Inside Asia Tours: Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos

Fully Tailored Journey


Northern Star

12 Nights: from US$2587 per person (twin share) Trip Code: NSE

Discover life on the roof of Vietnam, where green rice paddies climb the mountainsides like giant staircases and a kaleidoscope of hill tribes follow customs unchanged for centuries. With a focus on scenery and minority culture this trip takes you into the heart of Vietnam's most remote regions. Read more >

Vietnam is astonishingly diverse; its mountains harbour over 50 ethnic minorities speaking over 70 distinct languages - each with their own clothing, traditions, and way of life. Though it is geographical inaccessibility that has allowed these cultures to thrive for so long, it has also excluded them from education, healthcare, and prosperity - leaving Vietnam's ethnic minorities amongst its poorest people.

On your visit to the northern highlands, you'll experience both the vibrant diversity and the quotidian struggles of a life in the mountains. Spend the night with Tay minority people in the village of Pac Ngoi; browse the crowded markets of Lung Phin, where Zao and Lo Lo peoples come to trade and mingle; see mighty Hoang A Tuong Castle and French-built Vuong Palace, former home of the Hmong opium lords, and visit a workshop where Hmong and Zao women have taken control of their livelihoods by producing traditional handicrafts.

On most days you'll be on foot for two to three hours walking around and between villages and taking in the topography: rugged forests, rocky plateaus and towering mountains riddled with limestone caves. You'll be accompanied throughout by a local guide who'll explain the customs of each minority group and help you communicate with the characters you meet along the way. So don't forget your hiking boots or your camera, and be ready for adventure!

Your trip concludes with a relaxing cruise on the waters of Halong Bay - a scenic highlight among scenic highlights - before Hanoi brings you back to earth with a bang, providing a thrilling look into the vivacious world of Vietnamese city life.

At a glance

What's Included

What's included

  • 12 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast every day, seven lunches and three dinners
  • One-night Halong Bay cruise
  • Overnight train journey
  • All transport within Vietnam, including airport transfers
  • Guided excursions as outlined in the day-by-day itinerary

What's NOT included:

  • International airfares
  • Any necessary visas
  • Any meals not detailed in the day-by-day itinerary
  • Any excursions not detailed, or referred to as optional in the day-by-day itinerary

Trip Highlights

  • Take a boat trip across the largest natural lake in Vietnam
  • Browse handicrafts and fresh produce at highland markets
  • Explore tea farms and forests on the Chay River Massif
  • Stay in ethnic minority villages in the mountains
  • Visit the opulent Hoang A Tuong Castle in Bac Ha
  • Drive across the magnificent "Heaven's Gate" pass

For more information email us: [email protected] or call: 303 952 0379

What, where, when and how...

Northern Star - 13 Days - Accommodation

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