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Vietnam is home to many ethnic minority groups that live in scenically beautiful locations across the country. Especially, isolated regions of the far north of Vietnam that retained a wild beauty and rugged charm are most appealing to natural lovers.
Travellers when come to northern part of Vietnam can not only get the chance to meet up with these most warm hosts and get to know indigenous cultures; but also be able to immerse ones in the stunning beauty of rice terraces or enjoy all-level trekking through peaceful villages and forests.
Here are the most fascinating and chosen destinations recommended that bring you the utmost experience of Vietnam and will surely please your passion toward the nature exploration.
The highlights of this trip:
Trekking distance: 5 km easy walk ~ 2 hrs
Morning departure to Pu Luong Nature Reserve by road via a breathtaking mountain pass giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley.
Upon arrival, enjoy your lunch and free time to explore the beautiful surroundings, with its captivating panoramic views and tranquil setting.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of stunning water wheels. Afterward you will walk follow the river, the landscape of the river, rice field and the village were widen in your eyes, walk from village to village in search of stunning water wheels. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes.
Arriving at Chieng Lau village, where you can take a rest and enjoy tranquil streamside scenery. Walk to the main road to be transferred back to your lodgement for dinner and overnight.
Trekking distance: 19 km easy walk ~ 6 hrs
Start early to descend into the beautiful valley facing your lodgement where you walk around tumbling rice terraces. Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation to slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Continuing to the base of the valley, you weave between roads and farmland, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open land. Savour the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot to enjoy a simple picnic lunch.
After enjoying your lunch, free time to explore the refreshing water to the nearby river, before going back to lodging.
Trekking time: 2 hr
After breakfast, transfer to Ngoc Son - Ngo Luong Nature Reserve.
The Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve contains a variety of wonderful landscapes and ecosystems and is also home to traditional villages of the Muong ethnic minority. Arrival around noon time, the car stops at the headquarters where you might meet some forest rangers and have a brief explanation about the nature conservation and livelihood improvement efforts taking place. Lunch at local dinning place.
We will have soft walk across fairyland scenery: lush forests, blue rivers, and misty waterfalls in a deep valley surrounded by limestone rock formations, palm trees, bamboo… Stroll around the village and have a break near the cascade of the Mu waterfalls.
A bit gentler walking across the terraced rice fields brings us to the bottom of the valley to settle down in a cozy homestay there. Relax in the stream by the house while dinner is prepared and the sun slowly sets.
Overnight at homestay of Muong ethnic.
Trekking time: 2.5 hr
Walk up early to enjoy fresh atmosphere, hear the bird songs and have breakfast at homestay. Start trekking, head down to other villages: Khay and Mon villages in one of the most beautiful parts of the Reserve. As we walk, we’ll journey from quiet and wild natural areas into unusually dynamic villages alive with vivid sounds and scenes of life.
Then transfer to Cuc Phuong national park.
After lunch at the park, your car will drive you to the park center where you will walk for 7 km on a loop trail to visit the Palace Cave and the 1000 year old tree. On this trail you will have the chance to discover the secrets of nature. After finishing the hike, on the way back you will visit the Cave of Prehistoric Man, where you can reenter the Stone Age through your explorations.
In the evening you, the national park guide will reenter the now pitch-dark forest and, with the aid of a spotting lamp, go in search of the forest’s numerous nocturnal creatures, which include civets, owls, flying squirrels, lorises, bats and cats…
After a night’s sleep in the fresh atmosphere, you will wake up to the singing of gibbons and the sounds of the forest with visit the renowned Endangered Primate Rescue Centre to see some of the rarest apes and monkeys in the world and learn about the conservation efforts to save them. After breakfast, you will visit the Turtle Conservation Center where 19 turtle species been rescued; visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center - one of the highlights of a visit to Cuc Phuong.
Lunch at the park before heading the road back to Ha Noi.
Arrival at Ha Noi, free time for personal discover. Overnight at hotel in Ha Noi.
Depart for Cat Ba Archipelago via ferry from Hai Phong pier. Upon arrival, enjoy your lunch at local dinning place.
Start exploring natural forest on limestone mountain of Kim Giao Forest which is home to the rare, endangered and ancient Kim Giao trees. The trail continues onto Ngu Lam peak which lends spectacular views of the area. Continue to Trung Trang cave, a representative for caves and grottos system on Cat Ba archipelago with plentiful of mysterious stalactites and where is home for many species of bat.
Transfer to your hotel, check in and overnight at hotel in Cat Ba island.
Start the morning with a hard and challenge 14 km hiking and trekking trail from nearby the National Park headquarters. First you will visit a magnificent flooded willow forest in a valley high above sea level. The water is the largest concentration of freshwater on the island. Continue the journey until you reach Viet Hai commune where you can enjoy a cruise trip along Lan Ha bay with numerous spectacular small island with plenty hidden beaches awaiting in the clear and blue water; or riding a bicycle around the village and explore the life of local people.
Transfer back to hotel and free time to relax by the beach.
Rise to the sound of the ocean coming to life for another lovely day. Before breakfast, you may have an opportunity to view the sunrise over the sea. Relax by the beach until noon to check-out your hotel room and transfer back to Hai Phong for flight direction to Saigon.
Arrive in Saigon. Transfer to hotel. Free time in the evening and overnight at hotel in Saigon.
Pick up at your hotel and depart for Cat Tien.
Follow the National Highway 20 to a mountainous area full of roadside plantations of rubber and green coffee. A short and smooth 150 km bus drive takes you to an extinct volcanic crater, known as Lava Tubes. Cross the Dong Nai River to Cat Tien National Park and begin your wildlife experience.
Start trekking into the forest and you will see the giant Tung tree. Picnic lunch on the way. Visit Bear and Wildlife Rescue Center which known as another rescue center that aims to protect and care for the bears which were also rescued from the illegal wildlife trade or bear bile farms.
In the late afternoon, it’s time for chilling out at Jungle Lodge’s swimming pool and biking around Nam Cat Tien village to explore the local life.
Wake up & take an early boat trip down Dong Nai River to enjoy the most beautiful moment of nature in the village and Cat Tien National park surrounding area. Visit Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species centre where endangered primates being found, rescued, rehabilitated and released back to the nature.
Have lunch and head the road back to Ho Chi Minh City.
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