Day 1: Hanoi – Lao Cai
This evening, board an overnight express train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, an unassuming town on the Vietnam-China border. Snooze in comfortable sleeper berths arriving in Lao Cai very early the following morning.
Day 2: Lao Cai – Sapa
– From Lao Cai, drive about an hour west along a stunning mountain road to reach Sapa.
– Take a nap or snap a few photos of the distinctive rice terraces that rise hundreds of metres from the valley floor.
– Arrive into the town of Sapa, surrounded by mist-shrouded mountains and the villages of several ethnic-minority groups.
– Explore the surrounding area with a trek to nearby villages where the people dress in bright, distinctive clothing that’s typically coloured with indigo and other native dyes.
Day 3: Sapa – Sin Chai
– This morning jump in a jeep that will whisk you to the starting point of your trek.
– Walk through the lush Ban Ho Valley to Thanh Puh Village, stopping off to meet members of the Tay ethnic minority group.
– Take a peek into their homes to see what rural life is like in the mountains.
– After lunch, continue walking to your homestay in Sin Chai Village, where the residents are from the Red Dao group. Tonight over dinner, have a chat with your hosts and learn about their culture and traditions.
Day 4: Sin Chai – Lao Cai – Hanoi
– After breakfast, the day’s trek begins with a leisurely walk downhill to My Son village, which belongs to the Xafo ethnic group.
– The Xafo are one of the smaller ethnic groups in northern Vietnam, and most visitors to Sapa don’t have the opportunity to meet them.
– From My Son, continue walking for another 90 minutes to the Red Dao village of Nam Toong, for lunch.
– Then descend to Ban Ho village for a well-earned dip in the nearby La Vie waterfall. Towel off and drive back to Lao Cai, where you will take an overnight train back to Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi
Your tour ends when you arrive into Hanoi early this morning.