The trip will bring you to the most detached but incredibly fascinating areas to the far North of Vietnam where to find many different hill tribes. Being mostly untouched by the tourists, the destinations provide you with the awesome chances to discover the fabulous nature as well as the hospitable hill tribe people.
Interesting drive along the beautiful scenery, bustling weekly market on the way, picturesque terrace rice field of Hoang Su Phi and Mu Cang Chai, idyllic Noong Lake at Ha Giang, the attractive town of Pho Bang, and the breathtaking pass of Ma Pi Leng, the colorful Dong Van and MeoVac town, the lovely Ban Gioc waterfall, the historic Pac Bo Cave, the relaxing boat trip in Ba Be Lake, and homestay in the stilted houses of Tay people.
Far North Vietnam Photography Tour in Details
DAY 1: HANOI – DUONG LAM – NGHIA LO (-/-/-)
In the morning, drive about 1 hour to Tay Phuong Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s ten most scenic pagodas. On the peak of the hill, this pagoda is very famous for the gathering of the 17th-century Buddha and Arhat statues as well as the magnificent architecture. Then, take a 45-minute bike ride to the countryside region around the Pagoda, the lush rice field, and the historical villages. Take the big opportunities to discover the daily life activities of the people in the Red River Delta, communicate with the locals, and join the actual mood of the rural site. After that, come back to the car to drive toward Duong Lam Ancient Village, the so-called “Hoi An of the Red River Delta”. This village preserves many hundred-year-old houses. You enjoy the unique experience of walking along the small old alleys, step foot on the Communal House right in Mong Phu Hamlet – the single hamlet that has intact entrance gate, dedicated to the national heroes. When it’s time to dine, enjoy the delicious homey lunch in the traditional zone of the most charming ancient house in the village of Mr. Huyen. Then, drive to Nghia Lo. Along the way, you enjoy the stunning scenery of the mountainous area. Stop by the village of Thai and Mong people before arriving at Nghia Lo.
Overnight in Nghia Lo.
Photo moments of the day: The antique Duong Lam Village of the Viet people in the Red River Delta, and the interesting drive from Son Tay to Nghia Lo.
Day 2: NGHIA LO – MU CANG CHAI (B/-/-)
Take a long but very spectacular drive from Nghia Lo to Muong Khuong. The first stop for photography is the charming rice fields in Tu Le and the astonishing Lim Mong Valley. From the high view on Khau Pha Pass, you can take the great photos of the beautiful valley and the rice fields. Then, drive to Khau Pha – one of the four amazing passes in the North of Vietnam. You will also be amazed by Vietnam’smost magnificent scenery of terrace rice field of Mu Cang Chai that had been recognized to be National Heritage of the country. In the afternoon, take photos of the two most attractive venues in Mu Cang Chai including La Pan Tan and Ba Nha terrace rice field. The stay in Mu Cang Chai offers one of the best photo occasionsthroughout the trip.
Overnight in Mu Cang Chai.
Photo moments of the day: The impressive photo shooting in Tu Le, Lim Mong Valley and the greatest terrace rice field in Vietnam in Mu Cang Chai.
Day 3: THAN UYEN – VAN BAN – MUONG KHUONG (B/-/-)
In the morning, drive for 40 km from Mu Cang Chai to Than Uyen. Along the road, enjoy the beautiful rice field and the picturesque landscape. Once arrived at Than Uyen, take the great shots of the spectacular Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range, and then experience a short hike along the scenic rice field to the village of Thai people at the bottom of the mountain for candid and daily life photography.
After that, keep driving on the hidden journey from Than Uyen to Van Ban. Along the way, contemplate the majestic scenery of the mountainous area. Arrive at MuongKhuong in the afternoon. Take a walk around the town to shoot more photos in Muong Khuong.
Overnight in Muong Khuong.
Photo moments of the day: The stunning mountainous landscape along the drive from Nghia Lo to Than Uyen, and also from Than Uyen to Van Ban, the colorful villages of Mong and Thai people, the unique photography experience in MuongKhuong.
Day 4: MUONG KHUONG MARKET – BAC HA (B/-/-)
In the morning, visit Muong Khuong, the highly authentic weekend market in the Northwest of Vietnam. The market preserves the original characteristics of the weekend market in the mountainous area with many distinctive hill tribes gathering there on Sunday morning. There will be numerous photo opportunities, and you can interestingly spend 2 to 3 hours at the market. Then, safely move from MuongKhuong to Bac Ha on the very scenic hidden road along Chay River. The river owns amazing and serene scenery, and it is not touristy. At noon, arrive at Bac Ha – the most renowned weekend hill tribe market in the North of Vietnam. In the afternoon, you can choose to take a half-day trekking to Bac Ha Villages or stay free.
Overnight in Bac Ha.
Photo moments of the day: The spectacular drive from Muong Khuong to BacHa along the scenic Chay River, the colorful weekend market, the friendly hill tribe people on the way, and the interesting hiking experience or exploring Bac Ha village.
