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OVERVIEW

Lao Cai / Sapa / Hanoi

Step in to a world of dramatic landscapes and colourful hilltribes on this Sapa adventure. Take an overnight train journey from Hanoi into the highlands. Spend the days trekking to villages tucked on the mountainside, encountering a diverse mix of ethnic groups and learning about their rich traditions.

 

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Tour Highlights for Sapa Essential
Enjoy Vietnam’s mountainous landscapes-

Enjoy Vietnam’s mountainous landscapes-

Travel around the highlands of the north, admiring rice terraces, towering mountains and meandering rivers

Discover Vietnam’s ethnic diversity-

Discover Vietnam’s ethnic diversity-

Visit colourful morning markets and villages near Sapa, meeting members of different hilltribe groups and seeing their unique cultures.

Trek Sapa’s surroundings

Trek Sapa’s surroundings

Follow small trails around Sapa, meeting farmers on the way and enjoying spectacular views at every turn.

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ITINERARY

Sapa Essential - 4 Days / 3 Nights

DAY 1 - Hanoi – Lao Cai

This evening transfer to Hanoi Train Station for overnight train to Lao Cai, the gateway to Sapa.

Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment.

DAY 2 - Lao Cai - Sapa MealsMEALS [B|L]

On arrival in the border town of Lao Cai, have breakfast before driving to visit a local market (Ban Cam on Tuesday/ Cao Son on Wednesday/ Lung Khau Nhin on Thursday / Can Cau on Saturday/ Bac Ha on Sunday. Note: These local markets are only held on the above mentioned days, so it is recommended that the arrival coincides with one of these market days. Here see mostly Flower Hmong, however, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, Nung hill tribe groups also gather here. The market offers a variety of local products, which could not be found in others areas such as an interesting animal market where pot-bellied pigs, cows, and buffalos can be seen.

Continue with a short walk to a hill-tribe village. Here have the opportunity to visit some local homes to understand more about the daily life of these tribes as well as their culture and traditions

Afterwards transfer by road up through the mountains to the former hill station town of Sapa, a base for tourists visiting the mountainous northwest. In the terraced hills and mountains of this area, the monotony of the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the colors of its hill tribe population - flashes of shining silver jewelry from the necks and wrists of indigo-clad H'mong and the scarlet hues of the turbans worn by the Red Dao can be seen. Observe the ethnic tribes stained hands with colour from fabric dye that come in various shades of blue, red and green and are intricately embroidered and stitched into jackets, waistcoats, pants, skirts, caps, purses and leggings.

Overnight in Sapa.

DAY 3 - Sapa – Ban Khoang – Ta Giang Phinh MealsMEALS [B|L]

This morning after breakfast, leave Sapa for a 30-minute winding road transfer to Ban Khoang Valley. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Hoag Lien Mountain Range along the way, also known as The Tonkinese Alps.

Getting closer to Ban Khoang village is the amazing view of the valley from above. Take some great pictures of this impressive and beautiful landscape. Then, stop for an easy walk to visit a village of Red Dao ethnic at Ban Khoang. The Red Dao women are very skilled in making their own embroidery as well as how beautiful their tradition costume. For hundreds of years living in the mountain the people here still maintain their culture of farming rice using buffalos and maintain a self-sufficient system. 

Depart from Ban Khoang Valley for a 8-km road transfer to Ta Giang Phinh Valley and enjoy a local lunch there. This afternoon, take a leisurely walk through the charming Ta Giang Phinh Valley. Walk on the village path which winds down the impressive valley, home to Blue Hmong ethnic minority people. Visit some local houses to see some handicrafts workshops, observe villagers working in the fields tending their crops with buffalos.

Appropriate footwear must be worn on treks in Sapa. Note that if conditions are wet, programs may be changed.

Mid-late afternoon transfer back to Sapa town and the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.

Overnight in Sapa.

DAY 4 - Sapa – Hang Da – Sau Chua - Hanoi MealsMEALS [B]

Early this morning depart with the guide for a half-day trekking tour to Hang Da and Sau Chua Villages, just about 8km east of Sapa where the Black Hmong people have been living their traditional and unique way of life despite the recent changes and effects caused by the fast development and tourism boom in Sapa town.

Enjoy walking with the guide along the quiet narrow pathways through the countryside and past the scattered modest houses of the Black H’mong people. The trekking route can be adjusted depending on energy levels, fitness and weather conditions.

Return to the hotel to check out by 12 noon, and then there is some time to spend at leisure for lunch (not included - at own account) and last minute exploration of Sapa town.

Mid-afternoon join-in bus transfer from Sapa to Hanoi as follows;

  • FIRST CLASS OPTION - transfer to the Sapa Express Bus meeting point for the comfortable Sapa Express bus (join-in) to Hanoi. Departs Sapa at 16:00 and arrives Hanoi at 21:30 approx.
  • SUPERIOR & DELUXE OPTIONS – Transfer to Topas Ecolodge or Sapa town to join the Topas Limousine Bus transfer to Hanoi. Departs Sapa at 13:45 - 14:30 and arrives Hanoi and 20:00approx.

Arrive back in Hanoi at the bus drop off point and own arrangements for onward transfer to selected Hanoi accommodation (not included – contact the tour consultant for options and prices)

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Train tickets based on shared cabins
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking guide (for other languages supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals than mentioned
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and Domestic Flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation) for trips to Vietnam.
  • Prices are valid 30 days from date of offer. Past this date price and conditions may be readjusted.
  • The cost of air tickets is subject to change without prior notice by the airlines.
  • Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges.
  • Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
  • Please note that all the above services & tours have yet to be booked, they are proposed for your information only and we will not make any reservations before we receive your confirmation to do so.
  • If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program.  
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