Day 1 Hanoi - Ba Be Lake (L, D)
You will be collected from your hotel in Hanoi between 07:30 and 08:00. On the way, you will stop in Thai Nguyen to visit the marvellous Museum of the Culture of the Ethnic Minorities of Vietnam, followed by lunch at a street restaurant. You will then leave the main road to take a smaller one snaking through the mountains and tea plantations. When you arrive in the Tay village of Coc Toc, welcomed by Mr Linh and his amazingly friendly Tay family at their traditional wooden stilt house. If it's hot, you can copy the local kids and take a refreshing dip in the lake to cool down. In the evening, you will enjoy a superb dinner with the lovely family on the lake terrace. You will spend the night in Mr Linh's Homestay.
Day 2 Boat trip on Ba Be Lake (B, L, D)
After enjoying breakfast on the terrace, you will take a short drive to the house owner's boat, which will take you through the three lakes which make up Ba Be and up the Nang River Dong Puong, an enormous tunnel (300m long by 30m high) which stretches through the limestone mountain. We will continue to Cam Ha village where you can observe the peaceful life of the Tay people amongst the green rice fields. The boat will then venture upriver to the small village of Hua Tang, the quintessential simple and authentic ethnic minority village! You will have lunch in a local house alongside the river.
After lunch, you will take a short walk (20 m) through the jungle takes you to the very scenic Dau Dang Waterfalls. You can then continue the trail to arrive in a large river bend full of colourful local life, with a small harbour. Here the locals unload goods onto their boats to travel across the lake. You will return by boat for another delightful evening in Mr Linh's Homestay.
Day 3 Ba Be Lake - Hanoi (B, L)
After breakfast, we will stroll along the riverfront, and visit the lovely Pac Ngoi Village where most Tay people live in traditional houses. You can hike to the upper reaches of the lake, in an area marked by massive limestone cliffs and mountains. Later, your driver will take you to amazing Hua Ma cave and up onto a pass where you can to take amazing photos of the terraced fields. After lunch in a local restaurant, you will continue your journey back to Hanoi, arriving there at around 17:30.