22 Days Trekking From Northern Laos To Hanoi

22 Days Trekking From Northern Laos To Hanoi
Tour Itinerary

A trekking journey from northern Laos to Hanoi sounds like an incredible adventure through the rugged landscapes and cultural richness of the region. I'm delighted to help you with the details. Here's what you need to know:Begin your trekking adventure in northern Laos, where you will have the opportunity to explore the stunning mountains, remote villages, and lush jungles.Trekking routes in this region offer breathtaking views, encounters with ethnic minority communities, and the chance to witness traditional rural life. Trekking in northern Laos can vary in difficulty, depending on the specific route and duration you choose. Be prepared for challenging terrains, steep ascents and descents, river crossings, and potentially muddy trails. It is recommended to have a moderate to advanced level of fitness and previous trekking experience.

Day 1 : Luang Prabang Arrival

Transfer from Airport to Hotel: 15 minutes

Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, our local adventure guide will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure to explore town or relax at the hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 2 : Luang Prabang Full Day City Tour ( B , L )

Walking and City tour up to: 5 hours Difficulty: Very Easy

Wake up early for a pre-dawn experience of Luang Prabang.

Begin by climbing the 365 steps of Mount Phousi, getting to the top before the sun comes up. At the top, enjoy a breathtaking sunrise accompanied by panoramic views of the town below.

From here, continue with an interactive tour of the town, exploring its architectural and historical wonders on foot. From colonial French buildings to ancient Buddhist temples, discover what makes this UNESCO city so unique.

After pausing for breakfast, continue the tour to the former Royal Palace (now the National Museum), followed by Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sene.

Next stop is the Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, the temple dates all the way back to the 16th century.

Lunch will be at a famous noodle soup shop where it is possible to sample Khao Soy, a local favourite.

After lunch, Wat Visoun, the holiest temple in the city, which was entirely rebuilt in 1887 after being destroyed by the invading Black Flags from Southern China. Continue passed Wat Aham and on to Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are kept inside the large central stupa.

Finish with the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, a museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities.

(Note: closed on Monday)

Dinner is at leisure this evening. For a unique alternative evening, visit the Storytelling Theater. From 17:00-18:00, observe a unique show from Garavek, with the aim of promoting and preserving the traditional stories, myths, legends, and folktales. (not included in cost)

Overnight at Luang Prabang.

Day 3 : Luang Prabang - Xayabouy ( B , L , D )

8:30 AM pick up from your hotel and transfer out of city and trekking some villages along the way to Xayaboury - 125 km from Luang Prabang. Late afternoon arrival check in local hotel and dinner at the local restaurant .

Day 4 : Xayaboury - Pakbeng ( B , L, D )

Pick up this morning will be at 07:30 from the hotel to local restaurant for breakfast and coffees before transfer and trekking to Pak Penk .

Late this afternoon, reach the town of Pakbeng. Located halfway between Houay Xay and Luang Prabang this small town is lined with wooden houses along a steep street on the hillside. Depending on the river's current, the boat may reach Pakbeng in time to watch the sun set over the river.  

Dinner and overnight in Pakbeng

Day 5 : Pakbeng - Mekong River -Elephant Camp and Trekking ( B , L, D )

Trekking distance up to: 3 hours Difficulty: Easy

Begin the day by crossing the river to Mekong Elephant Camp to view and assist with bathing the Elephants. The camp's pool is designed to allow all 8 elephants to bathe at the same time. For those who would prefer to not take part, they can view the elephant bathing from a nearby platform.

After bathing, visitors are helped on to the Elephants backs to begin the trek.

The trek starts off with a ride down the river bed surrounded by bamboo plants and then continues into the forest. Wind through the surrounding foliage, riding along paths connecting various different villages. There will be a chance to guide the elephants along the path, taking them down to the river to feed. The trek will also train in the basic mahout techniques.

Alternating between walking and riding on the back of the elephant, the trek passes through countryside typical to this region of Laos. The valleys provide panoramic views over several alluvial plains where sweet corn and tobacco grow along with traditional houses and gardens.

The view then opens out to the surrounding countryside.

For those who wish to do a more challenging excursion, please enquire further.

Return to the Mekong Elephant Camp and enjoy the rest of the day and Dinner at leisure.

Overnight in Pakbeng

Day 6 : Pakbeng - Oudomxay ( B , L , D )

Transfer: 2.5 hrs - 3 hrs

This morning, enjoy breakfast overlooking the Mekong before a late (10:00) check out, heading away from the river towards Oudomxay. This is a reasonably straight forward journey, where the landscape is covered with a variety of agricultural farming.  There will be a chance to stop at the Ban Yor Pottery village en route along with a few photo stops.

