5 days/ 4 nights
A more challenging and remote alternative to the Northwest loop, this incredible route takes you through verdant vistas and mountain ranges, along lakes and rivers, and through jungle and tiered paddy fields rising and falling as far as the eye can see. Along the way, you’ll be hosted by different hill tribes wearing amazingly elaborate and colorful costumes. These are people who have been living in the hills for a century, and their ways of life have little changed from generation to generation.
07:00: Depart from Hanoi through the Red River Delta into the mountains of Yen Bai province and on to Nghia Lo. The area is home to Thai, Nung, H’mong, la ha and Ma ethnic minority peoples. Overnight in a guest house.
Exploring the local market in Nghia Lo is a good chance to shop for local handicrafts. Today’s drive is along an exciting stretch of road which climbs over the mountain pass to Mu Cang Chai past H’mong, La ha and Dzao hill tribe communities. At the bottom of the valley is the town of Than Uyen. Overnight in a hotel or guesthouse.
The road follows the Hoang Lien Son Mountain range and winds through tea plantations and rice terraces as it hugs the Nam Ma River. This stunning valley is dotted with Tay, Dzao and H’mong hill tribe villages. Over the 1,900 meter Tram Ton pass to Sa Pa located in the breathtaking Hoang Lien Son Mountains. I Arrived in Sa Pa in the afternoon. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at a hotel. Jeep transfer from your hotel to Ta Van village. Trek along rice terraces, through a lush bamboo forest and past local villages. Stop to enjoy a picnic lunch. After lunch, trek to Ban Ho for an insightful night with your Tay hosts, where you'll sleep in the cozy loft complete with comfy mattress and a mosquito net. Overnight at the village.
Short trek to the dirt road for the jeep ride back to SaPa. Explore the town or go shopping in the market for local products. At 16:00 take the bus to Lao Cai. Night train back to Ha Noi (soft sleeper with air conditioning). 05:30 am - Trip ends at HaNoi Railway Station. Note: you can stay longer in Sapa for more trekking or visit the Can Cau market on Sunday, Bac Ha market on Sunday, Coc Ly market on Tuesday