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Overview

Head to the highlands for an unforgettable journey of cultural discovery and natural beauty. Take an overnight train to Sapa and dive into the traditions of Vietnam’s hilltribe people. Admire remarkable landscapes on the way to the Nam Cang Valley, where towering mountains and vibrant fields await at every corner.

Trip Highlights

Sapa Mountain Retreat

Encounter hill tribe culture

Trek and bike to remote villages and visit busy morning markets to mingle with members of Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups.

Stay at scenic hotels

Sleep alongside the Nam Cang River in a small bungalow and at Topas Ecolodge, surrounded by mountain views.

Explore North Vietnam’s landscapes

Admire Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak, and cross through spectacular river valleys untouched by the modern world.

Itinerary

1

Hanoi – Lao Cai

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

Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment.

2

Lao Cai - Sapa

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 monotony of the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the colors of its hill tribe population - flashes of shining silver jewellery 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.  Take a morning walking tour of Sapa for a visit to the market where Red Dao, Black H’Mong, Tay and other ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding countryside to sell their silverware and handicrafts, and to buy provisions. Following take a light trek to discover Sapa's quaint hill tribe villages set against the stunning Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range and Indochina's highest peak, Mt. Fansipan, a picnic lunch will be had en-route.

Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure to roam around and discover Sapa Town independently.

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

Overnight in Sapa.

3

Sapa - Nam Cang

After  breakfast, leave Sapa town behind and head off into the beautiful Hoang Lien National Park by car, along the way get a chance to see big rice terraces and a hopefully the high tops of the mountain range. Soon, be introduced to the biggest group of minorities in this area, the striking Black H’mong people, famous for their indo coloured clothing and silver necklaces.

Take a light trek on a good path for a few hours, with plenty of time to learn about history and traditional customs and enjoy the views. Then continue the transfer deeper into the valley and cross the beautiful Muong Bo River before reaching Thanh Phu village of Tay minority. Here, see the big difference in culture as the group wears lighter colors of silk clothing.

Your Lunch will be served next to the rice fields in a local restaurant. After lunch the tour continues to the small village of My Son and an interesting afternoon walk. This remote tribe is the smallest minority group in Sapa area and home to Xa Pho people.

In the afternoon arrive in the remote and quiet Red Dao village of Nam Cang. Walking along the small roads and village paths get a true ‘off-the-beaten-trail’ experience. Finally cross a private bridge and check into the room in the rustic but charming Nam Cang Riverside Lodge and take time to explore the village or relax in the river or at the riverside veranda.

Dinner is served at the big wooden table or at the terrace overlooking the river. Note that this an atmospheric wooden lodge in a remote location, with small and simple private guest rooms and shared bathrooms.

Overnight in Topas Riverside lodge

4

Nam Cang – Topas Ecolodge

Approx.: Grade: Easy/ 2, 5 - 3 hours walking.

In the morning take a guided walk into the nearby and beautiful valley, first walking along the river and later exploring the local forest famous for its cardamom. Watch and interact with the locals who are walking barefoot and enjoy the views in Vietnam and the rare silence.

On the way back, visit one of the small houses of remote located Red Dao families.

Arrive back at Topas Riverside Lodge, and there is time for a splash in the river or final walk through the village before enjoying lunch.

In the afternoon, have a private transfer to the spectacularly located Topas Ecolodge. This lodge has perhaps the most breathtaking location and finest views of any in Vietnam! From the bungalow’s balcony, enjoy an aerial view over the mountainous area.

5

Topas Ecolodge - Hanoi

This morning for a change of pace enjoy a cycling trip with the local guide. Start cycling following the main road for three kilometers to Lech village of the Red Dao minority, observing the magnificent valley view on the way. Here leave the bikes and take a short walk on dirt road to visit a traditional Red Dao family to experience the culture of the minority villagers who are living peacefully in the same way as their ancestors. Next take a further ride to the new Lech Village, with a longer break to learn how the women in their doorways are doing their exquisite embroidery, which the Red Dao people are very famous for. From the village, you head back to the Lodge. Note that the cycling route may be adjusted depending on guests’ fitness, energy levels, and road and weather conditions.

At 15:00, Topas Mountain Express ( sharing bus) departs from Topas Ecolodge and returns to the your hotel in Hanoi.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Train tickets based on shared cabin rates
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English or French 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

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