinner are included. We will have plenty of time for shooting on the rice fields along the road.
Overnight is in the Son La Trade Union Hotel.
November 28 DAY 03: SON LA-DIEN BIEN PROVINCE (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, head off for Dien Bien Province. Dien Bien is strong in growing rice, corn and coffee. Lunch and dinner are included. Overnight is at Muong Thanh Hotel.
November 29 DAY 04: DIEN BIEN-SAPA (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Breakfast is in hotel. Transfer to Sapa. Lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in Sapa.
November 30, December 1 DAY 05 & 06: SAPA (Breakfast, Lunch)
You will have two days in Sapa exploring and shooting the beautiful landscape surrounding this small town. You will visit the ethnic villages of Cat Cat, Ta Phin, Muong Hoa valley, etc. Sapa is famous for its terraced rice fields. The colorful local market is also where you shoot beautiful and various agricultural produce and colorful local tribes people.
Dinners are not included these two days.
December 2 DAY 07: SAPA-BAC HA (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, transfer to Bac Ha.
Bac Ha is a rural district of Lao Cai Province in the Northeast region of Vietnam. It is the capital of the region of the Flower Hmong, one of the 54 minorities of Vietnam and of the six groups of Hmong people. It is famous for its Sunday morning market, where thousands of locals gather, the women dressed in their very intricate handmade costumes (it takes three to five months to embroider one by hand).
Bac Ha is also famous for its Tam Hoa plums; the flowers of the tree must bloom three times before the fruits are ripe. As of 2003, the district had a population of 48,988. The district covers an area of 2,680 square kilometres (1,030 sq mi). The district capital lies at Bac Ha.
Lunch and dinner are included. Overnight is at Sao Mai Hotel.
December 3 DAY 08: BAC HA-HA GIANG (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning depart for Ha Giang which is one of the most remote provinces in Vietnam, consisting of breath-taking scenery and a colourful array of hill tribes and vibrant local markets.
Continue to the Pan Hou Lodge located in the stunning Hoang Su Phi area, with even more stunning scenery and colourful hill tribes.
On arrival in Hoang Su Phi check into Pan Hou Lodge, freshen up, and then take an afternoon’s walk through the rice terraces surrounding the lodge.
Lunch and dinner are included. Overnight at the Pan Hou Lodge.
Early morning start on a trek to the local hill tribe village of Nam Hong (a total of approximately 4 hours of walking with 400 meter elevation gain and loss.)
This walk passes through the lush green forests, past small waterfalls, providing stunning views of terraced rice fields and cassava crops. Along the way meet members of the Long Tunic Dao, Man Ta Pan, Tay, and Flower H’mong groups.
Stop midway for a picnic lunch in a Man Ta Pan village, in Nam Hong. The Nam Ta Pan is well known for tea plantations.
After lunch the walk continues towards Giang Ha through a bamboo forest then down to the bottom of the Giang valley. Visit a Tay community with their stilted wooden houses. Return to the Pan Hou around 4 pm.
Dinner and overnight at the Pan Hou Lodge.
December 5 DAY 10: HA GIANG (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Another day of photography in Ha Giang including a drive to the spectacular Quan Ba Pass. Lunch and dinner are included.
December 6 DAY 11: HOANG SU PHI – HANOI (Breakfast, Lunch)
Following breakfast check out before the return drive to Hanoi. En-route back to the capital, enjoy a Vietnamese lunch in a local restaurant. Arrive back in Hanoi in the late afternoon. Overnight is at Gondola Hotel.
December 7 DAY 12: HANOI-HALONG OVERNIGHT CRUISE (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, transfer to Halong for three day two-night cruise package on board the Dragon Legend Cruise. The cruise includes entrance fees, cruise insurance, breakfast, lunch and dinners. Halong Bay is crowded with tourist cruise boats and garbage! However, just to the north, Bai Tu Long Bay has the same dramatic scenery. It is part of the Bai Tu Long National Park and is in the very early stages of tourism development. Here the hoards of tourists can be avoided and we can experience unspoiled and pollution free Vietnam.
December 8 DAY 13: HALONG BAY (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today we will visit a fishing village and arrange to go out on a fishing boat with local fishermen. Kayaks will be available for anyone who wants to use them.
December 9 DAY 14: HALONG-HANOI (Breakfast, Dinner)
Breakfast is on board the cruise. Transfer to back to Hanoi for the last night. Rest of time is free at leisure. Tonight, we will have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight is at GONDOLA HOTEL.
December 10 DAY 15: HANOI DEPARTURE (Breakfast)
Breakfast is in hotel. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight home.
This itinerary is subject to change depending on local conditions.
Cost for double occupancy: $4,793.00
Single supplement: $600.00