Explore 360

North Vietnam Trek

  • Where?

    Vietnam

  • Altitude

    1200m

  • Duration

    14 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P2

  • Technical

    T2

  • P2 - This trip is challenging and a good solid fitness level is required. There will be prolonged walking over varied terrain and you should be training to comfortably walk for 6 to 8 hours, over undulating terrain, with a few punchy uphill climbs, carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs

Overview

Hoang Su Phi is a mountainous district located on the western border of the Ha Giang province. The area is home to many ethnic groups of which the majority is the Nung. Additionally, you have the Dao, Tay, Hmong, Kinh, La Chi, Co Lao.. The main attraction in Hoang Su Phi is the stunning landscape. Incredibly captivating mountains, adorned with steep rice terraces almost everywhere you look.

During this unique expedition you will have opportunity to trek in these beautiful remote landscapes being met and welcomed by the hill tribes along the way. We will stay in ethnic minority’s homestays and daily you will be dazzled by the majestic beauty and peace of the areas that we explore.

The trails will take us through forests, tea plantations and rice terraces. Sometimes the views are tantalizingly hidden by trees and mountains and at other times we’ll be hiking along open-vista mountainsides with sweeping views of the surrounding nature. The scenery is extraordinary in September and October as it is at this magic time of year the rice terraces turn into gold!

For the final 3 days we will head to Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh is one of the most stunning areas of Vietnam with its dramatic scenery and historical temples. The rice fields here are again beautiful, and the area has earned the nickname of ‘Dry Halong Bay.’

There are so many nuggets of wow in this itinerary! The Hanoi markets, the stunning northern Vietnam rice fields, the many ethnic groups we will meet along the way, incredible accommodation and then Ninh Binh. Its a WOW around every corner!

Find out more
North Vietnam Trek North Vietnam Trek

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Land Only

Flight included

Start: 20 September 2025
End: 03 October 2025

Land Only:  £2,450
Flight Included: £3,250

Exped Leader: TBC
Group leader: Hermione Tailyour

20 September 2025

03 October 2025

14 days

£2,450

£3,250

Exped Leader: TBC
Group leader: Hermione Tailyour

Start: 27 September 2025
End: 10 October 2025

Land Only:  £2,450
Flight Included: £3,250

Adventure 999
Leaders: Jamie and Natalie

27 September 2025

10 October 2025

14 days

£2,450

£3,250

Adventure 999
Leaders: Jamie and Natalie

Included

 

  • Local guides and a Western 360 guide when the group size is ~6
  • International airfares departing from London
  • All internal transfers
  • Baggage transfer
  • 6 nights of stunning hotel accommodation top and tailing in twin occupancy with gorgeous pools.
  • Charming rustic accommodation during the trek. (Homestays).
  • All meals as shown in the itinerary
  • Entry fees to all mentioned activities in Ninh Binh
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

 

  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal equipment and excess baggage
  • Staff and guide gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service, etc
  • Personal drinks and snacks
  • Lunch and Dinner on days Days 11 /12 and 13.
  • Single Supplement: £160 (for 4 nights: one in Hanoi and 3 in Ninh Binh)
  • Single supplement for ALL nights excluding homestays and the sleeper train £250
  • Airport transfers when not booking with flights
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Depart UK. leaving the UK in the afternoon/evening.

Depart UK on the way to Hanoi the Capital city of Vietnam.

The departure might be different to what we have said here, and we will amend the itinerary when the flights are released for October 2025.

 

DAY 2 : Arrival to Hanoi

Upon arrival in Noi Bai international airport (Hanoi) we will be met our local guide and transferred to our hotel nestled in the vibrant old quarter of Hanoi. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a captivating maze of narrow streets and bustling markets and is a vibrant testament to the city’s rich history and culture. Dating back over a thousand years, its labyrinthine alleys are lined with colonial architecture, traditional shophouses, and ancient temples. The air is alive with the aroma of sizzling street food, offering a sensory journey through Vietnam’s culinary delights. As we will arrive on Sunday, if we’re not too tired we will have time to explore the night market which takes place from 6pm- 11pm. It stretches from Hang Dao Street to Dong Xuan Market and is a total length of about 3 kilometres, with hundreds of large and small stalls selling all kinds of products, from souvenirs, food, and clothes to Hanoi specialities.

