Off-the-beaten-track Tours
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The Wonders Of North Vietnam’s Hill Tribes In 9 Days and 8 Nights


This tour takes you through the remote landscape of North Vietnam, home to many ethnic minorities. It gives you a unique experience of the impressive mountains, valleys, and passes of North Vietnam, with minimal physical stress. You will also be able to interact with the local people inhabiting the area and observe the peculiarities of local life. The tour promises 9 days and 8 nights of exciting and memorable Vietnamese experience. 


Note: This tour is customizable. Contact us to have it tailor-made to suit your expectation if necessary.

Travel Highlights

  • Sapa: an extraordinary landscape that makes you appreciate the awesomeness of nature. Read more!
  • Ha Giang: a firsthand breathtaking karst mountain views, vibrant markets, blankets of flowers, and distinct minority communities Read more!
  • Cao Bang: North Vietnam’s lightly inhabited frontier region. This highland stretch is situated on the Northeast outskirts of China, with several ethnic minority communities residing here Read more!
  • Ba Be National Park: a paradise of amazing sights and mesmerizing biodiversity, as well as being abundant in culture Read more!

Detailed Itinerary


The tour begins in Hanoi, where you will take a trip of about two hours to the UNESCO-protected ancient village of Duong Lam. The village is a part of Son Tay Town and is the oldest village in Vietnam, offering an authentic cultural experience with views of houses, gardens, and temples that have been around for centuries. You will have lunch in one of the local houses before continuing your drive through the rice fields, tea plantations and numerous limestone formations of the rural countryside. You will arrive at Nghia Lo, where you will have dinner and stay overnight with a local family in a traditional stilt house.


Nghia Lo is a town in Yen Bai Province which covers about 29km². You will take an early morning bike ride, enjoying the peace and quiet of this town. You will have breakfast outdoors while observing the local manual work of the villagers and the rice and corn fields stretching across the landscape. Afterward, you will head towards Mu Cang Chai, also in Yen Bai Province. This rural district shares its northern border with a part of the Lao Cai province and is only accessible via the striking Khau Pha mountain pass. You will have a lunch stop along the way before continuing the drive to Nam Co Village. You can explore the local market and observe the rice terrace fields which stretch across 2,200 hectares against the mountainous landscape. You will have dinner and rest for the night with a local family in Kim Noi village.


Following breakfast, you will take a drive of about 4hrs to Sapa. The drive takes you through Tan Uyen and across the Sin Ho pass. You will enjoy lunch in Sapa, after which you will take a walk to Giang Ta Chai Village where you will have dinner and stay overnight with a local family.


Early in the morning, you will head out on a drive to Bac Ha, a rural district in Lao Cai Province. If you are lucky, you will have a chance to explore the early morning Sunday market. You will observe various ethnic costumes featuring colorful and complex handmade outfits, each of which may take up to 3 months to embroider by hand. After lunch, you will visit the oriental palace of Hoang A Tuong and take a drive to Ban Phung village, home of the La Chi ethnic people. Afterward, you will head to a hotel in Hoang Su Phi, where you will enjoy dinner and rest overnight.


Hoang Su Phi is a rural district of Ha Giang Province famous for its rice field terraces which are classified as National Heritage by the Vietnamese government. It is also known for the Tam Hoa plum whose flowers must bloom three times before the fruits become ripe. You will also discover the impressive Tan Su Phin and Cong Troi pass, have lunch enroute before journeying northwards to Ha Giang to rest for the night at a homestay.


In the morning, you will take a trip to Dong Van, famous for its weekly market and ancient buildings of clay bricks and tiled roofs. This trip will take you through the Cong Troi pass and Yen Minh. You will have lunch in Dong Van and then depart for Meo Vac, via the unique Ma Pi Leng pass on one of the most beautiful and stunning roads in Vietnam.


Meo Vac is a small town covering about 574km². It is home to the Lo Lo, Tay, H’mong and Dao ethnic groups. After exploring the sights offered by the town and its colorful market, you will take a drive to Bao Lac for lunch, passing through many ethnic villages and passes. You will visit the Nung ethnic village of Pac Rang, where you will rest for the night and enjoy dinner with a local family.


After breakfast, you will head to the mountainous Cao Bang. Here, you will discover amazing spectacles such as the ancient Ban Gioc Waterfalls surrounded by numerous mature karst formations, the famous limestone grotto of Nguom Ngao Tiger Cave and the Ba Be National park which is home to many plant and animal species. You will have dinner and stay overnight at a local homestay.


