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Overview

Hit the road and discover Vietnam’s ruggedly beautiful highlands. Be surrounded by mile after mile of spectacular scenery while driving over mountains and past terraced rice paddies. Stop in remote villages, meet exotic hilltribes and trek through pristine landscapes untouched by time.

Trip Highlights

Mountain Sampler

Take a scenic road trip

Spend five days driving in Vietnam’s north, crossing the country’s highest mountain pass and through miles of spectacular landscapes

Meet colourful hilltribes

Visit villages inhabited by the H’mong, Tay, Black Dao and other ethnic groups and learn about their rich traditions. 

Trek in Vietnam’s remote north

Trek around the outskirts of Sapa and Ha Giang, enjoying stunning views and crossing through timeless villages.

Itinerary

1

Hanoi – Lao Cai

From Hanoi to Lao Cai (300km): 8hrs by train

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

Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment.

2

Lao Cai – Sapa

Routes might change based on the client’s interest.

On arrival in the border town of Lao Cai transfer to the former hill station of Sapa. In the terraced hills and mountains of this area, 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 local’s hands which are stained with shades of blue, red and green from fabric dye due to the process of intricately embroidering and stitching jackets, waistcoats, pants, skirts, caps, purses and leggings.

Drive 6 km from Sapa town to Hang Da Village that is inhabited by the Black H’mong ethnic group. Stop along the way to admire the marvelous views over Muong Hoa Valley and Fansipan Mountain, which is 3,143m tall - the highest mountain of Indochina.

Take an easy walk through a nice path leading through hilly mountains. It is time to enjoy the spectacular view with mountainous, green valleys and fresh air. The path continues gradually downhill through the stunning valley of Sa Seng, passing through several Hmong hamlets along the way. A typical Hmong village comprises of wooden roofed houses surrounded by rock walls where pot-bellied pigs, chickens and water buffaloes run here and there and children playing with makeshift toys. With some luck, there is a chance to see Hmong women making fibre from hemp, which they spin and weave to make traditional costumes. After visiting a local house to learn more about the culture of the H’mong ethnic tribe, continue the walk to Sa Pả, another hamlet of the Hmong people who have settled at the bottom of the valley.

Then, be transferred by car to the hotel in Sapa. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.

Overnight in Sapa.

3

Sapa – Bac Ha

Sapa to Bac Ha (110km): 2hrs

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: Depending on the arrival day, the market visit and trip to Silver Falls can be done on the same day.) Here see mostly Flower Hmong selling goods 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 other areas such as an interesting animal market where pot-bellied pigs, cows, and buffalos can be seen.

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

Then transfer towards Bac Ha.

Overnight in Bac Ha.

4

Bac Ha – Ha Giang

Bac Ha to Ha Giang (200km): 3hrs

This morning depart for Ha Giang which is one of the most remote provinces in Vietnam, consisting of breathtaking scenery and a colorful array of hill tribes and vibrant local markets.

Continue to the stunning Hoang Su Phi area which offers breathtaking scenery and colorful hill tribe life. 

On arrival in Hoang Su Phi check into the Lodge, freshen up, and then take an afternoon’s walk through the rice terraces surrounding the lodge.

Dinner and overnight at the Pan Hou Lodge. 

5

Ha Giang

Routes might change based on client’s interest.

Early morning start on a trek to the local hill tribe village of Nam Hong (a total of approximately 4 hours of walking with 400-meter elevation gain and loss.)

This walk passes through the lush green forests, past small waterfalls, providing stunning views of terraced rice fields and cassava crops. Along the way meet members of the Long Tunic Dao, Man Ta Pan, Tay, and Flower H’ mong groups.

Stop midway for a picnic lunch in a Man Ta Pan village, in Nam Hong. The Nam Ta Pan is well known for tea producers.

After lunch the walk continues towards Giang Ha through a bamboo forest then down to the bottom of the Giang valley. Visit a Tay community with their stilted wooden houses. Return to the Pan Hou lodge around 4 pm.

Dinner and overnight at Hoang Su Phi

6

Hoang Su Phi – Hanoi

Hoang Su Phi to Hanoi (300km): 6.5hrs

Following breakfast check out before the return drive to Hanoi. En-route back to the capital, enjoy a Vietnamese lunch in a local restaurant. Arrive back in Hanoi in the late afternoon.  

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking local 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

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