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Day 1:
Today you’ll start early for the approximately 9hr drive north from Hanoi to Ha Giang, Vietnam’s northernmost province. Stop en route at Tuyen Quang to visit the remains of the 15th century Mac Dynasty Citadel and a market nearby. Arriving in Ha Giang, you will drive 45 km further to Nam Dam Village in Quan Ba District. Upon arrival, you can stroll the area to get a sense of this Dao community. You will stay at a traditional Dao house with a private room. Nam Dam is a quiet, scenic village and the site of a community-based tourism development project. The local people have received basic training in tourism, and the accommodation – though much improved to serve international visitors – remains simple.
Day 2:
After breakfast, walk around Nam Dam Village and visit Deer Waterfall, walking among paddy fields, steep hills and the famous karst formations of Dong Van Geopark. Enjoy overlooking a vast valley, visit the Karst Twin Towers and wander the picturesque paddy fields. Walk along Nam Dan Lake and the Fairy Breast mountains to Tam Son, and then you’ll be driven back to Nam Dam. In the afternoon, begin your volunteer work in Nam Dam Village, with specific activities depending on the needs of the project at that time. Tasks for volunteers can include proof-reading work, advising or teaching locals about preparing and serving food to international visitors, or teaching/tutoring English skills.
Day 3:
The trek today goes from Nam Dam Village to Truc Son and Hoang Lan villages. You will see a variety of crops in the fields along the way, enjoy good views over Quan Ba Plateau with its uniquely shaped hills, and meet traditionally dressed local Hmong and Dao people carrying wood, grass and herbs, or working in the fields. Visit Truc Son, a traditional Dao village of clay and wood houses, and then continue trekking to reach Hoang Lan Village, a Hmong village on a hilltop. Here you can visit the village primary school to better understand local conditions, and present your donation of necessary school supplies. From here trek through a beautiful agricultural and forested landscape to Quyet Tien Village of the Dao people. Your car will pick you up for the drive back to Nam Dam for overnight at your homestay.
Day 4:
This day is devoted for volunteer work assisting the project staff in Nam Dam Village.
Day 5:
Another day devoted to volunteer work and assisting the project staff in Nam Dam Village.
Day 6:
Start early today to join local people flocking to the colourful Tam Son Sunday Market. Later, proceed to Yen Minh and on to Dong Van for their Sunday markets, which gather local ethnic minority peoples such as Mong, Han, Dao, Giay and Tay. The Sunday markets start early, but they are the best places to not only see local products, but also meet local people within an authentic environment. After lunch, explore more of the area’s spectacular scenery of limestone mountains and rock formations – photo opportunities abound. In these remote areas living conditions are basic; there is limited arable land and corn is the staple crop. But despite the hardship and simple lifestyle, local people are very friendly, welcoming and generous to visitors. By the close of the day, return to Dong Van where you will spend the night.  
Day 7:
This morning head to Lung Cu, Vietnam’s northernmost point. Along the way, stop by Vuong Palace, home of a high-ranking Hmong family during French colonial rule and featuring an unusual combination of European and Chinese styles. Visit the Lung Cu Flag Tower and stroll nearby villages of the Mong, Lo Lo, Tay or Pu Peo ethnic minorities. The traditional dress of Lo Lo ethnic minority women features brilliant waist-length, long-sleeved vests with bright block patterns, and sleeves decorated with matching colour bands. Colourfully embroidered headscarves further decorated with beads and wrapped with painstaking care top off the ensemble. Later, a scenic drive will take you to Ma Pi Leng Pass for a panoramic view of Nho Que River – with luck you might see one of the area’s stunning sunsets. You’ll arrive at Meo Vac in late afternoon, where you’ll spend the night.
Day 8:
After breakfast and a brief visit to Meo Vac Market, return to Yen Minh and Quan Ba via another scenic route. Amidst breath-taking scenery, travel along rough roads and navigate tortuous bends to Lung Phin, a small town about 14km from Meo Vac. Here visit the market of Lung Phin where ethnic people sell their animals. (This market is scheduled based on the lunar calendar – we can help you coordinate your travel time so you can experience this remarkable event.) From there continue to the remote district of Hoang Su Phi. You should have time to walk around and explore the area, and you’ll stay in the ‘base camp’ hotel called Pan Hou Village. A purpose-built ecotourism hotel modelled on traditional Dzao architecture, Pan Hou uses solar energy for lighting and heating, and employs local staff.
Day 9:
A morning trip will take you to the Nam Hong village, home to the Red Dzao ethnic minority group. En-route your path will take you through scenic valleys where you can expect to see views of faraway mountains and terraced rice fields.  A local family will prepare lunch for you. In the afternoon, you will return to Pan Hou around 17:00 for dinner and overnight accommodation.
Day 10:
In the morning you will be picked up for the return drive to Hanoi. Stop en-route for lunch and a break, and arrive in Hanoi in late afternoon.





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