Hanoi Trek Through Remote Villages To Luang Prabang – 13 Days- Trekking through the core of Cuc Phuong National Park will expose the best scenery, experiencing the most diverse National Park in Vietnam with a huge variety of rare fauna and flora in the limestone mountain forest and Pu Luong to Laos through the beautiful villages to Luang Prabang .

Day 1: Hanoi – Cuc Phuong National Park

7:30 Am pick up from your hotel in Hanoi and leave hustle and bustle city behind, our shuttle bus will take you over two hours out of the city,  you will enjoy pristine nature and authentic village life on the way.  We continue to Cuc Phuong, the oldest National Park of  Vietnam, which boasts an engaging cultural and wildlife heritage and enchanting scenery. Upon arrival, you will check in at the hotel/guest house and then have lunch in the local restaurant at the park headquarter. In the afternoon, you will visit Turtle Conservation Center, the Endangered Primate Rescue Center - one of the highlights of a visit to Cuc Phuong National park where you can observe some of the rarest primate species in the world. The primate center houses specimens of langurs, loris, and gibbon species, including the critically endangered Delacour's Langur, Golden-headed Langur, Tonkin Snub-nosed Langur, and Black Crested Gibbon. After that, you will come back to the hotel/guest house to have dinner and stay overnight in the sound of nature.

Activities: Transferring from Hotel to Cuc Phuong national park
Accommodation: Cuc Phuong National Park Guest House .
Meals: L/D
Transferring distance: 150 Km/  

Day 2: Cuc Phuong National Park – Khanh village

Waking up to the sound of gibbons, you will have breakfast and start to visit the Cave of Prehistoric Man, where human skeletons and stone tools dated some 7.500 years old have been found. Leaving the cave, the car will bring you to the park center where you start trekking through the green forest to a Khanh village, the peaceful home of the friendly Muong ethnic community. Today you will enjoy a picnic lunch en route. After lunch, we continue trekking through the dense forest leading to Ban Khanh Eco homestay village. Tonight you will enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner with homestay owners and stay overnight in a cozy traditional stilt house.

Activities: Trekking from Cuc Phuong National Park  - Village
Accommodation: Ecohomestay
Meals: B/L D
Trekking distance from 15 – 17 km: Trekking from 7- 8Hours 

Day 3: Khanh - Thuong village – Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve

Tasting traditional cake is made by the host, you will feel the distinct flavor. Following the meal, we start to do bamboo rafting on a tranquil Buoi river to experience how slowly the time goes. Disembarking on the raft, the car will bring you to Thuong village which boasts a stunning Mo waterfall and welcomes Muong ethnic people. You will enjoy lunch at the homestay located next to the waterfall. In the afternoon, you will trek through the forest, climb up to the hill, walk down to a spring and finally come to Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve. Tonight, you will enjoy not only a big dinner with authentic Muong food but also an exciting traditional music performance by the local woman and the famous “Can” wine.

Activities: Trekking from Village - Village
Accommodation: Ecohomestay
Meals: B/L/D
Trekking distance from 15 – 17 km: Trekking from 6-7 Hours

Day 4: Khuong village – Mon village

Get up early to stroll around the village to enjoy pristine nature and rustic village life. meet and talk with local people to understand their life. Or you just assist the host for breakfast. after breakfast we follow a trail to Mu village where you must be surprised at the wonderful Mu waterfall and a simple remaining water-power rice mortar. Remarkably, one of the best outdoor activities you can do today is swimming. At lunchtime, you will come back to Mu Stream homestay. In the afternoon,  you will walk on a trail running through villages and rice paddy fields to pretty Mon village. You will have dinner and stay overnight at Green Forest homestay there.

Activities: Trekking from Village - Village
Accommodation: Ecohomestay
Meals: B/L/D
Trekking distance from 15 – 17 km: Trekking from 6-7 Hours

Day 5: Mon vilLage – Hieu village

After breakfast, you will say goodbye to the homestay owners and continue to do your journey. You will walk to Coi Gao village and then enter the forest. Today you will have a chance to trek through the trail which is said to be the most beautiful one in the North of Vietnam. After walking under canopies of great trees, sometimes going through small springs, and may be lost in the sound of nature for some hours, you will reach Pu Luong Nature Reserve. A picnic lunch will be served by the spring in the forest. Getting out of the forest, at sunset time, you will walk on the village road and capture the fascinating image of the emissions of cooking smoke from various stilt houses of Thai ethnic people. Arriving at Hieu village, you will be warmly welcomed by the homestay owner and then have dinner and go to bed in the murmur of Hieu waterfall.

