Northern Vietnam Trekking

Northern Vietnam Trekking and Hill Tribes

This trip is set in Northern Vietnam, with jaw dropping scenery, hills, mountains, deep canyons, rivers, waterfalls, rice terraces and a diverse human landscape with most of the country’s 54 ethnic groups living in this area.

Meeting in Hanoi, the capital and feel the vibe of this chaotically, charming old Asian city. We soon leave the big smoke behind and head north into the countryside. We will base ourselves in Ha Giang province for the next 9 nights, staying in 5 different locations. Most of the accommodation is lodge style and there will be the opportunity to treat yourself to a massage or a traditional sauna en route. In some places you will stay in a traditional home, where the facilities may be shared, but the hospitality is second to none.

Trekking times will vary from day to day, depending on whether we need to drive far or are solely reliant on shanks’ pony. This trip is perfect for beginners and experienced trekkers and you will be amazed at the views we see in the highlands, so make sure you bring your camera.

The approximate daily trek/drive times are noted and meals (B, L, D) are highlighted in the itinerary.


Suggested flight: VN 786 SYD HAN 1315 2120

A mid afternoon flight from Sydney brings you directly to Hanoi, the capital of the country located in northern Vietnam.

During the transfer to the hotel, you will feel you have crossed a border, as this charming, chaotic city impresses you with it’s manic driving styles, friendly people, intriguing architecture which resemble Lego. You’ll be met by your local driver and leader/guide. Welcome to Hanoisy! This is the start of a great trip.

Meals: D

Checkout after breakfast and transfer to Hoang Su Phi and the delightful Lodge. There will probably be time for a spa treatment upon arrival, or just enjoy the sounds of nature in this magical setting.

Meals: B, L, D

Hike for 3 hours to a Red Dao village for lunch. They have sculpted the mountainside and use its water courses to grow rice. The cooler climate and fresh water in abundance also contribute to the growth of lush tea trees.

After lunch continue for another 2 hours to Giang Ha Village where we will stay the night in a traditional Red Dao house. A wonderful way to see locals in their normal daily activities.

Meals: B, L, D

Today we set off in a different direction and over the day there is less elevation, as we hike back down to the river level. We trek through bamboo forests, cassava plantations and past rice terraces.

We will enjoy lunch in a different Red Dao village, then back to the lodge along the river bank. Spend the rest of your afternoon at leisure, perhaps a Red Dao herbal bath for your muscles or the natural springs at the retreat. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

Today we drive 6hrs into the mountains of Ha Giang province and stop for some hiking near Heaven’s Gate and the sky walk.

The Ma Pi Leng Canyon is the poster child of this region but as you will see today, you are spoiled for choice for amazing scenery.

We will come to a Pa Vi village. on the outskirts of Meo Vac, our base for the next 3 nights. There are many homestays here so you can meet other travellers, enjoy some comfort and laughs.

Meals: B, L, D

Today we drive into the canyon and observe this majestic landscape from a different angle, including taking a one hour boat ride.

This is another blissful location for trekking with many ethnic villages dotted on the hillside and just a short distance from the Chinese border, which is normally on mountain tops. We will enjoy different ethnic foods and typical dress in this region as there are 17 groups with the main one being Mong.

Meals: B, L, D

This morning, we drive back across the Ma Pi Leng Pass and do some trekking through the Dong Van Karst Geopark.

The formations in this area seem out of this world and we will have contact with many colourfully dressed locals in this area too as we follow the paths between villages. We eventually arrive at the Northern Flagpole (Lu Cung) and stare over the border into China.

Return to Pa Vi back through the MaPi Leng pass.

Meals: B, L, D

Check out of Pa Vi village and trek on the plateau through the stone maze of Khau Vai.

Today’s walking will be a series of short hikesto enjoy the majestic scenery near Vietnam’s famous ‘Love Market’. We will encounter groups of local ethinic people going about their daily lives.

Time for lunch in Meo Vac town before continuing onto our next stay in Du Gia Valley.

Meals: B, L, D

Du Gia is famous for its unspoiled beauty, rice fields and rare plants because of the three types of forest terrain. Many plants within the national park are also culturally significant as they have become ingredients in traditional medicine or ceremonies.

Enjoy the scenery on today’s hike with free time in the afternoon to take a cool dip in the waterfall or go fishing with the locals, or maybe a spa.

Meals: B, L, D

This morning, we walk in another part of Du Gia valley before returning to the lodge for lunch and then transfer to Ha Giang.

Apart from a delicious dinner, there is also a swimming pool and a chance to sort out and post your photos at tonight’s delightful accommodation on the outskirts of the Ha Giang.

Well done – you have completed the Ha Giang Loop.

Meals: B, L, D

After breakfast we leave the beautiful mountains of Ha Giang behind and drive back to Hanoi with comfort stops on the way.

After check-in, there will be time to go shopping or get one of Vietnam’s famous coffees.

Tonight we undertake a walking street food tour to zing your taste buds and stretch your legs after the drive.

Meals: B, L, D

Today is a free day to explore Hanoi, do some shopping and taste the world renowned cuisine of the Vietnamese capital.

Meals and activities at your leisure, with plenty of options such as vespa or jeep tour.

Hanoi has a number of interesting museums if you prefer an inside activity and you could always get a massage or hit the spa.

Transfer to the airport at 8pm.

Suggested flight: VN 787 HAN SYD 2340 1315+1

Add a 2 or 3 day Halong Bay Cruise two your trip.

Suggested flight: 26 NOV VN 787 HAN SYD 2340 1315+1

We have a variety of options for Halong Bay. See below.


Not Included

Optional - Halong Bay Cruises

We have a variety of options for Halong Bay.

Take a look at the options and our suppliers will design a dream cruise for you.

Tour Cost

Why take a walk on the Wildlime side?

When you take a walk on the Wildlime side with us you will be looked after well. We know what it takes to start, what you need when things get tough and the importance of laughter to get you through the tough times.

We have coordinated numerous small group walks including Mont Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland), Annapurna Track (Nepal), Scottish Highlands, Camino De Santiago (France & Spain), Blue mountains and Great Ocean road and the Via Francigena.

We are passionate about getting people into hiking- good laughs and lifelong memories await you.

Eileen Cameron, Vietnam, Tour Guide

Vietnam local guide

Eileen is a Kiwi who has spent most of the past 20 years living abroad, teaching, leading and operating tours. She has a wealth of experience trekking, guiding and working in sustainable tourism and her passion for travel and South East Asia is infectious.

Living in Hanoi her local knowledge and passion for all things Vietnam will provide us with an immersive, cultural experience. - teamed with local guides along the way this is the ultimate way to explore this wonderful country.


Nov 13 - 24 2024


All Day