12 Day Trekking North Vietnam Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang

$937.00$1,472.00

This 12 day trekking north Vietnam Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang is one of longest trekking tours are arranged in Vietnam, taking you to Sapa hill tribe villages, and non-touristy Bac Ha, Ha Giang villages.

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Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary

This 12 day trekking north Vietnam Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang is one of longest trekking tours are arranged in Vietnam, taking you to Sapa hill tribe villages, and non-touristy Bac Ha, Ha Giang villages. Most of nights are spent at local home – homestay, offering the chance to experience the local life. Accommodation facilities are simple, limited. But the landscapes and the ethnic culture are worth the journey.

Trekking North Vietnam Map

Trekking North Vietnam Itinerary

Night 1: Hanoi → Lao Cao by train

Take the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. Train??? Departure at 20.30. Overnight on board train.

Day 1: Arrive Lao Cai. Car transfer Lao Cai -> Sapa –> Tram Ton Heaven’s Gate. Trekking Heaven’s Gate –> Sin Chai (B,L,D)

Arrive Lao Cai train station early this morning, at about 5AM. Picked up by our local driver and brought to Sapa. Sa Pa is a quiet mountain town and home to a great diversity of ethnic minority peoples. The geographical location of the area makes it a truly unique place for many interesting plants and animals, allowing it to support many inhabitants. Breakfast will be served in a local restaurant in town. At 9.00 am, transfer to Tram Ton Pass. Short top might be made on the way to see the Silver Waterfall. Start trekking from Heaven Gate, hike through the thick rain forest of the Hoang Lien Nature Reserve for about 2 hours. The trail is narrow, tough steep downhill from 1,847m to 1,541m. Lunch break here on the top of a hill named Sour & Acrid. After lunch, continue trekking downhill for nearly an hour to the stream crossing at 1,414m. The trail of this portion gets through corn fields and some terraced paddies including some tough but short descending. Once getting to other bank, the trail becomes wider and less tough. Hike along the upstream part of Muong Hoa river for about 2 hours towards Sin Chai village of the Black Hmong. Arrive at home stay at about 5.00 pm. Dinner and home stay in this village.

Day 2: Trekking Sin Chai – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho (B,L,D)

Breakfast and leave home stay at 08.30 to 09.00 am. Take an easy walk along Muong Hoa river for nearly an hour to Cat Cat waterfall, short break by this wonder of nature. Cross the river by suspension bridge to other sides, follow the steps uphill to the southern edge of Cat Cat village and from here the follow a good path for another hour softly downhill(1,212m to 1,188m). Cross the Vang stream to other bank and then lunch break. After lunch, the trail winds up steep hills to 1,227m for two hours through rice paddies, corn fields and later rain forest before gradually descending for another 2 hours to wards Y Linh Ho village(at 1,018m), another village of the Black Hmong with lot traces of slash and burn agriculture along the way. The rest hour of the afternoon is at leisure or for free walk to explore this charming village.

Day 3: Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai San – Seo Mi Ty (B,L,D)

Breakfast and leave Y Linh Ho at 09.00am, enjoy an easy trekking with just some soft descends and ascends for nearly an hour to Lao Chai San 2 village (1,058m), where the influence of other cultures and religion can be seen evidently. Then the trail gets narrower and tougher uphill for about another hour from to Lao Hang Chai 1 (1,146m). This portion of the trek includes a long and steep ascend but offers great view of Muong Hoa Valley. Paying visit to several local homes in Lao Hang Chai village before lunch break. Leave Lao Chai San 1 after lunch and trek along the narrow trail for half an hour between farm land and bamboo forest with not too much up and down before challenging the steep path for about 1,5 hour, through thick rain forest to 1,785m high. Taking a long break here for recovery and enjoying the marvelous panorama of Muong Hoa Valley. The last portion of the trek today takes about 1 hour gradually downhill to Seo Mi Ty village of the Hmong which sits near the bottom of a stunning valley(1,548m). The rest hours of the afternoon is for relaxing by the stream near the newly built hydraulic power station.

Day 4: Seo Mi Ty – Den Thang – Ta Chung Ho (B,L,D)

Leave Seo Mi Ty at 09.00 after breakfast. Take an easy walk along a large path for 20 minutes downhill, passing through a small hamlet. And then the trek gets harder for 2 hours along a tougher which is a combination of lose rocks, steep dirt track and stream crossings, through re-grown forest to Den Thang village(from 1,548m to 1,294m). Walking to explore this isolated village for half an hour before lunch break. Afternoon trek is also downhill for most of the way about 2 hours from Den Thang to Ta Chung Ho suspension bridge (at 872m). The trail is tough plus two stream crossings which makes this part harder. Enjoy a short rest here before challenging 3 km uphill to home stay at a small Red Zao hamlet(at 984m).

