Sapa is the most popular place to go in the Far Northwest amongst budget travelers and packages tourists alike. By using Sapa as a base you can hike off to more remote ‘traditional’ hill tribe villages and sometimes you will be offered a bed in a village for the night. Sapa was originally built as a hill station in the early part of this century and, in winter, gets bitterly cold. If you are going to be visiting Sapa in winter do not forget the winter woollies.
Sapa is preparing itself for the continuing tourist boom considerably well. Behind Sapa, towards Phong Tho is a high pass forming part of the Hoang Lien Mountains that were known to the French as the Tonkinese Alps. This range includes Fansipan, the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3, 143m, which view at dawn could be spectacular.
Night 1 - Wednesday: Hanoi - Lao Cai
Our private car come to pick you up from your hotel then transfer to Ha Noi Railway Station and catch the night train to Lao Cai (soft sleeper with airconditioning)., arrive 5: 30 or 6: 00.
Day 1: Thurday: Lung Khau Nhin Market (B, L)
Guide picks you up at Lao Cai Railway Station in the early morning. After having breakfast we go to the Lung Khau Nhin Thursday Market by a van. It takes us 2 hours to get there.
This is a small market but very colourful one in a remote mountainous area where the Flower H’mong mainly gathers to exchange their homemade products. You can not see many tourists visiting this Market. After the market we can visit a Flower H’mong village on the way back to Sapa. Overnight in hotel
Day 2 - Friday: Sapa - Y Llinh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van (B, L, D) )
At 10 am we leave the hotel and start trekking. The first part is on the road but we soon turn to the right and walk on a small path down the valley to the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H’mong village Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They are proud of their culture and keep their traditions and way of living. They have their own language and wear traditional indigio blue clothing. After this you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam. The development has meant that some of their old customs have been lost but many women still wear traditional shirts with a purple, blue or green colour. The Zay houses are build of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. We stay overnight with a local family in Ta Van and have our dinner here.
Overnight in homestay.
Day 3 - Saturday: Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Ban Ho (B, L, D)
After the breakfast we continue to visit Red Dao people at Giang Ta Chai where we also see a waterfall. The Red Dao women have very colourful red embroidery and coins on their clothing. On their head they wear a red scarf.
We continue along small paths in the rice fields, cross the Muong Hoa River and arrive to the Tay village Ban Ho (900 m). Tay is the most populous of the hill tribes. Because of the development and adaptation to the Vietnamese society some of them have started wearing Vietnamese clothing. But most women still wear the traditional checkered headscarf. We stay overnight in e of the women have shaved off their eyebrows because of a nice Red Zao legend. a wooden Tay stilt house. If we reach Ban Ho in the early afternoon you will have time to swim in a nearby river. In the evening we have dinner with the Tay family. Overnight in homestay.
Day 4 - Sunday: Ban Ho - Sapa (B)
Ater breakfast we get back to Sapa. Have free time to enjoy Sapa town. Our tour guide picks you back to Lao Cai train station in late afternoon to get the night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on the train.
Day 5 - Monday: Hanoi - Arrival
Getting back to Hanoi from Sapa trip so early at around 5am, taxi to hotel on your own.
End of services. Our staff will give you the warmest goodbye and hope to see you again.