Vietnam & China: Across the Tribal Heartlands

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16 days, from £2725
Wild Frontiers
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Description

This fascinating and original tour combines the tribes of Northern Vietnam with the minority peoples of Southern Yunnan.

Starting in Hanoi, a nostalgic city with a relaxed atmosphere of shady boulevards, yellow-painted French-style buildings and lakeside Chinese temples, we will head up into the hills to spend time with the regional tribes. From here we will cross the border and enter China's Yunnan Province, an enthralling destination: diverse, stunningly beautiful and largely undiscovered.

There are some 25 minority tribes living in this region, many of whom still lead very traditional lifestyles and it is a world away from the increasing urbanisation of many of China's better known areas. This is a tour that will take us into the unknown as we cross borders and follow rivers where few travellers have been.

Highlights:

- The bustling heart of Hanoi
- The amazing rice terraces of Sapa and Yuanyang
- Visiting the hill tribes of Northern Vietnam
- The diverse tribal groups of Yunnan
- The Sin Ho Sunday Market - a photography feast of colourful outfits
- And the food - an incredible variety of dishes and venues

Tour Includes:

- Full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
- 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 15 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
- Drinking water throughout
- All transport (minibuses and coaster buses)
- 15 nights' accommodation (13 nights in small hotels & guesthouses and 2 nights in homestays)
- All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
- A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through WF office)
ALL OUR SMALL GROUP TOURS HAVE NO LOCAL PAYMENTS, HIDDEN EXTRAS OR COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS.

Itinerary


 Days 1-2: Tour starts in Hanoi (Vietnam)


 Day 1: The tour starts in Hanoi at our hotel this evening. Day 2: Today will be spent exploring the sights of Vietnam's capital city, including the 1000-year-old Temple of Literature, the Old Quarter, and Hoan Kiem Lake.



 Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau

Driving north today we descend into the lovely Mai Chau valley, a Black Thai minority region.


 Day 4: Mai Chau - Son La

Driving on to Son La, we'll visit some hot springs and Montagnard market.


 Day 5: Son La - Dien Bien Phu

A mountainous drive deeper into north-west Vietnam today visiting remote ethnic minority villages.


 Days 6-7: Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau


 Day 6: Today we visit the museum at Dien Bien Phu and then continue to Lai Chau. Day 7: Today will be spent exploring the town and surrounding countryside of this beautiful valley on the Da River.



 Days 8-9: Lai Chau - Sapa


 Day 8: Continue to Sapa today on a beautiful stretch of road, stopping to enjoy the views at the Tram Ton Pass. Day 9: Today we visit Sin Ho market and see the different minority groups who gather here to sell their farm produce and handicrafts.



 Days 10-11: Sapa - Yuanyang (China)


 Day 10: We cross the border into China today and drive on to Yuanyang. Day 11: Full day visiting the stunning rice terraces belonging to the Hani and Yi people.



 Day 12: Yuanyang - Tuanshan Village

Today we visit Tuanshan village, a rare surviving example of a traditional walled Yunnan village compound built by the Zhang family.


 Days 13-14: Tuanshan Village - Jianshui


 Day 13: We drive to Jianshui today and visit to the largest cave in Asia. Day 14: Today we have more time to explore this fascinating and remote town.



 Days 15-16: Jianshui - Xiushan Mountain - Kunming


 Day 15: An easy walk to Xiushan Mountain today and visit a Mongolian village, before driving on to Kunming. Day 16: The tour ends after breakfast today.