(4 days, 3 nights Northeast Loop Of Vietnam 4×4 Tour)
Booking code: OV10
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In general, the North East mountainous areas of Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang and Ha Giang offer breathtaking views and interesting subcultures. Honestly, this is the least travelled area of the north and attracts hardier travellers craving a glimpse of some of the more remote ethnic minority people.
Day 1: Ha Noi – Thai Nguyen – Ba Be National Park (~240 km, ~6 hrs)
07:30 – Depart early from Hanoi for a long drive through the Red River Delta north along Hwy 3 to Thai Nguyen. Of interest here is the Museum of the Cultures of Viet Nam’s Ethnic Groups. Then leaving the delta behind, you’ll start climbing into the mountainous area of Ba Be National Park. Finally, take a short boat trip (30 minutes) to a Tay village for dinner and home stay in a local house.
Day 2: Ba Be – Cao Bang (~120 km, ~4 hrs)
Ba Be Lake, surrounded by rugged limestone mountains, is Viet Nam’s only natural mountain lake. This important eco-system is well known for over 330 species of butterflies! Have breakfast with your Tay hosts before exploring the lake with lush forest clinging to the surrounding mountains. Then reach the end of the lake and trek to Dau Dang Waterfall before heading north through the mountains to the city of Cao Bang. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 3: Ban Gioc Waterfall (~85 kms, ~2.5 hours)
Take a scenic day trip north of Cao Bang to the beautiful Ban Gioc Waterfall on the Chinese border for a picnic lunch. This picturesque, cascading waterfall is 53 meters high and also has an impressive span of 300 meters. In fact, the unique landscape includes limestone karst formations soaring from the verdant rice paddies of Tay, H’Mong and Dzao ethnic minority groups. On the way back to Cao Bang, explore the expansive 2,144 meter Nguom Ngao Cavern to discover its brilliant stalactites. Overnight in the hotel in Cao Bang.
Day 4: Cao Bang – Lang Son – Ha Noi (~300 km, ~7 hrs)
Before departing Cao Bang, consider climbing the hill up to the War Memorial for a great panoramic view. In general, the famous Highway 4 winds its way through steep mountain passes with spectacular vistas! Currently, Lang Son – the capital of this mountainous area – is an important crossing and trading route with China. In reality, the area is home to Dzao, Man, Tho and Nung ethnic minority groups. Lang Son has two markets, the Old Market and the Dong Kinh Market, where shoppers can find everything from electronics and gadgets to textiles and mainly house wares.
Just a couple of kilometers from town are two large and beautiful caves and also the ruins of the Mac Dynasty Citadel that are worth a visit, time permitting.
Tam Thanh Cave contains a pond and offers great views of the surrounding farmlands. On the other hand, Nhi Thanh Cave, formed by the river that flows through it, has poems carved into the entrance by the man who discovered the cave in the 18th century.
Finall, in the late afternoon drive back to Hanoi from Lang Son on a modern 4-lane divided highway. Trip ends in Hanoi around 20:00.
Vehicle Options Of Northeast Loop Of Vietnam 4×4 Tour
* Offroad vehicle options: Russian UAZ, Japanese TOYOTA Land Cruiser or NISSAN Patrol or MITSUBISHI Pajero.
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