Duration: 5 days 4 nights

This 5-day off-the-beaten-tracks tour will take you to Ba Be Lake, a beautiful natural lake that lies in the middle of limestone mountains, and then up north to the border with China where the spectacular Ban Gioc waterfalls are located. You will also discover the notorious Colonial Road Number 4 (known as “RC4”), which has been the theatre of violent occurrences in History. Along this road, you will discover majestic karst landscapes.


  • Two fantastic natural sites: Ban Gioc waterfalls and Ba Be Lake
  • Sites with rich History
  • A journey off-the-beaten-tracks 
  • Tour the heart of fabulous karst peaks


Day 1: Hanoi – Ba Be (L, D)
Day 2: Ba Be – Cao Bang (B, L, D)
Day 3: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Cao Bang (B, L, D)
Day 4: Cao Bang – Lang Son (B, L, D)
Day 5: Lang Son – Hanoi (B, L)


Day 1: Hanoi – Ba Be (L, D)

Let’s start our travel by leaving Hanoi in route for Ba Be Lake, a natural lake of rare beauty, located 145 m above sea level and in the middle of a beautiful national park renowned for its many limestone peaks.

Historically, many ethnic minorities live together on the shores of the lake (Tays, Mongs, Daos, etc). Upon arrival, we will enjoy a bicycle ride and go to Pac Ngoi and Peng villages, and their surroundings.

Overnight at a homestay in a beautiful stilt house on the lake.

Day 2: Ba Be – Cao Bang (B, L, D)

In the morning, we will explore Ba Be Lake and the surrounding mountains that are covered with thick forests. We will board a boat and cruise on the lake until reaching the village of Mai Ha. After a nice scenic walk of the area, we will go to Boc Lom by boat before disembarking.

Later, we will transfer to Cao Bang. Check-in at the hotel, and have dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Cao Bang (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we head to a spectacular natural site: Ban Gioc Waterfalls. The sumptuous cascades is a beautiful spot to take incredible pictures. The best time to visit Ban Gioc is during the rainy season (July to September), but it can be visited throughout the year.

Later, we will go to Nguom Ngao Cave, one of the most beautiful caverns in Vietnam. It has three large galleries where you can admire beautiful limestone formations.

Finally, we will return to Cao Bang. Dinner and free time in the evening.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Cao Bang – Lang Son (B, L, D)

To start the day we take a beautiful road along the Chinese border, formerly known as RC4 during the French colonial era. We will cross the villages of Dong Khe and That Khe, which were once theatres of violent battles in October 1950 against the French army. We will visit the remains of a French fort before taking a walk on the wonderful karst peaks until reaching Duc Long village, the location of Ho Chi Minh’s Command Center during the battles. We will walk around the village and visit the museum.

We will finally reach Lang Son in the late afternoon. Visit to the Central Market.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 5: Lang Son – Hanoi (B, L)

After breakfast and before starting our drive back to Hanoi, we will visit Tam Thanh and Nhi Thanh caves. On our way, we will stop at Dong Ky to visit Do temple and the old Town Hall.

We will reach Hanoi in the afternoon, concluding the tour. 

Please contact us for more information about this tour or to customize this itinerary.


  • All transportation
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B for breakfast, L for lunch, D for dinner)
  • Accommodation (twin room or double room, homestay)
  • Boat cruise on Ba Be Lake 
  • English-speaking guide
  • All entrances fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • One bottle of water daily 

  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Supplement for single room
  • Visa to Vietnam

Other Tours:
VAEX02: Adventure in Ha Giang & Dong Van – 5 days
VAEX03: Mu Cang Chai & the Road of Photographers – 5 days
VAEX04: The Northeastern Loop – 6 days
VAEX05: Essence of the North – 7 days
VAEX06: The Northwestern Loop – 7 days
VAEX07: Colors of the North – 10 days
VAEX08: Authentic Adventure in the Great North – 12 days
VAEX09: Grand Tour of the North & Ha Long Bay – 16 days
VAEX10: Vietnam Mosaic – 21 days