Tonight, we will have a welcome dinner at a wonderful restaurant in the old city.

Overnight in Hanoi (D)

DAY 3 : Depart Hanoi – Hoang Su Phi

We rise early to depart Hanoi for a relaxing and long scenic drive to Ha Giang Province and the district of Hoang Su Phi. As we leave the Red River Delta scenery behind we can quietly observe how the landscape changes while arriving in the mountains of northern Vietnam. We plan to arrive in the town of Tuyen Quang around noon where we will have a simple Vietnamese-style lunch in a local restaurant. After the meal, we will continue to the stunning Hoang Su Phi area which is one of the most remote areas in Vietnam offering breathtaking scenery and colourful hill tribe culture.

On arrival in Hoang Su Phi  it is time to check into the lodge and freshen up before we stretch our legs. We will now be fully surrounded by the rice terraces!

Hanoi to Hoang Su Phi (300km): 7hrs

Walk: 30 mins-1 hour

(BLD)

DAY 4 : Hoang Su Phi – Nam Khoa Village – Nam Ai village

Today we rise early having no doubt been woken by many different animal sounds. We now will relish the fresh air in the highlands of Northeast Vietnam. After breakfast whichwe will take with our family hosts it will be time to say goodbye and start our full day trek to Nam Khoa village. The trek is up & down via the forests, tea plantations, terraced rice fields and village of Man Ta Pan ethnic tribe. We will take our time to admire the stunning view of the rice fields and explore the daily life of the inhabitants such as Man Ta Pan andLong Dress Dao. We will stop for a rustic lunch that will be a picnic affair before we continue the trek to Nam Ai where we will have more opportunities to enjoy the majestic views of mountains, streams and waterfalls.

Later in the afternoon, we will arrive in Nam Ai village where the Dao people live and it’s here we’ll overnight.

Trekking distance 17km (approx. 6-7 hours)

(BLD)

DAY 5 : Nam Ai village – Ho Thau village

After our goodbyes to our host in Nam Ai village, we will begin to trek down Nam Son where we will visit the small town & local market. We then continue our trek over the impressive suspension bridge and pass up the mountainside to Hmong village. Today we will trek deeper into this remote area reaching a height of 1,200 meters, where we will again embrace the fresher atmosphere. Another welcome change! En route, we will see more beautiful mountain vistas and rice terraces and we will witness local ethnics of Dzao, Nung, and Flower H’Mong working in their fields who will be easy to distinguish as they will be wearing an array of wonderful colourful clothes. Lunch again will be en route and picnic styled wrapped up in leaves from the jungle. After we have eaten and rested, we will continue our trek on the small trails to Ho Thau village where our homestay awaits.

Trekking distance 17km (approx. 6-7 hours

(BLD)

DAY 6 : Ho Thau village- Ban Luoc village

After breakfast we start to trek to Luoc village. The road to Ban Luoc, though not as marvelous as the Dong Van stone plateau, is still a fascinating and captivating. We will see the rice fields billowing like soft silk strips winding around the green mountainside and the traditional stilt houses scattering at the foothills. After our arrival into the Ban Luoc commune, we will then begin our trek along dirt trails to hilly & scenic Ban Luoc village. A stunning view of the rural village, their farming work & pristine rice terraces await. We will continue to trek up mountainsides admiring more local houses on stilts, ancient tea plantations and picturesque waterfalls. Tonight, at our homestay we will have the opportunity to take part in the cooking preparation with our local host. It will be a dinner of local dishes and some happy water (local wine) with the host family.

