Day 1: Hanoi – Thai Nguyen – Cao Bang (L, D)
You will be collected from your hotel in Hanoi between 07:30 and 08:00. On the way, you will stop in Thai Nguyen to visit the marvellous Museum of the Culture of the Ethnic Minorities of Vietnam, followed by lunch at a street restaurant. You will then leave the main road to take a smaller one snaking through the mountains and tea plantations. When you arrive in the NUNG village of QUANG UYEN, welcomed by backsmisth and his amazingly friendly Nung family at their traditional wooden stilt house. In the evening, you will enjoy a superb dinner with the lovely family on the lake terrace. You will spend the night at homestay.
Day 2 : Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Ba Be lake (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will set off to the district of Trung Khanh, close to Vietnam’s northern border with China. Here 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 journey to Ban Gioc Waterfall, the breathtakingly majestic falls that demarcate the border between Vietnam and China. There will be time enjoy the view and soak up the sublime atmosphere of Vietnam’s most beautiful waterfall before making your way to the Nguom Ngao “Tiger Cave” known for its wonderful limestone formations. You will then make your way to return Cao Bang town and going down on snake pass to Ba Be Lake, tonight you will stay overnight on traditional house of Tay ethnic family. At the homestay, you can relax and unwind from the day and enjoy a meal of home cooked local food.
Day 3: Ba Be lake – Hanoi (B, L)
You can relax on board, do some wildlife spotting or if you need to cool off, you can jump into the cool, clean waters for a refreshing swim! As you float on Ba Be Lake, you can take in the scenery of the surrounding karsts decorated with patches of wild vegetation and inhabited by all sorts of interesting creatures. The boat ride along the Nang River, with time to explore the stunning Ba Be Lake, the caves of Puong Grotto where you can explore the stalactites and stalagmites which are a result of the erosion of the river on the karst as well as looking out for the bat colony several thousand strong. You will depart for the journey back Hanoi, a drive of approximately 150 miles (230 kilometers). We will stop at some hills tea plant before returning to your hotel in the bustling city of Hanoi.