Mu Cang Chai – Ha Giang – Ha Long – Ninh Binh

10 Days


This tour program takes you on a 10-day journey of discovery and adventure in northern Vietnam. You will hike through the breathtaking rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai and the rocky mountains of Ha Giang, visit ethnic villages and learn about their culture and customs, row a boat on the peaceful Thac Ba Lake and the scenic Nho Que River, cruise on a traditional boat in the spectacular Halong Bay, and cycle and kayak in the charming Tam Coc area. You will also explore caves, waterfalls, markets, temples, and more. The tour includes accommodation, meals, transportation, and guide service.


  • Hike through the amazing rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai and the rocky karst mountains of Ha Giang.
  • Visit ethnic villages and learn about their culture and customs.
  • Row a boat on the peaceful Thac Ba Lake and the scenic Nho Que River.
  • Cruise on a traditional boat in the spectacular Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Cycle and kayak in the charming Tam Coc area, known as “Halong Bay on Land”.
  • Explore caves, waterfalls, markets, temples and more.


7:30 am: Our guide will pick-up you up at the hotel. We also pass Nghia Lo town – the home of Thai people – one of the main ethnic people in Yen Bai. Around 2-3 pm, arrive at Tu Le town, you will walk around the rice fields, springs, and villages, and explore the life, the house, and the culture of Thai and Mong people.
Ups on your health and time, we will go farther, through Nam Co – Nam Pang to a homestay in Bung Som village, around 10km in 3.5 hours. Or a shorter route of 6-7 km in 2 hours. You will follow the rice field, narrow muddy local path, and cross the stream. If you want, you can join us to swim with the children in the stream. The Hiking road is quite flat and not too much difficult, but crossing the field and stream is one interesting activity.
Overnight at the homestay wooden stilt house of Thai people in Tu Le. ( if you want a private room, we can arrange the room in a hotel)

07:00 am: We will start the hiking trip from our homestay, and walk around 2km on the road with river and rice or cornfield beside. After that, the challenging hike starts when we will hike up to the natural forest, steep and rocky, surrounded by various green plants and big trees. The air in the forest will help you be strong.

8:00 am: After breakfast, we will move to Mu Cang Chai. We will drive over the Khau Pha pass (one of the four greatest passes in Northern Vietnam, connecting Tu Le and Mu Cang Chai. These scenic roads offer a lot of stops for picture-taking as it is the viewpoint to see the Lim Mong, Lim Thai village, or paragliding point on the top of this pass.

When we arrive in Mu Cang Chai, we will spend around 3 hrs hiking from La Pan Tan village to Rasberry Hill – one of the most famous destinations in the country with a round shape following the mountain shape. La Pan Tan village is well-known for with large and high rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai. Everything was built by the human hand of the H’Mong people over the past hundreds of years. A simple lunch will be served after going down to the main road, or if you want to try to experience the life of Hmong people, you can visit their house, cook and have lunch with locals.

After lunch, you will continue to take the Hiking from Che Cu Nha to Kim Noi village in around ~9-10 km in 3 -3.5 hours. On the way, we will go up a high mountain, pass the H’ mong village and a waterfall in a remote area. Besides seeing the beauty of rice fields, you’ll be guided on how to plant rice, harvest rice or discover the farm work of locals. We can visit some houses or schools to explore local life and culture if that interests you.

The end of the hiking route leads to the homestay of Thai people in Mu Cang Chai Center. Enjoy dinner, warm & hospitality of Thai people.

Option 2: Depending on your fitness and health, if you want more time to rest, in the afternoon, we can choose the option, Hiking to see the sunset in Sang Nhu village. If the weather is good and the status of the rice field is, we will make a Hiking trip to Sang Nhu village ( in Mu Cang Chai) – where have a beautiful rice terrace field with Horse feed shape and amazing sunset. However, this Hiking trip is quite steep.

Overnight at the stilt house homestay of Thai or Mong people.

