Vietnam Mai Chau Hill Tribe Trek Challenge and Bear Sanctuary Visit

The Challenge

Join Animals Asia for this rewarding trek to help China and Vietnam's suffering bears, cats and dogs. Meet local people in their homes on a stunning hill tribe trek in the Mai Chau region of northern Vietnam; enjoy the hustle and bustle of the capital city, Hanoi and learn first-hand about the plight of Vietnam's endangered bears with an exclusive visit to Animals Asia's Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao.

The Bear Sanctuary

Over 11,200 bears are held on bile farms throughout China and Vietnam and undergo torturous extraction methods for their bile because it is believed to be effective as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine despite the availability of inexpensive and effective herbal and synthetic alternatives. With assistance of local government forestry departments, Animals Asia's Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao, Vietnam has saved over one hundred bears from the cruelty of the country's illegal bear bile industry. After months of surgery and physiotherapy to mend shattered bodies, the bears are rehabilitated and live out their lives in semi-natural enclosures and dens positioned on 12 hectares of land just outside of the beautiful Tam Dao National Park. The Rescue Centre also conducts ground-breaking research to help educate and change the attitudes of those who use traditional Asian bile medicines.


Day 1: London - Hanoi
Depart for an overnight flight to Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to a central hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to settle in and explore independently. Gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant tonight.

Day 3: Hanoi to Hang Village
After breakfast we depart Hanoi for a scenic drive to Pu Luong Natural Reserve (approx. 4 hours). We will stop for lunch in Mai Chau before driving a further 22km into the reserve where we will begin our trek, a gentle 3-hour trek to Hang Village, home to a Thai ethnic minority where we spend the night with local Thai families in their traditional stilted houses, and have the chance to stroll around the village before dinner.Trekking: approx. 3 hrs/easy terrain

Day 4: Hang Village - Kho Muong
Today we will be walking for around 6 hrs on a rocky path running mostly through jungle. We make a lunch stop in a village along the way, after which we will pass through several Thai villages before arriving at the village of Kho Muong, a Muong minority village where we stop for the night. Trekking: approx. 6 hrs/slightly uphill/rocky path

Day 5: Kho Muong - Nua Village
A harder day today, as we climb to the Pu Luong range, passing through a number of small hamlets and minority villages en route. After 3 hours of light ascent, we will then descend to Nua village, a village of Thai ethnic minority people, where we spend the night in local homes. Trekking: approx. 6 hrs/light climb followed by a gentle descent

Day 6: Nua Village - Hieu Village
Today's trek through the verdant countryside will take around 6 hours as the path runs up and downhill through forests, rice terraces and scenic villages. Along the way we are likely to see farmers working on rice paddies and children going to school. We spend the night in the Thai village of Hieu. Trekking: approx. 5 hrs/small climbs

Day 7: Hieu Village - Pho Doan - Tam Dao National Park
This morning our final day of trekking takes us along the Ma River where we will enjoy lovely views of the river, rice fields and waterwheels until we reach the small market down of Pho Doan where we stop for lunch. After lunch we will meet our vehicle and drive to Tam Dao National Park (approximately 5 hours), where we check into our hotel and have dinner.Trekking: approx. 4 hrs/long descent

Days 8-9: Tam Dao
The next two days are spent at the Tam Dao Moon Bear Rescue Centre where you will gain a deep understanding of the plight of the bears and the incredible work of Animals Asia.

Day 10: Hanoi
Today you will transfer from Tam Dao to Hanoi for the indirect flight home.

Day 11: Hanoi - London
Arrive back into London.

N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.

What is included
  • Return flights from the UK (inc. tax)
  • Local transfers and transport in Vietnam
  • 2-3* hotel in Hanoi, homestay/basic lodges on the trek
  • English-speaking local guides
  • All permits/trek fees
  • Different Travel UK tour manager
  • All meals as per itinerary
What is not included
  • Any necessary vaccinations
  • Drinks, laundry and personal expenses
  • Spending money
  • Transport to/from UK airports
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal kit and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Vietnam visa (if required)

Want to hear what other people thought of treks in Vietnam? Click here for testimonials.

Trip Dates

24th October - 3rd November 2018

Tour Price

Registration fee: £345
Fundraising target: £2990

Trip Difficulty


This trip is graded as Moderate

Photos and Videos

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