ITINERARY BY DAY
DAY 1: HANOI – LAO CAI
Transfer to the station by taxi that is paid by your self. Take the night train to Lao Cai (Departure at 21:10 or 21:50).
DAY 2: LAO CAI – BAC HA – SAPA (B/L/-)
At around 05.30, arrive in Lao Cai, a small border town by the Red river. My guide will meet you at the exit gate, and take you to a local restaurant in Lao Cai for breakfast. Then you will leave for Bac Ha (70 km) via a winding road with breath-taking mountain views. Visit Bac Ha fair (on Sunday only), that is considered the liveliest and crowded in the region. It attracts a large number of Flower H’mong and other hill-tribe groups (Nung, Phu La, Tay). It is no doubt one of the most attractive places for photo hunters in Vietnam. Lunch at local restaurant. Then, back to Lao Cai and continue an interesting trip to Sapa (38 km). Nestling on Fansipan mount, Sapa offers spectacular scenery and is home to different hill-tribes. Dinner on your own. Night at hotel in Sapa.
Remark: Bac Ha market is open on Sunday only, the following markets may replace Bac Ha market according to your arrival date:
– Can Cau market (20 km from Bac Ha) on Saturday morning.
– Coc Ly market on Tuesday morning
– Cao Son market on Wednesday morning.
DAY 3: SAPA TREKKING TOURS (B/L/-)
Breakfast at hotel.
08.00 You start the tour from Sapa. Take a short road transfer along the motor way southwards for 4 km with a stop along the way for stunning scenery of Fansipan mountain and Muong Hoa valley. Trek uphill along a large and rocky path for 2 hours to Hang Da village of the Black H’mong which hides itself under lush trees on high elevation of the Den Thang Mountain. Explore the village, visit local families. Lunch break in the village.
After lunch, continue trekking along the same trail which goes on the high mountain side for about an hour which offers a great view of Muong Hoa valley until arriving at Thao Hong Den, another village of the Black H’mong to pay a visit to several local families. To continue, you will go downhill for another hour along a dirt track to Pho village at the center of Hau Thao commune. You will be picked up and transfered by road back to Sapa. The trip ends at about 3.30pm to 4.00pm.
Dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Sapa.
Remark: The program of trek can be adjusted depending on the weather conditions, your age and your health status:
Option 1: Lao Chai / Ta Van (5 km, soft trek, very touristy)
Option 2: Cat Cat / Y Linh Ho / Lao Chai / Tavan (14 km, medium trek)
Option 3: Xau Chau / Xa Xeng / Hau Thao / Giang Ta Chai (14 km, medium trek, off the beaten track)
DAY 4: SAPA – LAO CAI – HANOI (B/L/-)
Breakfast at hotel.
08:30 Start a short walk (3 km) downhill through beautiful orchid gardens and pine forests. You will reach the village of Suoi Ho, home to H’mong minorities from where you can enjoy views over endless rice paddies. Continue our trek on a trail through rice paddy fields toward Ma Tra village, another village of H’mong minorities. Their house is normally built of land and has no windows because of the cold in the winter. It is possible to stop by a primary school (close at weekend and summer time) for a quick visit. Back to Sapa by car at to have a shower before checking out at around noontime. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, it’s time to be at leisure and to wander around Sapa with hundreds of Black H’mong and Red Dzao gathering. Socialize with the tribesmen and enjoy bargaining for unique souvenirs and shopping for delicate embroideries and batik at a Sapa fair. It’s possible to climb up to Ham Rong mountain with a panoramic view of Sapa which is recommended (the entrance fee will be paid by yourself).
Transfer back to Hanoi by shared Limousine or by bus (6 hours).
Dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.