( P/s: If you want to experience sleep in the homestay of Hmong people, we will arrange a night in Hello Mu Cang Chai homestay in La Pan Tan village.)
Sum up
• Hiking level: Moderate (3/5) with ~15-17 Km in 5-6hrs
• Driving: 50 Km

After our breakfast, depending on the season, we can spend 1,5-2hrs Hike up to Sang Nhu or Lao Chai village, which has beautiful rice terraces (attractive to many photographers), hiking through the pine forests, the hidden path, and enjoy the overview of Mu Cang Chai small town. Or go down to Lim Thai village – which is located at the bottom of Khau Pha mountain. You will hike down the local path, beside the rice field, cross the stream and explore the life of Thai people.

If you are interested in the local market, we can visit the market in Tu Le or Nghia Lo. After that, we will drive straight back to Nghia Lo – Yen Bai city – Vu Linh village. It’s the home of the White Pan Dao people, near Thac Ba Lake – one of the most peaceful lakes in Vietnam.

Sleep in a traditional wooden stilt house of the Dao people.

Hiking difficulty: Gentle (2/5)
~8-10 Km trekking in 3-4 hrs and 200 Km driving

Morning: Rowing traditional boat, swimming in the lake
You will have a chance to learn the way to row a wooden boat by hand and legs – the traditional boat of the Dao people in this lake. The locals will show you how the local life on lakes, how to catch fish, shrimp, etc. It’s also the time to relax after 3 days of hiking in the Mu Cang Chai mountains.
Vu Linh is a small village with fewer tourists like a hidden land to enjoy life and nature, so you will feel freedom within the sky and water.

Afternoon: Leave the nice Vu Linh homestay, we continue to transfer to another village of Red Dao people in Ha Giang.
You will reach Quan Ba in the late afternoon. Before Quan Ba, we will pass the “Heaven’s Gate”, with its mountains stretching to the horizon, marking the entrance to Dong Van Karst Plateau. This marks a magnificent point of view to share when you are back home with stunning landscape photos. If it’s enough time, we will descend and follow the local path from Heaven Gate to the Nam Dam village – inhabited by Dao ethnic people (long-dressed Dao group) in around 1.5 hrs. Beautiful hiking trails through the verdant hill, seasonal farmlands, the vista view of villages, and the lake.

Dinner and a night’s sleep in a homestay of Dao people in Nam Dam village.

07:30 am: After breakfast, you can walk around the village to explore the life and culture of the Dao people. The locals still keep their traditional customs, habits & culture from ancient times. You will have a chance to see the local traditional house made of compacted soil which protects people from the extreme weather in the high mountain. You are welcome to visit the houses whose owners are very friendly and hospitable. As you walk in the village, you will have the opportunity to observe the daily life of the Dao people.
After that, around 8:30 am, leaving Nam Dam village, our driver will transfer you to Dong Van. Our trip through the stunning winding roads, through the rocky karst mountains, old traditional houses of Hmong – ethnic people. It’s once again a very enjoyable ride today that you will see an amazing and majestic mountain view of the Rock Plateau and take great photos.
Having lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Trekking on the Sky Path – the path lies on the Rock Mountain and rural village.
After lunch, transfer by car from Dong Van to the bottom of Ma Pi Leng pass and start to trekking.
The adventure trekking path is located on the hazardous Karst mountains, and runs along Ma Pi Leng pass – also known as the “Sky path”. This steep rocky path goes through limestone cliffs, narrow roads, H'mong villages, and cornfields in the tiny valleys. From above, you can admire the extremely majestic scenery of the limestone mountains and the green Nho Que river which cuts through the valley below. The viewpoint on Sky Path is a perfect place for taking great photos.

After 2.5-3 hours of trekking, you will reach the main road and be transferred to Meo Vac and stay at a homestay in a H'mong cultural village.
Transfer by car: ~110km, around 4hrs
Hiking difficulty: Gentle (2/5), around ~10km in 3hrs.

Morning: Take a boating/kayaking trip in the Nho Que River.

Nho Que River is located at the bottom of Ma Pi Leng pass with Tu San Canyon – it’s a new interesting destination in your Ha Giang tour. Tu San Canyon is considered the deepest and most unique canyon in Vietnam. The best way to explore the Tu San abyss alley is by boat, where you will be surrounded by cool green water and immersed in the quiet and fresh atmosphere of the valley. You will be enchanted by the overwhelming presence of the towering mountains on both sides of the river.

