Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
The 6 days north Vietnam Lai Chau trekking package is arranged in the north-western Vietnam, taking you to Dien Bien, Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces. The tour begins with a short flight from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu where you take your car to travel along the border side to get to Muong Lay. Upon your arrival in Muong Lay, Lai Chau province, you start your 6-day adventure trekking on off-the-beatern path hiking trails that go through local H’mong and Dzao villages. You spend almost 5 days hiking through different hill tribe villages including Chan Nua, Tu Co Phin, Ta San, Nam Pe, Nam Ngoi, Nam Ngap, Nam Tan. The trekking adventure tour ends in Lai Chau where you may assist to an ethnic highland market, open only on Sunday morning. After the tour, you are picked up again by your vehicle and transferred to Sapa, then Lao Cai where you take the overnight train to get back to Hanoi. The 6-day trekking tour is provided on private basis. English-speaking tour guide, local porter, cook and trekking equipments are provided by Lotussia Travel.
Day 1: Fly to Dien Bien Phu. Travel to Muong Lay (L,D)
You will be greeted at Dien Bien Phu airport by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to Muong Lay. Arriving Muong Lay, we check into a local hotel/guesthouse for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Muong Lay – Chan Nua – Tu Co Phin (B,L D)
After breakfast, we will leave the guesthouse driving to Chan Nua. We start trekking from Chan Nua bridge along a dirt track upstream for nearly an hour. Then the trail gets narrower winding amongst terraced rice fields.
We trek uphill for 6 hours to Tu Co Phin Village in Lang Mo Commune.
We arrive the village at about 4.00 pm. We will have a short visit of the village before checking into a local house for dinner and overnight. The village has about 100 families scattering around a flat valley and is surrounded by high mountains.
Day 3: Trekking Tu Co Phin – Ta San – Nam Pe village (B,L,D)
Afte breakfast, we will leave Tu Co Phin village at about 08:30. We follow a dirt road trekking downhill for 20 minutes to a hamlet of the White H’mong. After paying visit to this isolated hamlet, we continue trekking on a narrow trail going downhill the valley to Ta San, another hamlet of the White H’mong.
Then we hike through rice paddies and a piece of lush forest, hopping up and down the sharp rocks for 1,5 hours to Ta San 2 village of the Black Zao. We have time for a quick visit of this hamlet before we have lunch.
In the afternoon, we trek for 3 hours through dried rice fields on hill-slope, wild banana, bamboo forest. We will stop on the way visiting a village of Flower H’mong. After visiting the village, we continue trekking downhill the steep path to Nam Pe River.
We check into a local house in Nam Pe Village for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Hike Nam Pe – Nam Ngoi – Nam Ngap villages (B,L,D)
After Breakfast we leave Nam Pe village following a narrow dirt trail winding its way upstream the Nam Pe River. We trek through corn and dry fields for 2,5 hour to the hill-top. Then we hike downhill for an hour to Seo Phin village of the Black Zao.
We have a short village of the village before we have lunch.
After lunch, we leave the Seo Phin village trekking through rice paddies to the center of Nam Ngap Commune.
We arrive the homestay at the end of the day. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Hiking Nam Ngap – Nam Tam – Lai Chau (B,L)
Leaving Nam Ngap village, we trek through a narrow and long valley with a river crossing an upstream part of the Black River.
After two and a half hours, we arrive the Nam Tam Village of the Thai. We will be picked up again by our vehicle and transferred to Lai Chau Town. It is possible for us to make some more stops on the way for taking picture of the stunning scenery of the Sin Ho highland and the Phong Tho Valley.
We arrive Lai Chau at about 1,30 pm. We have lunh in a local restaurant in town then check in the Muong Thanh hotel.
Day 6: Lai Chau – Binh Lu – Sapa (B,L)
Check out hotel at 9.00. Depart for Sapa. The first hour of the road ride offers stunning scenery of the Phong Tho Valley, Giang Ma mountain Pass and the lush Binh Lu Valley. There will be some stops along the way before we take a long break in Binh Lu town. We may have a quick look at Binh Lu Market where the Lu, Lao and Red H’mong often comes every morning.
We continue traveling along the road 4D going uphill the Hoang Lien Son Mountain range. After about one hour and a half, we arrive the Tram Ton Pass (“Heaven Gates”) where we will have a long break for admiring the magnificent landscape.
We continue driving downhill for 20 km to Sapa Town.
Lunch will be provided upon your arrival in Sapa town.
In the afternoon, enjoy 3 hours walking around Sapa town. Check into a local hotel/guesthouse for overnight or travel to Laocai station for overnight train back to Hanoi. End of Lotussia Travel service.
Have any question? Contact us for more information about this 6 days north Vietnam Lai Chau trekking package
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.