AD09: Northeast Loop - 12 days / 11 nights

12 days
Hanoi - Northeast Vietnam - Halong Bay

This Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour must be the highlights of your Vietnam adventure tour as it combines all the best destinations of Northeast Vietnam, including Ba Be Lake, the remote and beautiful areas of Ha Giang Province,  Uncle Ho’s home along the border of China, a magnificent waterfall, the rustic life in villages in Cao Bang Province and Ha Long Bay as the perfect ending of the Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour.

Northeast Loop - 12 days / 11 nights in briefAD09

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi - Thai Nguyen - Ba Be Lake
Day 3: Boat trip in Ba Be Lake
Day 4: Ba Be - Ha Giang
Day 5: Ha Giang - Dong Van - Meo Vac
Day 6: Meo Vac - Bac Me - Bao Lac
Day 7: Bao Lac - Tinh Tuc - Pac Po - Cao Bang
Day 8: Ban Gioc Waterfall
Day 9: Cao Bang - Lang Son
Day 10: Lang Son - Tam Thanh - Van Don
Day 11: Van Don - Boat trip
Day 12: Halong - Hanoi

  • Tour Class

  • 3 Star Hotel
  • 4 Star Hotel
  • 5 Star Hotel


    High Season


    (Jan 1 - Apr 30 & Oct 1 - Dec 31)

  • 3 Star HotelFrom 
  • 4 Star HotelFrom 
  • 5 Star HotelFrom 


    Low season


    (May 1 - Sep 9)

  • 3 Star HotelFrom 
  • 4 Star HotelFrom 
  • 5 Star HotelFrom 
Day 01

Hanoi Arrival (G)

Upon arrival, our private Vietnam Tours guide and driver will welcome your Vietnam Holiday to Hanoi, a city where the exotic chic of old Asia blends with the dynamic face of new Asia. Where the medieval and modern co-exist. A city with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace, an architectural museum piece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than bulldozing through like many of the region’s capitals.Hanoi is where imagination becomes reality. Free at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi

Accommodation at:

Day 02

Hanoi – Visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen – Ba Be Lake (B/L/D) (G)

We depart Hanoi early and are on the way north to Bac Kan Province, home to Ba Be Lakes.  We stop in Thai Nguyen for a short visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology for a little background on the minorities of northern Vietnam.

We continue on stopping for lunch along the way in Cho Ra town and then the final short drive to the lake.  Upon arrival at the lake, we meet our host family for the night and enjoy a short walk around the lakeside, possibly a swim.  In the evening, we have dinner with our host family and learn about the daily life of the family.  We sleep in a traditional stilt home this evening, far from the hectic pace of Hanoi and the sounds of crickets, frogs and fish jumping from the water lull us to sleep.

Accommodation at:

Day 03

Boat trip in Ba Be Lake (B/L/D) (G)

We spend the whole day exploring the lake. The boat trip is combined with trekking to a Tay village. The boat takes us to Dau Dang Waterfall, a series of spectacular cascades between sheer rock walls. Puong Cave is also visited and we enter the cave on one side of a small mountain and exit on the other side, making an interesting cruise. We journey by Widow Island and hear about the legend of this tiny islet in the middle of the lake. The day trip is very pleasant. Enjoy yourself!

Accommodation at:

Day 04

Ba Be Lake – Ha Giang – Visit the minority and Ho Chi Minh museum (B/L/D) (G)

We enjoy the fresh morning air lakeside while having breakfast and then depart for Ha Giang.  The journey is along Highway 279 and we’ll pass many villages and photo stops are at your request but our goal today is to arrive in Ha Giang before 13:30 to get a permit to travel to Meo Vac.  Lunch today is along the way, most likely in Viet Quang.

Upon arrival at the hotel, your guide will apply for the permits and you can visit the minority/Ho Chi Minh museum located on the banks of the Lo River. Ha Giang is located at kilometer marker 0 on Highway 1 and this is Vietnam’s longest road traversing the country over 2000 km to the deep south of the country.

Accommodation at:

Day 05

Ha Giang – Dong Van – Visit to the Vuong Palace – Meo Vac (B/L/D) (G)

After breakfast, we head toward the most remote part of the north.  Northern Ha Giang Province has some of the most picturesque and varied scenery.  Our drive will take us over high passes and we can view deep valleys along the entire journey.  We’ll stop along the way at The Vuong Palace, the beauty of Chinese-style architecture.  This was the seat of government for the Hmong during the first Indochina war.  We continue on to the town of Dong Van, a small outpost, but won’t be disappointing as it the starting point to a wildly scenic road, one of the top 5 of Vietnam.