Upon arrival in Oudomxay, enjoy lunch followed by a walk up the town's highest temple, Wat Phu Tat, to get a panoramic view of the surrounding town and countryside.

The rest of the day is spent at leisure.

Overnight in Nam Kat Yola Pa Resort

Day 7 : Oudomxay - Nam Kat Yola Pa National Park ( B , L, D )

Trekking distance up to: 6 hours Difficulty: Medium

The next two days exploring is Ecotourism at its best! It’s perfect for those seeking a true experience of the Laos rainforest. Journey through some of the most stunning scenery in the Nam Kat Protected Rain Forest Area. Cross rivers and streams, trek through dense forest and experience true natural beauty. It is predominantly spent trekking through the forest and mountains of pristine trees and designed for moderately active people who love getting into the great outdoors.

Departing from the resort at around 9:00, trek uphill to Houay Soum waterfall. This waterfall has two levels and a chance to walk under the falls. A refreshing swim is always a good option to help cool down.

Trek onwards to a part of the park famous for its many bee hives. This will take about one hour and will be followed by a lunch break. Note: this activity mostly takes place during the dry season from November to May.

Dinner and overnight at the Tree House

Day 8 : Phoupapak Mountain - Sightseeing the Wildlife ( B , L , D )

Trekking distance up to: 5 hours Difficulty: Medium

This morning, after breakfast, depart around 08:30 and delve further into the densely forested mountainside. Whilst trekking, there will be an opportunity to see animal tracks from monkeys, squirrels and a variety of birds.

It may be possible to spot monkeys that venture out of the high canopy looking for food. After lunch, continue trekking downhill, reaching the resort around 17:00.

Dinner and overnight at Nam Kat Yola Pa Resort

Day 9 : Oudomxay - Phongsaly ( B , L , D )

Transfer from Oudomxay to Phongsaly: 7-8 hours

After breakfast, depart for Phongsaly. The road is situated on the mountain slopes and is in good condition. The drive will pass by beautiful landscapes, banana plantations, local rural life in the villages that border the road and panoramic views over the surrounding mountains.

Make a stop at Ban Bountai around 12:30 and enjoy a picnic lunch or a local soup delicacy. There is also a chance to visit the local market.

Continue to Phongsaly for about 4 hours. Arrive around 16:30 and check-in at the hotel.

Once settled, take a guided  walk through the streets of Phongsaly. The charm of the town is made by the narrow paved streets bordered by traditional Chinese houses in wood. The guide will explain about the history and culture of this multicultural city and the harmony that reigns between Lao people and Chinese immigrants.

There will also be a visit made to a Chinese temple where some beautiful views await. Finally, walk to Wat Keo where the monks can be seen playing petanque or football in the early evening.

After the tour, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Phongsaly

Day 10 : Phongsaly - Tribes Trekking ( B , L , D )

Transfer from Boun Neua to Phongsaly (42 km): 1 hour Trekking distance up to : 4-5 hours Difficulty: Medium

After breakfast, drive to Bountai and meet the local guide for the day. Then, transfer to Ban Aya, the H’mong village where the trek begins. After a tour of the village and an opportunity to meet the people, take a guided trek through the amazing jungle and amongst paddie fields.

Stop en route to enjoy a typical Lao picnic lunch.

After lunch, descend to Ban Aneng, another Hmong village located in a lower area. Explore the village and learn more about their cultures and traditions.

Visit some other tribal villages of Akha Mouchee, Tai Yag, Laopan and Tai Yue, before going back to Bountai by private car.

Transfer back to the hotel in Phongsaly. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Phongsaly

Day 11 : Phongsaly – 400 years old Tea Plantation – Muang Khua ( B , L , D )

Transfer from Phongsali to Ban Komaen: 30 mins Transfer from Ban Komaen to Muang Khua: 4.5 hours

After breakfast, visit the famous 400-year-old tea plantation, located in the village of Ban Komaen, about a 30 minute drive south of Phongsaly.

According to some tea experts, this village has some of the oldest tea trees in the world. The large root system of the old trees extends deep into the mineral-rich soil and gives ‘Phongsaly Tea’ its specific aroma and taste. The oldest trees stand 6 m high with a stem up to 30 cm in diameter. These are regularly cut and kept to a reasonable size by the Phunoy people, climbing to pick the precious leaves. They then process and sell this rare tea in cigar-shaped tubes.

The road to Ban Komaen passes through more recent tea plantations and offers a stunning view of Phongsaly and surrounding mountains. In the village a newly built tea-tasting shop serves food and sells the 400-year-old tea. You can also explore the temple with its characteristic Buddha statue with big ears.

Next take a 4 hour drive to Muang Khua with a stop en route to have lunch in a local restaurant (not included). Upon arrival, check-into the hotel until dinner.

