Set high in Vietnam’s northeast mountains, the Sapa town provides amazing views of stunning mountain ridges, immense terraced rice fields, and breathtaking valleys inhabited by people of various ethnic minority groups. Be ready to explore some hidden mountainous areas where the beauty of scenery comes together with the diversity of hill tribe cultures.
DAY 1: HANOI – SAPA (-)
This morning, meet with your guide and transfer by private vehicle to Sapa. Notice the changes of landscapes along the way from plat plains to mountainous jungle.
Arrive in Sapa town at lunchtime. Check into your hotel.
This afternoon, have a light trek to explore the quaint hill tribe Ta Phin village, home to the minority groups Black H’mong and Red Dzao who have been living in harmony despite having different customs, cultures, and dresses. Notice the distinctiveness of the way of life, costumes, and culture of the two minority groups. Traveling between Jul and September which is planting and harvesting time, you will have a great opportunity to see the local farmers in action.
Return to Sapa by your private vehicle after the exploration. Wanderer around the town with the stop at Sapa market, Sa Pa Stone Church or choose to enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a local café offering magnificent views of mountains and hill tribe villages.
Overnight in Sapa.
Note: Hiking Grade: Easy, 5km on paved road
Optional Experience: Textile experience in Ta Phin Village
Visit a local handicraft textile workshop to get a better understanding of the traditional method of H’mong ethnic group that has been handed down for generations. As H’mong people don’t have their written language, this is their unique way of communication by using special symbols to describe their lives and then weaving them into a textile that is made from natural materials. Participate in a hands-on experience to understand a deeply step-by-step process from weaving, drawing by batik to dying a textile product with the guidance of a local artisan.
DAY 2: Y LINH HO – LAO CHAI – TA VAN (L)
Today, transfer by your private vehicle to Y Linh Ho village. From the main road, hike to the village of Black H’mong people and notice their traditional clothing made from hemp cloth dyed a deep indigo blue and decorated with batik flowers. Have a friendly chat with local people to understand how they preserve their traditional customs and way of life before the hurried development of society.
Follow a dirt trail to Muong Hoa valley while enjoying the spectacular scenery of terraced fields, vegetable patches, and verdant hills. This is also home to the largest terraced rice field of Sapa. Traveling between July and September which is planting and harvesting time, you will have a great opportunity to see the local farmers in action. Make a stop at a local H’mong family in Lao Chai Village to have a chat with family members to understand their traditional lifestyle and custom. Notice how their houses are typically built without windows due to the cold weather in the winter. Continue your exploration to Ta Van village, set within picturesque Muong Hoa valley and also home to the Zay people, originally from China and well-known for their unique cultural costumes, being simple than other ethnic groups, less embroidered and only brightly colored bands around the neck and lapels. Have your camera ready to capture the magnificent view of terraced fields dotted with local houses or the portrait of friendly villagers.
Return to Sapa town by your private vehicle after the exploration. Overnight in Sapa.
Note: Hiking Grade: Easy, 7km on paved road
Optional Experience: Making traditional colorful sticky rice with H’mong family
Be ready for a hands-on experience making traditional colorful sticky rice by following the enthusiastic guidance of the host. The whole process of making traditional colorful sticky rice is also an opportunity for the family to come together. Learn how to extract colors from the natural material (flowers, leaves…), dye the rice, and cook it. Savor the lunch with your creation in a relaxing atmosphere, surrounded by mountains and terraced fields.
DAY 3: TA GIANG PHINH VILLAGE – SA PA-HA NOI
Today, enjoy a scenic drive to Ta Giang Phinh, a remote hill tribe village along a peaceful stream where the traditional custom of H’mong people has been well-preserved despite the influence of outside modern life.
Hike through wild and unspoiled scenery with stunning mountains and endless terraced fields. Stop on the way to interact with Blue H’mong people to notice the differences featured in their traditional customs, dress from other group ethnicities. Observe the local villagers engaging in their daily activities. Have your camera ready in your hands to photograph friendly villagers as well as picturesque landscapes that are formed by terraced fields, streams, and mountains.
A transfer will take you back to Ha Noi in the afternoon. Arrive in downtown Ha Noi at the end of the day.
Note: Hiking Grade: Easy, 4km on paved road