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Hard Trek Cao Bang 15 days

The area along the Chinese border still receives very few foreign visitors and, as such, the cultural identity of the people here remains largely unchanged by the twentieth century

This trip will take you to the beautiful Ba Be Lake and Cao Bang to visit the spectacular Ban Doc Waterfall. The majority of this trip will be spent on a truly adventurous 10-day trek through mountainous rainforest areas. We cover about 20 km a day. Some of the hiking is very difficult as we encounter remote tribes whose lives have remained virtually untouched by the 20th century.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTES! This is a very hard trek. Only people who are fit and experienced trekkers will be considered.

Tour Included

  • All transportation in air-conditioned vehicles
  • English speaking guide
  • Accommodation in Sapa based on a twin share basis with daily breakfast & local homestays
  • Cook
  • Porters
  • Overnight train soft sleeper, first class
  • Additional meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Fees and permits where applicable
  • Services charges and government tax

Tour Excluded

  • International airfares
  • International departure tax
  • Visas and Visa fees
  • Pre and post trip accommodation in Hanoi
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Peak season surcharge if any
  • Travel insurance
  • Compulsory Gala dinner on X-Mas & New Year if any
  • Vietnam visa stamp fee (US$45 & 2 passport photos per person)
  • Other services not mentioned above.

Tour Plan

Download plan

Day 1. Hanoi - Ba Be Lake (L/D)

With an early departure from Hanoi this morning we head north towards Ba Be Lake. This drive of 270 km, which will take approximately seven hours, takes us through the flatlands of the Red River Delta and up into the mountain areas north of Hanoi. As we progress north, the scenery becomes more and more picturesque. From our scheduled lunch stop it is only around two and a half-hour to our destination. Arriving in Ba Be town by mid-afternoon we check in the host family Tay and then stroll around the village or a bit of exploration before sunset. We spend the night in the traditional longhouse on stilts of Tay people.

After breakfast at the host family, we board on our private boat for a cruise on the Ba Be Lake. We can have a swim in crystal clear waters before having lunch in the local restaurant near the Water Fall Dau Dang. Following lunch, we have the opportunity to work off our feast with a trek to Tay ethnic minority villages. A visit to this small hamlet will enable us to witness how little the lives of the people in these remote areas have changed. We cruise further to Puong Cave and head back to Pac Ngoi village for overnight.

This morning we take to the road again for the 90km drive to Cao Bang. Here the H'mong, Zao, Tho and Nung ethnic minority people live together in harmony. We will arrive at Cao Bang slightly before lunchtime and spend a little time learning more about the people and their culture. After lunch, we will visit Pac Po, the hideout used by Ho Chi Minh when he came back to Vietnam after 30 years of self-imposed exile. It was here that he organized his resistance army against the French. From Pac Po we trek for three hours until we arrive at a village inhabited by the Nung minority people. Late this afternoon we drive back to Cao Bang for our overnight stay at the local hotel.

We will be traveling to Ban Doc Waterfall near the Chinese Border. It is great to see the forest, mountain, tribes, hidden rice fields. Overnight in Cao Bang.

PLEASE NOTE: From nights 5 to night 15, to respect the traditional customs of local hill tribe people, ladies and gentlemen are not allowed to share the same bed if you are unmarried.

We embark on a 10-day trek covering a distance of over 200km through a mountainous rain forest. We will be sleeping and eating in villages of various ethnic minorities and generally living as the locals do. BE WARNED! Some of the hiking is very difficult as we follow buffalo paths and trails. There will also be some steep climbs over the mountain ranges. If you are up to this trek you will be rewarded with some beautiful scenery that the majority of people never see. As we trek we will witness the hardships and joys of people whose way of life has been virtually untouched by the 20th century, and, despite their extreme poverty, the people we meet are some of the friendliest and hospitable in Vietnam. At the end of the trek on day 14, we arrive in That Khe, the local district town. We will spend our first night in a real bed for nine nights at the local guesthouse of the Nung people. (All meals included on the trek)

We will depart That Khe early this morning for our return journey to Hanoi. We will travel via the border-trading town of Lang Son, arriving in Hanoi early in the afternoon.

Hotel list

Hotel list
Room type

Standard Category

Cao Bang
Hotel list
Thanh Loan Hotel
Room type
Cao Bang
Hotel list
Ba Be Ecolodge
Room type
Muong Khuong Village
Hotel list
Muong Khuong
Room type


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Just complete and send the reservation form on our website, making sure that you have given us your e-mail address and phone number. As soon as we receive your request we will contact you to confirm the reservation. It is our policy to reply to all requests within 24 hours.

Almost all of our tours are daily departure. To make a booking, you must submit a reservation form. Then we process the booking and reply to you within 24 hours.

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Yes, of course if you would like to make a reservation directly with the tour operator or travel agent, you will need to contact them directly. However, we are in good position to make the offer, make the booking and run the trip as we are a local tour operator.

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You can book as far as 24 months in advance, but please ensure you remember you have made the reservation. We will charge 20% of total rate is required upon the confirmation of services require full payment 60 days before departure.

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