Activities: Trekking from Village - Village
Accommodation: Ecohomestay
Meals: B/L/D
Trekking distance from 15 – 17 km: Trekking from 6-7 Hours

Day 6 : Hieu Villages  - Crossing border to Laos - Sam Neua

It’s time to leave Vietnam behind and cross the border into Laos, where your first overnight stop will be the town of Sam Neua. You’ll break up the car journey in Vieng Xai, where the mountains are riddled with a honeycomb of limestone caves. During the Vietnam War, 20,000 people sheltered from illegal US bombing raids in these caves, building a “hidden city” complete with schools, markets, hospitals, a radio station, and communist headquarters. Your guide will tell you all about what life was like in the caves before you continue on to Sam Neua – a remote town whose rather unpicturesque veneer belies a certain distinctive charm and thoroughly un-touristy vibe.

Activities: Transfer and short trekking in Sam neua
Accommodation: guesthouse
Meals: B/L/D
Trekking distance from 2 km: Trekking from 1 Hours ( If time permit

  1. 7 : Sam Neua – Nam Et- Phou Louey National Park ( B , L , D )
  2. breakfast and transfer to the National Park and enjoy waterfalls along the way. Overnight in a jungle camp.
    (6 km trek. 4 hours. Elev. Gain/Loss: +1225m/-500m. Avg. Slope: +11%/-7.5%)

The National Park’s English-speaking guide and driver will meet clients at around 8:30am at the guesthouse in Muang Hiem.

First, visit the National Park’s headquarters and Visitor Center in Muang Hiam. The guide will share a presentation of the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and introduce the on-the-ground efforts in protecting wildlife.

After a 45-minute drive along a curvy road through gorgeous mountainous landscapes and through the National Park corridor you will arrive at Ban Sakok, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the National Park’s boundary.

The village guide, porters and cooks will be waiting to greet you at the village visitor center, which has beautiful panoramic view of the village and surrounding mountains. The guide will inform you about the itinerary of the upcoming tour.

The trekking starts at around 10.00am, first you will hike through the village’s rice, tobacco, and cornfields learning along the way about upland rice cultivation and rural livelihoods.

At the edge of the fields and forest, enjoy a picnic overlooking fields and the backdrop of Phou Louey Mountain. Here your guides will explain about the different management zones of the park.

After lunch, begin trekking into the National Park following the path built and maintained by the village to the Tad Loy Camp. The trail climbs steadily into mixed deciduous forests. Your local guide may show you medicinal plants along the way.

This first day of trekking is quite short. After approximately 2-3 hours, you will arrive at the Tad Louey and Tad Loy waterfalls. Spend time relaxing, swimming at the two waterfalls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls found in the area before continuing to the camp.

Enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cook and porters. After, relax by the campfire and the wild outback of Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park. The guides may tell you Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife and ghosts.

Optional: After dinner, your guide can take you on a short (around 30min) night walk nearby the camp to see insects and other small creatures of the night.

Overnight in Jungle Huts (2 persons per hut).

  1. 8 : Nam Et- Phou Louey National Park ( B , L , D )
  2. Mountain Pass. Wildlife Observation Tower and overnight in the Nests.
    (12 km trek. 7 hours. Elev. Gain/Loss +895m/-660m. Avg. Slope +11%/-11%)

Wake up early and before breakfast walk up to a nearby mountain to check for wildlife photos on camera traps set there, bird watch, and possibly have the opportunity to hear the calls of the rare Northern White-Cheeked Gibbons.

After returning back to the campsite, enjoy breakfast. Today you will trek from the foothills of Phou Louey Mountain across the rugged and mountainous landscape to The Nests campsite located nearby the Poung Nied saltlick and the wildlife observation tower.

The route traverses some beautiful forest and landscapes and trench remains from the war. The trek is approximately 12km and takes around 7hours with a steep ascent to the top of Phou Phamai Mountain Pass (Elev. 1’500m) followed by a gradual descent down to the camp.

The top of Phou Phamai Mountain offers great view over the National Park, and you can see far away the Ban Sakok village from where you started your trek. Enjoy a picnic lunch with a view.

You will arrive at The Nests camp in the mid-afternoon and will be shown to your accommodation – the hanging spherical “Nest”. Enjoy free time to relax, bath in the nearby river and enjoy the nature.

Enjoy traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooking group at around 6-7 PM. Dinner is eaten at the camp and is not allowed at the observation tower.

After dinner, you will receive a briefing about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied salt lick – one of the largest salt licks in the National Park. The guides will inform tourists about the species of animals they may see and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.

It’s important to follow the introduced rules, such as: no talking, no eating at the salt lick observation tower. We will stay at the observation tower for a few hours (depending on your curiosity and patience) until no later than 11:30 pm.

The most common animals that you might spot include Sambar and barking deer (AKA muntjak) and various species of civets, although, if lucky, you may see also other protected animals such as bears, dhole, several species of wild cats and others.

Please wear warm clothes as it can be quite cold in the late evening/night time.

  1. 9 : Nam Et- Phou Louey National Park - Muang Hiem ( B , L , D)
  2. Morning Gibbon calls and Birdwatching. Exit the National Park.
  3. (7.5 km forest trek + 5km local tractor. 4 hours trek + 1h tractor. Elev. Gain/Loss +420m/-460m. Avg. Slope +10%/-11%)

Early morning before breakfast, your guide will offer you two options:

First option, wake up at 6:00 AM walk back to the nearby salt lick to identify different wildlife tracks. Spend approximately an hour in the observation platform, as morning is a great time for bird watching. After, follow the guide to check the camera traps.

