Lai Chau is a province in the northwest of Vietnam sharing borderline with Yun Nan province of China, Son La province, Dien Bien province to the west and south, and Lao Cai province to the east. The province is situated at the altitude of 1,500m above sea level, comprising high mountains, pure streams and rivers.
Lai Chau map
The natural landscape is the accommodation of more than 20 ethnic minorities. Lots of ethnic people still keep their unique original tradition and custom, making the local culture diversified and worth a study.
Trekking is the best outdoor activity for you to explore the beautiful landscape, and to experience the authentic local traditions of several ethnic groups. The place offers you the chance to assist to different hill tribe local markets, which take place in Thursday and/or Sunday morning. People from many tribes get together here in colorful clothes early in the morning. Seen from above, the market looks like a flower with thousands of colors.
Booking a guided tour is highly recommended since the area is remote where the accommodation is simple, basic. Local people do not speak English. For safety an authorization should be approved before you can visit/hike in the area.
Where to hike
We at Hiking Vietnam run a couple of off the beaten path trekking and hiking tours in Lai Chau. Options include day hikes, short treks are arranged around Tam Duong, Phong Tho. Longer trekking homestay tours start from Chan Nua, and finish in Sin Ho.
When to take a hike
The best time to do a trek to Lai Chau is the dry season (winter) starting from late September until early May of the following year. During this time, the weather is cool with little rain. Although it becomes toughly cold when there is the monsoon coming from China, the rain does not last for several days. December and January are usually the two coldest months of the year. Try not trekking through the TET Festival since most of sites are closed.
If the summer is the only time you can come (June, July, August) we highly you taking some day hikes we arrange around Tam Duong. Sample itineraries can be found below. The best solution is taking an overland tour, making stops en route for visiting local hill tribe villages, ethnic highland markets.
Lai Chau trekking tours
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