Duration: 5 days 4 nights

Live unforgettable moments during this 5-day journey in the heart of Hoang Su Phi, a region of outstanding beauty. You will trek through magical landscapes that will lead you from Thong Nguyen to Nam Hong, then to Nam Ai and Phin Ho, and interact with ethnic groups during homestays. This tour is made for hiking lovers who want to discover the authenticity of Hoang Su Phi, a fabulous land nestled in the mountains of Northern Vietnam.


  • An itinerary built for amateurs of memorable hikes
  • An amazing discovery of the breathtaking region of Hoang Su Phi
  • Meet the ethnic groups of Northern Vietnam and live a unique experience thanks to homestays among the locals


Day 1: Hanoi – Thong Nguyen (D) (7-hour drive)
Day 2: Trekking from Thong Nguyen to Nam Hong (B, L, D) (easy trek, 5 hours)
Day 3: Nam Hong – Nam Son – Nam Ai (B, L, D) (easy trek, 5 hours)
Day 4: Nam Ai – Le Hong Phong – Phin Ho (B, L, D) (easy trek, 5 hours)
Day 5: Phin Ho – Hanoi (B, L) (7-hour drive)

Check the best time to visit Hoang Su Phi.


Day 1: Hanoi – Thong Nguyen (D)

08:00am: our guide and our driver will come to pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi. You will then drive to Hoang Su Phi and stop several times along the way to stretch your legs. You will reach Hoang Su Phi in late afternoon.

Overnight at a homestay or at a mini hotel.

Day 2: Hike from Thong Nguyen to Nam Hong (B, L, D)

After breakfast, you will start the first day of hiking (5 to 6 hours) – you will walk through rice terraces, mountainous areas, and bamboo forests. You will also discover the daily life of the inhabitants throughout this trek and you will most notably meet Man Ta Pan and Long Tunics Man.

For lunch, you will have a picnic.

Overnight at a homestay in the household of a Man Ta Pan family.

Day 3: Nam Hong – Nam Son – Nam Ai (B, L, D)

On this day, you will follow trails winding through rice terraces across Nam Khoa village, a place inhabited by the Dzao Ta Pan ethnic group. You will have time to admire the fabulous bucolic landscape. Depending on the season, you will be able to see some agricultural activities take place, such as harvesting, transplanting…. Level change: 600m.

Day 4: Nam Ai – Le Hong Phong – Phin Ho (B, L, D)

Today, you will hike (5 to 6 hours) until reaching Phin Ho, a village inhabited by the Man Ta Pan ethnic group. This village is renowned for its tea, picked from very old trees (more than 100 years old).
Following the itinerary, you will cross beautiful rice terraces, bamboo and magnoliaceae forests, discovering a region where locals harvest cardamom and medicinal plants.

You will also visit a village inhabited by another minority: the Flower H’Mong ethnic group.

Picnic for lunch.

Overnight at a homestay with a Tay family.

Day 5: Phin Ho – Hanoi (B, L)

Have a good breakfast before starting a short walk towards the main road. It will be the opportunity for you to enjoy the surroundings a last time, before boarding the vehicle for the drive back to Hanoi. 


  • The distance for daily hikes ranges from 15 to 20 km. Elevation (+): 700 m / Incline (-): 400 m
  • The estimated hiking duration do not include lunch breaks. These estimates are of course indicative and can vary depending on the experience level of the participant and the weather conditions.
  • These estimates do not take into account breaks or occurrences that can take place during an adventure tour (quality of roads, breakdowns, works, road traffic…). They are of course given as indication and can vary.


In USD per person. Validity: until end of December 2016.

Number of Participants2-3 pax4-5 pax6-8 pax
Private Travel$485$355$290
Cheaper Travel$379$299$265
Adventure Travel$259$240$229

In order to shorten the travel and decrease the price, the departure can take place in the evening. In this case, the length of the excursion will be 4 days and 4 nights. This option is applied to the “Cheaper Travel” formula.

Please contact us directly for any specific inquiry.