Trekking distance 15km (approx. 4-5 hours)

 (BLD)

DAY 7 : Ban Luoc village – Po Ly Ngai

Ban Luoc village is on the slope of a mountain, overlooking the valley & mountains with a waterfall peacefully running down. It will be wonderful to get up early to view the sunrise & far mountains while simply observing the local village waking and the children going to schools and farmers beginning to work on their land. Being peaceful and having time to soak it all in is what it is all about! After breakfast, we begin to trek to San Sa Ho. More pristine nature and stunning scenery over the valley unfolds as we move further along the trails that eventually lead to San Sa Ho Village. Today we climb up and over the mountain side of Chieu Lau Thi mountain to reach to our overnight village which is home of Nung people.

Trekking distance 17km (approx. 6-7 hours)

(BLD)

DAY 8 : Po Ly Ngai village – Tu Nhan village- Bac Ha

Today is our last day of trekking and is a slower-paced day. After waking, and having enjoyed a home-cooked breakfast, we pack our bags and begin our trek from Po Ly Ngaivillage to Nang Don. This commune is home to the Nung and Mong ethnic groups. The village is famous for stunning rice terraces and for making traditional wine from rice and corn which we might feel compelled to sample! We continue on until we reach the main route where we will be met by our support vehicles and transferred to Xin Man for lunch. After lunch, we hop back into the vehicles and head to Bac Ha.

Trekking distance 10km (approx. 3 hours)

Transfers: 2 ½ hrs

(BLD)

DAY 9 : Bac Ha market in Sapa (Sunday only) and night train to Hanoi

Bac Ha is the largest Sunday Market (and the most colourful one) in the area. The market offers a variety of local products which aren’t found in other areas and people also trade livestock. The marketplace becomes a riot of color as it throngs with traders from the many different ethnic groups in the area including the Flower H’mong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities. We will spend the whole morning exploring the vibrant market before enjoying lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon it is time to hop into a vehicle to start our decent from the mountains to the pretty Trung Do village where the Tay people live. These people are very friendly and open-minded. Most make a good living from agricultural farming, and they are proud of their pristine village, which lies next to the Chay River. We will take a stroll through picturesque fields and around the village that will bring us back to the riverbank were we can enjoy a small relaxing boat ride along the Chay River before stopping at Bao Nhai village.

It is now time to meet our transfer that will take us to Lao Cai train station where we will get on overnight train to Hanoi.

Overnight on the train (soft sleeper berth in a sharing cabin, 4 berths per cabin)

Trekking approx. 2 ½ hours

Transfers: 2 hrs

(BLD)

DAY 10 : Hanoi – Ninh Binh

We will arrive in Hanoi rail station early in the morning and after breakfast at a local restaurant, we will transfer directly to Ninh Binh Province. Our final resting point. This will offer us 3 glorious days of RnR! Ninh Binh is one of the most stunning areas of Vietnam with its dramatic scenery and historical temples. The rice fields here are again beautiful and the area has earned the nickname of ‘Dry Halong Bay’, a moniker borne out by the limestone karsts which dominate the landscape. After checking into our accommodation for the next 3 nights we will take a scenic flat bike ride around the village. It has been described as meditation on a bike as it is gentle, slow and simply mesmerizingly beautiful. We will glide effortlessly alongside rice fields nestled amidst Limestone Mountains while gulping in the scenery. This evening we will have a wonderful celebration meal all together.

Transfers: 2 hours

(BLD)

DAY 11 : Ninh Binh

Today we have a long-awaited lie-in! The morning is yours to spend as you choose. In the afternoon we will visit the Bich Dong Pagoda, where an ascent of 200 steps leads to Ngu Nhac Mountain. This path unveils three cave pagodas dating back to 1428, revealing captivating views over the countryside. It is well worth a visit. The evening is then for you to enjoy.

(B)

DAY 12 : Ninh Binh

This morning we will wake early to head to the Tam Coc river, a must when in Ninh Binh. Waking early helps beat the crowds as we are now in the areas that attract tourists for reasons you will experience. Tam Coc means ‘three caves’’ in Vietnamese and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will hop into a private sampan boat and wind our way down the river through ‘Halong Bay on Land’ where we can simply kick back and admire the views of enormous limestone karsts jutting out of fields while the boat cruises along the calm waters, through the ‘three river caves’.  After our tranquil river experience we take a small drive to Hang Mua, “Mua Cave” one of the most alluring places to get a panoramic view. Hike up to the peak of Ngoa Long Mountain to take in your amazing views of the Tam Coc, Ninh Binh area.

