Tours with GIOI
SMALL GROUP and PERSONALISED TOURS
Gioi offers a unique opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of rural northern Vietnam away from the tourist crowds. Below is a description of some of the tours Gioi offers. He is flexible and is able to tailor tours to suit your particular timeframes and interests so please be in touch to discuss what you would like to do while in northern Vietnam.
Tour 1 -
Colourful Markets and Trekking
Enjoy two days experiencing rural Vietnam.
Day 1: Lao Cai – Bac Ha
Gioi will meet you from your train or bus at Lao Cai and you will then be taken by air conditioned vehicle to Bac Ha to check into your hotel. Following breakfast there will be the chance to explore the town and visit the Hoang Palace. In the afternoon you can enjoy a guided walk to Na Hoi village – home of the Nung people. Here you will be able to visit locals in their clay houses and experience their colourful rural lifestyle amongst the corn and rice paddy fields. Overnight in hotel in Bac Ha township.
Day 2: Bac Ha Market Day (Sunday only)
See the transformation that happens in Bac Ha once a week when village people from all over the mountain region walk long distances to come to market. It’s a vibrant, colourful experience with animals (including a large buffalo market), fruit, vegetables, homewares, traditional crafts and colourful fabrics for sale... You will be dazzled by the colourful traditional costumes of the Flower H’mong women and the overwhelming photo opportunities.
This market only happens on a Sunday, however, if your visit to Bac Ha does not include a Sunday Gioi will arrange to take you to one of the other local mountain markets – Coc Ly on a Tuesday, Sin Cheng on a Wednesday or Can Cau on a Saturday. They’re all definitely worth a visit!
You will return by vehicle to Lao Cai in time for the overnight train back to Ha Noi.
TOUR 2: HÀ NỘI - CINNAMON ECO LODGE
Cinnamon Ecolodge is a new attractive destination in North Eastern Vietnam. This is a place for people who like to be away from tourist areas, and to explore the real rural Vietnam. Come stay with us and you will see real farmers who work on cinnamon, rice, and green tea farms. You can have unique experiences in planting and harvesting cinnamon. This is where it all begins, long before you get to buy your cinnamon at the supermarket.
To make it easier to get to cinnamon ecolodge and to offer you the chance to explore some less visited areas, we are pleased to offer you some different packages so that you can choose which is most suitable for you.
PACKAGE 1: HÀ NỘI - CINNAMON ECO LODGE
"Cinnamon Eco Lodge" is a unique holiday destination in North-East Vietnam. It is away from the usual tourist routes, located in a rural village, surrounded by thousands of cinnamon trees.
Take a private cinnamon tour and explore this scenic region with a local guide who will share his local culture so you can appreciate the life style and activities of the region's local ethnic people.
Trek through the quiet valley trails, past terraced rice fields, cinnamon forests and beautiful natural waterfalls. Visit the mountain villages around the Cinnamon farm, where your guide will introduce you to the flower H'mong and black and white Tay people who live there. On Saturday morning, you can visit Vinh Yen market or Can Cau market. You are welcome to learn about harvesting cinnamon (and have a hands-on experience!) and rice. All your meals are made from locally sourced free product from the cinnamon farm.
We know you will enjoy the tranquility and privacy of our purpose-built bungalow and the warm welcome you will receive on our Cinnamon farm tour.
Day 1: Ha Noi - Cinnamon farm [ Cinnamon Eco Lodge] :
In the morning, our driver will pick you up from Ha Noi and transfer you to Cinnamon Eco Lodge in an air-conditioned vehicle. The trip will take about 4 hours (3 hours on the highway north and then another hour by private car). On the way you will see many mountains and beautiful villages along the road and there will be a half hour rest stop on the way.
Arrive Cinnamon Eco Lodge for lunch then have time to rest and enjoy the quiet beauty of the farm. In the afternoon you will be taken on a walk to visit Tay village and see local life in Northeast Vietnam and spectacular scenery.
Day 2: Hiking day
After having breakfast, you will trek to Doi 9 village. Trek through the quiet valley trails, past terraced rice fields, cinnamon forests, cassava farms, beautiful natural waterfalls. Visit the mountain villages then enjoy a picnic lunch along the way with beautiful valley views. Visit local families where your guide will introduce you to many things that are particular to Northeast Vietnam. At the end of the day you will return to Cinnamon Eco Lodge for dinner and restful overnight in your self-contained accommodation.
Day 3: Harvest cinnamon - Back to Ha Noi
This morning there will be time for you to experience planting and harvesting cinnamon alongside the local people. This will be a special experience and one we believe is a unique opportunity for you in Vietnam.
After a delicious lunch it will be time to leave Cinnamon Eco Lodge at 14:30, with transfers arranged for you to travel back to Ha Noi; arriving there at approximately 20:00.
MEETING LOCATION + TOUR DURATION
Pick up location: You will be picked from your hotel in Ha Noi or the airport
End location: You will be dropped off at your hotel or the airport
Duration: 3 days
This tour uses a private air-conditioned vehicle, plus walking.
-2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners.
- 2 night’s accommodation in a bungalow room with en-suite
-1.5 litres water per person per day.
English speaking Tour Guide
You are responsible for purchasing any items of a personal nature related to shopping, souvenirs, snacks, and restaurant meals.
Note: This is private tour but the transportation on the highway is on a car sharing basis. If you need a private car from Ha Noi please contact us so that we can make these arrangements for you.
Please note this tour is based on two people, sharing accommodation. We can also accommodate family groups or larger groups in our traditional Tay home. Please contact us if you are interested in knowing more about these options.