This price includes:

  • Private round-trip transfer between Hanoi and Ha Giang in an air conditioned vehicle (excluded for “Cheaper Travel” and “Adventure Travel” formulas)
  • Entry fees and hiking permit
  • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary (see photo)
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • English-speaking/French-speaking guide, local guide, porter 

This price excludes:

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks and personal expenses (laundry, mobile phone…)


  • The “Private Travel” formula includes: meals mentioned in the itinerary, English-speaking or French-speaking guide
  • For the “Cheaper Travel” formula: some meals are not included, and the transfer by local bus is not included
  • For the “Adventure Travel” formula: same as “Cheaper Travel”, expect for the fact that there’s no English-speaking or French-speaking guide with you
  • We need to get one copy of your passport at least 2 days before the departure date, in order to request for a security permit for your travel


Guide and porters

  • The English-speaking/French-Speaking Vietnamese local guide will accompany you from the start of the trip in Hanoi, until the end of your travel.
  • The local guide is our liaison officer, who will help our main tour guide not only on the trekking trails, but also to interact with local ethnic minorities and to prepare the ingredients for meals.
  • The porter will carry your bags by motorbike from a given destination to another. The porter will also go to the local market to buy foods that you will eat every day. The porter will have already prepared the house before your arrival (cleaning and installation of a small foam-made mattress and of a mosquito net).

There are three daily meals every hiking day: for lunch, it will either be a picnic or a hot meal, while for dinner, it will be a hot meal cooked by our local team. All the food will be prepared by our guide and the porters. Meals are adapted to the taste of travelers and thus slightly differ from the meals of your hosts.

  • Breakfast includes: jam, bread, butter, milk, coffee
  • Lunch on the go includes: rice/noodles, hard boiled eggs, beef/pork, vegetables, fruits
  • Dinner: normally, you will eat with your hosts. The food is bought then cooked and served by our guide/porters.
Lunches are often simple in order for the local guide to not carry too much weight during the day.
Drinks: during road drives, we will provide you with bottled mineral water.  

During your trek, you will spend nights with locals: you will be living under the same conditions as your hosts. Indeed, this itinerary is made for people who put the stress on discovering authentic off-the-beaten-tracks regions and for whom comfort is not a main focus. Often, overnights at homestays refers to stays in a traditional house – usually a stilt house – of a local family. On the first floor, there is a large common room where you will have dinners before sleeping on mattresses. On the ground floor, domestic animals (chickens, pigs, dogs …) live and circulate freely.  Do not forget to bring earplugs to protect yourself from possible noise.
Bathroom and toilets are rudimentary and usually located outside the house. Generally, only cold water is available (in order to get hot water, it must be heated on fire). Showering “Asia-style” (with a large water basin and a small bucket to pour water on you) is possible.

Luggage and Luggage transportation
It is advised to split the amount of belongings between a small backpack that you will wear during hikes, and a second travel luggage where you will keep most of your things – most preferably with suspenders – in order to be easier to carry for porters.
While hiking, each participant will walk with a light backpack containing only stuff needed for the day (protective clothing, water, sunscreen, jacket, aid kit…). Every night, you will take back your travel luggage that you entrusted to the porters or left inside the vehicle during the day. During the trek, it is of paramount importance to limit the weight of your bag to 6kg, as you can leave your other belongings in the travel luggage and take it back at the end of the hike.
Depending on weather conditions, luggage is transported during the day by motorbike or by porters.

For clothing, put the stress on multi-layers: ventilation, isolation, protection. Those layers each have complementary roles. In order to “travel light”, you can plan to do some laundries.
For a travel between April and October: bring light clothes (t-shirts, short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts, pants for hiking, a short or a pant with a zip, a cap or a hat, socks, underwear, something to protect yourself from the rain such as a poncho, a raincoat or an umbrella, etc.).
For a travel between November and March: bring warm clothes (a polar sweatshirt, sweaters, scarves).
The items listed above are just given as indication. It is strongly advised to prepare your bags while thinking of limiting your belongings in terms of quantity and volume, while also making sure to bring what is necessary in case of rain and to take sport clothing.      

For shoes, there are several options.

  • Trekking shoes: the brand is not important, the key is to feel perfectly comfortable inside your shoes. Choose waterproof shoes, not heavy, not rigid, while still putting the emphasis on resistance. They should have good heel support and adherent insoles. If you are used to walking, low-cut trekking shoes should be enough.
  • Low-cut shoes for outdoor: comfortable and perfect to use during easy hikes, air flights, visits and evenings.
  • Sandals, Crocs, flip flops or light shoes.

