Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
Trekking at Sapa Vietnam begins from Sapa town and takes you to such Sapa hill tribe villages and attractions as the Tram Ton Heavens Gate, Sin Chai village, Cat Cat village, Y Linh Ho village, ao Chai San village, Lao Hang Chai village, Giang Ta Van village, Ta Van village, Giang Ta Chai village, Giang Tu Chai village, Hoa Su Pan village. Taking this 4 day hike, you enjoy the spectacular landscapes of the Hoang Lien mountain range and Muong Hoa Valley; Experience the unique culture, custom and way of living of the Black H’mong, Giay and Red Zao ethnic peoples.
Trekking at Sapa Vietnam itinerary
Day 1: Sapa – Tram Ton – Sin Chai (L,D)
09.00 am you will be met up with Lotussia local team at your hotel in Sapa (Please inform your hotel name upon your confirmation). You will be transferred from Sapa to the Tram Ton Pass. Stop at the Silver Waterfall for a quick visit. Then walk around the Heaven Gate and enjoy magnificent scenery of the other side of Hoang Lien Son range.
Start trekking from Tram Ton. You will follow a narrow trail sneaking on mountain sides and through the thick rain forest of the Hoang Lien Nature Reserve. You trek downhill for almost 3 hours before you arrive in the Sin Chai Village, inhabitated by the H’mong. Walk around this village, visit some local houses. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Sin Chai – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho (B,L,D)
After breakfast, provided at homestay, you will leave the Sin Chai village at about 08:30 am. You will spend about one hour walking on a good path to Cat Cat Waterfall. Have a short rest at this nature wonders and continue trekking up and downhill along the Vang Stream. You will trek for over 4 hours through part of Hoang Lien National Park is covered by thick bamboo and rain forest. You will pass by several isolated hamlets of the Black H’mong.
You will arrive in Y Linh Ho Village in mid afternoon. Enjoy a short walk around this village before checking into a local house for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 : Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai San – Lao Hang Chai – Giang Ta Van – Ta Van (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the homestay. You will continue your trek at 08.30 am, following a large dirt path. You trek for about a half hour from Y Linh Ho village to Lao Chai San 1 village, inhabited by the H’mong. You then trek uphill for over an hour to Lao Chai San 2 village. Visiting these two villages will help you to understand the process of changing way of life from sifting one to sedentary one as well as culture effects from other tribes or foreign culture such as the converting of French Catholicism, Christians…to the life of the H’mong.
You will trek uphill for two more 2 hour while the trail winds up and down hill-sides. This portion of the trek is a real challenge but offers great of Muong Hoa Valley. After two hours trek, you will the Giang Ta Van hamlet, inhabited by the H’mong. The village is located by the beautiful bamboo forest. You will then trek to Ta Van, a large village of the Giay peoples.
You will arrive at the home stay in mid afternoon. The rest of the day is for a leisure walk. Dinner and overnight at the homestay.
Day 4: Tavan – Giang Ta Chai – Giang Tu Chai – Hpa Su Pan – Sapa (B,L)
After breakfast, you continue your trek going uphill for a half hour. You hike along a narrow trail sneaking on hill-side amidst terraced rice paddies. After one hour and a half, you will trek through the bamboo forest and arrive the village of Giang Ta Chai, inhabited by the H’mong. This village is isolatedly located amidst bamboo.
After visiting the Giang Ta Chai village, you continue your trek descending for nearly another hour to the Waterfall.
Lunch will be provided en route.
After lunch, you continue trekking along a large dirt path to Giang Tu Chai Village, inhabited by the Red Zao. Exploring the village, visiting the Zao’s homes will help you to further understand the unique way of living of the local villagers.
Leaving Giang Tu Chai village, you will follow a narrow trail hiking down and uphill to Hoa Su Pan village. Visiting local houses of the H’mong, you may have chance to see different process of making the fiber from hemp such as spinning, weaving or embroidering…
You then walk back to the motor way where you will be picked up by your vehicle and transferred back to Sapa. You will be dropped off at Sapa town. The end of Lotussia Travel service.
Trekking at Sapa Vietnam map
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.
Our trekking tours can be classified into three levels
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…
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.
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.
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)
- Sightseeing entrance fees.
- Bottled water.
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
- Personal expenses
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.
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
Depending on the nature of the tour, journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.