Arrive in Lao Cai at 6am, pick up and transfer to hotel to freshen up upon arrival in Sapa. Breakfast is served at hotel. After breakfast, we leave Sapa in sturdy Russian jeeps heading south on the dirt road towards Su Pan, where we arrive one hour later. On the way we can enjoy the spectacular view over the Sapa valley with its terraced rice fields and the Fan Si Pan peak above. We descend to the Tayvillage of Ban Ho, where we can take a refreshing swim in the river, before having lunch in a local house. In the afternoon, we trek on the western slope of the valley until we reach the Xa Pho village. Here we will stay overnight in a beautiful bamboo stilt house, and interact with our hosts. There are only about 300-400 members of the Xa Pho minority, which makes it one of the smallest minority communities in Vietnam and also one of the most distinct and interesting!
Overnight at bamboo stilt house (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we start our descent to the bottom of the valley, where we cross the river on a suspension bridge. We start ascending the other side, and on our way we pass through the Red Dao village of Nam Sai. We continue up to anotherRed Dao village named Nam Nhu, where we will enjoy our lunch, whilst watching the curious children playing around. In the early afternoon we cross a pass to another valley and here we will stay overnight in bamboo huts in the Red Dao village of Sin Chai. Our dinner is prepared in a local house, where we will dine with the hosts. There are three generations living in the house who are very friendly and will enjoy talking to you – naturally with some help from your guide. By the way, the grandfather is well reputed for his homemade rice spirit and he enjoys sharing a glass with strangers!
Overnight at bamboo huts (B, L, D)
The day starts early with cockcrow and creaking water wheels. After breakfast, we take time to relax and walk around in the village meeting the locals and watching their daily routines. After lunch, we pack our things and trek downwards to the Tayvillage of Thanh Phu, where we have our dinner and shall stay overnight.
Overnight at local house in Thanh Phu (B, L, D)
We say goodbye to our friendly hosts and start walking towards Ban Ho. If the weather is nice, a rewarding swim in the river awaits ahead. Meanwhile a lunch is prepared in Ban Ho by the cook and our porters. From the terrace of the local Tay house, we enjoy the outstanding view over the valley whilst having our lunch. In the early afternoon we start the last ascent to Su Pan where our trusty Russian jeeps are waiting to take us back to Sapa. Chance to freshen-up at hotel before transferring back to the train station in Lao Cai, and the overnight train back to Hanoi.
Overnight on Tulinco/Ratraco train. Approx. 4 hour walk (B, L)
Early morning, arrive in Hanoi, meet and transfer to hotel.
End of services (hotel accommodation today is not included)
Lodging for this itinerary is extremely basic
Single supplement only applies to hotel(s), not train(s).