Tour 3 –
This 10 day/9 night tour departs and returns to Ha Noi. The trip is tailored to your needs and can depart on any day as requested. The trip includes visits to Sa Pa, Bac Ha, Xuan Hao, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Cao Bang, Ban Gioc waterfall, Bac Kan and Ba Be Lake national park.
You will be met at your hotel in Ha Noi and travel by air conditioned vehicle to Sa Pa. After enjoying lunch with a local family there is a walk from Ta Van village to Lao Chai village. This traverses terraced rice fields along the Muong Hoa Valley, home to ethnic tribal villages with imposing mountain scenery. Overnight in hotel in Sa Pa.
After breakfast, travel to the love waterfall then on to Ban Khoang village, home to the Red Zao people. From here there is a trek to Ta Phin village and then on a further 15kms through the unique landscapes of the area back to Sa Pa. Overnight in a hotel at Sa Pa.
Day 3: Colourful Market Day
Travel by air conditioned vehicle to one of the colour mountain markets. Many ethnic villagers walk long distances through the mountains to come to the weekly markets which are important not only for trading but also for socialising. The women arrive in beautiful handmade traditional costumes and there is always a sense of celebration and fun at these markets. After lunch there will be the chance to visit a village – Ban Pho village to see the life style of the Flower H’mong, including how they make corn wine. From you will travel to Cinnamon Eco Lodge for the evening. Your accommodation will be a traditional Tay home overlooking a pond in the cinnamon forest.
Day 4: Trekking
After breakfast Gioi will take you for a unique day’s trekking in rural Viet Nam, away from the bustle of other tourist areas. You will visit a variety of villages and learn about farming life in rural northern Viet Nam. This includes seeing cinnamon, tea and other crops growing and being harvested as well as terraced rice fields, houses on stilts and the lifestyles of different ethnic tribal groups who live in the area. Overnight at the homestay at Cinnamon Eco Lodge and enjoy the hospitality of a local family, embracing the true rural community lifestyle (see accommodation for more details).
Day 5: to Dong Van
After breakfast and farewells you will travel with Gioi to Ha Giang city and to Quan Ba district to visit a Flower H’mong village which is open to tourists. This is located in the Kast Plateau Geo Park heritage area and overnight in a hotel in the quaint town of Dong Van.
Day 6: Dong Van trek
This is a very special day with the chance to walk to Tay and H’mong villages in locations set amongst the rocks and karst mountains of the region. The scenery is stunning and unique to Viet Nam. The day’s trekking takes in about 12kms with plenty of time to stop for photos and to enjoy the majestic scenery. Overnight in hotel in Dong Van.
Day 7: Dong Van to Cao Bang
The day’s traveling traverses some spectacular roads and scenery including high mountain passes. There will be time to stop at the ‘happy road’ and the Ma-Pi-Leng mountain, and to admire the views down to Nho Que river and many more photo opportunities to take in the stunning scenery before eventually arriving for the night in Cao Bang. Hotel accommodation.
Day 8: Ban Gioc Waterfall and Ba Be Lake
There is an early start as there is quite some distance to travel. First to see the impressive Ban Gioc Waterfall. This is located on the Quy Son river which divides the boarders of Viet Nam and China and is located in an impressive area of karst formations. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the world’s fourth largest waterfall on a national border. Continuing on you will reach Ba Be National Park and your homestay at Bac Kan Village.
Day 9: Ba Be Lake cruise
Enjoy a day on the lakes of the Ba Be National Park. Travel by traditional boat and discover the waterfalls, rivers, valleys, caves and local villages while enjoying the picturesque natural scenery and tranquillity of the area. There are also options to visit attractions such as the Dau Dang Falls, Puong Cave and Tien Pond. Return to bac Kan to overnight at the homestay accommodation once again.
Day 10: Ba Be to Ha Noi
After breakfast it is time to leave the serenity of the National Park and travel south back to Ha Noi. You will be taken back to your hotel in Ha Noi or to the airport for your next destination.
Included in this tour:
Local (English speaking) Vietnamese guide
Private air conditioned vehicle and Driver
Government taxes and Service Charges
Accommodation – 9 nights
Meals – 9 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 9 evening meals
TOUR 4 : BAC HA SUNDAY MARKET
Bac Ha Market is held every Sunday and is the biggest minority peoples market in Northwest Vietnam. Alive with the bright colours and extravagant costumes of the local people, here you will meet Flower Hmong , Black Dao, Tay, Nung, La Chi, Phu La and other minority groups who come from far and wide to buy and sell a wide variety of goods and livestock, to exchange news and to renew friendships. In the past the market was a centre for trading horses but now that motorbikes have replaced them it is more common to see buffalo, cows, goats, fish and other livestock being traded. The market opens at around 7.30am and closes mid-afternoon, so an early start is advisable. A typical private tour itinerary for a day at Bac Ha would include:
Drive to Bac Ha (70km /~ 2 hours from Cinnamon Eco Lodge, or 72km / 1.5 hours from Lao Cai).
Take time to wander around the market, enjoy the atmosphere and have fun trying out your trading skills with the friendly local people.
Have lunch in a local restaurant where a variety of foods are available for your delectation and delight. You can even try the traditional local lunch of Thang Co (horse stew) and strong corn wine!
After lunch you will be driven to Ban Pho village where you can take a short walk around the village where Flower Hmong, Tay and Nung minorities live.
Drive back to Lao Cai or Cinnamon Eco Lodge on an unique road with an AMAZING VIEW.
Of course we are more than happy to try and arrange an itinerary which is tailored specifically for your needs. For example, you may wish to visit Can Cau Market on Saturday, have a homestay with local people on Saturday night and then attend Bac Ha Market early on the Sunday morning? Do feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.