The North Trail Vietnam – Local Sapa Experience – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba NP – 5D4N


The North Trail is specially designed for budget travelers who want to travel on a shoestring but who are looking for the best of the beaten track experiences and enjoy the company of fellow travelers. We offer you the best Sapa trekking with great Hmong tour guides, the comfort of a cozy homestay with great food and an unbeatable Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba National Park experience. For sure this will be a trip you’ll treasure the rest of your life…
The price indicated is based on 2 people. For single travellers there will be a surcharge.

Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa

Please be at the meeting point this evening on time (see voucher for details) for your overnight journey by cabin sleeper bus at 22:00 to Sapa.

Transportation: Cabin sleeper bus

Meals: N/A

Guide: N/A

Accommodation: N/A

Day 2: Sapa – Ta Van

The bus arrives early in Sapa, at around 03:00 – 03:30am. The tour guide on the bus will arrange a transfer to our partner hotel where we booked a room with private bathroom for you for some extra sleep to start your trekking adventure in a relaxed way. Enjoy the amazing scenery over Sapa town and the Muong Hoa valley. Your local (private) Hmong tour guide will meet you at the reception of the hotel according to voucher time from where your trekking adventure will kick off.

She will make sure your luggage is transported to the homestay in Ta Van. We’ll start our trekking towards Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai and 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 (this might be on day 2) and dinner with your host in a beautiful and traditional Hmong homestay, by far the coziest accommodation in Ta Van!

Transportation: Transfer and trekking

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Guide: English-speaking local Hmong tour guide

Accommodation: Homestay – private room

Day 3: Ta Van – Sapa – Giang Ta Chai – Hanoi

After breakfast and check out 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 and some free time before heading back to Sapa.

Around 14:00 we say goodbye to you and we will transfer you back to Sapa. From here your limousine AC bus will bring you back to Hanoi. Expected arrival time is 21:00. Unfortunately, this bus does not drop off at hotels in the Old Quarter so please take a short walk or taxi ride to your accommodation.

Transportation: Hiking, transfer and limousine bus

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Guide: English-speaking local Hmong tour guide

Accommodation: Boutique hotel 3* – Deluxe double room

Day 4: Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay – Kayaking Dark & Bright Cave

Pick-up according to voucher time – At the reception of your hotel and only on Old Quarter.

12:00 Arrive in Beo Harbor, transfer by tender to Sunlight Cruise and enjoy a welcome drink while receiving a cruise briefing, safety instructions before check-in to your cabin.

13:00 A special lunch in Vietnamese cuisine of fresh seafood and an assortment of appetizing favorites are served while we start cruising.

14:30 The cruise sails through Lan Ha Bay and completes its entry through Cua Van Area. The area is surrounded by extraordinary karst landscapes. Explore the area by kayaking through Dark & Bright caves.

16:30 Enjoy Swimming in a nearby area, you can join jumping or diving from the top of the boat into water.

18:00 Return to the cruise to enjoy a sunset party and cooking demonstration of fresh spring roll. Enjoy the complimentary sunset party on the sundeck with local wine and fresh fruits on the sundeck.

19:00 Dinner is served in the restaurant. Enjoy delicious local food prepared and served for you by our wonderful onboard catering staff.

20:00 Enjoy free time on your own with karaoke singing or try your luck with squid fishing…

Transportation: A/C transfer by comfortable bus, ferry and cruise

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Guide: English-speaking tour guide

Accommodation: Private cabin on the cruise

Day 5: Lan Ha Bay – Cycling Viet Hai Village on Cat Ba – Hanoi (or Tam Coc)

06:00 Waking up enjoying beautiful moments when a blazing sunrise breaks the clouds of the island on the bay (winter time does not have sunrises).

07:00 Your breakfast will be served in a quite part of the bay.

08:00 Start cycling (5km) to Viet Hai Village, which is a small village in the midst of jungles, surrounded by a high mountains range of Cat Ba National Park.