You will hike down from the main road to the bottom of the river, follow the steep and narrow rock road, sit on the boat, and enjoy the poetic beauty of the green color of the Nho Que River. You can jump to swim to relax after a long day.

Leave Meo Vac, transfer back to Ha Giang city, and do light trekking through the Tay Village to see the beautiful rice field and the traditional stilt wood houses with palm roofs. We can spend around 2-3hrs this afternoon for light hiking in Thon Tha village – through the amazing rice fields, palm forests, waterfall, and villages to explore the local life & culture of the Tay people, their farming work as well as nature.

Stay at the homestay stilt house of the Tay people.

07:30 am, After a local breakfast, we say goodbye to your homestay host and ride back to Hanoi to arrive earlier, spend the rest of your time relaxing, and enjoy the city air in Hanoi.
Overnight at a hotel in Hanoi
You are free this evening, to enjoy the famous street foods or restaurants.
Sum up:
Driving time: ~7hrs

08:00 am: After breakfast, our car will pick you up at your hotel.

12:30: Transfer by tender to the boat – enjoy Welcome Drink, receive cruise briefing and safety instructions.

13.00-13.30: Check in and begin the cruise. Enjoy deluxe Vietnamese and International Set Menu Lunch is served while cruising through the bay enjoy a seafood lunch while cruising through Bai Tu Long Bay and Ha Long Bay.
In the afternoon, you will visit an exciting fishing village, the village is free from busy roads and streets, electric lights, houses, and high-rise buildings. Instead, there are only herds of little boats and rafts. You will have the chance to discover the traditional culture and customs of the fishermen. Enjoy kayaking, swimming, and relaxing on the cruise (if the weather permits).

16.00 Return to the boat and join a cooking class

19.00 Dinner – Deluxe Vietnamese and International Set Menu Dinner

21.00 Evening activities include Leisure time to enjoy a chat around the bar. Relaxing and spending a romantic night on Cruise’s music. Or you can also try your luck at squid fishing & fishing from the boat.

Morning: Rise early for morning tai chi on the sundeck or a sunrise photo hunt.

After breakfast, you will explore a cave. When you come back on the cruise, you can enjoy the bay on the sundeck while waiting for lunch.
You will check out of the cruise at 12:00 pm, and transfer to Ninh Binh town, 110 km to the south of Hanoi, to visit unspoiled villages and immense rice fields in the center of the Red River’s Delta – the biggest rice basket in North Vietnam. The road goes through Hai Phong City and Thai Binh Province. We pass a lot of picturesque scenery through the town, city, rivers, and rice fields.

Arriving Tam Coc area. Overnight in a nice and peaceful ecolodge.

After breakfast, we start cycling on the countryside road to Tam Coc.

Starting the rowing boat trip to explore the beauty of Tam Coc, known as “Halong Bay on Land”. In 1.5 hours on the boat, you are visiting the Ngo Dong River with three water tunnels, viewing the rice along both sides of the river (especially in the rice season May and Sep), and taking a photo of local farmers who are working, and catching river food. Moving between the green high mountains, you feel as living in the quiet and far further from modern recent life.

After a rowing boat trip, spend about half an hour biking to the local village, close up to the local villager in the countryside, and reach to Mua Cave. It is constructed following the model of the” Great Wall” in China with nearly 500 steps up to the mountain peak. After climbing up the many steps you will see a panoramic view of Tam Coc Valley, the river, rice fields, and majestic Karst mountains. You will understand why Ninh Binh is called ” Halong Bay on land”.
Leave Mua Cave, come back to return the bicycle, and prepare to transfer back to Hanoi. After around 2.5h, you will arrive in Hanoi around 6-7 pm. Finish your 10-day adventure North Vietnam trip.
Say goodbye and see you next trip!

P/s: The itinerary North Vietnam Adventure Tour can be changed to suit your inquiry.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Mu Cang Chai – Ha Giang – Ha Long – Ninh Binh