Day 5: Ta Chung Ho – Nam Ngan – Nam Sang – Ban Sai (B,L,D)

Breakfast and trekking from home stay at 08.30. Morning trek is a real challenge along a narrow dirt trail which sneaks on steep hill sides from the height of 950m up to nearly 1,632m. Lunch break at the top of the mountain in the thick rain forest. Continue trekking after lunch along the same trail downhill for 1,5 hour through the rain forest of Hoang Lien National Park to Nam Ngan Village of the Red Zao(952m). Enjoy an easy walk to explore this quiet and charming village. Then following a larger dirt path for nearly 1 hour downhill to Nam Sang Village of the Xa Pho peoples(a sub group of Phu La group), whose population is only about 6,500 individuals and well maintained their traditional way of living. The last portion of the trail getting across the fairly flat bottom of Nam Sai valley to Ban Sai village of the Tay ethnic peoples(at 570m). Dinner and home stay in this village.

Day 6: Ban Sai – Nam Nhiu – Nam Than 2 – Sin Chai B (B,L,D)

Breakfast and leave Ban Sai at about 09.00 am. Trekking along a large & rocky path uphill to Nam Nhiu village of the Red Zao(870m) and then continue along a dirt path for 1,5 hour to Nam Than Village of the Red Zao and Black Hmong(865m). This portion of the trek offers stunning view of Nam Sai and Nam Cang Valleys as well as chances to understand life of tribal peoples in remotest region of Sapa. Leaving Nam Than for an hour through wild land dotting with terraced fields amongst mountain and rain forest…Lunch break. Continue trekking for 2, 5 hours in the afternoon along the same trail passing through the cultivated hilly land of Suoi Thau Commune to Sin Chai B Village of the Red Zao(733m). Check in home-stay, having a short rest and easy walk to explore this small and quiet village.

Day 7: Sin Chai B – Nam Lang A – Nam Lang B – Ta Thang. Car transfer Ta Thang –> Lao Cai (B,L,D)

The trek today is long and hard including 2 descends and one long and steep ascend. Departure from home stay for a sharp descending in half an hour to the bottom of the valley( from 733m to 452m) and gradually uphill for nearly 2 hours to Nam Lang B(676m) and onto Nam Lang B(899m), the 2 village of the Red Zao. Paying visiting to some local homes before lunch break. Afternoon trek is much better along a large and rocky road on high elevation for ½ hour, slightly uphill to Ban Pho village of the Hmong, then gradually getting downhill to Nam Ket Village(532m) of the Red Zao and the Tay. From here the trek is much easier for nearly 2 hours to Ta Thang village. This portion offers wide view of the Red River valley which runs through the Bao Yen District. Trek ends at about 4.30pm at Ta Thang village, picked up and transfer by road nearly an hour to Lao Cai. Check into a local hotel.

Day 8: Car transfer Lao Cai -> Bac Ha (B,L,D).

Have early breakfast. Then depart for Bac Ha. The road is relatively flat from Lao Cai to Bao Nhai bridge. After crossing the bridge, you begin your journey uphill offering beautiful views over the valleys. Arrive to the market place at about 09.30am, right at the most crowded hours (today must be on Sunday). Spend two hours joining the local tribal peoples including Flower H’mong, Black Zao, Phu La and Tay for the market activities and festive atmosphere. All peoples in their best traditional costume gather every Sunday for shopping, but socializing is of great importance. The cattle and clothing sections are the most interesting until 11.00 and then comes the food section where peoples meet, talk, enjoy food and especially drink a kind of locally made corn-wine. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, enjoy an easy short walk to a H’mong village near Bac Ha town. The walk starts right from the town, and takes approximately three hours. Dinner and overnight in Bac Ha.

Day 9: Car transfer Bac Ha –> Lung Phin. Trekking Lung Phin -> Ta Cu Ty (B,L,D).

After breakfast, you will leave Bac Ha town travelling by car to Lung Phin where you will begin your trek. Hike along a narrow trail on steep hillsides to Lu Suoi Tung village. Lunch will be provided in a local village (picnic). After lunch, continue trekking through the forest to the top of Ta Cu Ty mountain range (hard trek) and then downhill to a Red Dzao village. Dinner and overnight in a local stilt house (homestay).

Day 10: Ta Cu Ty – Nam Dan (B,L,D).

Leaving Ta Cu Ty village, you will spend the whole morning trekking along a large path that offers great view over a Nung village. You will make a stop en route for lunch, provided in a local hill tribe village (picnic). After lunch, you will follow a narrow footpath trekking for about 3 hours (hard trek). You hike up and downhill through the thick forest. Visit the rock-field with scripts carved by ancient peoples. Arrive in the village around late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in a local house (homestay).

Day 11: Nam Dan – Nam Choong (B,L,D).

