Join us for this rewarding trek in the Mai Chau region of northern Vietnam. The trek takes you through jungle trails, small minority villages, past rice paddies and alongside gushing rivers. You will meet local people along the way, and each night have the unique opportunity to stay with the locals in their homes, experiencing their way of life. After the trek, return to the capital city, Hanoi and enjoy the hustle and bustle.
Do Something Different...
You will spend time at a project in the Mai Chau region which directly supports the local community. Your specific tasks will be determined closer to the time of departure, depending on the most urgent need in the local area at the time. Typical tasks include basic building work or construction (such as assisting with constructing a new toilet block or classroom) or refurbishment (such as repainting and decorating rooms) or even some gardening! You will have the opportunity to meet local people while supporting them and their community.
Day 1 (Sat 7th October): London – Hanoi
Depart for an overnight flight to Hanoi.
Day 2 (Sun 8th October): Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to a central hotel; the rest of the day at leisure to settle in and explore independently. Gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant tonight. Accommodation: Hotel
Day 3 (Mon 9th October): Hanoi – Mai Chau
After breakfast we depart Hanoi for a scenic drive to Pu Luong Natural Reserve (approx. 4 hours). We will reach Mai Chau valley by lunchtime, after which we drive a further 22km into the reserve which is our base for the next two nights. This afternoon we will get to work on the community project! After completing the day’s tasks we will enjoy a hearty dinner and spend the night in a traditional stilt house! Accommodation: Traditional stilt house.
Day 4 (Tue 10th October): Mai Chau
Today we will spend the whole day at the project, celebrating our achievements this evening with the villagers! Accommodation: Traditional stilt house
Day 5 (Wed 11th October): Mai Chau – Hang Village
After putting the finishing touches at the project this morning, we set off after lunch for the start of our trek. We start off gently with approximately 3 hours trekking, stopping for the night in Hang Village, home to a Thai ethnic minority. Accommodation: Traditional stilt house. Trekking approx. 3 hrs. flat terrain
Day 6 (Thu 12th October): Hang Village – Kho Muong
Today we will be walking for around 6 hrs on a rocky path running mostly through jungle. We make a lunch stop in a village along the way, after which we will pass through several Thai villages before arriving at the village of Kho Muong, a Muong minority village where we stop for the night. Accommodation: Traditional stilt house. Trekking: approx. 6 hrs. slightly uphill rocky path
Day 7 (Fri 13th October): Kho Muong – Nua Village
A harder day today, as we climb to the Pu Luong range, passing through a number of small hamlets and minority villages en route. After 3 hours of light ascent, we will then descend to the village of Cao Hoong, a village of Thai ethnic minority people, where we spend the night in local homes. Accommodation: Traditional stilt house. Trekking: approx. 6 hrs. light climb followed by a gentle descent
Day 8 (Sat 14th October): Nua Village - Hieu Village
Today’s trek through the verdant countryside will take around 6 hours. The trek path runs uphill and downhill through forest, rice terraces and scenic villages. On the trek we are likely to see farmers working on rice paddies and children going to school. We spend the night in the Thai village of Hieu. Accommodation: Traditional stilt house. Trekking: approx. 5 hrs. small climb
Day 9 (Sun 15th October): Hieu Village - Hanoi
It is an approximate 2 hour trek this morning to Pho Doan, where we will visit the local market. Continuing along the Ma River, we will then be able to enjoy lovely views of the river, paddies and a waterwheel. After a further 2 hours we will be picked up and transferred to Hanoi in time for a celebratory farewell dinner! Accommodation: Hotel. Trekking: approx. 4 hrs. long descent
Day 10 (Mon 16th October): Hanoi - London
Free time to explore Hanoi until your transfer to the airport for the indirect return flight home.
Day 11 (Tue 17th October): London
Arrive back into London.
Optional Extension to Cambodia
A 3-night extension to Cambodia, taking in the temples of Angkor Wat may be possible depending on the final group size on a first-come, first served basis. Please ask us for details before booking.
N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.
What is included
- Return flights from the UK (inc. tax)
- Local transfers and transport in Vietnam
- 2-3* hotel in Hanoi / homestay on trek
- Expert English-speaking local guides & support team
- All permits/trek fees
- Project materials and co-ordination
- Different Travel UK tour manager
- All meals as per itinerary
What is not included
- Any necessary vaccinations
- Drinks, laundry and personal expenses
- Spending money
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal kit and equipment
- Travel insurance
- Vietnam visa ($52 at the time of writing)
- Carbon emission offsetting
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