09:30 Riding back to the cruise to have a shower before checking out.

11:00 Lunch is served on boat, have good meal.

12:00 Disembark at Beo Harbor for the return journey to Hanoi.

16:30 Back to Hanoi. Tour guide will drop you back at your hotel.

Here you’ll have 2 options, the first one is return to Hanoi with a drop off at your hotel. Second option is for us to arrange a limousine bus transfer to Tam Coc where you’ll be dropped at your accommodation. Just let us know your preference.

Transportation: Cruising, cycling, limousine bus

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Guide: English-speaking tour guide

Accommodation: Not applicable

  • Comfortable/ luxury transfers by various bus types
  • Meals: day 2; breakfast, lunch and dinner, day 3; breakfast and lunch, day 4; breakfast, lunch and dinner, day 5; breakfast and lunch.
  • All other necessary transfers
  • Entrance fees and activities
  • English speaking local Hmong guide on day 2 and 3
  • English speaking guide on day 4 and 5
  • Private room at the homestay
  • 3* Boutique Hotel in Hanoi
  • Private cabin on the cruise
  • Taxes and Service Charges
  • Beverages, tips and personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • All not indicated in our itinerary
  • Booking vouchers we provided 
  • Valid Passport with valid visa 
  • Cash for personal expense 

Special food requests

Please let us know if you have specific eating restrictions, allergic for certain things or if you are vegetarian, we can take that into account during the trips.

Useful information

Especially for the north and central Vietnam;

In the period between November and April, the weather is variable, from sunny to cold and rainy. It is advisable during this period to bring some rain gear with some warmer clothes. In the period from April to November, it is good to pack a hat with a wide brim, sunscreen (at least SPF15) and a reliable insect repellent. A thin rain poncho is useful all year round.

Get Up And Go Vietnam does everything to make your trip an unforgettable experience. Unfortunately, we have no control over weather conditions. Our apologies for that!

Sapa – Established as a hill station by the French in 1922, Sapa today offers spectacular views emerging on clear days; overlooking a plunging valley, with mountains towering above on all sides. Views of this epic scenery are often subdued by thick mist rolling across the peaks, but even when it’s cloudy, local hill-tribe people fill the town with color.

Sapa changed a lot over the recent years due to the built of the Fanispan, with 3147m the highest mountain in the Indochinese Peninsula, cable car which attracts many Asian tourist. Luckily you’re not here to hang out in town. We are here for incredible trekking into a surrounding countryside of cascading rice terraces and tiny hill-tribe villages that seems a world apart. Once you’ve stepped out into the lush fields you’ll understand the Sapa area’s real charm.

Ha Giang province in northern Vietnam is a less frequently travelled area by tourists. Ha Giang is a place where almost 90% of the population is ethnic minorities with their own traditional cultures and life styles. The last 20 years when the other Vietnam provinces and cities experienced the economic development, Ha Giang was the place, which had been forgotten in time. The main reason was the political situation and relations with China.

Starting with hills, valleys and villages with the ethnic minorities residents (Hmong, Tay, Dao, Nung, Lo Lo, Giay, Pu Peo). The farthest and the most beautiful place of Ha Giang province is Dong Van Karst Global Geo-park, designated by UNESCO as one of 77 sites with the important geological and cultural heritage. This Geo-park is littered with the ethereal karst formations that are nearly 400 million years old, and has two protected areas. Dong Van Karst Geo-park is home of 17 ethnic minority groups.

Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba – Hạ Long Bay in Northern Vietnam is one of the most popular destination for tourists and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and exists of 3 Bay areas, Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay and features thousands of limestone karsts and islets in various shapes and sizes.

To offer you the best and less visited places of Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay we designed this unique cruise, especially for backpackers who like the company of fellow travelers who like to have a good time!

Because we offer pristine areas, beaches and lush green sceneries of the bay, it is by far the best Halong Backpacker Cruise that provides an amazing and unforgettable experience!