Trek Off-The-Beaten-Path in Vietnam5 5 (1 reviews)
Hanoi - Sapa – Fansipan – Ha Long Bay
Sapa and its surrounding areas offer the best hiking routes in Vietnam. The area is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son Mountain range including Fansipan - Vietnam’s highest mountain - at 3143 meters above sea level. Sapa features rugged and steep terrain covered by green bamboo forests, amazing rice terraces and dotted with villages of colorful hill tribes. Sapa area has 25 different minorities living together for a thousand years, mostly are H’mong, Tay, Dzao, Dzay, Nung…The native people still wear their traditional charming costumes and keep their traditional lifestyle. Trek Off-Beaten Trails in Vietnam will conquer Fansipan - the roof of Indochina, explore untouched paths and discover the richness of tradition of hill tribes.
BEST TIME TO GO: April to November, especially mid- August to mid-September when rice terraces in Sapa come to harvest and turn to yellow carpets
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, you are welcomed by your guide and transferred to downtown. Check in to your hotel and be free for refreshment after a long-haul flight. Relax and rest, or explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter at night for your first authentic Vietnamese experience. Overnight in Hanoi.
After an early breakfast, you’re picked up by a joint limousine bus your hotel and take 6 hours drive along the highway to Sapa. The bus journey goes through Viet Tri and Yen Bai city, rice fields and green hills.
Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy lunch at your own expense. Then you will stretch your legs with a few hours walk to Cat Cat Village of Black H’mong people located in Muong Hoa Valley. Explore the hilltop town in the evening, or relax at your hotel. We can recommend great places to enjoy dinner depending on what you are in the mood for. Overnight in Sapa.
After breakfast, start the trip to conquer the “roof” of Vietnam and Indochina – Fansipan peak. At about 9h30AM, take a bus 17km to the highest pass in Vietnam – Tram Ton Pass located at 2100m above sea level. Visit Silver waterfall before reaching the pass. Spend your time enjoying marvelous nature and then start the strenuous trek to the peak. After roughly 6 hours through the primitive rain jungles, many small streams and bamboo forests… You will have managed to reach a plateau of 2200m and at this point, make tents, prepare for dinner and spend the first night on the mountain.
Breakfast at the camp and then continue climbing to the summit by way of pine and yellow bamboo forests. After 4 more hours, you will successfully conquer the roof of Vietnam! Spend 1/2 or 1 hour enjoying the splendid landscapes around the mountain, at this virginal roof of Vietnam and Indochina. It is a special chance for you to enjoy the surroundings: to the North-West is small village area belonging to Lai Chau province, the splendid rolling mountains; to the North East is the overall picture of Sapa town which is only seen here. Have lunch and then return down, taking another way to go down to the foot of the mountain where you can visit and get understandings of the lifestyles, and traditional customs of the people in a village of the Black H’mong called Sin Chai. Then take bus back to Sapa (18 km). Overnight in Sapa.
As an option, you can add one more day of rest and relaxation is Sapa before continuing trekking
For the next 4 days, you will get up close to and inside one of the valleys you saw the top of Fansipan. After breakfast, you will take a trail sneaking through the mountain, and enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. Eventually you will arrive in Y Linh Ho village of the Black Hmong minority. Continue along the Hoang Lien mountain range, which offers you many opportunities to enjoy views over huge rice paddy terraces in Muong Hoa valley, the largest one in the area.
After lunch at a nice spot, you descend the bottom of the valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route. You will spend the night at a homestay, in a traditional house of Giay minority. You will be able to take a walk to enjoy the valley view as well as swim in the river nearby.
Approx: 6 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch
After having breakfast, you start today’s trek, which is mostly uphill until lunchtime. Whenever you stop for a rest, you will be able to enjoy green valley views. Before noon, you stop again at a nice spot for lunch.
The trek will be softer in the afternoon, but the scenery becomes even more beautiful. You pass by Seomity village of Black Hmong minority before you arrive in a campsite, located nearby a river outside the village. While porters put up tents and cook dinner, you can take a walk to stretch the legs.
Approx: 4,5 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch
The trek today takes you through beautiful rice paddies and over old suspension bridges. You will trek on small trail sneaking through the rainforest. You arrive in Den Thang village of Black Hmong by noon. Here you stop for lunch either nearby a river or in a local school according to the weather.
