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.
During this cultural expedition, you will enjoy the best of Northern Vietnam in the areas of Mai Chau, Lai Chau 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.
Local market days’ information
The weekly markets of the North are a kaleidoscope of color and excitement, bustling with weird and wonderful activities. We 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: Can Cau market. Resident: Flower H'Mong, Phula, Black H’mong...
Tuesday: Coc Ly market. Resident: Flower H'Mong, Phula, Tay...
Sunday: Muong Hum market. Resident: Flower H'Mong, Hanhi, Red Dzao, Pa Zdi... (Highly recommended)
Sunday: Muong Khuong market. Resident: Flower H'Mong, Red H'Mong, Phula...
Sunday: Binh Lu - Tam Duong market. Resident: Flower H'Mong, Laos, Lu, Flat top Dzao...
Sunday: Bac Ha market. Resident: Flower H'Mong, Phula..
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau - Son La (L, D)
Meet your driver, 7:30am 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 Mai Chau for a short walk then drive to Son La - the capital of Son La province. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Son La – Tuan Giao - Lai Chau (B, L, D)
Son La 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 Tuan Giao, and then keep going to Lai Chau for the night. You’ll enjoy the picturesque scenery as you pass the villages of Black Thai, White Thai, Meo and Muong peoples.
Day 3: Lai Chau – Sin Ho - Tam Duong (B, L, D)
From Lai Chau, the drive to Sin Ho 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: Tam Duong - Sapa (B, L, D)
From Tam Duong to Sapa you pass through Binh Lu, 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 Ta Van 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 Ban Ho 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 4:30pm, arrive Lao Cai at 6:00pm; night train back to Hanoi (A/C soft sleeper). Trip ends 5:00am at your hotel in Hanoi.
Number of participants
- 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 from Lao Cai to Hanoi
- English or French speaking guides. Other languages are available upon request
- Admission fees for all sightseeing places
- Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls etc.)
- Tips and gratuities
Passport, towels, toiletries, flash light, change of clothes, sun block, sun glasses, sun hat, insect repellent, proper hiking shoes and rain coat.
The price is subject to change according to each period. Please contact us for the best price