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.
Tours that fall into this category are likely to involve at least a few challenging days and are often in destinations where tourism is still in its infancy.
You can typically expect a mixture of accommodation with some nights being spent in comfortable and characterful places, and some in more basic places, homestays or camping, especially where choices are limited.
These tours will typically involve a couple of days of easy/moderate trekking (3-5 hrs/day) or perhaps a more active approach to a cultural itinerary. For riding trips see the Riding Information section
With this rating, you can typically expect a tour with a strong focus on culture. Depending on the trip this could involve exploring ancient sites, medieval architecture, ethnographic museums and/or having tribal encounters.
Talk to us about Vietnam
Ask your local guide to teach you the phrase ‘have already’ in Vietnamese (co roi) – you will find it stops street sellers in their tracks.