Sapa Private Tour is a guided trek that Hiking Vietnam customizes for small group tours, foreign tourists, trekkers and those who would like to discover in depth Sapa and its surroundings. Taking this 4 day hike, you enjoy the spectacular landscapes of the Hoang Lien mountain range and Hoang Lien national park. Experience the unique culture, custom and way of living of the H’mong, Zao, Tay ethnics. There are three nights to spend at local home (homestay) in remote villages of the Zao and Tay ethnic.
Day 1: Trekking Sapa – Ta Trung Ho Village.
09.00 am you will be met up with Hiking Vietnam local team at your hotel in Sapa. Enjoy an hour road ride from Sapa town to the Seo Mi Ty Village. Some stops will be made en route for you to enjoy the stunning scenery of Hoang Lien mountain range and Muong Hoa Valley. Upon your arrival in Seo Mi Ty Valley, begin your trek with an easy walk. Then the trek becomes hard as you trek along a tougher trail winding downhill through thick rain forest. You arrive in Den Thang village, located in a remote valley. Explore this village and then lunch break. After lunch, you continue your trek leaving this isolated hamlet. The hiking trail continues along a narrow stream that goes up and downhill. You trek through the wildest land of Sapa and arrive in a Red Dzao village after about 4 hour trek. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Trekking Ta Trung Ho – Ban Sai Village.
After breakfast, provided in the homestay, you will leave Ta Trung Ho village at 08.30 am. You will trek on a narrow dirt trail sneaking on steep hill sides through narrow & sharp canyon. Your trek goes from the height of 950 m up to nearly 1,500m. Lunch will be provided when you reach the top of the mountain in the forest. After lunch, you continue your trek following the same trail and going downhill through the forest. Upon your arrival in the Nam Ngan Village, inhabited by the Red Zao, walk around to explore this quiet and charming village. Then follow a larger dirt path trekking downhill to Nam Sang Village of the Xa Pho peoples. Visiting local homes will help to know their unique way of living. 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. Walk through Nam Sai Valley for 1.2 hour, and walk around this prosperous village of the Tay before checking into a local house for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Trekking Ban Sai – Sin Chai Village.
After breakfast, you will leave Ban Sai village at about 09.00 am. Trek along a large & good path going uphill to Nam Nhiu Village of the Red Zao. You then 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 as well as chances to understand life of tribal peoples in remote land. Leaving Nam Than village, you trek for an hour through wild land dotting with terraced fields, bamboo forest…before having a short break for lunch. After lunch, continue trekking for 2, 5 hours in the afternoon. You trek along the same trail going through the land of Suoi Thau to Sin Chai B Village of the Red Zao. Check in home-stay, having a short rest and enjoy an easy walk to explore this charming and quiet village.
Day 4: Sin Chai – Lao Cai – Hanoi.
After breakfast, you leave the Sin Chai B village at about 08.30. You trek along a narrow dirt trail to the bottom of the valley. Then the trek goes uphill for nearly 2 hours. You trek through Nam Lang A village to Nam Lang B villages where both are inhabited by the Red Zao people. Visiting local village homes will help to know more fact about the life and the way of living of the Red Zao. Lunch will be provided in the Nam Lang B village. After lunch, you continue your trek following a large and rocky road. You trek for about a half hour to the top of the mountain range, then the trek gradually goes downhill. Another stop will be made in Nam Ket Village where you can visit some house of the Red Zao and the Tay. Continue trekking along the same trail downhill for nearly 2 hours to Ta Thang Village. This trek offers wide view of the Red River Valley which runs through the Bao Yen District. You will be picked up at Ta Thang village and transferred to Lao Cai where you will take the overnight train for traveling back to Hanoi. Trip ends.
Hiking Vietnam specializes in trekking and private guided tours in Vietnam. We offer the widest selection of day walks, jungle trekking, mountain hiking, trekking home-stay, camping and wild life discovery in the northern Vietnam. The itinerary above, Sapa Private Tour in 4 Days is only a sample that can be further customized to better fit your personal requirements. Just follow this trip or contact us to design your own itinerary.
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.