What To Expect
Sapa is a former French hill station situated in the valleys near the Chinese border. Its high elevation of 1,600 meters creates its cool climate. This inspired the French to build villas there as a summer retreat. Today, Sapa still attracts visitors for its stunning scenery, comfortable climate, colorful markets, and a variety of ethnic hill tribes living in nearby villages.
Our trip starts with an overnight train journey from Hanoi to Lao Cai.
Arrive early morning in Lao Cai and take a vehicle to Sapa (approx. 45 mins). Check into the hotel, freshen up and have breakfast. We then start with a five to six hour trek to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cau May. As we walk through these villages nestled in the valleys below Sapa, we will meet some of the local ethnic minority people. These minority people, including the Red Zao, H'mong and Tay people, walk to Sapa to trade at the markets. Overnight in Sapa town. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Today we walk to Ham Rong Mountain for a panoramic view of Sapa and its surrounds. Once we have come back down, we will then drive six kilometers out of town. From here we commence an hour-long walk to Ta Phin, situated in a wide valley and surrounded by rice paddies. Ta Phin is a Dao community. Dao women are particularly striking as they wear a large red turban often covered with old coins or jewelry. They also shave their hair and eyebrows. Here we have the opportunity to visit a Zao household and learn a little about their way of life. From here we will return to Sapa for lunch and have free time in the afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Today we have an optional market day trip. Depending on the day of the week, this may either be Bac Ha (Sunday), home to the flower H'mong hill tribe minority people or Can Cau takes part on Saturday, Coc Ly on Tuesday. Alternatively you may relax in Sapa town and enjoy the views and local restaurants. Early evening we head back to Lao Cai for an overnight train back to Hanoi. (Breakfast, Lunch)
We arrive back to Hanoi station in the early morning. Our guide will arrange a transfer back to your hotel.
All transfers and transport
English speaking national guide
Accommodation using 3 star hotel
Meals as specified
Entrance fee during guided time
Reasonable supply of bottled water during trekking days
Tips and gratuities
Optional activity costs
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
6 days / 5 nights