Trekking the Rice Terraces and Minority Villages of Hoang Su Phi
Trekking the Rice Terraces and Minority Villages of Hoang Su Phi
Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang, Viet Nam
5days venturing into pristine remote villages to discover the local culture of Red Dao, Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao) and Tay ethnic groups and to enjoy the picturesque mountainous landscape. You will be inspired at every curve by trekking through the rice terraces recognized as National Heritage. Experience local lifestyle, friendly ethnic minorities and unique homestay with excellent hospitality. You will have one of the most unforgettable holidays ever when participating in highly interactive farming experiences at our community-based tourism villages where your travelling contributes to the community development at poor villages.
Your English-speaking guide will pick you up from Hanoi to Nam Hong commune, Hoang Su Phi district at 7.30 am. Lunch at local restaurant in Ham Yen, then reach Thong Nguyen at 15.00.
You will start exploring the area by an one hour trek to Nam Hong community-based tourism village to enjoy the poetic beauty of the natural landscape, rice terraces and inhale fresh air. On the way to the homestay, you will obtain more knowledge of Red Dao people by visiting their local museum.
After arriving at the homestay you can participate in a fish catching experience for your dinner. If travelling in August and September, you will have chance to practices your fishing skills at the rice fields. If you are interested, you can prepare and cook dinner with your homestay owner or enjoy a traditional herbal bath that will relax you after a long day of travelling. After a tasty local dinner with traditional rice wine, you will fall into sleep deeply at the cozy homestay.
Awake with the dawn to start the farming work with local people at around 7am. You will learn about the tea cultivation, tea picking technique and then pick tea leaves yourself. At 8am you will carry tea leaf baskets back to the village.
Back in the village take a rest and have breakfast in the open-air terrace before participating in tea processing for one hour. You will end this activity by testing the green tea you made. The tea season is from April to August and the best tea is made in April.
You will be escorted by moto-taxi up to the end of Nam Hong village pass before trekking along the charming path to Khoa Thuong (about 7.5 km) to enjoy the marvelous landscape. Have lunch and a short break at Khoa Thuong.
In the afternoon, the trek continues to Nam Ai village to where you can see beautiful rice paddies and explore the lifestyle and culture of Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao) minority people.
You will enjoy a night in a peaceful homestay at Nam Ai village after a long day of trekking and dinning with homestay owners.
You will be woken up at dawn from Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao) people to see the sunrise from their village at 1400m above sea level. After watching the sunrise the villagers will teach you how to make special cakes that you can enjoy for your breakfast (all year round).
You will spend the whole morning to do community work such as building a concrete road or cleaning water tanks (depending on your choice) for the village with local people. This kind of work not only gives you a more interactive time with local people but is also helping villagers to have a better road to access the village. Nam Ai is one of the poorest CBT villages, and it needs your sponsorship to buy material for road construction. We recommend an amount of 50 USD per visitor to help buying construction material and finishing the road, which is an important lifeline for the community. If this community work is not your preference, then you can participate in other farming work such as cultivating trees or harvesting vegetables and fruits (depending on season). After community work, you will return to homestay to take a break and shower before having lunch.
In the afternoon you will venture downhill to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of green hills, deep valleys and endless rice terraces until you reach a sealed road. From there a car will pick you up to Tan Phong CBT village or if you are not tired you can keep trekking to the village. At the homestay in Tan Phong you can relax your exhausted feet by taking a herbal bath with massage. You will enjoy dinner with the homestay owners and after witness cultural performances such as traditional Fire Dance of Red Dao minority, spiritual traditional games and singing.
Overnight at homestay with Red Dao family in peaceful Tan Phong CBT village.
Breakfast at 7.00 am before heading out to trek through one of the most beautiful rice terraces in Hoang Su Phi. You will have lunch at a Tay ethnic family at 11.30 am before heading to Suoi Thau CBT site. You will be inspired by the amazing panoramic view of the valley with countless terraced rice fields and Suoi Thau village from the top of the mountain. If you are lucky, you can experience a local blacksmith at work. Take a break at a beautiful waterfall and then continue trekking to your homestay at Suoi Thau village where you will stay with a Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao) family.
Explore the Dao Temple, lifestyle and socio-economic activities of the village in the late afternoon. You can take part in daily activities such as winemaking, learn how to make Dao clothes with simple embroidery patterns or farming activities.
After dinner with the homestay family, you will participate in teaching English for local people. Use creative teaching methodology to teach them some simple words or sentences. Night spent at lovely homestay in Suoi Thau.
After breakfast, say goodbye to the homestay owners and local guide. A moto-taxi will pick you up to the Ban Luoc commune center to take a car transfer to Bac Ha, Lao Cai province.
You have enough time to explore the bustling Bac Ha market on Sunday morning and the Hmong King Palace Hoang A Tuong, which is a unique mix of French-colonial and Asian architecture. Have lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to Hanoi. Arrival in Hanoi at around 5:30 pm.
We recommend to bring good walking shoes, raincoat, jacket, insect repellent, long sleeved clothes, hat or umbrella, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Tours and transfers as mentioned in the itinerary (air conditioned vehicle)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- 2 water bottles/day/pax. For environmental protection the empty bottle needs to be returned for recycling.
- English speaking guide; local guide
- Entrance fees for all visits and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- Community fund: 10% of your homestay fee will contribute to the community development fund.
- Beverages and personal expenditures
- Local cultural perfomance/show
- Other transfers than mentioned
- Other meals than mentioned
- Other services than mentioned
- Travel insurance for the trip Hanoi – Hoang Su Phi – Hanoi
General terms and conditions
Saving energy & water
Code of behaviour
- Travel with respect and genuine desire to learn about the local people and culture, encourage villagers pride to maintain their traditions.
- Respect holy, cultural, archeological places; do not remove any artifacts, do not touch or move religious objects
- Ask for permission before you take pictures or make video tape in the village.
- Avoid activities that are not fit for ecotourism such as singing karaoke, playing gambling, playing loud music...
- You could buy local products to help improve the lives of local people.
- Avoid giving gift directly to children which may encourages begging.