Trekking Mai Chau and Phu Luong Nature Reserve 9days
This trip offers one of the most outstanding natural scenery in the North Vietnam, active travellers haveopportunity to enjoy and explore the impressive nature beauty and culture richsess of Mai Chau –Xa Linh Nature Reserve, the pictureque rice terrace paddy, magnificent limestone mountain ranges of Pu Luong Nature Reserve and visit one of Thai and Muong Ethnic minority…
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate to Difficult
Group Size Small Group
Trekking Mai Chau and Phu Luong Nature Reserve 9days
This trip offers one of the most outstanding natural scenery in the North Vietnam, active travellers haveopportunity to enjoy and explore the impressive nature beauty and culture richsess of Mai Chau –Xa Linh Nature Reserve, the pictureque rice terrace paddy, magnificent limestone mountain ranges of Pu Luong Nature Reserve and visit one of Thai and Muong Ethnic minority. Visitors also experiences in interacting and staying in Muong,Thai homestay tribes, enjoying traditional food, joining with Thai alive music performances. Trekking on the mix of good single track paths and undulating rough jeep trails, the views are stunning while we passed through villages and across lush rice paddy. Trekking (trekking tours) through the core of Phu Luong nature reserve will expose the best scenery, experiencing the most diverse Phu Luong with a huge variety of rare fauna and flora in the limestone mountain forest.
– English speaking cycling guide ( other languages upon requests)
– Accommodations are based on double/ twin occupancy
– Private Eco homestay village based on size of group
– Meals details in itineraries ( 8 breakfast, 8lunches, 8 dinners)
– Van or bus transfer on the first day and the last day
– Truck supported and carry luggage to homestay each day.
– Boat trip in Ma river
– Sightseeing excursions as outlined itineraries
– First aid kit
– Cold water box, small fresh towel.
– Mineral water for drinking
– Support crew to supply picnic lunches and water on trekking day, prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner in trekking.
– Local trekking guide
Hanoi – Mai Chau, light trek to Hang Kia village (~ 3 hrs trek)
We depart from your Hanoi hotel at 8:00 heading for Mai Chau town (Hoa Binh province). This scenic drive takes about three hours. Arrival and lunch in a traditional stilt house in Poom Coom village, then drive for one hour to Xa Linh village to begin our 3 hour trek through beautiful villages. Our destination for this evening is Hang Kia village, home of the H’mong minority people. Dinner and overnight as guests at a H’mong family’s traditional house situated in a picturesque valley and peach orchards. Inclusion:Transfer, guide, homestay, entrances fees, lunch, dinner.
Trek to Cun Pheo village (4 ~ 5 hrs trek) – 16 km
Breakfast and venture far off the beaten track. Trek through tropical rainforests, using the local trails and passing through corn fields as we descend into the Mai Chau valley below. The trek takes around 5 hours
and is quite steep in places. Lunch will be provided at the local stall at the foot of the valley. From here we pass through several ethnic minority villages until we reach our night’s destination, Cun Pheo village. by lateafternoon. Have time to walk around this charming little white Thai village. Tonight we will be honoured guestsin a traditional Thai stilt house. Dinner and sampling of some homemade rice wine before heading to sleep.Inclusion:Guide, homestay, all meals.
Trek to Xam Khoe village (~ 4 ~ 5 hrs trek) 15 km
Today we have a whole day of easy trekking. Passing through several Thai hamlets surrounded by rice paddies and beautiful scenery. Picnic lunch en route and arrival in Xam Khoe village in the afternoon. Enjoy dinner with our hosts and slumber away after having a few sips of the local maize wine. Free time to walk around or chat with local people, then have a good night sleep. Inclusion:Guide, homestay, all meals.
Xam Khoe trek on to Pu Luong, Ban Hang village (~ 5 ~ 6 hrs) 17 km
Say farewell with the hosts after breakfast. Trek village to village through beautiful rice terraces, pause forlunchuntil we get to Mai Hich village. Take a short ride along Ma river . upon arriving in Co Luong take a boat trip upward Ma River. Enjoy breathtaking scenery in bothside of river. Disembark for more 2- 3 hour walking via beautiful hillside villages, magnificent rice paddies of Pu Luong Nature Reserve to Ban Hang village – perhaps the setting of one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. It is recommended to stroll round the village and join villagers as they go about their daily lives. Or, relax in one of the three-eco homestays set up by FFI (Flora and Fauna International) in conjunction with the locals. Arrival in Ban Hang village in the afternoon. Here we will spend our first night in a typical Thai eco-stilt-house welcomed by the family that lives there. Free time to rest and shower, then a traditional dinner. Overnight here.Inclusion:Transfer, guide, entrance fee, lunch, dinner, homestay with permit.
