The northwestern part of Vietnam is one of the most interesting and beautiful areas of South East Asia. Vietnam is home to 54 ethnic groups and in the northwestern part of the country you'll see the lives and customs of some of the ethnic minorities. In this part of the country the minorities still dress in their traditional colorful clothing – especially the women. The Northwest Jeep tour includes a minority trek, overnight stay with some of the tribes and a jeep tour through some of the country’s most spectacular nature.
- Trip length:
- 10 Day(s) 9 Night(s)
- Unique Experience:
- ● A unique chance to go further into the more remote areas of the Northwest and not least, immerse into the plethora of minorities and local villages in the area
● Trek and drive through beautiful surroundings with high mountains, limestone rocks, gorges, rice fields and small minority villages scattered around
● Allow yourself to meet both locals and minority populations at eye level and learn more about their culture and customs
● Get a full understanding of the French war in Vietnam when visiting the battle field and adjoining museum
- Locations Visited:
- ● Sapa
● Lao Chai, Ta Van, Giang Ta Chai and Ban Ho villages
● Lai Chau
● Dien Bien Phu
● Son La
● Mai Chau
- Start City:
- End City:
- Physical rate:
- Type of transportation:
- Train and van/minibus
- Type of Accommodation:
- Hotel with private bathroom and homestay with shared bathroom
- Tour departure day(s):
- Every day
- Small Group Exploration
Minimum 1* and maximum 8 participants
*Note that it is possible to book 1 person, but price is higher and we cannot guarantee more participants on the tour.
- Children Policy:
- Child age: 5 – 9 years old
Child price: See under “rates”
This tour is not recommended for: children below 5 years old
- Included in Price:
- Meals: 8 x breakfast, 2 x lunch, 2 x dinner
Accommodation: 1 night on train in deluxe 4 berth cabin, 3 nights in home-stay with shared bathroom, mattress, sheets, blankets and mosquito net are included, 5 nights in budget hotels with private bathroom
Entrance fees: All entrances fees are included in the trip according to itinerary
Transport: Train, and private van/mini bus according to itinerary
English speaking tour guide: Included on part of the tour, please refer to itinerary
- Excluded From Price:
- ● Tips to guide and driver
● Drinks and personal expenses
All other expenses not stated as included in the above
- Travel season:
- All year, however heavy rain may be expected during the rainy season (May-October)
This product may be affected by Vietnamese TET (New Year) – normally in Jan/Feb. Specific dates are blocked in the booking calendar if and when not bookable.
What can you expect during TET? The lunar New Year is very important to the Vietnamese. The days are spent together with family and relatives in private homes to celebrate. Expect the streets to be fairly empty and life at street level to be very limited.
- Essential to bring:
- ● Trekking shoes or boots
● Warm fleece jacket in the winter
● Cap or hat, sunglasses and sun lotion
● Medicine for personal use
Pick-up at the hotel 19:30 - 20:00 and transfer to the train station. From here, you take a night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train (soft sleeper with A/C).
Day 2: Lao Cai - Sapa
The train arrives at Lao Cai train station early in the morning. Pick-up and transport by shared bus to Sapa (35km -about 1 hour drive). In the morning there will be some spare time to enjoy the fantastic view of the Sapa valley and explore thelocal market. In the afternoon the guide will provide with more information about the tour. After this we'll visit the Cat Cat village, where the Black H’mong people live. Overnight stay at Cat Cat Hotel, Sapa.