The afternoon is free for you to enjoy! You can simply relax in our lovely hotel by the pool, enjoy another bike ride, have a massage, hire a scooter* or head into town for some souvenir shopping.

*pls note that hiring scooters is great fun and a fantastic way to explore and is very normal in Asian countries but you MUST have the correct insurance and licenses to do so.

(B)

DAY 13 : Transfer to Hanoi with an evening flight departure.

After breakfast, we will check out of our hotel and plan to be on the road no later than 930am. We have a 2-hour transfer to Hanoi where we will spend the rest of the day. The Old Quarter in Hanoi is an intriguing neighbourhood, home to a mix of Vietnamese architecture, green spaces, ancient shops and fresh-as-it-gets street food — all of it easily explored on foot. At first look, the 36 streets can feel frenetic. Don’t worry: Constant motion is part of the Old Quarter’s charm. Grab a seat at a cafe and enjoy the action from a safe distance. You’ll notice bicycle vendors selling fresh flowers and ripe fruit, old friends gathering for games of checkers, and cooks doing a roaring trade in steaming phở and bún chả. The longer you wander, the more you’ll be rewarded with moments in hidden alleyways, secluded pagodas and cosy coffee shops. We will plan to leave Hanoi Old Quatre at 16:00 for our 1-hour transfer to Noi Bai International Airport.

 

Please note that today’s plan is guided by the flight times.

 

(B)

DAY 14 : Arrive in the UK early morning.

Arrive home after an adventure of a lifetime.

The arrival might be different to what we have said here and we will amend the itinerary when the flights are released for October 202

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Kit bag

70-80 litre kit bag.

Porter Kit Bag should be no more than 10kg

Please no Suitcases or Hard rigid cases

Daysack

Small day backpack to carry your essentials for the day

Feet

Boots / approach shoes

We suggest worn in light hiking boots with ankle support.

Comfortable trainers / flip flops / crocks

In the evenings you will need sandals/crocks or flip-flops!

Spare boot laces

Just in case!

Socks

Light weight quick drying socks are best

Quantity: 2

Upper Body

Waterproof jacket

Light rain jacket/poncho in case of rain

Fleece top

Fleece layer in case of cool weather.

Quantity: 1

Non-cotton T-shirts (with one long-sleeved)

Light sport T-shirt (non cotton is best)

Quantity: 2

Long sleeved T- shirt

Evening clothes relaxing around camp /homestays

Quantity: 1

Lower Body

Shorts

Trek shorts for walking and casual shorts for Camp / homestays

Trekking trousers

Evening clothes relaxing around camp /homestays

Sleeping Gear

1 season sleeping bag

Optional Sleeping bag. Note  For homestays  provide a mattress, pillow, mosquito net, sheets and blankets.

Quantity: 1

Hydration

Water bottle/Camelback

2L capacity either in a combination of bladder and Nalgene bottle or just Nalgene bottles

Water purification

Although generally all water is bottled some prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag

Toiletries

Wash kit

Keep it simple. The essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Travel towel

Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Wet wipes

Preferably biodegradable, these are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene

Insect repellent

For early stages and once back down

Ear plugs

For protection against the inevitable snorers!

Toilet paper

Best to keep in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock or tree between camps

Medications

Personal first aid kit

Please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and a Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets, ointment for insect bites and any muscle rubs you wish to use.

Personal medication

Keep this in your daysack

Miscellaneous

Head torch

We recommend Petzl head torches. Bring spare batteries.

Sunglasses

Worth spending money on good UV filters.  Julbo is our preferred supplier

Sunblock

Essential for protection from the sun

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Penknife (optional)

Snacks

You will be fed very well and given snacks each day however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort. Extra snacks can be bought en-route if needed. Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable

Entertainment

Of course optional, but most trekkers like to bring an iPod, book, Kindle, cards etc for evening entertainment.

Document

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

Your passport should have 2 spare pages.

Copy of passport

Colour Photocopy Just in case!

