Sapa Hidden Trail to a Village of Red Dao

Sapa is a must-see on any northern Vietnam itinerary. Nestled high in the Tonkinese Alps near the Chinese border, Sapa was built as a hill station during French colonial days, to serve as a respite from stifling Hanoi summers. These days, weekends are still the biggest draw in this crumbling hill-tribe centre. Visitors from the capital flock to Sapa for a glimpse of the famed “Love Market,” a trek to local hill tribe villages, or an ascent of Vietnam’s highest peak, Fan Si Pan.

On a clear day you will be treated to views of steeply terraced rice fields, towering verdant ridge-lines, primitive mud-thatched villages, raging rivers and astounding waterfalls. This is great opportunity for travelers who want explore the customs, traditions and way of life of the Vietnamese hill tribes.

DESTINATIONS

Mong Sen – Taphin – Matra – Suoi Ho – Sapa

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Walk to tribal villages with ethnic minority groups in Sapa area
  • Meeting Red Zao and Black H’mong for an interesting discovery of colorful cultures.
  • Visit famous Sapa
  • Home-staying at a Red Dao’s family in a local village
  • Trekking along a hidden trail with spectacular landscapes of Trung Chai, Ta Phin and Ma Tra valley.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Ha Noi – Night Train To Lao Cai (Standard sleeper train: 4 bunk beds/cabin)

The overnight train trip to Lao Cai will be in a shared sleeping compartment (sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment). Train departs at approximately 9:00pm

Day 2 – Sapa – Mong Sen – Taphin

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and home stay dinner

A H’mong local guide who speaks English perfectly will wait for you in front of the arrival gate at Lao Cai train station with the sign of your name.  He will travel with you to a shuttle bus and you will be transferred to Sapa.  From Lao Cai to Sapa is about 35km windy road.  When you get to Sapa, relax in down town, visit Sapa’s market and enjoy our breakfast there.  Then, transfer 15 km along the road 4D to the Mong Sen Bridge with several stops along the way for enjoying spectacular landscapes. Trekking uphill along large dirt road for nearly an hour, then following a narrow dirt trail winding its way on steep hill-sides along the western bank of the upstream part of Ngoi Dum River for 2 hours to an isolated hamlet, explore these isolated hamlets of the Black Hmong, then lunch break. Continue trekking along the same trail for nearly 1,5 hours up and downhill towards Ta Phin Valley and arrive at the center of Ta Phin Commune in mid afternoon. Take a walk around this stunning valley.  Over night, home staying at a Red Dao family.

Day summary: Road transfer 1 hour/ Trekking 5 hours, approx. 9km, grade 2 of 5/ home stay at Ta Phin Village of the Red Dao.

Day 3 – Taphin – Ma Cha – Sapa

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Breakfast and leave Ta Phin at 09.00. Walk through Ta Phin for 2 hours through several hamlets of the Hmong scattering on hill-sides. Continue gradually uphill 1 hour to Ma Cha, another village of the Hmong and then trek through the Ma Cha Valley. This valley is close to SapaTown but very quiet and the peoples here are still living their own way without influence of tourism. After lunch, the trail gets larger and gradually uphill through the SuoiHoValley featured with narrow terraced paddies and later pine plantation, fruit, vegetable gardens. Arriving back to Sapa in mid afternoon, enjoy a leisure walk through the newly developed area of the town and end the trekking day.  Either eat dinner in Sapa town or in Lao Cai before leaving for the over night train.  Our local guide will take you to the train station.  He will stay with you till the time you depart.  The train leaves at 7:35pm.  Back in Hanoi the next morning around 5:00am .

Day summary: Trekking 5 hours, approx.10km, grade 2 of 5.

Notes:

  • This trip can be organized the whole year around. Landscapes are lively beautiful from May to September thanks to rice and corn farming. Weather is nice in October, November and first half of December. January, February is cold and foggy. It gets better from March to April.
  • The trip will gets easier if starting from Sapa and ending at MongSenBridge for the trekking trail goes mostly downhill.
  • Good trekking shoes, rain gear, warm clothes, especially in Jan & Feb and insect repellent should be brought.
  • Personal backpack should be no more than 6kg while trekking.
  • Transfer from Hanoi Railway Station from/to Zoom Zoom office or your hotel is not included in the tour price

PRICES (Valid from 01/01/2015 to 31/12/2015)

  • Private group of minimum 2 people: $240/person

Please, kindly be informed that all Zoom Zoom trips are private/personalized trips and they are on a first come first served basis.

INCLUDED

  • Return train tickets Hanoi – Lao Cai in air conditioned, 4-berth soft-sleeper cabin
  • Round trip private car from Lao Cai-Sapa and Sapa back to Lao Cai
  • The services of a private experienced English-speaking guide through out the trip
  • Meals as specified in the program
  • Coffee/tea breaks through out the 2 days
  • Bottled drinking water during the tour
  • 1 night home stay
  • All other tickets and fees in Sapa

NOT INCLUDED

  • Pre & Post trip accommodation
  • Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Travel Insurance