Trek to Kho Muong 5 – 6 hours – 18 km
Get up and observe, or even take part in their activities in the morning because the daily life here starts early, take an opportunity to stroll around Hang village before having breakfast served by Thai people, then at 8 a.m. start our trek to Kho muong Village. Walk approximately 5 to 6 hours. The first hiking is hard with some steep climbs and yet more stream crossing, the next is really glorious with beautiful views of valley, rice terraces, rich rain forest, and streams.Picnic lunch on the way at Eo Ken village, arrival in Kho Muong – the setting of the village is perhaps the most beautiful in Vietnam. Stroll round the village and join in as villagers go about their daily lives, or relax in one of the three -eco homestays superbly set up by FFI (Flora and Fauna International) in conjunction wit h local villages. Please be soft and nice, nature is just very lovely here. Arrival in Kho Muong village in the afternoon.Spend our second night in a typical Thai eco – stilt house. 18 km
Trek to Hieu village 5 – 6 hours – 17 km
Here, daily life starts early so get up and take part in your host family’s morning activities. Have breakfast and start our trek by 8:00. Today we will be walking for a approximately 5 to 6 hours (~15 – 17 km). The first bit of hiking is through the beautiful valleys and unspoiled villages. Continue on to the next villages trekking amongst the karst landscapes and nice terraces is hard with somesteep climbs and stream crossings. The second part is glorious with beautiful views of the valley, rice paddies. Short pause for lunch at a local food stall or enroute. We arrival in Hieu village at around16:00. Take short rest then we visit the beautiful water fall near the village then back to the homestay for dinner and overnight at a Muong homestay.Inclusion:Guide, homestay, all meals
Trek 17 km
Hieu village – trek to Nua village 4- 5 hours – 12 km
Breakfast at the homestay. 8:00, we take another day of village-to-village trekking and via nice cool streams for a route is about 10 – 12 km (~ 5 – 6 hours). Short pause for lunch enroute then following the local path via rice paddies to get to our homestay for shower, dinner and stay the night. Inclusion:Transfer, guide, homestay, entrance fee, all meals, permit
Trek 14 km
Hike to Son village 4-5 hours – 12 km
Leave Nua village after having breakfast. Start our full day trek climbing deeper into the Pu Luong Nature Reserve (~ 15km). Picnic lunch on the way. Continuing our trek passing through ethnic villages. Our day ends with a wonderful sunset (weather dependent) in Son village. Dinner and overnight at our Thai homestay. Inclusion:Guide, homestay, all meals.
Trek to Ton village then bus to Hanoi (~ 2.5 hr trek)
Breakfast is prepared by your guide then start trekking by 8:00. Today we will have an easy day with smallups and downs through rice paddies and the Pu Luong jungle. After about 2.5 hours we get to Ton village.Our driver will be waiting for us there to transfer us to Muong Khen town for lunch. Arrive and end in Hanoi in the late afternoon. Inclusion:Transfer, guide, breakfast, lunch. Exclution : Visa, insurance, drinks, personal expenses, others not mentioned in details, tips are welcome!
When Trekking we stay in friendly hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail.In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels or resort. Please do not expect the same standard as you would your home.
Homestay in the villages is simple interm of bedding condition and ementies. We will sleep on beds or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillow and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.
Our trekking tours can be classified into three levels
There are about 8 – 10K to walk on flat roads. No previous experience is necessary. Anyone in good health and fit enough to perform an occasional hike can take an easy level trek. Vietnam easy walks are provided in Hanoi, Bac Giang, Mai Chau, Ngoc Son Ngo Luong…
There are about 10 – 15K to hike on flat and hilly roads. At this point too, no special background is required. Hikers accustomed to trekking in hilly areas of Mai Chau, Pu Luong or Lai Chau, Yen Bai successfully accomplish our treks “moderate”, provided they are in good health and to have a correct fit. These treks are moderate or easy hikes with an average duration or shorter but more difficult steps.
There are about 16 – 23K to trek on uphill/downhill dirty, rocky trails. Physical fitness is very important for these treks and you may have to lead you home before the trek. Most treks in this level are comparable with long rides in the Fansipan mountain or the the mountainous region of Ha Giang, Cao Bang, sometimes higher altitudes. The climate and isolation can also participate in difficulty. Prior trek experience is preferable but not vital if you have confidence in your fitness.
Our tour guides speak English or French. Etc… They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.
Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.
During all trekking tours we may use local porters to carry your luggage as well as our trekking equipment, where required. To generate local income we employ local villagers for this task. Participants will have their own porter, carrying trekking equipment and luggage to a maximum of 15 kg per client. Travelers only have to carry their day packs. Read more how to pack
Depending on the nature of the tour, journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections.
During all treks meals will be arranged on the spot, in local restaurants and at home in local villages along the way. The meals are prepared by our cooks, the local guide or by the local host. Our cooks are well trained to prepare and serve food hygienically and they cook a variety of local delicacies. Sometimes this may include the slaughter of a chicken, duck or pig. We sometimes have the chance to bring western food, and snacks from Hanoi.Etc… for breakfast and picnics along the way, and coffee and tea are available in abundance. Our cooks make a special effort to provide as much variety as possible. The porters give necessary assistance on the spot.
There are many shops and villages that have bottled water for sale. On remote trekking tours, we buy a sufficient supply of water for the next couple of days. We recommend bringing some water purifying tablets.
Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. Etc… The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple, communal house and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.
What you take will naturally depend upon where you are travelling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.
1 medium-sized backpack.
Comfortable walking shoes with good grip
1 long (easy to dry) pants and 1 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (easy to dry).
1 pair of flip flop (sandals).
1 pair of shorts and T-shirt to wear at camp site (2 if you do 4-day trek).
1 medium-sized towel.
1 medium-sized dry bag.
Hiking poles/walking sticks
We strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes,positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect natural environment. We recognize that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.
We have been turning environmentally responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re – usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.
Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.
Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.