Best north west highlands Vietnam family trek

Start this 7 day Best north west highlands Vietnam family trek by taking the overnight train/bus from Hanoi. Arrive Lao Cai, Sapa next morning, have a day hike in Sapa. Then travel north west Vietnam to Mu Cang Chai, Tu Le, Nghia Lo offering about 2-3h easy hike each day.

Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary

Start this 7 day Best north west highlands Vietnam family trek by taking the overnight train/bus from Hanoi. Arrive Lao Cai, Sapa next morning, have a day hike in Sapa. Then travel north west Vietnam to Mu Cang Chai, Tu Le, Nghia Lo offering about 2-3h easy hike each day.

North west highlands Vietnam map

North west highlands Vietnam itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi – Laocai.

Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi and transfer to Hanoi railway station. Train leaves Hanoi for Laocai at 9.30 pm. O/N on board.

Day 2: Arrive Laocai. travel to Sapa. Sapa Trekking Tour one day.

Arrive Laocai early this morning. You will be greeted by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to Sapa.

After breakfast and a short rest, head northeast of the town. We will walk for 15 minutes through the newly developed area of the town. Then we follow a narrow dirt trail going downhill through the Suoi Ho Valley. We keep trekking along the stream to Ma Cha Village of the Black H’mong. Spend half an hour visiting local homes of the Black H’mong, then continue walking up and down hills through the Ma Cha Valley. We arrive Lu Khau after two hours. This is another hamlet of the H’mong. Walk inside the hamlet then have lunch.

After lunch, we continue walking for about 2,5 hours around the Ta Phin Valley, spending lot of time on talking with the Red Zao peoples. They live in large village and are very good at handicraft: Silver work for men and embroidery for women.

We will be picked up again by our vehicle and transferred back to Sapa. Arriving in Sapa around late afternoon, you will be dropped off at your hotel in Sapa.

Day 3: Drive Sapa – Than Uyen – Mu Cang Chai. Trekking/visit hill tribe villages.

Depart for Than Uyen. You will travel through Tram Ton Pass where you can enjoy freshest and cool air and nice landscapes. Taking tours to visit villages of Muong Khoa, Muong Kim and Na Kim where you can see very colorful minority groups . O/N in guesthouse in Mu Cang Chai.

Day 4: Mu Cang Chai – Hua Khat

Start from Mu Cang Chai to Puong Luong by car (25 km). Trekking more 14 km to Nam Khat village of H’mong people. Continue trekking to Hua Khat and homestay in Hua Khat.

Day 5: Hua Khat – Tu Le

Taking a walk 5 km to the main road where car is waiting for you, crossing Cao Pha Pass on the bumpy road and visiting bee-growing farm and some minority groups on the way until you get to Tu Le. Homestay in Ma village of Thai people.

Day 6: Tu Le – Muong Lo – Yen Bai

This is quite unspoiled tourist destination where you can enjoy the most beautiful landscapes. Visiting Dzao and Thai minorities on the way. O/n in hotel in Yen Bai city.

Day 7: Yen Bai to Hanoi

In the morning, take day train to Hanoi. Train arrives in Hanoi at 12.30. End of service.

Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips and the above itinerary is only one suggestion. That can be flexible and subject to weather conditions and other circumstances. Customize this trip to better fit your needs or contact us for more north west Vietnam tours, north west Vietnam loop, north west highlands Vietnam, north west of Vietnam. Thank you for visiting my site and see you soon!

Trip Summary Information

Depart from

Hanoi

End at

Hanoi

Difficulty

Easy

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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