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Amazing Road Trip and Homestay Trekking in Vietnam

Trekking in Vietnam Trip begins with a car transfer from Hanoi to Mai Chau where you enjoy a short hike and spending a night at local home (homestay). The trip continues with car transfer with altered treks through local ethnic villages, terraced rice fields. You travel through Yen Bai and Lai Chau province and visit such places as Suoi Lon, Thu Cuc, Nghia Lo, Mu Cang Chai, Tu Le, Than Uyen and Sapa.

Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary

The 10-day Amazing Road Trip and Homestay Trekking in Vietnam is provided in the north western Vietnam taking you to both the less traveled places and popular travel destinations in Vietnam. Begin your holidays adventure with a car transfer from Hanoi to Mai Chau where you enjoy a short hike and spending a night at local home (homestay). The trip continues with car transfer with altered treks through local ethnic villages, terraced rice fields. You travel through Yen Bai and Lai Chau province and visit such places as Suoi Lon, Thu Cuc, Nghia Lo, Mu Cang Chai, Tu Le, Than Uyen and  Sapa. This 10-day trekking tour is a moderate trek that is customized for small groups of active, adventure travelers. Most of the nights will be spent at local home (homestay). You share the house with family with private bedding setup. The tour is provided with experienced English-speaking tour guide, support vehicle, local porters, cook and trekking, camping equipment.

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau.

8:00: You will be met up with Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi and transferred  to Mai Chau, on  the way,  trek  some kilometers  through ethnic villages (Muong and Thai). Lunch in Mai Chau. Overnight in village.

Day 2: Mai Chau – Suoi Lon

Transfer 17 kilometers then trek in an area of inhabitants of ethnic minority Thai, Muong the villages of Cun Pheo and Hang Kia. Arrive at Suoi Lon for overnight in Muong’ Village.

Day 3: Suoi Lon – Bac Yen – Thu Cuc

Transfer  to Ta Sua plateau, you can contemplate  the highland scenery of  it. Visit some villages of ethnic Black H’mong and discover the daily life and custom of local inhabitants here, especially you can enjoy  the  local specialties: Ta Sua Tea and agriculture products  then come back  the mountain town for having lunch. After having lunch, visit the local market, the handicraft and farming products made by many ethnics are available here. Then continue to trek over 5 Kilometers through villages of  Thai  and  Muong  village.  During  the  trekking  you  can  take  a  rest  and  enjoy  the  local  wine distillated by ethnics. Transfer to Thu cuc. Overnight in Muong Village.

Day 4: Thu Cuc – Nghia Lo

Trek through Thai, Dao, Mong visit the water wheel. It is used to scoop the water for the rice fields near the streams. Continue going to Nghia Lo through the direction of Lung Lo pass. Arrive at Nghia Lo,  check  in  hotel  then  take  a  visit  the  local  market  at  the  moment  of  decline  of  day.

Day 5: Nghia Lo – Tu Le

Leave Nghia Lo  for  the  itinerary,  trek and visit some villages of ethnic’s minorities along  the  road: black Dzao, H’mong, white Thai, etc. They are very kind, honest and plain. Arrive at Tu Le village, dinner and overnight in house on stilt of inhabitants here. You can discover the daily life activities of this  village  in  particular  and  the  Thai  ethnic  in  general  in  Vietnam.  Overnight  in  Thai  Village.

Day 6: Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen

Take leave of inhabitants of Tu Le, it takes 2 Km to village center, you can visit lots of activity on the early market day and it is typical colorful ethnics of this high mountain regions. Transfer to the the footing of Kau Pha pass for us to start trekking about 9 Km through the forest and ethnic villages. This trail runs parallel with the famous and beautiful Kau Pha pass. We finish the trail at the peak of the pass (1800m above sea level). Transfer to Mu Cang Chai for lunch. Visit the local market and go on  to  Than  Uyen.  Arrive  at  Than  Uyen,  check  in  local  guest  house.

Day 7: Than Uyen – Binh Lu – Sapa

Transfer to Sapa, on the way, we can take trek to visit lots of beautiful villages of ethnic. Especially, you  can meet  the most  typical  ethics  as:  Lao,  Lu  (Xa  Pho).  They  wear  the  long  traditional  and colorful costumes with jeweler hand made. Moreover, you can discover the kind face in black dyed teeth of ethnics here. Arrive at  Sa Pa. Check in and rest of the day at leisure or visit Sa Pa famous tourist town in Northern Vietnam . You can visit and go shopping, market for buying souvenirs such as handicraft made by ethics, ethics’ traditional costumes, etc before ending the days in North West Vietnam.

Day 8: Sapa – Tavan – Seomity

You will go south by car toward Muong Hoa valley. Your trek will begin from Tavan village of Giay minority.  The first day trek will be mostly uphill. Whenever you stop for a rest, you will be able to enjoy valley view. Before noon, you stop again at a nice spot for lunch.

The trek will be softer in the afternoon. But the scenery becomes even more beautiful. You pass by Seomity  village of Black Hmong minority before  you arrive  in  a  campsite, which  locates  nearby  a river outside the village. While porters put up tents and cook dinner, you can take a walk to stretch the legs.

Day 9: Seomity – Den Thang – Ta Trung Ho

The  trek  today  takes you  through beautiful  rice paddies and over old suspension bridges. You will trek on small trail sneaking  through  rainforest. You arrive in Den Thang village of Black Hmong by noon. Here you stop for lunch either nearby a river or in a local school according to the weather.

After lunch, the trek wills becomes tough on tinny footpath going up and down, which requires some concentration. You will reach to Ta Trung Ho village of Red Dao minority where you spend the night in  local house. Both  the valley and  the village have just  received  foreign visitors. The night will be even more interesting when you are in the wonderful hospitable atmosphere of the Red Dao.

Day 10: Ta Trung Ho – Nam Toong – Ban Ho – Sapa – Lao Cai – Hanoi.

You are now at the fringe of the rain forest by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina with its 3143 m, is located in this mountain range. You will start the trek today by ascending to Nam Toong village of Red Dao minority. Here your lunch will be prepared in a local school. In the afternoon, before descending to Ban Ho, you can make a stop by a waterfall to refresh. On the last hours you can enjoy the valley one final time whilst trekking up to Su Pan, where your car takes you on  the journey back to Sapa befor  transfer  to Lao Cai  for  the night  train back  to Hanoi. Trip end.

Map

Trip Summary Information

Depart from

Hanoi

End at

Hanoi

Departure

Upon request

Difficulty

Moderate

Places to visit

Bac Yen, Binh Lu, Mai Chau, Mu Cang Chai, Nghia Lo, Sapa, Suoi Lon, Than Uyen, Thu Cuc, Tu Le

Product Enquiry

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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