The North Trail Vietnam - Sapa - Halong Bay - Lan Ha Bay - Cat Ba Trekking 5D4N

We at Get Up And Go Vietnam specially designed The North Trail Vietnam for (backpack) travellers who want to travel on a shoestring but who are looking for off the beaten track experiences and enjoy the company of fellow travellers. We offer you the best and l... View more
Destinations: Sapa, Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba National Park
Duration: 5 days and 4 nights

Day 1 : Hanoi - Sapa (N/A)

Picture of Hanoi - Sapa

Itinerary Details Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa

Our guidance service will pick you up at your hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi at around 9.00 – 9.45pm and transfer you to the bus stop for the overnight journey to Sapa.


Transportation: A/C sleeper bus

Meals: N/A

Guide: English-speaking tour guide

Accommodation: N/A

Day 2 : Sapa Trekking with homestay (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Picture of Sapa Trekking with homestay

Itinerary Details Day 2: Sapa – Ta Van

The bus arrives early in Sapa, at around 3am but you’ll be able to stay on the bus till around 6am. Please go the the office of the bus company. They will arrange a transfer to our partner hotel where a morning shower will be offered followed by breakfast together with amazing scenery over Sapa town and the Muong Hoa valley.

Enjoy a very warm welcome from our local (Hmong) tour guide who will guide you through this stunning piece of Vietnam. From the lush terraced rice paddies to the rustic charm of the native dwellings, Sapa and its surroundings is a place you’re sure to fall in love with!

Many diverse groups like the Dzay, Dzao, Tay, Xa Pho or Hmong populate this richly cultural northern territory. You’ll sample their unique delights as you pass through each village.

At around 9 a.m. she will meet you at the hotel where your trekking adventure will kick off. We'll start our trekking with a visit at the market to buy food and fruit for lunch, on the way, before we’ll start this fantastic trek to Ta Van, down in the Muong Hoa valley. 

During the 15 km walk we’ll visit three villages of ethnic populations. Enjoy the spectacular views of the beautiful valley that leads towards Fansipan, the highest peak in Viet Nam and Indochina. The trek leads through the village of Black Hmong people, where you can learn how they weave and embroider their incredible clothes. Further along our descent we’ll enjoy the many colorful rice paddy fields until we reach Ta Van village, inhabited by the Dzay people. We’ll have a filling lunch on the way at a local family and dinner with your host in a beautiful and traditional Hmong homestay, by far the most cozy accommodation in Ta Van!

Transportation: N/A

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Guide: English-speaking local Hmong tour guide

Accommodation: Homestay (dorm based)

Day 3 : Sapa Trekking and bus to Hanoi (Breakfast and lunch)

Picture of Sapa Trekking and bus to Hanoi

Itinerary Details Day 3: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai - Sapa - Hanoi

After a traditional breakfast we leave Ta Van and continue our trek to visit the Red Dao people in Giang Ta Chai village. We pass some stunning scenery and a lovely waterfall along our route. As their name suggests, red is used extensively in the Red Dao women’s clothing and scarves.

Our journey leads us along the small paths edging the rice fields, across the Muong Hoa River and lunch will be on the way at a fantastic spot. We’ll head back to Ta Van after our second amazing trekking in the early afternoon where you can enjoy a refreshing shower before we bring you back to the bus stop in Sapa for the afternoon bus back to Hanoi. Expected arrival time is around 9.30pm and drop off will be at your accommodation (excluded) in the Old Quarter.


Transportation: Comfortable A/C (sleeper) bus

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Guide: English-speaking local Hmong tour guide

Accommodation: n/a

Day 4 : Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay - Halong Bay (Lunch and dinner)

Picture of Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay - Halong Bay

Itinerary Day 4: Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay - Halong Bay

7:30 – 8:30 Your tour guide will come to pick you up at your accommodation in the Old Quarter of Hanoi for the 3.5-hour journey to Cat Ba.

12:30 Embark at Cai Beo harbor, Cat Ba Island. Transferred by small tender boat to the cruise where you’ll be greeted by the crew members followed by welcome drinks. We’ll have a short cruise briefing before you can check into your cabin.

13:00 Enjoy a lovely lunch on board while we start cruising to the center of Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay.

15:00 Explore Dark & Bright Cave by kayak or bamboo boat and go for swimming at some of the remote beaches nearby. We return to the cruise to enjoy the sun set party and cooking demonstration.

18:00 Dinner will be served.

19:15 Enjoy some free time or try your luck with squid fishing…


Transportation: A/C transportation by bus and ferry & Cruise

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Guide: English-speaking tour guide

Accommodation: Private cabin on the cruise (based on 2 people sharing)


Day 5 : Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba NP – Viet Hai Village - Hanoi (Breakfast and lunch)

Picture of Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba NP – Viet Hai Village - Hanoi

Itinerary Day 5: Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba NP – Viet Hai Village - Hanoi

07:00 Enjoy a new day with complimentary tea and coffee served with a light breakfast on board.

07:45 We ride the bikes through the forest to Viet Hai Village (5km) where we take a short hike through the forest. We return to the harbor by bicycle.

10:00 Check out time and some time to relax and enjoy the views while cruising back to Cat Ba town.

10:30 Brunch will be served on board.

12:00 Disembark at Ben Beo Harbor. Say good bye to Lan Ha Bay, we start to go back to Hanoi.

16:00 Tour guide drops you of at your accommodation in Old Quarter where the tour ends.


Transportation: Cruising, cycling and A/C transportation by bus and ferry

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: N/A


Of course it is possible to travel by overnight train instead of by overnight bus if you prefer some more comfort. We can also make the trip reversed, so 'Halong Bay first and Sapa second, just as you prefer. It is also easy for us to extend your stay. Please inform us about your preferences and we will make it happen.

Luggage during The North Trail

The best way is to travel light!

If you are staying at the same accommodation after the Sapa trip it is best to only bring a daypack with the things you really need. Your accommodation always has a safe room to keep it safe.

If you feel more comfortable to take your luggage on the Sapa part then that is also no problem. Just ask your local Hmong tour guide at pick up to transfer it by motorbike taxi to the homestay in the valley.

For ‘Halong Bay’ it is no problem to bring your luggage but leaving unnecessary luggage behind is no problem if you return to the same accommodation. 

On request luggage can be stored at our office.

What’s included in the tour?

  • Transportation as indicated in the itinerary
  • All tours as mentioned in the overview
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as indicated in the day programs
  • All entrance fees (as indicated in the day programs or specific itineraries
  • Taxes and Service Charges
  • English speaking (local) tour guides.

What’s excluded?

  • Beverages, Tips and Personal Expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • All not indicated in our itinerary

Recommended kit list for homestays

Long-sleeved shirt/ T-shirt – Fleece for the cooler evenings - Trousers (such as lightweight cargo trousers, avoid jeans) - Shorts optional – Swimwear optional - Lightweight water & wind proof (jacket & trousers, especially during winter) - Walking shoes (sturdy, with good grip) - Gumboots (for the wet and wintery periods) - Sun hat and sun protection - Toothbrush & toothpaste,ear plugs & eye mask optional, flashlight. 

Dietary or special food request

In order to take care of your special food requests we would like you to inform us by email in advance.

What do I need to bring?

  • Booking voucher confirmation from us
  • Your passport with valid Vietnamese visa
  • Cash for personal expense (Vietnamese Dong or USD)

Get Up And Go Vietnam is doing all possible to make your journey and travel experience an unforgettable one. Weather conditions, we unfortunately cannot control. Our apologies for that!

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