4 days in Sapa trekking tour has been just launched by the Hanoi tour operator Lotussia Travel taking you to the most remote villages of the well know travel destination Sapa! The best time to do a trek in Sapa is from September to April. Try to avoid January since it is cold and foggy. It is hot, sunny in summer time starting from May till September. This Sapa trek 4 days is a guided tour, provided on private basis. You travel/trek at your own pace, with your own guide. We have support motorbike for your luggage and local porter for food and water. The tour departure is flexible and the cost is up to your group size. Please contact us for more information about rate and availability.
NIGHT 1: HANOI -> LAO CAI
Car transfer from your hotel to Hanoi train station (this service is optional and can be arranged with extra cost). Take the overnight train to Laocai. Overnight on board train.
DAY 1: LAO CAI -> SAPA
Upon your arrival in Lao Cai train station early this morning, at about 5.00, you will be picked up by our local team and transferred to Sapa. The drive takes about 1 hour. You are dropped off in either a local restaurant for breakfast (optional) or at your hotel for a quick rest. After breakfast, you will first travel by car uphill to a Tay village, where you start trekking through a nice bamboo forest by following a small trail. During your trek, you will have many opportunities to enjoy spectacular view over rice paddy terraces and cornfields.
You will take a stop for lunch at a friendly Red Dzao family. After lunch, the trek will continue by going uphill toward Suoi Thau, your guide will tell you about daily life and tradition of different minorities in this area. After a nice ascending along the river and the beautiful mountain, you will reach the home stay, it will be able to take a walk around the village while your guide prepares dinner. It’s a nice experience to share the warmly dinner and stay overnight in typical Red Dao house.
DAY 2: SAPA TREKKING
After breakfast your remote trek will start around 9h00 am, of course this can be earlier since this is a private trip. Today you have the chance to discover the diversity of the tropical nature and to enjoy the beautiful mountain views all along the way. Meeting the Hmong and Dao peoples, the perfect opportunity to experience their daily lives through their various plantations.
Arrival at the small village of the H’mong in the afternoon. If the weather allows, you could enjoy a nice swim in the river. You will spend another night and share the cosy dinner with the H’mong peoples.
DAY 3: SAPA TREKKING
After breakfast, you will hike in the middle of the rice terraces, trekking towards the village of the Tay. Crossing the river will be a little fun challenge for you all. You will continue to walk all through the bamboos forest and the rice terraces in order to discover an other hill tribe with other colors and dialect, Ha Nhi tribe, the Ha Nhi people have always been known to be diligent, apart from growing wet rice on terraced fields for self-sufficiency they also grow cotton and weave fabric to make the typical costume of their ethnic group.
Arrival in their village around mid/late afternoon, if weather permit, you could take your free time to enjoy a swim in the river nearby. Dinner and stay overnight in Ha Nhi traditional house.
DAY 4: SAPA -> LAO CAI -> HANOI
Your day starts with an easy walk in the morning through the very authentic villages, all far from mess tourism which is ideal to admire the magnificent scenery and daily activities of the villagers.
If it is on Sunday you can attend the market which is held in the area. This is a colorful market situated in a small village in the mountain. You will see several different minority groups here but mainly the Flower H’mong people. The local people come here not only to buy and sell clothes, vegetables, meat and cattle but eat and drink wine together as well.
Return to Sa pa by car in the afternoon. Have shower then free time for relaxing before taking the transfer back to Lao cai for the night train to Hanoi.
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.