Trek in Sapa, Vietnam (4 days)

This 4-day trek in northern Vietnam is a great add-on to a deeper exploration of Vietnam. Escape into this former French hill station to trek through the beautiful, expansive rice terraces, interacting with the locals in the villages along the way.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

Details for Today

Transfer on overnight train to Sapa in north of Vietnam

Accommodation: Victoria Express Train

Transfer with a guide to Hanoi railway station where you will board the train for a 10 hour overnight ride to Lao Cai province.

Sapa is a frontier town in northwest Vietnam, 350km northwest of Hanoi, close to the border with China. The Hoang Lien Son mountain range dominates the landscape, which is actually the far eastern edge of the Himalayas. Sapa is famed for its terraced fields, diverse mix of hill tribes and magnificent landscape. With an annual average temperature of just over 15°C, Sapa is a remarkably cool place so it is advised to bring warm clothes as nights can be chilly in this part of Vietnam. The area is also home to a large number of ethnic hill tribes.

Spend the night on board where you may purchase food and other essentials although it may be advised to bring your own.

Day 2

Details for Today

Sapa:

  • Visit Coc Ly Market where locals from surrounding villages buy and sell their products
  • Take a local boat down Chay River for the sights of beautiful caves and local life on the riverbanks
  • Short trek to local village
  • Enjoy a fun water buffalo cart ride through the village

Accommodation: Victoria Sapa Hotel

Meals: B, L

When you arrive early in the morning at Lao Cai station, near the Chinese border, refresh with a simple breakfast at the local Thien Hai hotel before a 2 hour drive up and down hill over slightly bumpy roads to the small Coc Ly Market, situated alongside Chay River. Every Tuesday morning, locals from the surrounding ethnic villages such as Flower H’mong, Phu La and Black Dao, resplendent in their distinctive costume, gather here to buy and sell their products, whether it is a buffalo or a bunch of chillies.

Afterwards, take a simple local boat down Chay River for the sights of beautiful caves and local life on the riverbanks before having a packed lunch on board.

Take a short trek to Na Nen Village where Flower H’mong lives and enjoy a fun water buffalo cart ride through the village.

Return to Sapa by road which is a three hour drive and relax in this former French hill station.

Day 3

Details for Today

Sapa:

  • Visit the largest terraced rice fields in Vietnam
  • Trek through farmlands and rolling hills to various villages, interacting with locals along the way

Transfer to Hanoi on the overnight train

Accommodation: Victoria Express Train

Meals: B, L

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive 30 minutes south of Sapa town into the Muong Hoa valley, home to the largest terraced rice fields in Vietnam. If your visit is between May and October, it will coincide with the planting and harvesting time, and provides a chance to see the local farmers in action.

The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of the Black Hmong minority to Ta Van village of the Giay minority. The magnificent views of the terraced fields, Fansipan mountain range and the cool climate all contribute to an excellent experience. Enjoy boxed lunch on the way.

Continue to trek through farmlands and rolling hills to Giang Ta Chai village to visit Red Dao people. Then trek back to the road where your driver will take you to Lao Cai with optional visits to the Tran Hung Dao temple, the century-old banyan tree, and the Chinese-Vietnamese border.

Transfer to the local Thien Hai hotel to freshen up before taking an overnight train back to Hanoi. Spend the night on board where you may purchase food and other essentials although it may be advised to bring your own.

Day 4

Details for Today

Arrive back in Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning.

Accommodation

Victoria Express Train

With its elegant carriages, the Victoria Express Train recalls a more romantic era. Passing through the exotic landscapes of North Vietnam, it offers every visitor a wonderful travelling experience.

The train departs six times a week, linking Hanoi to Lao Cai. The Victoria Express Train is a 8.5 hour trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai, accommodating up to 52 passengers in two luxurious sleeping carriages. All sleeping carriages are air-conditioned, wood paneled, with individual reading lights, baggage storage and oversized windows.


Victoria Sapa Hotel

Nested amongst the slopes of North Vietnam’s mountainous region is Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa, built in the style of a traditional chalet in perfect harmony with the natural scenery. This stone & wood construction blends seamlessly with surrounding environment, overlooking Indochina’s highest peak, Mount Fanxipan.

The Victoria Sapa has the atmosphere of an Alpine lodge, with many European touches but the soul of the property is clearly Asian.

Trek in Sapa, Vietnam (4 days)