Tonight’s dinner is included at a local  restaurant, overlooking the Nam Ou River.

Overnight in Muang Khua

Day 12 : Transfer  - Tay Trang Border - Dien Bien Phu ( Vietnam )  (B, L, D )

After breakfast, we travel through one of the most remote area of Northern Laos toward Lao - Vietnam border. In the rainy season, there will be several river crossings along this bumpy ride! Our guide from Vietnam will pick you up at Tay Trang border and transfer you to Dien Bien Phu for check-in. Dien Bien Phu is well known through out the world as a battle field in the first Indochina War. The city, 45 km from the Laos border, locates in Muong Thanh Valley famous for its tasty rice and Thai minority traditional dance. After lunch, we visit the historical sites such as De Castrie’s bunker, the Dien Bien Phu museum, the A1 hill…

Day 13 : Dien Bien Phu - Sin Ho - Muong Lay - Paso/195km (B, L,D )

After breakfast, we drive to Sin Ho. The road twists and passes through the picturesque sceneries. Moreover, we’ll have chance to encounter with the minorities people as White Thai, White Hmong… We arrive in Sin Ho around lunch time. Sin Ho now day is famous for its medical plantation and its tropical orchid variety. After lunch, we continue the ride on a winding road to Paso, a little town lies on a confluence of Black River, famous for its giant cat fish. We arrive to Paso by late afternoon for check-in. The night will be spent in the hotel on the river.

Day 14 : Paso - Lai Chau - Tam Duong - Sapa/130km (B, L)

The drive from Paso to Sapa is one of the most scenery and mountainous stretch of road in the whole of Viet Nam. We pass by many small villages of Red and White Hmong, Black Dao and White Thai ethnic minorities. We stop at Tam Duong for lunch. After lunch, the road weaves its way through the picturesque valley and mountain. We will drive uphill to the highest pass “Heavens Gate Pass” which is in a height of 2000 meter. If the weather is clear the views here are magnificent. There are plenty of possibilities for making photo stops. We arrive in Sapa in the afternoon.

Day 15 : Sapa Trekking to Villages (B/L/D)

Breakfast and at 8:30am we start walking to Lao Chai village. Views of Muong Hoa Valley and its magnificent surroundings are great here, featuring stunning mountains and sprawling rice terraces. After a picnic lunch on the way, you will continue through the valley to Ta Van Village to visit the Dzay people, who are known to be some of the friendliest people in the region. The next village is Giang Ta Chai which belongs to the Red Dzao tribe where you will see some amazing scenery. Tonight you will stay overnight in a local house of a Dzay family.

Day 16 : Ta Van -Giang Ta Chai - Su Phan - Sapa  (B/L)

After enjoying breakfast with your hosts, you will begin the trek from Giang Ta Chai to Su Pan taking in more incredible views along the way. This is an unbeatable way to start the day, surrounded by wild and beautiful natural landscapes and clean, fresh air. In Su Pan, you will be able to meet local people who belong to the Red Dao and Black Hmong ethnic groups. After having time to meet with them and explore their village, you will begin the trek back to Sapa. This gives you one last chance to take in the breathtaking views of the mountain ranges and rice paddies. Dinner on your own and overnight in Sapa town.

Day 17 : Sapa - Batxat - Lao Cai (B/L/D)

Today is the most challenging in terms of trekking but also the most rewarding. After 2 hours of following a flat path, you will begin the dizzying climb up the mountain. You will follow a small track through a thick primary rain forest which can be quite challenging if it has been raining, but this is the only route for local villagers. You will have the opportunity to see many wild giant butterflies in a rainbow of colors, flitting through the fresh mountain air. Once we reach an altitude of about 2000m, an incredible vista of terraced paddies appears, decorating the rolling mountainsides. Weather permitting you will stop for a picnic lunch next to a waterfall and then continue to Coc Dong Village, belonging to the Nung hill tribe, arriving in the mid-afternoon. You will stay overnight in the stilt house of a local family.

Day 18 : Muong Khuong - Bac Ha (B/L/D)

We set out for the weekend market of Muong Khuong in the morning, which attracts a wide variety of minority groups such as the Hmong, Dao, Thu Lao, Pa Di, Tu Di, and Phu La. The drive to Muong Khuong is about 2 hours, and then in the early afternoon, we continue to Bac Ha. Here we’ll stop for an overnight break, and we’ll enjoy a walk to visit the Hmong Kings Palace after checking in. Dinner and overnight in Bac Ha.