Day 3: Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van
After breakfast leaving the hotel and trekking to Lao Chai village to visit the Black H’mong people. From Lao Chai you'll continue to Ta Van village to visit the Zay people. Dining and sleeping in a local homestay in the Ta Van village. Trekking distance: 15km. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Ban Ho
Walking tour to Giang Ta Chai village to visit Red Dao people. The women of Red Dao have a very colorful red embroideries, coins on their clothing, and on their head they wear a red scarf. Some of the women have shaved off their eyebrows because a hairless face is considered, by the the Red Dao people, to be very beautiful. We then make our way to the waterfall in Giang Ta Chai. In the afternoon we'll make our way to Ban Ho, to visit the Tay people. If we arrive early there will be some spare time to go for a swim in the nearby river. Trekking distance: 15km. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Ban Ho - Sapa
After breakfast trekking up to Su Pan hill (3km). Pick-up and transport back to Sapa. In the afternoon, there will be some spare time to experience the colorful Sapa market. Overnight stay at Cat Cat Hotel. (B)
Day 6: Sapa - Lai Chau ( 178km)
In the morning driving in a Jeep to Lai Chau. On the first part of the trip we will pass the beautiful Silver Waterfall Thac Bac andTram Ton Pass (1900m). Later there will be a chance to visit Lao, Lu, Thai, Mang and Black Dao villages. Arrival in the afternoon to Lai Chau - one of the hottest places in Vietnam during the summer months. Overnight stay at a hotel in Lai Chau. (B)
Day 7: Lai Chau - Dien Bien Phu (130km)
Starting the day by driving to Dien Bien Phu. While driving, one can enjoy the spectacular view of the forested hills. Making several stops on the way to visit some of the minority villages (Kho Mu, Thai and H’mong). Arrival in the noon at Dien Bien Phu in the flat Muong Thanh Valley. Dien Bien Phu was the place, where the last battle between the forces of Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh army and the French(1954). In the afternoon visiting the Museum in Dien Bien Phu, which gives a better understanding of the vietnamese history. Overnight stay at a hotel in Dien Bien Phu. (B)
Day 8: Dien Bien Phu - Son La (180km)
Leaving Dien Bien Phu and driving to Son La. The drive is beautiful, with high mountains, limestone rocks, gorges,rice fields and small villages. Before arriving in Son La the bus makes a stop in a small village, where there will be a chance to visit the Thai people. Overnight stay in Son La. (B)
Day 9: Son La - Mai Chau (180km)
Leaving the hotel at 08:00 in the morning for a short trek and visiting another Thai village. Arrival late in the afternoon at Lat village in Mai chau, where we'll spend the night at local homestay. (B)
Day 10: Mai Chau - Hanoi (165 km)
Leaving Mai Chau at 08:00 in the morning and heading for Hanoi. On the way to Hanoi we'll visit the Hoa Binh Hydro-Electric Power. Later in the afternoon we'll arrive in Hanoi, where the tour ends. (B)
Key: B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner
What to bring:
● Trekking shoes or boots.
● Warm fleece jacket in the winter.
● Cap or hat, sunglasses and sun lotion.
● Medicine for personal use.
NEED TO KNOW
Acting Responsible - Arrival Information - Child Explorers - Emergency Contact - Expect the Unexpected - Feedback - Guides - Health and Fitness - Luggage Storage - Optional Activities - Running Late? - Safety and Security - The Law and "the Man"- Travel Documents and Visas - Travel Insurance- Weather
NICE TO KNOW
Need to know
Traveling responsibly is a pillar of the Visit Beyond philosophy. To us, it means two things: respect for the environment and respect for local cultures. We practice low-impact tourism and make every effort to preserve the environment. We refuse to treat local people as mere photo-ops and insist that you engage with locals as human beings. You will have a better trip for it.
If you have booked an arrival package you can expect a Visit Beyond representative waiting for you at the airport, train- or bus station with a Visit Beyond sign and your name. If you cannot find our driver at the airport, please call +84 (0) 98 576 1122. Visit Beyond does not offer refunds for missed transfers due to a change in flight or delays. Should your plane or train be delayed, please contact us immediately. Any additional cost you may incur to get to your destination is at your own expense.
Visit Beyond welcomes travellers of all ages but some tours are more suitable for children than others. Please make yourself aware of children rules under each tour and determine if a given trip is suitable for your family. An adult must accompany children and young people under the age of 18. An adult is defined as anyone aged 18 or above. All enquiries with respect to children are subject to review and approval by Visit Beyond. Visit Beyond reserves the right to restrict the number of travellers under the age of 18 on tours to secure optimal operation.
Please note, that the above refers to child travellers only and not to child prices. These may be seen under each individual tour, if applicable.
In the event of a genuine crisis or emergency, Visit Beyond’s Vietnam Office can be reached on Tel: +84 98 576 1122. For further contact details please use the following page: http://visitbeyond.com/contact-us
Visit Beyond, as the name implies, brings you places that are beyond the well-worn tourist path. Out there, things sometimes go wrong and if they do, it is imperative that you tell your guide or tour leader immediately. They are best suited to help however way they can. If this does not suffice, your guide will contact our manager. Note also that Visit Beyond trips are likely to offer circumstances that involve risks and by booking a tour with Visit Beyond, you acknowledge and accept any and all risk associated herewith.
This said, please expect and appreciate the unexpected. We try to bring you closer to local life and here English may not always be spoken and despite a global world, cultural differences still greatly exists. You will get a much better experience if you bring an open mind, a great smile, patience and willingness to meet the locals at eyelevel.