The road is only 22 km long but most of it has been simply cut into the side of a cliff face.  Below, the Nho Quy river flows and above, the towering cliff rises to the clouds, a truly beautiful gorge below is completes one of the most spectacular natural sights in the country. Take your time and soak it up, as this is one journey to savor!

Accommodation at:

Day 06

Meo Vac – Bac Me – Bao Lac (B/L/D) (G)

Today we drive on one of the most remote roads in Vietnam from Meo Vac to Bao Lac via Bac Me. You may encounter various minorities along the ride. Besides stunning mountain scenery, the minorities dressed in colorful and unique costumes make the trip more interesting. Our simple lunch will be served along the road and we spend the night in a simple local guesthouse in Bao Lac.

Accommodation at:

Day 07

Bao Lac – Tinh Tuc - Pac Po Cave – Uncle Ho Museum – Cao Bang (B/L/D) (G)

Following breakfast, we continue to Cao Bang following the least traveled road. Arriving at lunch time, you check into your hotel and have lunch in a local restaurant.

After lunch, we drive northwest of Cao Bang to visit Pac Po Cave.  Here, Ho Chi Minh re-entered Vietnam ready to lead the revolution after living abroad.  It is a lovely, quiet spot and undeveloped.  At the entrance to the cave, there is an Uncle Ho Museum to visit.  We then return Cao Bang for the night. Cao Bang is high above sea level and has pleasant climate.  We spend two nights in Cao Bang as the area attractions can be seen in one day and further travel completed.

Accommodation at:

Day 08

Ban Gioc Waterfall – Stop at giant irrigation water-wheels – Visit Cao Bang town (B/L/D) (G)

Today, we drive to Ban Gioc Waterfall, a very scenic spot directly on the border with China.  Half the pleasure of the visit to Vietnam’s largest waterfall is walking across rice paddy fields to reach the base of the falls.  On the way back, we may have time to stop at several giant irrigation water - wheels that lies along the road overlooking villages.

We return Cao Bang and stretch your legs with a walk to the market nearby. We make a climb to the War Memorial with an overview of the town.

Accommodation at:

Day 09

Cao Bang – Dong Khe – That Khe – Dong Dang – Lang Son (B/L/D) (G)

We continue our journey to Lang Son. The road is narrow passing undeveloped rural area as you will see by where we have lunch along the way. Some 13 km before Lang Son, we stop at Dong Dang to have a look at the ruins of town and the devastated frontier village.  The town was rebuilt and little remains of the Chinese incursion of 1979, but the memory still lingers with the older residents.

We arrive in Lang Son, check into your hotel and stretch the legs by taking a walk to the market for a look.

Accommodation at:

Day 10

Lang Son – Nhi Thanh – Tam Thanh Caves and Mac Dynasty Citadel – Van Don (B/L/D) (G)

In the morning, we are off to visit some interesting sites around Lang Son.  Close to Lang Son, there are a couple of impressive caves, Nhi Thanh and Tam Thanh Caves, deep in the surrounding limestone hills.  We then continue to Mac Dynasty Citadel, a lovely remote spot with stunning views across the countryside.  We return to town for lunch.

In the afternoon, we depart for Van Don Island. Van Don is the largest and most populated island of Bai Tu Long Bay.  The bay is as enchanting as its famous neighbour and in some way it is even more beautiful as it is not visited by many tourists. We spend the night in Van Don Island.  Just offshore there are stunning rock formations similar to those in Ha Long Bay.  If we are lucky, the fishing fleet rigged for squid will set sail after sunset, truly a unique and bright site!

Accommodation at:

Day 11

Van Don – Boat to visit the remote outlying island – Hydrofoil to Ha Long (B/L/D) (G)

After breakfast, we get on a boat at Cai Rong pier to visit the remote outlying island.  We try to take you to less visited areas as possible as we have done in the northern mountains!  We then return to Van Don for a late lunch before taking the hydrofoil that leaves for Ha Long at 3pm.

On arrival in Ha Long, we embark again on the junk where we spend the night in the Ha Long Bay. The cruise passes various rock formations until sunset. You will then have dinner on board while watching sunset.  Should you feel like taking another swim, there will plenty of time.

Accommodation at:

Day 12

Ha Long – Hanoi

You enjoy breakfast in the fresh air morning and serenity of the bay and the junk will continue its way among thousands of islets. You will then cruise through several beautiful views of Teapot Island, Chopstick Island, Horse Saddle and even Charles De Gaulle Island. You may wish for a swim before your lunch is served. The Junk will disembark Ha Long wharf at noon, where your bus is waiting to transfer you back to Hanoi airport for your departure flight. We hope that you have enjoyed your Vietnam Tours with us and look forward to your next Vietnam Tours. Indochinavalue says goodbye and see you again!!!


