Day 1: Hanoi – Ba Bể Lake
You will be picked up early in the morning for the journey to Ba Bể Lake, a drive of approximately 150 miles (230 kilometers). Along the way you will pause to visit a Tay minority community, the second largest ethnic group in Vietnam after the Viets, mostly living off the cultivation of rice.
Continue to Ba Bể National Park for a boat ride along the Nang River, with time to explore Ba Bể Lake, the caves of Puong Grotto, the rapids of the Dau Dang waterfall and tiny Widow Island. You will also visit the stilt houses of the Tay community in Pac Ngoi Village, where you will spend the night in a home-stay.
Day 2: Ba Bể – Cao Bằng – Ban Gioc
After breakfast, depart for Cao Bằng close to Vietnam’s northern border with China. You will be introduced to the Nung people in the village of Phuoc Sen, a small village famous for the production of farming tools.
Like the Tays, the Nungs largely live by farming the terraced rice paddies that you will see all around as you transfer to Ban Gioc Waterfall, the majestic falls that demarcate the border between Vietnam and China. Spend some time at leisure relaxing and taking souvenir photos as you soak up the sublime atmosphere of Vietnam’s most beautiful waterfall.
Day 3: Cao Bang – Hanoi
After a night at a hotel in Cao Bang, depart for your transfer south to Hanoi. It is a journey of approximately 185 miles (310 kilometers) through vertiginous rice paddies and remote villages. You will get the chance to stop at an ethnic village known for its tobacco production. This is the road less traveled in Vietnam, offering the chance to enjoy some peace and tranquility.
You will also visit the Museum of the Cultures of Vietnam’s Ethnic Groups in Thai Nguyen City where you can browse the objects, photographs and exhibits that give a better understanding of the various ethnic groups and their agricultural tools, handicrafts and traditional costumes worn for worshipping.
There will be a stop for lunch before your hotel drop off back in the bustling city of Hanoi.