After lunch, the trek will becomes tough on a tiny footpath going up and down, which requires a lot of concentration. You will reach the Ta Trung Ho village of Red Dao minority where you spend the night in a local house. Both the valley and the village have just started to receive foreign visitors. The night will be even more interesting when you are in the wonderful hospitable atmosphere of the Red Dao.
Approx: 6 hours walking, 1-hour lunch
You are now at the fringe of the rain forest by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. You will start the trek today by ascending to the Nam Toong village of Red Dao minority. Here your lunch will be prepared in a local school.
After lunchtime, you descend to the valley where of the My Son village of Xa Pho minority, one of the smallest ethnic groups in Northern Vietnam. there you take a short walk to the Thanh Phu village of Tay minority. Here you spend the night in traditional house of the Tay. You can take a walk to explore local daily life while your dinner will be served with Vietnamese dishes.
Approx: 7 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch
Today’s trek will be relatively short and soft. Once leaving Thanh Phu, you follow the trekking route built in the bottom of the valley, which offers the best view to the surrounding mountains. You stop at a nice spot for lunch. After lunchtime, you continue the walk toward Sin Chai village of Red Dao minority where our bus will pick you up back to Sapa.
Approx: 3,5 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch
Check in to a mini hotel for shower and relaxing. Before dusk, you will take an hour drive to Lao Cai Railway station. Have dinner at your own expense and board an overnight train to Hanoi. Overnight on the train.
Arrival in Hanoi early morning, you will be taken to a mini hotel near railway station for a shower and breakfast. Complete your trip with a relaxing but adventurous couple days cruising beautiful Ha Long bay on a traditional “junk”, with delicious meals cooked for you, and all accommodations provided for. Enjoy the views a lounge chair with a drink in hand, not your trekking shoes and water bottle!
After breakfast, you will depart by road to Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. Travel through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the landscape of rice fields, water buffalo, and the daily life of the Vietnamese village. On arrival at the pier, you will board your cruise and enjoy a welcome drink before check-in to your cabin. The cruise starts right afterward with a delicious lunch served on board. The cruise passes by many karst rocks and islets in many unique and funny shapes. Again your dinner is served on board. In the evening, enjoy night fishing, drinks on the rooftop, watching an Indochina film, or massage, spa etc. Overnight on boat.
Breakfast buffet will be served in the restaurant. Then be transferred to a day-boat, soon heading to Lan Ha Bay which is at the furthest side of Ha Long bay. This bay is famous for its tunnels, lagoons, crystal waters and secluded beaches. The highlight of this day will be kayaking through spectacular tunnels to reach secret lagoon (if tides permit). First kayak stroll of the day. Follow your tour guide in the maze of karst rocks.
Fresh seafood and traditional Vietnamese cuisine will be served aboard the Junk. She will be anchored close to a beautiful beach, where you will have time to swim and enjoy the beach after lunch.
Relax on the beach and practice more kayaking.
Late afternoon, back on your overnight boat for optional spa and massage services, happy hour, scrumptious dinner and overnight stay, anchored in a peaceful bay.
In the morning, a Tai Chi class is available for "early birds", then enjoy tea/coffee before visiting a Cave naturally carved inside the karst formations. Breakfast/brunch will be served while the cruise is returning back to the pier. Disembark the pier and our guide will pick you up for a ride back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi. We can recommend a little cafe, popular Northern Vietnamese cuisine or other regions if you prefer, and many night spots for your final night in Vietnam.
After breakfast, you will be free in Hanoi until meet our driver and proceed to the airport for your departure flight.
Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room in Hanoi, Sapa & Ha Long Bay
Breakfast and shared house at homestay, tent during trekking route
Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver
Joint limousine bus from Hanoi to Sapa
One way train ticket from Lao Cai back to Hanoi, with shared cabin (private cabin is available upon request) with soft berths and air-con.
The services of experienced hiking guide from Hanoi and assistance from a local guide in Sapa
Where necessary, entry fees and boat fee all visits mentioned in the program
Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available
Porters to carry your luggage and cooking, camping stuff during the trekking route
VAT and other taxes
International flight tickets and airport tax
Visa handling and stamp fee
Dinners, except as specified above
Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
Camera fees (if any)
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