This best 7 day Sapa hard trekking tour takes you to both popular and remote hilltribe villages including: Tram Ton Heaven Gates, Sin Chai village, Cat Cat village, Y Linh Ho village, Lao Hang Chai village, Seo Mi Ty village, Den Thang village, Ta Trung Ho village, Nam Ngan village, Nam Sang village, Ban Sai village, Nam Nhiu village, Nam Than village, Nam Cum village, Thanh Phu village. Spectacular landscapes and wild nature of Hoang Lien National Park and Muong Hoa, Nam Sai and Suoi Thau valleys. Travel this 7-day tour, you enjoy the unique culture, custom and way of living of the Black Hmong, Red Zao, Tay and Xa Pho ethnic groups with memorable experiences of local life. This is a hard trek tour for customers with strength and mobile ability above average, plus some trekking practice or experience. The trekking trail is tough at some parts with river and stream crossings in rainy days. Especially the river and stream crossings on day 1, day 2 and day 4 may cause danger after heavy rain.
DAY 1: SAPA -> SIN CHAI VILLAGE
09:00: You will be met up with Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Sapa and transferred to the Tram Ton Pass. Stop at the Silver Waterfall for a short walk (optional). We begin our trip by walkliing to the Heaven Gate. Enjoy magnificent view over the other side of Hoang Lien Son range. We trek mostly downhill following a narrow trail sneaking on mountain sides. We hike through the thick rain forest of the Hoang Lien Nature Reserve. After 3 hours trek, we reach the upstream part of the Muong Hoa River. In the afternoon, we hike to Sin Chai village of the H’mong. We may have time for a short walk before checking into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2: SIN CHAI -> Y LINH HO VILLAGE
After breakfast at home stay, we will leave Sin Chai village at about 09.00 am. We walk for 1 hour along good path to Cat Cat waterfall. Have a short rest at this nature wonders and continue hiking up and downhill along the Vang stream. We trek for over 4 hours through part of Hoang Lien National Park covered by thick bamboo and rain forest. We will pass by several isolated hamlets of the Black H’mong before we arrive at Y Linh Ho village in mid afternoon. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 3: Y LINH HO -> SEO MI TY VILLAGE
After breakfast, we will leave the Y Linh Ho village at about 09.00. We trek on a large path for an hour to Lao Hang Chai Village of the H’mong. We hike through several hamlets along the way. Enjoy spectacular scenery of the Muong Hoa Valley. The trail becomes narrow and tough as we hike uphill through bamboo forest and then thick rain the Hoang Lien National Park. We trek for nearly 5 hours in the rich nature of the park. This trekking route offers stunning panorama of the long and large valley below. We arrive in Seo Mi Ty village in late afternoon. This village is located in a charming valley at the height 1567 m above sea level. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: SEO MI TY -> TA TRUNG HO VILLAGE
After breakfast, we will leave Seo Mi Ty village and begin the hike with an easy walk. After about 20 minutes walk, the gets tougher. We trek downhill through thick rain forest to Den Thang village, isolately located in a remote valley. We visit this village then have lunch. After lunch, we leave Seo Mi Ty village. We trek on a small trail that continuously goes up and downhill through the wildest land of Sapa. After about 4 hours trek, we will arrive the Ta Trung Ho Village of the Red Zao. We may have time to visit the village before checking into a local village houser for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: TA TRUNG HO -> BAN SAI VILLAGE
After breakfast in the homestay we will Ta Trung Ho village at 08.30 am. We begin the day with a challenging trek along a narrow dirt trail sneaking on steep hill sides. We hike through narrow & sharp canyon from the height of 950 m up to nearly 1,500m for the whole morning. Lunch will be provided at the top of the mountain in the forest. After lunch, we continue our hike following the same trail for 1,5 hour. We trek through the forest to Nam Ngan Village of the Red Zao. We have a short walk to explore this quiet and charming village. Then We continue our trek following a larger dirt path. We rek for 1 hour downhill until we arrive in Nam Sang Village of the Xa Pho peoples. The Xa Pho is a sub group of the Phu La ethnic whose population is just about 4,000 in Vietnam and still live a primary way. We continue walking through Nam Sai Valley. After about 1 or 2 hours trek, we arrive Nam Sai village. We may have time for a short walk before checking into a local house for dinner & overnight.
DAY 6: BAN SAI -> SIN CHAI VILLAGE
After breakfast,we will leave Ban Sai at about 09.00 am. We will trek along a large & good path uphill to Nam Nhiu Village of the Red Zao. After having a short visit of this village, we continue hiking along a dirt path for 1,5 hour to Nam Than Village of the Red Zao and Black H’mong. This portion of the trek offers stunning view of Nam Sai and Nam Cang Valleys. Leaving Nam Than village, we continue trekking for an hour through wild land dotting with terraced fields, bamboo forest… Lunch will be provided en route. After lunch, we continue trekking for 2, 5 hours along the same trail passing through the land of Suoi Thau Commune to Sin Chai B Village of the Red Zao. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: SIN CHAI -> SAPA TOWN
After breakfast we will leave the Sin Chai B village 09.00am for continueing our hiking journey. We trek on along the lower part of Suoi Thau valley. After about two hours hiking, we will arrive the Nam Cum village of the Red Zao, hiding itself in an isolated valley. We will visit this village and then have lunch in the village. After lunch, we continue trekking along the same trail for 1 hour. The trail gets larger while we are arriving the large valley along Ngoi Bo River. We walk along this large path for one more hour until we arrive Thanh Phu Commune. We will visit a family of Tay before we walk downhill on a large rocky road to Thanh Phu Bridge. We will be picked up by our vehicle and transferred back to Sapa. Trip ends.
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.