Sojourn to Sapa
This add-on is a 5-day tour of Sapa that departs fortnightly from Hanoi on Tuesdays and can be booked in conjunction with most of our SE Asia group tours. Alternatively, similar arrangements can feature as part of a Tailor-made holiday.
Located 1500m above sea level, Sapa is a former French hill station, nestled in the rugged Tonkinese Alps and surrounded by lush valleys and verdant rice paddy fields. Here, farmers in conical hats plough the fields with water buffalo and local ethnic minority groups (such as H’mong and Dzao) maintain their age-old traditions and way of life, including their own language and wearing intricately embroidered traditional clothing. Cooler than the city, Sapa is ideal for hiking in pristine scenery and visiting the ethnic minority villages.
Days 1 & 2 - Tuesday, included transfer from Hanoi Airport to the city before taking the overnight train to Lao Cai, departing at approximately 8:30pm (Please note, your flight into Hanoi should arrive no later than 14:00). Arriving into Lao Cai early on day 2. After breakfast, we drive uphill through the Muong Khuong district onto Cao Son commune, passing terraced rice paddies, tea farms and pine plantations. At Cao Son local market, we browse the wares on offer, before a short walk to Flower Hmong village and lunch. The road then takes us through mountains, valleys and hamlets, we will enjoy a few photo stops of the spectacular scenery before arriving at Coc Ly Bridge. We then board a local boat and cruise along the Chay River to Trung Do village before continuing onto Sapa. Please Note: In the dry season if the water level does not allow for the boat trip, we will instead take easy 1 - 2 hour walk to a tea farm in Thanh Binh commune, on the way back to Lao Cai.
Days 3 & 4 - On day 3 we meet the ethnic hill tribes of northern Vietnam with a visit to the Black Hmong Minority Village and Dzay Hill Tribe. After our picnic lunch we continue our walk through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai. This is a village of the Red Dao tribe, who dress in beautiful embroidered trousers topped with bright red turbans and chunky silver jewellery. Before we head back to Sapa we visit another beautiful waterfall. Day 4 we enjoy a trek through the scenic Ma Tra Valley, with views of verdant terraced rice paddies on steep hillsides, to the Ta Phin Village of the Red Dao group. Returning to Sapa we spend the afternoon at leisure, before boarding the overnight train back to Hanoi. (Day 3 & 4 walking duration - approximately 4 hours each day - easy walk).
Day 5 - Saturday - after an early arrival into Hanoi we visit the colourful and bustling Quang Ba Flower Market, before taking a stroll to Truc Bach Lake to see the locals doing their morning Tai Chi as the sun comes up. After breakfast at a local restaurant arrangements come to an end.
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