Day 19 :  Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang (B/L/D)

Upon leaving Bac Ha we set off on a full-day journey through Sin Man and Hoang Su Phi to  Ha Giang Town. The rough but scenic route traverses a dense jungle before crossing over a pass and descending to Sin Man. This day is a real challenge for our driver as we travel by winding roads with many uphill and downhill sections. Along the way, we may encounter the Nung Ing, Tay, Red Dao, Dao Ao Dai, La Chi, and Co Lao, which are just some of the many hill tribe groups who have settled here. Dinner then overnights in Ha Giang.

Day 20 : Ha Giang - Dong Van (B/L/D)

The remote region of Dong Van and Meo Vac is a land of rugged mountains and beautiful hill villages which have stood unchanged for centuries.
Today we head north-west out of Ha Giang Town towards this northernmost tip of Vietnam. The former Hmong royal house at Sa Phin is a primary attraction of the region but the blend of hill tribe people's colorful costumes and the majestic mountainous scenery make this long and bumpy trip an unforgettable experience. Dinner then overnight in Dong Van.

Day 21 : Dong Van -  Meo Vac - Bao Lac (B/L/D)

We have time to visit Dong Van Town before continuing to Meo Vac which is inhabited by the Lo Lo and Pu Peo ethnic minority people. They still retain their age-old cultural traditions and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress. The remoteness and the simple lifestyle of local people are a highlight of Meo Vac, although conditions can be very basic. And transfer to Bao Lac  then dinner and overnight stay in Bao Lac .

Day 22 : Bao Lac - Ba Be lakes (B/L/D)

An early morning start with a drive through the rolling hills and the picturesque scenery to Ba Be National Park. The roads are very bumpy and windy, however, we will get a chance to meet the Hmong, Dao, Tay, and Nung ethnic minorities who make up the main population of this region. We are sure to attract their attention as this part of the country receives very few visitors. Depending on road and traffic conditions we arrive in Ba Be by late afternoon or early evening for dinner with a Tay family at their homestay in Pac Ngoi village.

Day 23 : Ba Be Lake - Boat Tour (B/L/D)

Today we embark on a  boat cruising down the Nang River which is the main water source of Ba Be Lake. This exciting river trip will give us a taste of the tranquil countryside and offers an enjoyable exploration of Ba Be National Park. We traverse the Puong Grotto before stopping at some nearby hill tribe villages and getting off the beaten track to the scenic Dau Dang Waterfalls. You can have beautiful swimming in the lake. Again we’ll have dinner with a Tay family at their homestay in Pac Ngoi village.

Day 24 : Ba Be Lake - Cao Bang (B/L/D)

The next destination on our trip is Cao Bang Town. After breakfast, we set off on our half-day journey past spectacular mountainous landscapes, with a mixture of steeply terraced rice fields and hill villages. Along the way, we can make stops at our leisure, to stretch our legs and take some wonderful photographs. The remainder of the day will be free to explore the town or simply relax. Dinner and then overnight in Cao Bang.

Day 25 : Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall - Lang Son (B/L/D)

Today we set out for one of Northern Vietnam’s most incredible natural wonders; Ban Gioc Waterfall. This breath-taking 300-meter wide cascade forms part of the Chinese-Vietnamese border, and here you can relax in this natural wonder with plenty of time to snap some photos. You’ll also get to board a bamboo boat and get right up close to the raging waterfall. Next, we’ll visit a local market where you get to experience the diverse cultures of the area, before hiking to Phat Tich Temple which aside from being a great cultural experience, offers some of the best views of Ban Gioc with China in the background. Next up with pass-through several hill tribe villages before reaching the tranquil town of Dong Khe and That Khe. By late afternoon we’ll arrive in Lang Son, a border town all but destroyed in the recent Sino-Vietnamese war, but rebuilt into a thriving trade hub in the years since. Dinner and then an overnight stay in Lang Son.

Day 26 : Lang Son – Hanoi  (B/L/)

The lively central market of Lang Son and the legendary Tam Thanh Cave are visited this morning before we depart to Hanoi, truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. The drive is difficult at times as we travel through many mountainous areas. The breathtaking scenery here is some of the best in Asia, and we’ll have some opportunities en route to visit the Tay, Nung, and San Diu hill tribes, people. On arrival in Hanoi check in hotel  . End The Tour .

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Tour price : Contact us

Group size : 2 to 12 pax

If Join in group tour departure date : 5th September - January - March

 Tour Cost Includes:

  • Meals in tours: L =  Lunch , D =  dinner , B= breakfast
  • Lunch in Midway restaurant/City Restaurant or Pack Lunch
  • Accommodation in tour - 20 nights
  • Back up AC vehicle for the complete tour ( Bus, + Truck for the group )
  • 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
  • Tips and Gratitude
  • Travel insurance
  • Any Hard and Soft Drinks with meals

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