Homestay and limestone mountains

5 days
ENFANT JOUANT DANS UNE RIZIERE, HOA LU, VIETNAM//CHILD RIDING A BUFFALO, HOA LU, VIETNAM

This tour is a must for one’s willing to hike and experience simple and friendly Vietnamese hospitality. Trek across remote mountainous areas and stay homestay every night welcomed by warm-hearted hosts in family atmosphere. To give an even nicer mood, we’ve made sure the nature around was awesome: jungle, rice fields, cascades, streams, natural pools, valleys…

Experiences

  • Hike earthen paths and single trails in Pu Luong and Ngoc Son Ngo Luong nature reserves
  • Enjoy friendly homestay accommodation
  • Cycle small roads in the beautiful Mai Chau valley

Day 1. Hanoi – Ngoc Son Ngo Luong nature reserve
Meals: Lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Homestay

We leave Hanoi to the West, pass the suburb through messy traffic and get on the wide and clear Ho Chi Minh road. We enter Hoa Binh province and drive to its heights. The car will drop us at the entrance of Ngoc Son Ngo Luong nature reserve, we won’t see it again before the 4th day of the itinerary, so pack the necessary and off we go.
After lunch in a local “table d’hôte”, we start the hike. We walk on earthen path and most of the way down. The sceneries get wilder, beautiful views on the primary forest of the reserve. We reach a first plateau in the valley, the opportunity to visit a small village, meet the dwellers and check out one of the highest waterfall of the area. We then keep going from the big waterfall across terraced rice fields to reach our homestay. A nice wooden house on stilts lying next to a stream and hosted by a nice Muong family. Time to refresh in the natural pools before dinner and a good night.

Day 2. Ngoc Son Ngo Luong – Pu Luong nature reserve
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Homestay

We leave after breakfast, walking on flat path from East to West. We reach the western edge of the valley in the late morning. It is time for a greedy lunch, home prepared, to recharge batteries before starting serious things. After lunch, we hop on the back of motorbikes to be transferred a bit farther, where the trek from a nature reserve to another one starts.
It gets really wild, a bit tough and very beautiful. The nature is rewarding. As we marvel through the forest, we get in another nature reserve in another province. We are now in Pu Luong reserve in Thanh Hoa province.
We arrive in the afternoon in Hieu village, a Thai village also lying next to 2 streams. Say hello to the hosts and go for a swim in the cascades, that’s the program to relax at the end of a demanding day.

Day 3. Across Pu Luong nature reserve
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Homestay

We keep our way to the West, on single trails, across wild areas and small hamlets. We should enjoy encounters on the go with farmers and kids of the region. Possibilities to stop in local homes for a cup of tea and to appreciate a short rest while exchanging stories. Today the lunch is a picnic and the location of the “restaurant” will be yours. It may be under a tree in case of dry weather or we will take advantage of the famous local hospitality if it is better to have a roof on top.
We arrive at the heart of the reserve in the afternoon, in Kho Muong village. The spot is scenic, the hosts family is very nice, we just have to make ourselves comfortable for another great overnight in the “middle of nowhere”.

Day 4. Pu Luong nature reserve – Mai Chau
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Homestay

Easy morning, today we have a shorter distance to walk. Approximately 2 hours hiking before an emotional reunion with our vehicle. It has been a while. It takes us on a small road to exit the reserve and reach the mountainous circus of Mai Chau. We have a late lunch there and chill out around for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the house of our white Thai hosts.

Day 5. Mai Chau – Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: N/A

In the morning we hop on bicycles for a leisure ride across the valley. It is nice to go around on two wheels, witnessing daily life of people and being able to stop wherever and interact with them. We get back to the homestay for lunch and then start our way to Hanoi. We stop en route to see the big hydropower plant of Hoa Binh city. Other stops are planned for refreshments. We should arrive in the late afternoon.

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This tour is a must for one’s willing to hike and experience simple and friendly Vietnamese hospitality. Trek across remote mountainous areas and stay homestay every night…

Prices and conditions

Prices from 303 US Dollars per person

Included:

  • Accommodation during the tour
  • Meals as indicated in the program
  • Transfers in private, air-conditioned vehicle
  • English speaking tour guide
  • All mentioned activities
  • All tickets and entry fees
  • VAT

Not included:

  • Beverages
  • Gratuities and donations
  • Personal expenses and individual insurance
  • All services not mentioned above in the “included” list