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

Travel light!

Our experience is that no matter how much you tell anyone not to bring stuff that you do not require; something does manage to make it. That is human nature. We do not allow our porters to carry more than 20 kgs, and highly recommend that you keep your porterage baggage to a maximum of 10 kilos and a small day bag. The list we have developed is for trekking, but works almost with any travel anywhere.

FAQs

The Trek

We are heading to the mysterious Hoang Su Phi and Bac Ha – can you tell me a little more about this area?

Located in the west of Ha Giang Province, about 300 km from Ha Noi, Hoang Su Phi is a natural masterpiece with charming beauty that captivates people’s hearts. The highlight of this place is the layered terraced fields, covering the hills like an impressive work of art painted by skilful human hands. The harmonious blend of nature and culture brings a strange attraction to anyone who sets foot in this land. Hoang Su Phi’s terraced fields were created hundreds of years ago. They are different from the terraced fields in other localities. The local cultural and religious ceremonies include the Crop Praying and Fire Jumping rituals of the Red Dao, the Going to the Field ritual of the Tay, the Forest Worship of the Nung, and the Pray for Seeds and Close the Warehouse ceremonies of the La Chi.Most notably is the Dao ethnic community’s fire dancing festival.

Many people talk of Sapa trekking, we are going further north – is it just as beautiful?

Yes Sapa is stunning but it is quite busy and the trails can feel a little more touristic. We have planned to go further north so to have a more wild and rustic experience. It does mean that the accommodation might be a little more basic and the foods far more traditional.

Can you tell me more about the ethnic groups that we might see?

We will be passing many ethnic groups and they all have slightly different traditions and clothes. It is worth reading about the groups before arrival! Have a look at the Mong, Dzao (Red Dzao, Long dress Dzao), Nung and La Chi, Pathen groups

We are trekking in the amazing north, is this near the classic Ha Hiang bike route?

We will be trekking in the Hoang Su Phi area through jungle villages on small routes that rarely have motorbike tours. The famous motorbike tours cover a large part of Ha Giang on the big open winding routes. In one or 2 of our homestays, there could be a few “off-road” bikes but we are remote and it’s rare.

What animals might we encounter on the trek?

Mainly cattle and poultry such as buffalo, cow, dog, cockerel, duck, pig.

What are the trails like under foot?

The trails are a good mix of dirt road, off-road, single trail and paved roads that take us up through the villages, jungle or paddy fields.

What is the maximum altitude?

The maximum altitude that we reach is 1,200m. This is reached on day 6 from Ho Thau village to Ban Luoc village when we trek over the mountain side of Chieu Lau Thi

What is the best time of year for this trek?

The best time to visit the north of Vietnam (especially if you wish to see all the beautiful rice fields) is from July to mid-October.

When is the best time to visit Ninh Bihn?

The best time to visit Ninh Binh is from February to May or September to November when the weather is mild and dry, and when the rice paddies are in their most beautiful state.

When is the best time to visit Hanoi?

Generally, the most favourable time is during the autumn months, from September to November. The weather is cooler and more pleasant with lower humidity and little rainfall. This period also coincides with Hanoi’s famous festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Tet Trung Thu (Lantern Festival).

When are the festival in Hanoi?

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival or the Tet Trung Thu (lantern festival) is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, which typically corresponds to September or October in the Gregorian calendar. It’s a significant traditional festival in many East Asian countries including Vietnam, where it’s celebrated with lanterns, mooncakes, and family gatherings.

When are the main public holidays in Vietnam?

Vietnam has their main holiday on the 1-2 September, Tet Holiday in January / February and Victory /Labor day on 30 April – 1 May. It is best to avoid these days for traveling on!

Accommodation

I can see we are staying in Homestays – what are these like?

Homestays offer simple accommodation where there is a big room with mattresses slightly raised up off the floor with mosquito nets. Please see the gallery for a photo! Blankets are provided but it is worth having your own sleeping bag too. (See Kit List) There will be about 2-4 common bathrooms and western toilets in each homestay.

Are there hot showers at the homestays?