You will have breakfast, after which you will head on a short walk through rice paddies to Bo Lu village. Here, you will board a boat which will take you on a 3-hour cruise across the Islands of Ba Be Lake. You will experience the sublime atmosphere and observe some of the numerous species of plants and animals native to the park. You may decide to take a refreshing dip in the lake before heading on to explore the Puong cave, home to thousands of bats. Afterwards, you will head back to Bo Lu village and have a relaxing and smooth drive back to the capital city of Hanoi.


This trip is organized for private group only. The tariff depends on the number of participants and the tourist season of the year. Please send us an enquiry to get the price of your group and your travel date.


Note: Please note that due to cost efficiency, we only organize tour for at least two people.


For your peace of mind, our tours are designed to include as much as possible in the price, but also to give you the freedom to find a special place to eat or to seek out an independent adventure that especially appeals to you.
    • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
    • Mineral water 2 bottles/person/day.
    • Travel on private, modern & comfortable air-conditioned vehicles with a caring driver for all transfers and ground transportation (except the break time or tour clearly mentioned “WITHOUT DRIVER”).
    • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Entry fee for all mentioned sites for visit.
    • Qualified local tour guides during the whole trip (except the break time or tour clearly mentioned “WITHOUT GUIDE”).


    • Domestic & International flight tickets.
    • Transportation vehicles not listed in the itinerary.
    • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Drink, telephone, laundry and all that is not clearly mentioned in the “INCLUSIONS”.
    • Tips and personal expenses.
    • Insurances.
    • Peak season or Public holidays surcharge if any

Accommodation List

Please note that the hotels mentioned in this list are for reference only. Depending on availability and your preference, they can be changed. If we are unable to book any hotel, it will be replaced by another hotel at least of equivalent standard and value.
Nghia LoHomestay1
Mu Cang ChaiHomestay1
Hoang Su PhiHoang Su Phi Lodge31
Ha GiangHomestay1
Meo VacHoa Cuong Meo Vac Hotel31
Cao BangHomestay1
Ba Be LakesHomestay1

Cancellation by Customer

    • Cancellation received before 15 days: FREE of charge
    • Cancellation received from 7 days to 14 days prior arrival date: 30% of total rate
    • Cancellation received from 2 days to 6 days prior arrival date: 50% of total rate
    • Cancellation received less than 1 day prior arrival date or No show: 100% of total rate


1. How do I reserve my tours with The Terrible Tour Guide Travel?

Just complete and send the reservation form on our website, making sure that you have given us your e-mail address and phone number. As soon as we receive your request we will contact you to confirm the reservation. It is our policy to reply to all requests within 24 hours.

2. Do you have tours available on specific dates?

Almost all of our tours are daily departure. To make a booking, you must submit a reservation form. Then we process the booking and reply to you within 24 hours.

3. I don’t want to make a reservation online, what can I do?

You can reserve by phone or WhatsApp: You can call our 24/7 call center hotline at + 84 343 470 507 (also available on WhatsApp)

4. Can I make a reservation directly through a travel agent?

Yes, of course if you would like to make a reservation directly with the tour operator or travel agent, you will need to contact them directly. However, we are in good position to make the offer, make the booking and run the trip as we are a local tour operator.

5. What if the preferred hotel is not available?

You will be notified via an e-mail (within 24 hours after placing your order) and we will do our best to suggest or book an alternative similar hotel based on your preferences and our experience.

6. What is the latest time that I can make my reservation?

We can only guarantee bookings made at least 3-working days (not including Sun & Public holidays) before the departure date.

7. How far in advance can I book?

You can book as far as 24 months in advance, but please ensure you remember you have made the reservation. We will charge 30% of total rate is required upon the confirmation of services require full payment 60 days before departure.
You can expect to receive the invoice as a reminder well in advance of your trip.

8. How do I make a reservation for someone else?

To complete a reservation for someone else, simply type in his or her name instead of yours for guest name. Don’t forget to use your email address to receive your confirmation information.

9. What happens to my tour booking if my flight is delayed?

Please inform us and the hotel immediately as any changes or fee will depend on the hotel policy. We will also try our best to offer you similar ground services.

10. Is it reliable to book online?

Making an online reservation is easy and safe. Just complete the secure reservations form (SSL – 128bit), making sure that you give us your e-mail address. As soon as we receive your request we will reply within 24 hours.

Every booking with us will add 1$ US to our humanitarian project to help increase development capacity for ethnic groups in northern Vietnam. At the meantime, we are focusing on helping children in remote mountainous villages in Vietnam, major destinations of our tours.

As travelers, you can join us too. Donations of unwanted clothes, books and toys are welcome and warmly appreciated. You can also take part in our regular mission trips to these hill tribal communities.