How do you find your Visit Beyond experience? We would love to hear from you and always welcome constructive feedback. Please contact us on the following addresses: http://visitbeyond.com/contact-us
In the event of discrepancies or dissatisfaction, please file the complaint to your guide as soon as it arises. Doing so, we have a better chance of meeting your needs instantly and ensure you get a good experience. Note that you waive any complaints if you cannot reasonably demonstrate that the complaint was made immediately.
If you, contrary to expectation, remain unsatisfied then please file a written complaint to your travel consultant through which you have booked the service. This must be done within 15 days of the end of the service. Visit Beyond will not accept any liability for claims received after this period.
Visit Beyond provides experienced, local, English-speaking guides who know the destination and region well. We encourage you to ask all the questions you may have.
For all tours, please closely read the itinerary and note the physical rating to decide if you are fit to participate. As a general rule of thumb and to get the most out of your trip, we recommend a good physical health and if in doubt, consult your doctor or physician before leaving your home country. We do not walk at altitude nor set distance records, but some treks can still be demanding. Expect hilly terrain and high temperatures. Visit Beyond and its guides reserve the right to exclude a participant without refund if said traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to him/herself or to the group.
Small and very handy first aid kits should be readily available in your home country. We recommend you purchase a kit before departure along with any personal medication you may require. Do not rely on guides, as they are legally prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache medicine and antibiotics.
If you suffer from any conditions, physical, mental or otherwise, you are obligated to notify Visit Beyondin writing prior to booking. Visit Beyond reserves the right to declinea booking if said conditions pose a danger. Likewise, failure to notify Visit Beyond of any such condition may result in your denial of travel. Similarly, travellers should be aware that Asian countries have medical standardsand facilities that may vary greatly from what you are used to in your home country. Women who are or think they may be pregnant mustconsult a physician before engaging in any activity with Visit Beyond orbefore booking any trips. Any person who is concerned about their ability to travel should contact Visit Beyond and will then be recommended a trip suitable for these specific needs (if available).
Special Health & Fitness for diving:
Before you begin your dive course, you must complete a medical test. If you suffer, or have suffered, from asthma, hay fever or allergies, you must bring a doctors certificate stating that you are physically capable of withstanding the kind of strain that diving may cause. We recommend that you obtain a doctors certificate in advance in case you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned diseases.
Visit Beyond provides luggage storage at all of our service offices, both for the day and if you go on a tour for several days. When going on a tour and you come back to our office, we recommend that you only bring what is needed for the tour and leave larger bags behind. Not only will this make it more convenient for you, but also allow for better and easier commuting.
On some of our tours, there may be free time and/or options for additional activities. These are not included in the tour and do not form a contract. Visit Beyond is not responsible for anything that may arise from a traveller taking part in optional activities. Optional activities are undertaken at the cost of the traveller.
Please always respect the departure times when stated in itinerary. These are carefully considered to ensure you the most comfortable journey and to ensure you make opening times where applicable. In case you, contrary to expectations, are running late for a tour departure, please use the contact details on the front of your voucher to alert Visit Beyond. If we do not hear from you the tour will depart at latest 15 minutes after stated departure time and no refund will be given in case you miss the departure.
Most national governments provide updated advice services on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you stay updated on your government's advice for the latest travel information – before departure and while on the road.
Visit Beyond endeavours to conduct its operations safely and your guide has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it isdeemed necessary due to safety concerns. However, Visit Beyond is not liable to you in the event ofinjury, death, financial loss or any other damages incurred as a resultof Force Majeure, e.g., political turmoil, riots, war, landslides, flooding, etc. Visit Beyond requires you to carry insurance that covers suchunforeseeable circumstances.
Adventure trips, trekking, hiking and water based activities such as swimming, snorkeling and diving inherently holds an element of danger and excitement. While we take every precaution to ensure these are carried out in agreement with operating standards, please have a balanced approach to safety and note that participation will always be at your own risk.
Visit Beyond does not tolerate illegal drugs nor do we tolerate visiting prostitutes. This goes even though it may be common among certain communities we visit. Possession of illegal drugs is a crime punishable by death in Vietnam. Visit Beyond and guides reserve the right to immediately expel from the group anyone engaging in these activities.