A few have hot showers, and some have hot water that you can use from a bucket, but it is better to come thinking you might not have hot running water. Think basic and you will be happy!

Do I need to bring a towel?

Yes – we suggest a small micro towel that is quick-drying.

What is the accommodation like at Ninh Binh (3 nights)?

For our final 3 nights, we plan to stay at www.leclosdufil.com/ or similar. We will have twin rooms here and each has its ensuite. This is our little bit of wow at the end.

Do I have to share a room?

If you wish to pay a single supplement you can, otherwise, you will be buddied up with the same sex solo traveller.

A single supplement is available for most nights of the trip if it’s wanted, though please note on the homestay nights, it’s not possible to be solo. Please ask the office if you wish to explore adding a single supplement.

On day 3 of the itinerary on arrival to Hoang Su Phi where do we stay?

Please plan to stay in this Panhouretrea or equivalent. It is a very beautiful and a perfect start to your expedition.

https://www.panhouretreat.com/ 

Can I have a single room in the homestay

No these are very much open planned sleeping arrangements.

Can I opt to have my own room in the hotels?

Yes absolutely please see the costs under the finance section.

Food & Water

What is the food like during the trek?

We will be embracing Vietnamese foods on the trek

For breakfast we would have foods such as sticky rice, crepe with honey, instant noodle with meat or fried egg, local fruits, instant coffee or tea

For picnic lunch: Usually sticky rice, grilled meat, local fruits, cucumber, tomato, and also we can arrange bread, ham, cheese or some days at local homestay

Dinners are steamed rice, chicken/pork/beef/fish with boiled/grilled/stewed/stir-fried vegetables, soup or a hot pot

I have food allergies; can these be catered for?

Yes, just please inform us in advance then we can make sure you are well looked after.

Where does the drinking water come from?

On this expedition, we will be using bottled water which is available for refills at all times.

Should I bring a few snacks with me?

It isn’t really necessary to bring snacks. We provide local snacks and fruit. If you want to bring energy snacks, such as power bars or gels which are not usually available in the country then please do, but please not a backpack fullof them. Remember snacks are not a food substitute – they are a little snack.

In Ninh Bhin it is breakfast only. Are there many restaurants to choose from for lunch and dinner?

Yes, there are many restaurants near hotels and of course, the hotel also has a restaurant.

Health & Safety

Do I need vaccinations or any medication for malaria?

You should ensure the usual traveller’s vaccinations for developing countries are up to date – Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B. You should also consider taking malaria tablets. We ask that you seek the latest advice from your local GP, Nurse Practitioner or travel clinic before you travel.

You do not need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate to travel to  Vietnam UNLESS you are arriving from a Yellow Fever risk country. Again, worth verifying that this information has not changed before you travel.

Do I need mosquito repellent?

We suggest you bring a pot of Vicks vapour rub as it works brilliantly and is better for you than deet.

We are going to pass some waterfalls – if yes can we swim in them?

Yes, you will be able to swim. The water will be very fresh!

You advocate taking a small first aid kit, what should it contain?

The same sort of things you would take on any holiday, but consider particularly Ibuprofen to relieve muscular pain, Compeed blister treatments, rehydration sachets, plasters and antiseptic to treat minor scrapes. If you have medicines that you take regularly these also need to be packed.

If I can’t trek one day as I am sick or I’ve hurt myself, what is the backup plan?

There are local motorbikes that can transport you to the next homestay. Please make sure you have insurance for such transport.

Kit & Clothing

On the trekking days do I carry a bag and what should be in it?

You will need to carry a small bag, which we call a day sack. You will be carrying your essentials for each day; water, sun cream, a snack, phone/camera, book, light rain clothes and a warmer top. We also suggest you have a small medical kit too.

How heavy should my main bag be on the trek, and should it be a duffel bag?

Yes, your main bag must be a small duffel bag and we ask you to keep to a maximum of 10kgs. You simply do not need more kit.

Can I leave a bag in Hanoi for collecting after the trek but before we go to Ninh Binh?

