The highest mountain range of Vietnam, Hoang Lien Son divides the Northwest Vietnam into two very different climate region which leads to a big different in plantation and landscapes. During three days of this trip you will explore both the two sides of this mountain range for its beauty of nature as well as observing daily life of different ethnic minority people for your discovery of their interesting culture and way of life.
Night 1: Take overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai
Please, be ready at your hotel lobby at 20:00 for a short transfer to Hanoi railways station. Tonight you will travel to Lao Cai on sleeping train in the most comfortable 4 berth cabin of Victoria compartment or in 2 berth deluxe cabin of other train carriage.
Day 1: Lao Cai - Visit Ta Phin Valley - Walking Sapa Town
Upon early arrival to Lao Cai station, you will meet your guide and drive, taking a shower and enjoy Breakfast in a restaurant near the station. After over an hour driving uphill with several photo stops you will get to the center of a large and oval shape valley of Ta Phin, locating in a perfect surrounding nature of the high mountains, green pine tree plantations and impressive terraced rice paddies built on hill slopes. You will enjoy an easy walk around the valley for and ours through rice paddies and small hamlets scattering around, paying visit to local homes as well as meeting them busy with their daily work and activities. Arriving in Sapa town after 20 minutes drive, check in the Victoria Hotel and time at your leisure for relax and Lunch.
In mid afternoon, you Sapa guide will come to meet you again for a leisure walk around this charming town. Visiting Sapa market, you will see a lot of local farming products and spices for sale and meet many H’mong and Dao people in their colorful traditional dresses who come from nearby villages every day to the market selling their gatherings and hand made handicrafts… Continue walking uphill to Ham Rong mountain to visit a pretty orchid garden and then onto the top for breathtaking scenery of the town. The rest hour of the afternoon is at your leisure.
• Breakfast included, Lunch & Dinner on your own
• Accommodation: Victoria Hotel in Sapa
Leaving the Victoria after Breakfast for a drive uphill the mountain pass, magnificent landscapes of the high mountains one sitting on others and covered by thick forest of Hoang Lien Son nature reserve stretches along the other side of a lush valley. After a short stop at the Silver Waterfall, 12km from Sapa, you will continue driving uphill to the top of the pass. At over 1,940m above sea level, this is the highest road point in Vietnam and from here spectacular scenery of the west side opens wide in your sight. After along break for enjoying the immense of nature and landscapes, you will get down hill while the scenery changes after every bend. Getting to the foot of the mountain, you will pay visiting to Chu Va, a Red H’mong village and then continue to Binh Lu, a small town at the center of the valley where you will spend about half an hour a the market where local ethnic people such as Red H’mong, Black Dao, Lu often come to sell their farming products and other gatherings such as firewood, bamboo shoot, mushroom…
After Lunch in a local restaurant, we shall leave the main road for driving through lush farm land of the Binh Lu valley, paying visit to Pa Pen village of the Lu and Na Hum village of the Thai. People from these two ethnic groups live in large villages including hundreds of houses built on stilts and maintain their strong traditional way of living. Especially the Lu people still dye their teeth black. Taking the same way back in the afternoon, you may wish to have several photo stops along the way and arriving back to Sapa before it gets dark.
• Breakfast and Lunch included,Dinner on your own
• Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa
Day 3: Visit tribal villages in Muong Hoa Valley - Overnight train to Hanoi
Muong Hoa is a long valley lying between the Den Thang and Hoang Lien ranges of mountain on the south of Sapa town which is famous for its stunning landscapes and is home to the majority population of Sapa’s ethnic minority people including the Black H’mong, Giay, Red Dao. Leaving the Victoria after Breakfast, the road ride will take you southwards of Sapa along the only narrow road to Muong Hoa valley. Spectacular scenery of the highest part of Hoang Lien Range including Fansipan peak can be seen in the first 7km of the road trip with many photo stops. Then the valley suddenly opens wide as you reach to Lao Chai. From high elevation of the road you can see the whole valley, the Muong Hoa River winds its way through the valley bottom and small villages and hamlets of the H’mong and Giay people scattering on the other side of the river, even very high on hills slopes. Leaving the main road, you will take a walk following the foot path downhill and then crossing the river to the other side to pay visiting to Lao Chai village of the H’mong and Ta Van of the Giay during which you will drop in several local homes for experiencing their hospitability as well as observing the traditional living way. After Lunch at a beautiful village lodge, you will walk down to the river, swimming if you like and then take the road ride few kilometers further for the scenery of the waterfall before driving back to Sapa in the middle afternoon. Taking a shower and then transfer downhill to Lao Cai for taking the overnight train to Hanoi which arrives early next morning to end the trip.
• Breakfast and Lunch included, Dinner on your own
• Overnight train in Victoria carriage or in 2 berth deluxe cabin of other train carriage.
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