Region & Excursions in the Sapa area
Sapa was originally a hill station settled by the French in 1922. The town itself is nestled in a spectacular valley and there are wonderful and ever changing views in all directions.
The local Hmong and Dao people are in the majority here and their smiles are as bright as the colours and designs of their distinctive clothing. In all, there are more than 30 ethnic groups living in and around Sapa
is 1650 metres (5413 feet) above sea level and enjoys a cooler climate than most of Vietnam. It is only 9 km (5.6 miles) away from Mount Fansipan, Vietnam's highest point at 3143 metres (10311 feet).
A visit to Sapa
can be as relaxing or as energetic as you choose to make it. Whether your idea of pleasure is climbing to the peak of Fansipan or nestling in front of a roaring fire with a good book, you'll find that Sapa
offers the ideal spot to do either.
Silver Waterfall and Heaven's Gate
You will be taken by car to the Silver Waterfall; from there you can see the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the lush forests belonging to Hoang Lien National Park. Along the way, you can stop by a farm for a cup of tea while your guide explain about this special part of Sapa where many species are grown such as plum tree and squash. Then you will continue by car uphill to Heavens Gate, the highest stretch of road in Vietnam as well as the provincial border of Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces. Here you will have a fantastic opportunity to view the magnificent scenery.
Duration: 1.5-hour drive
Valley trekking to Lao Chai and Ta Van villages
You will commence your short journey by driving south toward Muong Hoa valley. You will then start your walk by descending into the valley, which is the largest terraced rice paddy in the Sapa area. The guide can provide you interesting information about rice. If you visit the valley sometime between May and October, you will be able to observe and experience how the local do planting and harvesting, one of the most important activities in the daily life. The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority to Ta Van village of Giay minority including a visit to the local Catholic Church.
Duration: 1-hour drive/2-hour walk
Red Dao village of Ta Phin
Your journey will be mostly driving downhill toward Lao Cai, before taking a left turn into a small paved road leading to Ta Phin village. Here you can experience the unmixed cultural life of Black Hmong and Red Dao minorities, the two largest ethnic groups in the area. They live happily together while maintaining their own traditions from generation to generation. You can differentiate the two groups by their traditional ways of dressing and the handicrafts they produce. The trip also offers you the opportunity to visit the local houses as well as visit the local caves.
Duration: 1.5-hour drive/1.5-hour walk
Valley trekking to Cat Cat and Y Linh Ho
You first sneak through the market and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, you will follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. You will stop by a waterfall before trekking along a dirt trail through terraced rice paddies. You will enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. The area is still covered by rain forest under the protection of Hoang Lien National Park. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest in a nice spot near the beautiful river before climbing toward a road, where you will return Sapa by car.
Duration: 15-minute drive/3-hour walk
Black Hmong village of Matra
This trip commences with a short walk through the town of Sapa and along a dirt trail through beautiful gardens and lush pine forests. You will then pass through the Black Hmong ethnic minority village of Matra, a very small village hidden away from civilisation. You will then continue your walk through rice paddy fields and spectacular scenery. During the day you will also be able to visit a local school. From the school, you head to the church of Ta Phin, where your car will take you back to Sapa.
Duration: 50-minute drive/2.5-hour walk
Discovery of Black Hmong, Giay and Red Dao minorities
You will commence your journey from Sapa by car to Lao Chai village, a Black Hmong ethnic minority village. You will then be able to walk from Lao Chai to Tavan village where the Giay ethnic minority hill tribe lives. Here you will be able to rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your guide in a local house. After lunch the walk continues through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. After taking a rest nearby a waterfall to refresh, you start climbing uphill to a road where the car is ready for your journey back to Sapa.
Duration: 1-hour drive/4-hour walk/1-hour lunch
Through small Hmong villages to Matra - Taphin
The walk commence from Sapa on a trail running through the beautiful gardens and lush pine forests. You will then pass through the Black Hmong ethnic minority village of Matra, a very small village hiding way from the civilisation. The walk continues through rice paddy fields and spectacular scenery. During the day you will also be able to visit a local school. You will enjoy a lunch before arriving at Taphin village. Here you can hear about the unmixed cultural life of Black Hmong and Red Dao minorities, the 2 largest ethnic groups in the area. You can differentiate the two groups by their traditional ways of dressing and the handicrafts they produce. You will enjoy walking among local people. The trip also offers you the opportunity to visit the local houses as well as visit the local caves.
Duration: 30-minute drive/4-hour walk/1-hour lunch
Easy day to Binh Lu
You first travel by car uphill toward Heaven's Gate, where you will be amazed by breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains including Mount Fansipan, the highest peak of Indochina. Your ride will be mostly downhill toward Binh Lu. You will stop by Chu Va village of Flower Hmong for a break before you arrive in Binh Lu. Here you will have lunch in a local restaurant.
After lunch, you will drive along a dirt road to the villages, which are set in a beautiful valley of terraced rice paddies surrounded by mountains. You will have time to stop by Pa Pen village of Lu minority. Here you can take a walk around the village as well as visit a local school.