Day 5: BAC HA MARKET – XIN MAN – HOANG SU PHI – BAC QUANG – HA GIANG (B/-/-)
In the morning, drive from Bac Ha to Xin Man. You are likely to see no tourist on the route, but the landscape is outstanding. Then, drive to Hoang Su Phi to appreciate one of the most magnificent terrace rice fields in Vietnam with numerous photo chances en route. Arrive at Ha Giang in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Ha Giang.
Photo moments of the day: The scenic drive on the remote road from Bac Ha to Xin Man, the truly beautiful terrace rice field in Hoang Su Phi, and the very interesting hill tribe people en route.
Day 6: HA GIANG – PHO BANG – DONG VAN (B/-/-)
In the early morning, discover Noong Lake. About 20 km from the town, this lake was described as the beautiful eye of mountains in Ha Giang. The morning light is also perfect for taking photographs of the lake and the local hill tribe people when they just start their days. After the boat trip for the nice pictures of water and tree on the lake, drive back to the hotel for breakfast. Then, drive over Quan Ba Heaven Gate to Yen Minh and Pho Cao with dramatic scenery. Along the way, take photos of some authentic Mong villages. Then, keep moving to Pho Bang – the lovely town of the Vietnamese and the Chinese settled on the border between Vietnam and China. Later, we will drive to Dong Van where to see the most exceptional stone plateau. You spend around one hour to thoroughly photograph the unique Dong Van town. On the way, explore the renowned house of Mong King before driving to Dong Van. In the afternoon, you enjoy a walk to the old street of Dong Van where the hospitable local people live in the hundred-year-old house made from clay. It might be one of the most memorable moments of this Vietnam photography tour.
Overnight in Dong Van.
Photo moments of the day: The fresh Nong Lake, the spectacular drive from Ha Giang to Dong Van, the majestic scenery of Pho Bang Town and Quan Ba – the gate of heaven, the curious hills tribe people on the way and the antique parts of Dong Van Town.
Day 7:DONG VAN – MEO VAC – CAO BANG (B/-/-)
In the morning, take a walk to Dong Van Market before driving to Meo Vac – the home of the Blue H’mong & Lo Lo generations, who are predominantly living on the hillsides and working on the terraces. One of the remarkable traits of the trip is the spectacular drive to conquer challenging Ma Pi Leng – the breathtaking pass with stunning scenery which can be viewed from the summit of the pass. Walk along the most impressive part of the pass and stop by the favorite corners to take the exquisite photographs. After the visit to Meo Vac, transfer to Cao Bang along the beautiful plateau with the impressive rock formation. Take an impressive drive on the new road from Meo Vac to Bao Lac along the idyllic Nho Que River. Get to Cao Bang in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Cao Bang.
Photo moments of the day: The impressive Ma Pi Leng pass,the stunning rocky plateau of Dong Van, the very friendly hills tribe people on the way.
Day 8: CAO BANG – BAN GIOC – CAO BANG (B/-/-)
In the early morning, start a trip to Ban Gioc Waterfall – the most peaceful waterfall in Vietnam. Pass by the spectacular pass of Ma Phuc. The lighting in the early morning on the drive from Cao Bang to Ban Gioc is the impeccable condition for shooting the unique and charming scenery of Cao Bang. Arrive at Ban Gioc before the crowds of many other tourists and also get better lighting. After the great discovery and photography in Ban Gioc, move to Nguom Ngao Grotto. Take a fascinating hike to visit Nguom Ngao Grotto, one of the finest grottoes in the Northeast of Vietnam. Then, drive back to Cao Bang with lunch en route. The rest of the day is for your free time. You are suggested to take a walk for taking pictures of Cao Bang city.
Overnight in Cao Bang.
Photo moments of the day: The interesting drive on the plateau from Cao Bang to Ban Gioc Waterfall – the most impressive waterfall in Vietnam, and the extremely curious hill tribe people.
Day 9: CAO BANG – BA BE (B/-/-)
In the morning, drive to Ba Be. The road is very bumpy, but the striking mountainous landscapes with vast terrace rice field and hill tribe villages make your hardship worthwhile. Once arrived at Ba Be National Park, take a peaceful boat trip on the largest freshwater lake in the mountain area of the North of Vietnam. Then, cruise along the beautiful Nang River for the best photographs of the day. In the evening, experience the homestay in the stilted house of Tay people in Ba Be.
Overnight in the stilted houses in Pac Ngoi Village.
Photo moments of the day: The memorable drive from Cao Bang to Pac Bo and also from Cao Bang to Cho Ra, the interesting hill tribes people on the way, the stunning Ba Be Lake, and the unforgettable homestay in Tay people’s house.
Day 10: BA BE – HANOI (B/L/D)
Before returning to Hanoi, have the free morning to explore the village. On the way back, visit Ethnology Museum in Thai Nguyen. Get back to Hanoi in the afternoon. Tour Concluded.
- Transportation: private air-conditioned vehicle with the seasoned driver
- Accommodation: hotel &stilted house in the village.
- Meals as represented: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D= Dinner
- English-speaking tour guide (the experienced guide for Vietnam Photography Tours)
- Entrance fee to the introducedtourist sites
- Boat trips
- Waters& cool towels
Services excluded: The other meals& drinks, tip (for tour guide and driver), the international flights & airport tax, the single room selection, the personal expenses, and insurance.