HANOI - LAO CAI - BAC HA - SAPA - HANOI
6 DAYS | 5 NIGHTS
This trip offers you an authentic experience of the ethnic tribe villages hidden amidst the magnificent valley, mountains, and rice terraces of the north in Sapa. Truly experience the colorful cultures and lifestyles of the ethnic minorities by visiting the untouched remote village of Cat Cat, Lao Chai and Ta Van, explore the unique Bac Ha Market, one of the biggest and colorful markets in the North West area and more!
Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city, renowned as the ‘Paris of the East’; and one of Asia’s most fascinating cities. The city that celebrated 1.000 years in 2010 has countless fascinating cultural and historic sites with tree-lined boulevards, French Indochinese architecture and tranquil lakes of this unique city. Upon arrival at Noi Bai airport, you will be welcomed by your guide and transferred to Hanoi city. Note: if the international flight arrival time in early afternoon the schedule of this day will be added some major sights. This evening transfer to Hanoi Train Station for the overnight train to Lao Cai, the gateway to Sapa.
Overnight on the train
Arrive Lao Cai in the early morning and transfer along terraced hillsides to Bac Ha Town, located 90km from Laocai and over 2 hours by car. On arrival, we visit a local market (Ban Cam on Tuesday/ Cao Son on Wednesday/ Lung Khau Nhin on Thursday / Can Cau on Saturday/ Bac Ha on Sunday. Note: The market visit may be on your arrival day depending on the market day). Here you’ll explore one of the famous colorful markets, where thousands of locals including mostly Flower Hmong however Phu La, Black Dao, Tay to Nung gathered, the women dressed in their very intricate handmade costumes and the place offers a variety of local products, which could not be found in other areas such as an interesting animal market where pot-bellied pigs, cows and buffalos can be seen. After spending the whole morning exploring the market, we continue to visit the H'mong King's house (King Hoang A Tuong), built by the French colonists and the Chinese between 1914 and 1921. Then we have a short walk to a hill-tribe village. Here you’ll have the opportunity to visit some local homes to understand more on the daily life of these tribes as well as their culture and traditions.
Overnight in Bac Ha.
Leave Bac Ha after breakfast. We drive along terraced hillsides to Sapa, located 110km from Bac Ha town and over 2 hours by car, the charming mountain town, surrounded by picturesque mountains, rice terraces, and home to some of Vietnam's most colorful ethnic minority groups. On the way enjoy panoramic views of mountains and valleys in the region.
This afternoon, we take a light trek along a narrow trail through beautiful gardens to Cat Cat Village, the home of H'mong ethnic, where you have a chance to visit and meet with local one to share cultural experiences with them to understand more on the daily life of these tribes as well as their culture and traditions and see the hydroelectric power station was built by the French, a picnic lunch will be served en-route. Rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure
Overnight in Sapa.
After breakfast, take a morning walking tour of Sapa with a first visit to the busy market where Red Dao, Black H’Mong, Tay and other ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding countryside to sell their silverware and handicrafts, and to buy provisions before we start a full day tour by driving 7km towards to Lao Chai, we embark on a lovely trek that will take us along buffalo paths and trails through the valleys between mountains, enjoy the overall pictures of the village among terraces. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet. Continue going to Ta Van Village to visit the Dzay tribe. The Dzay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in Vietnam’s northwest mountains. The development has meant that some of their old customs have been lost but many women still wear traditional shirts with a purple, blue or green color. The Dzay’s traditional houses are built of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. It gives you a worth chance for you to learn about the local house architecture which is full of their daily life styles and exclusive custom.
We drive back to Lao Cai in the late afternoon then get the night train to Hanoi.
Overnight on train
An early arrival in Hanoi we then proceed to the famous Quang Ba Flower Market where you will witness one of the most frantic and colorful markets in the world and take some great photos. Afterwards we take a stroll to Truc Bach Lake where you will witness locals doing their morning Tai Chi and other exercises as the sun comes up followed by breakfast in a local restaurant before starting a full-day Hanoi city tour with a first stop visiting the Temple of Literature, built in the 11th century as Vietnam’s first university before we proceed to the One Pillar pagoda, built by Emperor Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 to 1054, as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples. Then, we continue to visit the Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the rest place of the greatest hero of Vietnam – Uncle Ho, the one was admired by millions of people in Vietnam and other countries in the world, and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. (Viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov).
In the afternoon, visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, contains more than 10,000 objects, 15,000 black and white photos, hundreds of video tapes and cassettes which depict all aspects of life, activities, customs, and habits of the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam. Then heading to the bustling Old Quarter for a walking tour, the quarter consists mainly of 36 Old Streets divided and named according to their craft guides in the past, and remain most of that working system until now, it’s the great place to take some great photos, explore thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers, learn about its rich cultural, artistic, culinary history and shopping.
Note: an alternative to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, visit the highly acclaimed Vietnam Women’s Museum (closed Monday) where displays women’s role in Vietnamese society and culture, the memories of the wartime contribution by individual heroic women that are most poignant. It’s also showcase a stunning collection of propaganda posters, as well as costumes, tribal basket-ware and fabric motifs from Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast, you will be free at leisure until time to transfer to airport for your onward flight. End of service.
Ground transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
Hanoi - Laocai - Hanoi round trip night train ticket.
Accommodation based on twin/double shared room with daily breakfast.
All meals mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking guide throughout the itinerary.
All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary.
2 bottle mineral water per day per person.
We saw, learned, heard, tasted a lot and really got to know these 2 countries better. Thanks a lot for organizing our tour.
My husband and I are now home and we'd like to thank you for an extraordinary trip in Vietnam and Cambodia. Thu, you did a terrific job in planning it and all details were perfect and everything happened like clockwork. We loved...
We just got back. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was. We loved every place we stayed. You're a gem. As to the countries themselves: I was totally thrilled, fascinated, absorbed. Hope to do another trip to the...
Loraine F. Gardner
I wanted to specifically tell you how wonderful my tour guide Tien from Hue was. We were lucky enough to have him for Hue, Danang and Hoi An. He was sweet, caring, knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate about his country. I felt...
Dr. Halli Zung