Duration: 2.5-hour drive/1-hour walk/1-hour lunch
Trekking around Ban Ho and Nam Toong
You will travel by car to Su Pan from where you will commence your walk downhill through the breathtaking scenery. On the way you will pass through the Ban Ho village where you will be able to witness the stunning views of the valley and rice paddy terraces. You will have the opportunity to explore the Ban Ho village of Tay minority before crossing the suspension bridge over the river, where your guide will prepare a delicious lunch in a local house. The walk then continues through the rice fields to the Red Dao village of Nam Toong, where you will enjoy a cup of tea before heading back to Ban Ho and take a nice swim in the river nearby. Finally, you will then take the walk uphill to Su Pan.
Duration: 1.5-hour drive/4-hour walk/1-hour lunch
Cat Cat, Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai and Tavan villages
You first sneak through the Sapa market and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, you will follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. You will stop by a waterfall before trekking along a dirt trail through terraced rice paddies. You also will enjoy a spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest while you are served lunch nearby the river.
After lunch, you will head toward Muong Hoa valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route.
Duration: 30-minute drive/5-hour walk/1 hour lunch
On the foot of Hoang Lien National Park from Sin Chai to Y Linh Ho
You will travel by car mostly downhill toward Sin Chai village of Black Hmong minority, which is located right at the foot of Hoang Lien mountains. Here you start heading up to the top of the mountain. Once you get there, you will trek on a small trail with spectacular views and then gradually descend to Cat Cat village, where you will have lunch nearby a waterfall.
In the afternoon, you take a trail sneaking through mountains. You also will enjoy spectacular sceneries while walking along a narrow river. Eventually you will arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest in a nice spot nearby the beautiful river before climbing toward a road, where you return to Sapa by car.
Duration: 45-minute drive/5-hour walk/1 hour lunch
From Heaven's Gate to Sapa valley
You travel by car toward the Silver Waterfall where you will be able to take a short walk to the waterfall. You will then drive further to Heaven's Gate, the highest stretch of roads in Vietnam. From there you can see Fansipan, the highest peak of Indochina as well as enjoy stunning views. The walk commence at a point nearby the waterfall, by a descent on a trail through bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park. Your lunch will be served at a nice spot nearby a river.
After lunch, you continue the trek to Sin Chai village, where Community Based Tourism in Sapa takes place. You will have the opportunity to visit the village, inhabited by the Black Hmong minority, one of the largest ethnic minorities in Sapa area.
Duration: 40-minute drive/4-hour walk/1 hour lunch
Bac Ha Market (on Sundays only - full day)
Bac Ha is the largest and most colourful market
in the area. Every Sunday morning, many different ethnic groups such as Flower Hmong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities gather to buy and sell local products that cannot be found elsewhere. After lunch, you will walk to the Tay minority village of Trung Do where you will get onboard a traditional boat and cruise along the Chay River.
Duration: 5-hour drive/2-hour walk/1.5-hour boat cruise/1-hour lunch
Muong Hum Market (on Sundays only - full day)
This hidden Sunday market close to the Chinese border will allow you to meet a large variety of ethnic minorities such as Ha Nhi, Phu La, Tu Di, Black Dao, Giay, Red and Black Hmong. The ethnic groups gather once a week to trade local products such as food, agricultural equipments and fabrics. After lunch, you will be able to visit Muong Vi caves, which can be sometimes submerged, depending on the weather. Stretching along a thousand meters, the caves are carved with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.
Duration: 5-hour drive/30-minute walk/1-hour lunch
Can Cau Market (on Saturdays only- full day)
Situated in the mountains near the Chinese border, 20 km (12 miles) from Bac Ha, Can Cau is a small, but very colourful market. Taking place only on Saturdays, it always delivers a very photogenic display of Flower Hmong, Nung, Phu La ethnic costumes. Chinese people also come for trading. After spending the whole morning exploring the market, you will leave the market for Bac Ha town, where you will have lunch in a local restaurant.
After lunch, you drive downhill for about half an hour. You will then start a short walk to Trung Do village, which belongs to the Tay minority. Here you can visit a traditional Tay house, before getting on a boat. You will have a cruise upstream the Chay River to experience the picturesque sceneries on the river banks. You will then cruise downstream to the Bao Nhai Bridge.
Duration: 6-hour drive/1.5-hour boat cruise/30-minute walk/1-hour lunch
Muong Khuong Market (on Sundays only - full day)
You will travel by car to Muong Khuong, which is 50 km Northeast of Lao Cai. You will enjoy a beautiful scenery along the ride until you arrive at destination. The market is located inside a small border town, which is frequented by Flower Hmong, Tu Di, Tay and Giay ethnic minorities. They come to trade local products such as food, agricultural equipments and fabrics. After spending the whole morning exploring the market, you will have lunch in a local restaurant.You will then visit a village of Tay people, where you have opportunity to explore their daily life. You can make a stop nearby a waterfall before you get on the car for the journey back.
Duration: 5-hour drive/45-minute walk/1-hour lunch
Xin Cheng Market (on Wednesday only - full day)
On every Wednesdays, Xin Cheng Market offers the opportunity to discover a colorful gathering point of many local minorities such as the Flower H'Mong, Tay or Giay. On the way to the market along the Chinese border, you will enjoy amazing mountain scenery, charming rivers and terraced rice fields. People from the area meet at the market to exchange tobacco, clothes, fruits, horses, buffaloes and many other local products. Xin Cheng is also a social gathering point for the villagers to meet and exchange the latest news. On the way back to Sapa, you will pass by the H'mong King Palace which was built in the early 20th century during the French colonial era. This tour departs early in the morning from Sapa or Lao Cai and finish around 4pm.
For excursion prices and booking, please contact us.