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Mountains, Tribes and Markets

10 Days in Vietnam | 26.02.16 - 06.03.16

One of the most beautiful countries in South East Asia

One of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia. The sights, aromas, flavors and people create a sensual mosaic that is truly one of a kind. Gleaming green rice fields, mountains and hills blanketed with lush forest, the Red River's delta in the north, and the Mekong River's estuary in the south. Generations of conflict have passed over this land and its people, with the Chinese, French and Americans all waging war and each injuring Vietnam. Today those scars are gone. Instead, travelers reach a peaceful and beautiful country. It’s true that Vietnam may not be as developed as some of its neighboring lands, but that remains part of its magic and charm.

10
Tour Days
Self Drive 4x4 Tours
Welcome to Hanoi!
  • The adventure begins with your arrival in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.
  • We rendezvous at a prearranged hotel, with all travelers expected to arrive by 5:00 pm (local time).
  • We enjoy a peaceful overnight stay before the real adventure begins in the morning.

Overnight location: Hanoi

Hanoi - Mai Chau
  • We collect our 4x4 vehicles and depart
  • Heading towards the northwest of Vietnam, one of the forgotten and most unfamiliar areas in the country
  • We will soon start to see pointed hills, terraced agricultural areas, small villages and dwellings of various minorities.
  • In the afternoon hours we walk and sail in the Dah Reserve, one of the biggest reserves in the northern part of Vietnam.
  • Towards evening, we reach the town of Mai Chau, home to a minority group the White Thai Hill Tribe.
  • We will stay overnight in a guesthouse. 

Overnight location: Mai Chau

Mai Chou - Moc Chau
  • Our day begins with an early morning drive along valley paths.
  • Leaving the town of Mai Chau behind, we use a dirt road that is used almost exclusively by the Hmong tribe, which is local to the area and mainly utilizes scooters.
  • We will come across corn fields, rice terraces and bamboo forests.
  • stop to enjoy a picnic lunch in a picturesque spot nearby.
  • Late in the afternoon, we reach Moc Chau, home of the Thai Hill Tribe.
  • We spend the night sleeping in stilt houses.

Overnight location: Moc Chau

Moc Chau - Nealu

 

  • We ascend the mountain range, passing tea plantations and mountain tribes.
  • We change course and turn to a more challenging route, passing along dirt roads (dependent on weather conditions) that wind through hills, peaks and mountain tops covered with lush forest.
  • Our journey down side roads and paths feels like a cultural rendezvous, as we pass through an area that the tourism 'ring' has skipped over and left in place.
  • Here tribes still wear the special attire that characterizes each tribe - and not for the purposes of tourism.
  • Along the way, the embarrassment blockade is broken by the yearning of the tribes to peek at the 'hairy white foreigners' as they exit their vehicles.
  • We explore the area by road before walking through rice terraces and among the Hmong and Thai Hill tribes.

Overnight location: Nealu

Nealu - Sapa
  • We stop in miniscule villages while off-road driving in a high up mountainous landscape on which lay agricultural terraces.
  • We drive through beautiful roads alongside the highest ridge in Vietnam and then leave the main roads, heading towards the tribal villages.
  • We walk along a creek whose waters are used not only for rice growing but also for producing domestic electricity, rice grinding, fish pools and more.
  • We traverse the highest mountain pass in Vietnam and descend to the town of Sapa.
  • The town was established as a French mountain station - with colonial houses, a unique market, quaint streets and rock houses built in the local style.
  • We continue on towards our special hotel, which is situated in the midst of nature, at the heart of the terraces and tribal villages. 

Overnight location: Sapa

Exploring the Sapa region
  • We pass through beautiful landscapes while getting an up close look at the lives of the peoples of this region.
  • We walk through rice terraces and visit the homes of the Hmong and Thai Hill tribes.
  • Journey through a pretty bamboo forest until we reach the village of Giang Ta Chai, the habitat of the Red Dao Tribe. 
  • The tribe maintains the traditions of days past. The women and girls don colorful attire which is unique to the tribe. 

Overnight location: Sapa

Sapa - Bac-Ha
  • We travel to the unique Bac-Ha market, the last of its kind in the world.
  • Over the course of the weekend, thousands of people from the mountainous tribes make their way to the market, wearing their unique and picturesque attire, hauling on their back agricultural wares, works of art, silverware, and embroidery works.
  • Different tribes from different ethnic groups meet at the market once a week to trade, pass information, and generally catch up in one of the most vibrant and scarcely toured places in the region.
  • We visit the market and bear witness to this mix of tribal colorfulness.
  • Leaving the market behind, we visit a nearby palace that was built in the French Colonial era. 
  • Drive back to Hanoi.