Accommodation at:


• All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Accommodation in twin/double sharing (triple room, extra bed, interconnecting room... are on request)
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
• English speaking guide (French, Spanish, Russian, Italian Speaking tour guides are available and on request)
• Entrance fees to indicated sights and activities as stated
• Boat trips  & train tickets (if mentioned)
• Bottled mineral water during touring days


• International FLIGHTS
• Tips
• Drinks
• Other meals
• Insurance
• Personal expenses
• Expenses for any optional tours or activities during free time

Tour guide

Tour guides who work with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our cultures and lifestyles ... with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. In some parts such as Sapa, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic hilltribes like H'Mong or Red Dao as they know about their land much better than anyone else and this is also the way that Indochinavalue helps the local people a better life.

Vietnam tour guide

Tour guide is one of the most important factors to a successful holiday. Indochinavalue understands that a good tour guide needs not only good knowledge on history, culture, good English, French... but also needs to have general requirements and follow our guidelines as below:

1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with work experience.

2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.

3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.

4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.

5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.

6 - Clear speech and good hearing.

7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.

8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer because Indochinavalue's clients want to be entertained in extend, a friend...

9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.

10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.

11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.


Kind of vehicle (offered on tour) depends on the size of your group size or your requirements. To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years of experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.

1 - Our drivers are professional and reliable with at least 5 years of experience, driving safely.

2 - Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.

3 - Our drivers must be friendly, helpful with good behavior and attitude.

4 - Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.

Vietnam hotel

2 Stars from: US$35 -> US$40

The 2 star hotels are good for budget travelers and sometimes, we have no choice but stay in a guesthouse, mini hotel, 2 star hotel in the remote and mountainous areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms

3 Stars from: US$40 -> US$80

The 3 star hotels are good for many travelers because they offer basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.

4 Stars from: US$80 -> US$130

Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.

5 Stars from: US$130 -> US$200 –> US$ 300

Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent experience. Multiple restaurants on site and a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.

The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.

Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know when booking.


Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.


Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.

Vietnam restaurant


Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay with a local family, on cruise in Halong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but our tour guides will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.

If allergic to some food

We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.

Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?

The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join the meal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.

Street food tour:

Street foods in Vietnam are very delicious and should you want to taste the specialities of each Vietnam holiday destination, we can arrange a street food tour for you. Please contact us at for a detailed tour itinerary and quotation.

How to request a tour package?

To request for a free tour itinerary and quotation, you can just fill out the tour inquiry form at or send us an email at then give us as much information as possible. One of our experienced travel consultants will get back to you shortly. All changes will be made (free of charge) until the your tour package meets your needs and personal interests.

How to book a tour package?

As soon as you agree on our proposal, please send us your full name, international flight information (if you have) and your special requirements. We will make reservations and arrange everything then confirm back to you when all done.


- Deposit is a "must". We request 30% of the tour cost. You can pay by wire transfer, credit cards, western union, onepay (online)

- Balance can be made before your arrival or on arrival in cash or by credit cards.


Changes are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you will have to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)


In case of cancellation, we will not apply any charge if we are not charged by the third parties such as hotels, cruises, flights, trains...We will recalculate the costs and resend you the money as soon as possible.


Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected in many circumstances for service. You can tip your driver/tour guide more or less or nothing. All depends on the services you receive.

Suggested tips:

- US$10 – US$ 15 per day for tour guide

- US$7 – US$ 10 per day for driver

- US$1 – US$ 3 per meal for waiter or waitress

- US$2 – US$ 5 for short boat trips/ cyclo/ tuktuk (1 – 2) hours

Note: Please check with your travel consultant before coming and your tour guide if you are to tip someone on tour.

What you get when booking a private tour with Indochinavalue?

1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually, or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.

2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.

3. Start the tour on any date you want.

4. Escort you from start to finish. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/ train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.

5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.

6. Considerate care and assistance, such as the old, the disabled or families with small kids and children.

7. You can save time and money when traveling with us or your wants meet you budget.

How do I get a visa?

Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/ border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.

Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa:

apply vietnam visa1) Full name on passport

2) Passport number

3) Date of birth

4) Nationality

5) Date of arrival

6) Date of issue

7) Date of expire

8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months.

Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?

Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can be used to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.


- You can use US dollar, Euro in all big cities or at major tourist sites, airports.

- If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.

Do I need to bring my medical record with me?

Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event ofan emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.

Note: You can buy medicines everywhere in Vietnam so do not need to bring medicines from home.Money exchange in Vietnam

When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?

Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.

What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?

It is best to travel light in Vietnam. One medium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need, and enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.

There are lots of consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of something. If you do forget something you can easily find it here. Before you leave home complete the following checklist:

- Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months, and warmer  clothing for the winter months. As well, sun hat, swim suit, ultra lightweight rain jacket.

- Travel Documents: Passport, Visa, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets (you should scan them and email them to yourself in case you loose them).

- Health requirements, medications, and travel insurance arranged.

- Flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, small personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.

- Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and/ or credit card(s).

- Raincoat or umbrella, good hiking shoes are needed for all Footprint trekking trips.

- Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.

Are there any restrictions on the type of luggage that we bring? Domestic airlines have their weight restrictions. On most domestic and low-cost airlines You may only have one suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg, and one piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of (5 – 7)kg. An extra charge for overweight is applied.

There is no actual limit on our trips, but we would suggest you travel light with one suitcase or backpack and one small daypack or small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat, sunscreen, etc.

It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage. Without one, railway and airline staff and some hotels may refuse to handle it.

What is the best type of clothing we should bring?

Here is a short checklist of best type of clothing you should bring:

- Shorts and comfortable pants;

- Shirts, t-shirts and maybe some long sleeves shirts (for regions with mosquitos like the Mekong delta);

- Swim suits (for the beaches and Halong Bay);

- Good sandles as well as good shoes if trekking.

Nevertheless, it will really depend on where you travel to, when you plan on travelling, and what you plan on doing. Please note that the weather can be very cold during the winter in the Northern Vietnam (Nov to Mar) and quite cool in the central highlands (Dalat). You will need to bring a good jacket along for this time of the year, the avarage temperature is about 15 oC, but can get as cold as 3 oC.

Tip: Do not worry if you do not pack enough clothes or forget something because you can buy in Vietnam.

Shopping in Vietnam

Shopping in Vietnam: Many tourists can’t help but throw themselvesShopping in Vietnam head-first into shopping while in Vietnam. Why? Probably the variety of quality goods and the tempting prices have a lot to do with it. Many low-budget travelers considered Vietnam a heavenly place because in many shopping situations they can bargain the prices down to as much as a third of the original cost.

The list of Vietnamese bargains is seemingly endless and features bespoke tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles while many shoppers cannot get enough of the local handicraft, art and jewelry.

How to bargain?

Bargain is not common in some countries, but in Vietnam it really is. In Vietnam, bargaining is always worthwhile. Yet, it is not always due to the fact that the local have a great deal of time and very little money. Bargaining is part of Vietnamese culture as through bargaining people communicate with others, create and build up their relationship, not to mention a form of entertainment.

Rule - 1: It's like the monster ride at the amusement park. If you're not having fun, get off.

Rule - 2: Don't bargain with the first person who approaches you (i.e., when looking for a taxi at the airport.) In general the further you go from the center of action, the cheaper the price.

Rule - 3: Don't be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.

Rule - 4: Don't let pride get in the way of coming back (or Rule #3 is useless).

Rule - 5: If you really want something and the price isn't coming down, give in gracefully. (It's that pride thing again.)

Rule - 6: Don't always assume you're getting ripped off just because you're in a third-world country. Sometimes the price they're asking is the real one.

Rule - 7: Bargaining is a time/ money tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, be prepared to pay for it.

Rule - 8: Ask (Vietnamese) fellow shoppers the price of an item before you begin bargaining.

Rule - 9: Always carry small bills. Otherwise all that work is likely to be for nothing.

Rule - 10: Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.

Rule - 11: If possible, keep going back to the same person until you've gotten to know him/ her. Most third world countries have a name for this kind of relationship. The deal is that you offer your business on a regular basis and the seller responds by saving you their best tomatoes

Rule - 12: No matter what your parents told you, when you're bargaining it's perfectly okay to lie

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Get free quote for this tour? Please fill out the below tour enquiry form and give us as much information as possible, we get back shortly!


This is private tour with a flexible schedule. There is no other traveler on the tour. You will have a private English speaking tour guide and a private air-conditioned vehicle in each destination.

Planning the tour:
Prompt response in 0.5-10 hours
Supported by private travel consultant
Unlimited changes, no charge

Our guarantee:
Fair Price with added value
Use of excellent local guides
Use of well-selected Hotels
Use of comfortable vehicles
Worry-free & one-stop Service
Focus on customer care

Methods of payment:
Deposit 30% in advance after the tour is confirmed
Balance paid on arrival
Online and secure payment by bank transfer or credit cards

AD09: Northeast Loop - 12 days / 11 nights map
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