What You’ll Do
- Trek to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cau May
- Meet the local ethnic minority people as you walk through the villages nestled in the valleys below Sapa.
- Enjoy a night in the home of a Zay family in Ta Van Village
- Meet friendly H’mong tribes people
- Visit the former French hill-station of Sapa
- Trek through the spectacular scenery of north Vietnam
- Experience the colonial charm of Hanoi
What to Expect
Meet ethnic minorities at the local market, then visit their nearby villages to see how they live and trek through rice terraces. This trip is full of opportunities to discover Vietnam’s hill tribe culture and the striking scenery of Sapa and its surroundings.
Day 1: Hanoi /overnight train to Lao Cai
On your first evening you and your fellow travelers will be picked up from your centrally-located Hanoi hotel by your local guide between 18:00-18:30. You will be able to join in an optional group dinner and learn more about the Sapa region. After dinner you are transferred to the train station where you will board the sleeper train bound for Sapa via the town of Lao Cai (8 hour journey). Please note that the train journey is unaccompanied and you will be met upon arrival in Lao Cai.
Overnight: soft class sleeper train. Compartments are clean, with padded berths (4 people per cabin), and sheets, pillows, blankets and boiling water are available. Most trains have a dining carriage and there are snacks available on the train.
Day 2: Sapa
You are met on arrival into Lao Cai in the early morning and transferred to Sapa by minibus, driving through dramatic scenery along the way. You have a free morning to relax and explore this fascinating hillside town.
In the afternoon you head off on a guided 2-3 hour moderate trek to the hill-tribe villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cua May. Cat Cat is home to the H’mong people, who originated from China about 300 years ago. The H’mong people are easily recognizable by their dark-blue or black clothing. Meet some of the local ethnic minority people as you walk through the villages nestled in the valleys below Sapa. These minority groups, including the Red Zao, H’mong and Tay people, walk to and from Sapa to trade at the colorful markets.
Overnight: 2 Star Tourist Class Hotel.
Day 3: Sapa
Following breakfast on day 3, you set off on a 6 hour trek with your guide, taking you along buffalo paths and trails, as well as through several hill-tribe villages. This is a spectacular walk, winding through stunning scenery, and you’ll meet some of the friendliest people imaginable. Stop for a picnic lunch along the way, and later enjoy a night in the home of a Zay family in Ta Van Village. Zay people have become very skilled at rice cultivation, unlike the H’mong, and have a higher living standard as a result.
Overnight: simple family homestay, where facilities are basic but comfortable.
Day 4: Sapa and overnight train to Hanoi
After breakfast on day 4 you set off for a 2 hour walk to Su Pan Village where you meet up with your vehicle for the drive back to Sapa. Arriving in Sapa around lunchtime, you have a free afternoon to further explore the town before transferring to the train station and catching the overnight train to Hanoi.
Overnight: soft class sleeper train. Compartments are clean, with padded berths (four people per cabin), and sheets, pillows, blankets and boiling water are available. Most trains have a dining carriage and there are snacks available on the train.
Day 5: Hanoi
Your adventure ends upon arrival at Hanoi train station in the early morning (around 5:00).
- English speaking guide
- Entrance fees as indicated
- Transport as indicated
- Meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners
- 1 night hotel accommodation, 1 night homestay, 2 nights overnight train
- Round trip Hanoi-Lao Cai-Hanoi train tickets
- Transfers by air-conditioned minivans
- Guided trek – Sapa region
What’s Not Included
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips or gratuities for drivers or guide