Note that most nationalities are required to obtain visas for travelling to certain countries in Asia. You are yourself responsible for obtaining valid visa to enter Vietnam, if needed. Consult your embassy’s website in the destination country or the destination’s embassy website in their country for the latest visa requirements. If you are in doubt of who to contact, please feel free to send us an email: email@example.com (mark and insert as link: “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. Visit Beyond cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions in regards to visa rules.
Valid personal travel insurance is a prerequisite to participate in any activity or tour organised by Visit Beyond. It should as a minimum, but not exclusively, cover medical expenses, personal injury, repatriation and evacuation. Further amendments to your policy, such as trip cancellation, and loss of luggage and personal effect are not required, but strongly encouraged. Visit Beyond will not be held liablefor lost or stolen luggage and reserves the right to deny participation in any activity or tour if you do not hold valid travel insurance. You must be able to provide proof ofinsurance if requested by Visit Beyond or any of its representatives.
Visit Beyond operates trips in Vietnam throughout the year—including the rainy season—and changes may result from inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. We reserve the right to change the itinerary according to such circumstances as we see fit to ensure the best experience for our travellers.
Nice to know
Take into account your personal spending habits when deciding how much money to bring. Are meals included? How much will you drink and party? How many souvenirs do you intend to bring home? Remember to include tips in your calculations and we also recommend keeping an emergency fund for unforeseen circumstances beyond our and your control.
There is no departure tax at all international airports in Vietnam at present time, however we recommend that you always recheck before leaving for the airport. This due to said information being subject to change without notice and Visit Beyond is not liable for unexpected charges levied on departing tourists.
It is a good idea to leave your booking agent’s contact details or Visit Beyond’s contact information with friends or family in your home country in case of emergencies.
Visit Beyond gives you the opportunity to try authentic Vietnamese food. When meals are not included, your guide will be able to suggest restaurants and the best dishes during your trip. Your guide will normally order a variety of dishes to sample. Notify your tour leader of allergies or dietary restrictions.
We recommend withdrawing money from ATMs, which are widely available throughout Vietnam. This has the advantage of keeping your money safe in the bank – not vulnerable in your back pocket. Remember to bring your bank’s emergency contact details in the event that your card is stolen. You might also consider bringing a spare card in case one gets stolen. Remember to keep them separated. We recommend you bring some spare cash in USD in case of emergency.
Remember that dressing is generally conservative throughout Asia – especially outside major cities. Visit Beyond therefore strongly recommends modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Avoid tank tops on the beach and never sunbathe topless. Men and women alike are often required to wear pants that cover the legs in temples and religious sites.
…With your loved ones and fellow travellers. Had a beyond ordinary experience? Challenged your personal boundaries or just shared a beautiful moment despite cultural differences?
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Visit Beyond employs local guides who greatly appreciate recognition of services rendered. Tipping about US$ 5 per day (if you are happy with the service) is appropriate, but not compulsory. We suggest US$ 3 per day for porters (if applicable). For drivers who render services for several days in a row, US$ 3 per day is appropriate. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
At small restaurants you may want to round up to the nearest US$ 2. At upscale restaurants, a tip of 10% is appreciated. (Note that upscale restaurants often levy a 10% service charge on the bill. Additional tipping is at your discretion).
Pack according to the tour you have chosen. If you’re going trekking, bring appropriate shoes. If you’re going diving, bring your suit etc. Visit Beyond encourages you to pack only necessities. Although there are some tours and trips in which you can leave your luggage behind for a day’s excursion, we generally require you to carry your own gear. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to pack in a backpack with straps and back support and a smaller daypack. We strongly discouragehard case luggage!
What you plan to bring we will leave up to you, but generally remember all your travel documents and keep a copy of your passport as well as your travel insurance card on you at all times. Give priority to lightweight and fast drying clothes just as long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended for trekking and chilly evenings. If you are travelling in the rainy season, remember umbrella or waterproof shield. Lastly respect local culture and bring appropriate clothes for temples and religious sites. You might also find it useful to bring a phrase book – just a couple of words in the local language will give you tremendous credit. Lastly, we are in the tropics so remember sunscreen and insect repellent!
Please check Visitbeyond.com to see, if there is anything essential to bring for your particular tour.
The above has been written in good faith and every effort has been made to accurately reflect Visit Beyond’s policies. It should be seen as general guidelines and information provided as a service to the traveller. Visit Beyond cannot be held responsible for any error, omission or unintentional misrepresentation that may appear in this document or on its website. The Client solely bares the responsibility for staying updated on travel requirements, rules and regulations at any time. Updated 23rd Jun 2014.