Overnight location: Hanoi

Hanoi - Halong Bay
  • We head east towards Halong Bay.
  • Towards afternoon, we reach the picturesque bay, which is surrounded by lime rocks protracting from the water.
  • We stop to enjoy lunch on a boat before sailing onto the bay. Our boat offers stunning vistas of the marvelous bay.
  • We have the option to swim in the bay's waters or enjoy a rest on the boat.
  • Back on dry land, we take the time to visit some of the fishing villages that are scattered around the bay area.

Overnight location: Halong Bay

 

Halong Bay - Hanoi & Back home
  • We start our final day in Vietnam having fun by the bay: swim, sail and kayak through the spurting rocks of Ha-Long, before eating lunch on a boat.
  • After lunch, we drive back to Hanoi.
  • We wrap things up with a festive last dinner of the journey

Overnight location: Hanoi

 

This is Goodbye
  • According to flight schedules we depart to Bishkek Manas International Airport
  • Goodbye, see you on the next trip
Important Information

Meals

Breakfast: at the hotels

Lunch: at nature or local restaurants

Dinner: some at restaurants, some at the hotels

  

Program

Program may change from time to time according to terrain conditions (floods, snow etc.), instructions of the local authorities (road renovations) or safety reasons

  

Hotels

In Hanoi: 4 stars hotel

In Mai Chauhostel

In Moc Chau: stilt houses

In Nealu3 stars hotel

In Sapa: A small and lovely hotel in the middle of nature

In Halong Bay: night boat

  

Insurance

Travel insurance (health and baggage) is compulsory for everyone travelling with us. The insurance must cover all medical expenses and Emergency Repatriation in the event of illness or injury.  Please make sure that  the policy covers you fully for all activities you’re planning on taking part in on your holiday (such as water-sports or hiking) and that a 24-hour contact telephone number for your Insurance Company is written on your documentation in case of an emergency. You will need to confirm to your Tour Leader that you are covered by a travel insurance policy at the start of the tour. Our office will be happy to help you with that.

 

Flights

The price does not include flights. Our office will be happy to offer you attractive flight options. Try us!

 

Self-Driving

Please send us a copy of your passport and driving license. Please make sure that they are both valid to the tour dates.

 

4X4 vehicles

  1. The car rental is directly between you and the rental company
  2. In any case of damage or theft to the vehicle, a non-waivable excess will apply of maximum 1500$. Our office can provide you with a supplement of insurance that will revoke the responsibility in case of car theft or damage. 25$ per day per vehicle.
  3. This insurance and the supplement do not cover any damage to the glass, tiers and lower side of the car damage.
  4. In any case of any damage, Tripology is not a side between you and the rental company.
  5. Any charge that the rental company will charge you is between you and the rental company.
  6. Each driver and participant must check before you rent the car that there is no damage, scratch or defect with the vehicle, to avoid any unjustified charges.
  7. The driver must be with 3 years of driving experience, and over 23 years old.

 

 

Payment conditions

  1. To secure a booking we require a non-refundable deposit of 10% of the tour price.
  2. A final invoice will be sent to you ten weeks before departure. This must be paid no later than 60 days before departure.in case you booked the tour less that 60 days preior departure- a full payment will be needed to register the tour
  3. Payments can be made with credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) of bank transfer
  4. Bank transfer details you can find on the registration form or on our website. Please send us the swift details when its done
  5.  A credit card fee of 1.48% is payable on all transactions.

 

Cancelation fees

  1. 60 and more days before tour start date – retention of deposit
  2. 59-42 days before tour start date – 30% or retention of deposit if higher
  3. 41-28 days before tour start date – 60%
  4. 27-14 days before tour start date – 90%
  5. Less than 14 days before tour start date – 100%
Pricing
Tour Price - Price per person, based on 2 persons sharing a room and 4 persons sharing a vehicle
$3995
Single room supplement
$265
Child (2-12) in parents room reduction
-$160
Additional vehicle cost (3 persons in a vehicle, per person)
$150
Additional vehicle cost (2 persons in a vehicle, per person)
$450
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