Yes you can, but ideally, you will take everything with you and we ask you to pack light. You do not need lots of clothing for the final 3 days. You need less than what you think. But yes you can leave a small additional bag.

How will my main bag be portered between each homestay?

Your main bag will be portered by motorbike which is why it’s vital you pack light and use duffel bags.

What clothing should I wear on this trek?

During the day we recommend wearing shorts and a light sports T-shirt (non-cotton is best). In your backpack, you can carry an extra layer if it gets cool and a light rain jacket/poncho in case of rain. Bring a change of clothes for the evening (long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt are suitable).

Will I need to bring waterproofs?

Yes – please see the kit list

What is the best type of footwear to use?

We suggest worn in light hiking boots with ankle support.

Can I trek in trekking sandals?

We don’t recommend trekking in trekking sandals but of course, you can on some of the wider trails.

What footwear do I wear in the homestays?

In the evenings you will need sandals/crocks or flip-flops!

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag or liner or is clean bedding provided?

Unless you wish to bring your own sleeping bag then we think it is not needed. For homestays we provide a mattress, pillow, mosquito net, sheets and blankets. Some people like to bring an extra silk liner.

The Weather

When is the best time to trek in Hoang Su Phi and Bac Ha weather wise and so to see the rice fields?

The best time to visit the north of Vietnam especially if you wish to see all the beautiful rice fields is from July to Mid October.

How hot or cold can it get in October?

Daytime can be up to 32-34 degree while nighttime can be 20-25 degree Celsius.

We have 3 days in Ninh Binh – what is the weather like here in late October?

The average temperature at about 20-30 degrees and sunny during the day with occasional rain.

Insurance

Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?

No, just normal travel insurance that also includes the use of scooters and being a passenger on motorbikes.

Finance

What additional spending money will we need during the trek?

You only need money for drinks, for shopping for local gifts and for tips.

How much do we tip our local crew?

When a team of +6 clients we recommend each client gives 100 USD which will be given to the head Vietnamese guide.

Do we tip the homestays?

Yes please bring lots of 2 dollar bills with you and each of you tip $2 per homestay.

How much do we tip our additional support team

We suggest $10 per day per person. So please budget a further $60-$80 in total

What is the cost for a single sup for Day 2 (Hanoi) and the final x3 nights in Ninh Binh.

For these 4 nights, the extra cost  is £160.

If I want my own room on days 3 and 8 as well is that possible

Yes, that is possible this will be a further £90.

The sleeper cabin are based on 4 sharing - Can I have my own sleeper cabin on the train?

Yes, this is possible. The supplement for a 2-person cabin is £45pp based on 2 sharing

If you wanted a cabin all to yourself then the supplement is £120pp

Electronics

Can I get 4g SIM card on arrival and will it work in the mountains?

4G SIM cards are available at airports and everywhere in Vietnam and although it is “nice” to have a connection we really advise you to try and switch off your 4G and be free of the outside world.

Is there mobile phone reception on the trek?

Yes, but in the jungle it can sometimes be weak

Is there Wi-Fi at camp?

Yes, it is available at some of the homestays.

Will I be able to charge my phone/camera in the homestays?

Yes, Vietnam mainly uses 220V but in some areas, 110V is also used. A mixture of flat and round 2-pin outlets are used throughout the country. We recommend you bring a universal plug adaptor.

Can I bring music and speakers?

We request that you bring only headphones and no speakers. The joy of expeditions is to fully immerse yourself into the noises of the landscapes and to totally discount from the western world. If you want music this is your personal choice but many prefer the silence and natural noises that allow thoughts to roll in and out! It is an incredible feeling if you allow yourself to disconnect and we encourage this.

General

What travel documents do I need?

Original passport with at least 2 empty pages, that’s got at least 6 months validity.

Do I need a Visa?

You will require a valid ten-year passport which must be valid for at least six months from the day you enter Vietnam. Until 30 June 2021, British Citizen passport holders travelling for tourism can enter Vietnam for up to a maximum of 15 days (inclusive of dates of entry and exit) without a visa.

World’s Largest Rope Swing

Read Blog

Stok Kangri with Love Her Wild

Read Blog