Second option, wake up early morning at 5:30 and walk for 20 minutes up the mountain to try your luck to listed to the calls of the critically endangered Northern White Checked Gibbons.  Enjoy sunrise and birdwatching from a small viewpoint platform in a tree. At 6:30 follow the guide to check the camera traps.

Once back to the camp, enjoy breakfast and view wildlife camera trap photos taken by the camera trap during the previous night.

Twelve surrounding villages involved in this project receive monetary bonuses in the form of a village development fund based on the number and type of wildlife, and wildlife proof identified and viewed in the camera traps. (This fee is included in the tour price.)

Your final day of trekking takes you along a 7.5 km forest path. Pass by the ranger substation and trek through thick jungle and mixed deciduous forest. The local guide will show you medicinal plants and spot animal tracks along the way.

The trek has a couple moderate ascents before descending into agriculture fields. At the edge of the forest and fields, enjoy a picnic lunch. From here a tok tok (a small tractor used for plowing rice paddies and convertible to a vehicle for transportation) will pick you up and take you through the village rice and corn fields for about 5km to Ban Nam Poung Village, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the national park boundary.

Once in the village your village guides will bid you goodbye and you will be transferred back to Muang Hiem by private truck or van. We will be back in Muang Hiem in afternoon- Check in Local guest house .

10 : Muang Hime – Nong Khiaw -Waterfall and Mountain trek to Hmong Village Homestay (B L,D)

Early breakfast and transfer to Nong Khiaw for lunch and afternoon before driving to a small village. We’ll begin with a walk along a simple countryside road to the trailhead of the waterfall.

Enter the jungle at the base of the waterfall and hike up and through a lush green paradise of huge trees, moss covered rocks, and ferns. At the top of the waterfall the trail levels out and crosses rice paddies until we reach the remote Hmong village. Total trekking is medium difficulty 7 km taking about 3-4 hours.

The village is large with lots to explore and see. We’ll enjoy a local style dinner. Take your time to explore the place by yourself and with your guide. You’ll find your hosts warm and welcoming during this village homestay.

11 : Jungle Trek to a Mountainside Homestay (B,L,D)

Wake to breakfast prepared by your guide and begin the second day of trekking. Traverse 11 km of valley and mountains today and end in a remote village on a mountainside. We’ll overnight with a warm and welcoming family in the lower part of the village. At your leisure, hike up to the upper part of the village on the mountain for spectacular views over countless mountain peaks.

12 : Descent from the Mountains and Return to Nong Khiaw Town (B,L,D)

There are two trails you can choose from on the last day.

Today we hike from the mountain tops down to a village in the valley where we are picked up for return to Nong Khiaw. In the morning hours, the view is particularly stunning and we’ll pass through particularly beautiful jungle followed by a valley of rice paddies until we reach the village near the Nam Ou River. Total hiking time is about 2.5-3 hours covering 7 km.

Transfer by vehicle to about 15 minutes to Nong Khiaw town.  You'll be back early afternoon in time to relax and explore Nong Khiaw.

The second and longer trail

This trail takes you from mountain tops to the Nam Ou River to transfer finally by boat 25 minutes to Nong Khiaw. The trail is medium to difficult (if wet) covering 11 kilometers and normally taking about 6 hours.

Note: Be sure to bring good hiking shoes as the trails can be slippery with rain.  Trail conditions and hiking times can increase if there is rain.

Day 13 : Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang and Visit Pak Ou Cave (B, L)

After our breakfast, we make a return boat from Muang Ngoi to Nong Khiaw and then a private minivan through beautiful mountain and river landscape to Luang Prabang. We’ll make a stop to visit the famous Pak Ou Cave and the “Whiskey Village”.

We’ll take lunch at a restaurant with a fantastic view of the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers and the Pak Ou Caves. Arrive in Luang Prabang late afternoon. End The Tour at your own hotel.

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Tour price: Contact us

Group size: 2 to 12 hikers

Join in group tour departure dates: 25th Monthly

Tour Cost Includes:

  • Meals in tours :L =Lunch , D = dinner , B = breakfast
  • Lunch in Midway restaurant/City Restaurant or Pack Lunch
  • Boat trip, local ferry in tour
  • Back up AC vehicle for the complete tour
  • English speaking Local Guide - Cum trekking guide
  • Fresh Fruits/Snacks (Only trekking part)
  • Unlimited filter water during trekking (Only trekking part)
  • Entrance fees and permissions
  • Driver Allowance
  • Toll and Parking charges
  • 10% Government Taxe

Tour Cost Excludes:

  • International flight tickets, visa
  • Other personal expenses
  • Accommodation in Hanoi and Luang Prabang
  • Tips and Gratitude
  • Travel insurance
  • Any Hard and Soft Drinks with meals

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