AN AUTHENTIC TRIP IN VIETNAM IN HOANG SU PHI, HA GIANG REGION
If you are looking for an authentic trip in Vietnam, this itinerary is for you! Stephanie and Oceane left for a few days in the north of Vietnam, in Hoang Su Phi in the Ha Giang region.
To travel in an authentic way, we called upon our friend Uy Vo, a Vietnamese guide who founded his responsible tourist agency: Mosaique Tour.
Let us tell you about our authentic trip in Vietnam...
Day 1 of our authentic trip in Vietnam - From Ho Chi Minh City to Hoang Su Phi
We leave Ho Chi Minh City for Hanoi by plane on Thursday in the early afternoon. We meet there Uy in the old quarter at the Countryside Restaurant to take dinner: chicken with lemongrass, tofu and eggplant, sautéed beef... All accompanied by a Bia Hanoi! Then it is time to take our limousine bus for a 6-hour-ride with sleeper bed and USB plugs. We finish the journey at 2 am. We climb 800 meters of altitude by motorbike before arriving in our bungalow all in bamboo at the Red Dao’s. One shower and it is already 4 in the morning.
Day 2 of our authentic trip in Vietnam - A few kilometers of walking...
After sleeping for a few hours and taking our "Cà phê sữa đá", we go for a few kilometers with Uy and Quyen, another local guide. Well, 11 kilometers in total, which will make us sleep well! During these hours of walking, we cross buffaloes, rice fields, locals... Authentic we said! The landscape is breathtaking, and it is only the first day. After the 4 hours of walking, the 400 meters of difference in altitude and the 35°c, we arrive at our bungalow. It is time for aperitif!
Day 3 of our authentic trip in Vietnam - From Nam Hong to Ban Phung
It is 8 am and we are all set for the sunny day ahead. We tell ourselves that motorbiking is more relaxing than walking. After an hour and only 5 kilometers, it is time for our first photo break. We already regret what we said: it hurts everywhere! Come to think of it, the downhill runs are worse than the uphill runs. We cross on the road of the H'Mongs, rice fields, buffaloes, children going to school...
For lunch, we stop at a Red Dao family. “Mot Hai Ba Dzo”, we toast with rice wine and eat chicken, beef, omelets…
After the special digestion nap, we hit the road again. What we see is extraordinary, no words can describe it, it has just to be lived.
We arrive at our homestay in Ban Phung around 5 pm. At more than 1,000 meters above sea level, the view is memorable. Our evening routine resumes: aperitif, dinner, and rice wine. It is ten o'clock and bedtime!
Day 4 of our authentic trip in Vietnam - From Ban Phung to Nam Hong via Ban Nhung and Ban Peo
It is 8 in the morning and we start driving after a dish of fried noodles for breakfast. The sky is threatening, it rained most of the night, but nothing will fall on us today. We go down the pass with our heads in the clouds and stop in Ban Nhung in an ethnic market with the H'Mong, La Chi and Red Dao. We are facing a lot of complicity and strong moments to share.
We leave the market for Ban Peo. On the road, the farmers pick the rice. One exchange of glasses and we are off! After lunch in a restaurant around the corner, we put the bikes down and walk a few miles to stretch our legs. It is time to leave, the hours pass, and we arrive at our bungalow of the first nights. We toast to the 70 kilometers back that gave the drivers a cold sweat. The rain that fell last night created landslides, making it difficult to get through.
Last night at the Red Dao’s, we enjoy a delicious meal and our very French drink: red and white wines.
Day 5 of our authentic trip in Vietnam - From Nam Hong to Hanoi
A trekking day is coming up in the mountains. The rain will be with us for an hour today, our ponchos will serve! The panorama is still as fabulous as ever: H'Mong, Red Dao, rice fields, buffaloes, farmers. We have been gone for two hours, so we stop for lunch at a local's house. We are received like kings: welcome tea, beers, and warm smiles. We help our guests prepare the meal while drying by the fire, and then we sit down to eat.
We climb a few more before passing through the jungle and meeting some slightly sticky friends: leeches. Arriving at our homestay, we toast to our days of happiness before taking a shower and closing our luggage.
It is 6:30 pm, time to catch our bus from Hoang Su Phi to Hanoi. This interlude was a real breath of fresh air, a rediscovery of the real Vietnam, and authentic people with their hearts on their hands.
Day 6 of our authentic trip in Vietnam - Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
We reach Hanoi in the night before arriving to the hotel to join the arms of Morpheus. We take advantage of the few hours before our flight to go shopping and have a drink in one of the most beautiful hotels in Asia, the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi.
It is 2 pm, time to take a taxi to the airport. The flight will go smoothly, we will look at our pictures and think about next time.