After breakfast, you will be transferred along a paved road to the southern side of the mountain. Then enjoy 3 hours easy trekking through Tay and Dzao villages along the narrow valley of the Nam Ty River. Lunch will be provided in a local house (picnic). After lunch, continue your trek crossing the river to the southern bank, then hike uphill, downhill to a Dzao village, set on the bank of Nam Ty river, endowed with a mineral hot spring. Dinner and overnight in a house on stilt.

Day 12: Trekking Nam Choong to Na Chi. Car transfer back to Lao Cai. Overnight train to Hanoi (B,L).

Continue hiking until you arrive the main road. Picked up again by your car and brought back to Lao Cai. Take the overnight train to get back to Hanoi. Trip ends.

Trip Summary Information

Depart from

Hanoi

End at

Hanoi

Difficulty

Challenging

Departure

Weekly every Saturday

Places to visit

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Itinerary disclaimer

Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

Difficulty levels

Our trekking tours can be classified into three levels

Easy

There are about 8 – 10K to walk on flat roads. No previous experience is necessary. Anyone in good health and fit enough to perform an occasional hike can take an easy level trek. Vietnam easy walks are provided in Hanoi, Bac Giang, Mai Chau, Ngoc Son Ngo Luong…

Moderate

There are about 10 – 15K to hike on flat and hilly roads. At this point too, no special background is required. Hikers accustomed to trekking in hilly areas of Mai Chau, Pu Luong or Lai Chau, Yen Bai successfully accomplish our treks “moderate”, provided they are in good health and to have a correct fit. These treks are moderate or easy hikes with an average duration or shorter but more difficult steps.

Difficult

There are about 16 – 23K to trek on uphill/downhill dirty, rocky trails. Physical fitness is very important for these treks and you may have to lead you home before the trek. Most treks in this level are comparable with long rides in the Fansipan mountain or the the mountainous region of Ha Giang, Cao Bang, sometimes higher altitudes. The climate and isolation can also participate in difficulty. Prior trek experience is preferable but not vital if you have confidence in your fitness.

Inclusions

Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.

  • Car transfers
  • Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
  • Local porter(s)
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Sightseeing entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.

Exclusions

Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.

  • Visa (required)
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation pre/post trip.
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses

Tour Guide

Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.

Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.

When to hike

The north Vietnam experiences two distinct seasons; winter and summer. Winter is cool, dry and lasts from November to April. Temperatures range between 15 to 25°C during the day and 0 to 10°C during the night. With little rain, the winter season offers the most pleasant weather conditions for trekking in Vietnam. Read more about Vietnam weather.

Porter

During all trekking tours we may use local porters to carry your luggage as well as our trekking equipment, where required. To generate local income we employ local villagers for this task. Participants will have their own porter, carrying trekking equipment and luggage to a maximum of 15 kg per client. Travelers only have to carry their day packs. Read more how to pack

Vehicle

Depending on the nature of the tour, journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections.

Accommodation

Campsites and lodges are not common in Vietnam, instead we make use of homestays; staying the night in tribal villages along the way. Facilities are clean, but very basic. Travelers share a bamboo-slat floor, separated by curtains. Animals usually sleep under the house and restrooms and showers are often absent. Water sources are available outside. Mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets are taken care of.

Over the years Lotussia Travel has established a number of projects to upgrade home stay accommodation into a bit more comfort. Basic facilities aside, spending the night in a tribal village and enjoying a meal with the locals brings travellers unforgettable cross-cultural experiences. In the past 15 years of organizing trekking by this way, we never received a complaint.

Food

During all treks meals will be arranged on the spot, in local restaurants and at home in local villages along the way. The meals are prepared by our cooks, the local guide or by the local host. Our cooks are well trained to prepare and serve food hygienically and they cook a variety of local delicacies. Sometimes this may include the slaughter of a chicken, duck or pig. We sometimes have the chance to bring western food, and snacks from Hanoi for breakfast and picnics along the way, and coffee and tea are available in abundance. Our cooks make a special effort to provide as much variety as possible. The porters give necessary assistance on the spot.

Drinking water

There are many shops and villages that have bottled water for sale. On remote trekking tours, we buy a sufficient supply of water for the next couple of days. We recommend bringing some water purifying tablets.

Packing

Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple, communal house and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.

What you take will naturally depend upon where you are travelling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.

  • 1 medium-sized backpack.
  • Comfortable walking shoes with good grip
  • 1 long (easy to dry) pants and 1 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (easy to dry).
  • 1 pair of flip flop (sandals).
  • 1 pair of shorts and T-shirt to wear at camp site (2 if you do 4-day trek).
  • 1 medium-sized towel.
  • 1 medium-sized dry bag.
  • Hiking poles/walking sticks
  • GPS

Responsible Tourism

We strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes,positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect natural environment. We recognize that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.

Environment

We have been turning environmentally responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re – usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.

Community

Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.

Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.

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