Other items to bring:

  • A small toiletry bag
  • A light towel
  • Sunscreen + lip balm
  • High-quality sunglasses
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mosquito repellent (also protects from other kinds of insects) – there could be a risk of dengue, so bringing a repellent is necessary
  • A big plastic bag that you will put inside your luggage to protect your belongings
  • A small pouch worn around the neck or belt and containing your passport, money, credit card, documents, insurance contract
  • A color photocopy of your passport should facilitate administrative procedures in case of loss or theft (do not keep the photocopy together with the passport!). You can also keep a copy of your passport in your mailbox.
  • A sleeping bag sheet is necessary.
  • A Thermarest self-inflating mattress (length 120 cm, weight 400 gr) is not required, but can be useful. It brings a real plus in terms of comfort, especially if you have a sensitive back.
  • A small pillowcase if needed  

Discovery of the daily life of the inhabitants and meeting with local people
Several ethnic groups reside in the northern mountainous regions of Vietnam. During your treks, you will go to meet local people and learn more about their lifestyle. It will also be possible for you to meet different ethnic minorities while visiting weekly markets.  

Hiking trails
You will hike along the trails that locals take every day. You will go through bamboo forests, rice terraces, ethnic villages, and a water stream. You might have to also cross a suspension bridge.
You must stay alert and be careful during the rainy season (from May to October): indeed, there is a risk of landslides.

Rules of Conduct

  • Chopsticks are used during meals (always new set of chopsticks). If eating with chopsticks is difficult for you, don’t worry: you will easily find forks or spoons.
  • Women should not wear provocative attire, men should not walk around shirtless, do not take pictures of someone who doesn’t want to… Show patience and keep smiling.
  • If you travel with your partner, be discreet in demonstrating your affection: do not kiss or hold hands in public. In the presence of a third person, a couple should not show any sign of mutual affection. When a man greets a woman, handshake should be proscribed: simply greet her by saying “Hello”.
  • Rice wine: for the people who hosts you during the trekking, it is inconceivable not to offer you to drink, and it’s always rice wine (more or less good….). Refusing to drink without upsetting your host is not always easy!! Thus, for those who don’t drink, make an effort: either take only a sip or just tend the cup to your host (with your two hands) with a big smile, and your host should be happy.
  • Accept that dishes are served when ready, in no particular order, and not according to a western standards of serving
  • Gifts: do not distribute candies, pens or other kind of gifts, particularly to kids, because this behavior can encourage them to begging, dropping out of the school or simply abandoning their regular occupation. If you wish to make a donation, it is better to do so through a local organization (association, school, clinic…). You can ask your guide about it; he will inform you about the best way to donate.
  • Do not give away medicine or prescription drugs: they are not necessarily suitable and locals can have difficulties in respecting the correct dosage.
  • Prior to taking a picture, make sure that the local people agree: taking pictures of villagers should be based on mutual agreement. However, at markets, you can take pictures without any problem.


You can elect to spend you first night at a lodge:

  • Pan Hou Ecolodge (www.panhou-village.com).
Price supplement: $53 per single room per night. $77 per double room per night. $104 per triple room per night. Breakfast is included.

  • At a guest house: $18 per double room per night. Breakfast is not included.

Additional nights
You can add night stays in Hanoi, before or after the trip:

  • Indochina Queen Hotel: starting from $30 per double room (superior) and including breakfast.
  • Medallion Hotel: starting from $45 per double room (superior) and including breakfast.

Extend your trip
You can extend your journey with a beautiful Ha Long Bay cruise (2 days and 1 night). Several options are possible:

  • 3-star junk boat: starting from $208 for a private cabin with double occupancy. This price includes: overnight onboard, round-trip transfer by shuttle bus (between Hanoi and Ha Long), meals onboard (1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner), an English-speaking guide onboard, kayak rental, and visit/entrance fees.
  • 4-star junk boat: starting from $288 for a private cabin with double occupancy. This price includes: overnight onboard, round-trip transfer by shuttle bus (between Hanoi and Ha Long), meals onboard (1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner), an English-speaking guide onboard, kayak rental, and visit/entrance fees.
You can also extend your trip with a visit to Dong Van Karst Plateau. You have the option to discover Dong Van either by motorbike or by private car.

Other Tours:
VTRE07: Amazing Pu Luong Trekking – 5 days
VTRE08: From Pu Luong to Ha Long Bay – 9 days
VTRE09: Trek from Bac Ha to Ha Giang – 10 days
VTRE10: Fabulous Northern Vietnam (Easy Trekking) – 11 days