During this cultural expedition, you will enjoy the best of Northern Vietnam in the areas of Maichau, Laichau and Sapa. The mountainous North West provides the perfect terrain for trekking routes. The Thai minority, a warm and friendly ethnic group, will welcome you into their homes and share their stilt house lifestyle. The roads wind precariously across the mountain ranges, capturing the intensely varied lifestyles of Vietnamese people. The final two days of your journey will be spent trekking to stay in minority villages around Sapa.
Meet your driver, at your hotel in Hanoi. Travel through the verdant Red River Delta and witness the day to day life of the peasant farmers. Stop in Maichau for a short walk then drive to Sonla - the capital of Sonla province. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Sonla – Tuangiao - Laichau (220kms / 7 hours) (B, L, D) Sonla has an old French prison and museum, perfect for a small walk to visit in the morning before your departure. From here you’ll go to Tuangiao, and then keep going to Laichau for the night. You’ll enjoy the picturesque scenery as you pass the villages of Black Thai, White Thai, Meo and Muong peoples.
From Laichau, the drive to Sinho is stunning with tiered tea plantations and verdant rice terraces carved into the landscape. Continue to Tam Duong for the night. If you happen to be in Tam Duong on a Sunday morning, the town is bustling with activity as the local hill tribes gather for their weekly market day here. Overnight in a hotel or guesthouse.
Day 4: Tamduong - Sapa (80kms / 3 hours)(B, L, D)
From Tamduong to Sapa you pass through Binhlu, up over the 1900 meter Tram Ton Pass, considered the most beautiful stretch of road in Vietnam. Sapa is nestled at over 1600 meters in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains and the valley truly is breathtaking. Enjoy lunch and relax before a 3 hour short trek down this stunning valley, which is sculpted with steep rice terraces, to Tavan village for a home stay. Your guide will cook you a savory dinner of traditional Vietnamese food that you’ll be raving about, as you enjoy the hospitality of your Dzay hosts.
Day 5: All day trekking (B, L, D)
A good day trekking along rice terraces, through lush bamboo forest and local villages including that of the colorful Dzao hill tribe, and down to a rolling stream for a picnic lunch. After lunch, continue trekking along the rice terraces, trails and dirt roads into Banho for an insightful night with your Tay hosts, where you’ll sleep in the cozy loft complete with comfortable mattress and a mosquito net.
Day 6: Short trek(B, L, D)
In the morning, take a sort trek to the dirt road for the jeep ride back to Sapa. Enjoy an afternoon to explore Sapa town, great shopping in the market for local produce and you can buy handicrafts from many of the local hill tribes selling their wares there. Bus departs from Sapa at , arrive Laocai at 6:00pm; night train back to Hanoi (A/C soft sleeper). Trip ends at your hotel in Hanoi.
- Stay in hotel or guest house (US$45 for single surcharge). Home stay with clean blanket, mosquito-net, pillow
- Meals as mentioned the program.
- Land transfer by private vehicle for whole trip; train ticket
- English or French speaking guides. Other languages are available upon request
- Admission fees for all sightseeing places
- Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls etc.) - Drinks
- Tips and gratuities
Packing list: Passport, towels, toiletries, flash light, change of clothes, sun block, sun glasses, sun hat, insect repellent, proper hiking shoes and rain coat.
More exciting! Don’t miss it
The weekly markets of the North are a kaleidoscope of color and excitement, bustling with weird and wonderful activities. E-TravelVietnam.com can take you to them so you can witness the trade and camaraderie of the local minority people. A perfect add-on to the last day of your Sapa trip!
Saturday: Cancau market. Resident: Flower H'Mong, Phula, Black H’mong...