Vietnam

5-Day Sapa – Topas Riverside Lodge

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Tour type

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Superior

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • Visiting villages off-the-beaten-trail
  • Hiking to the nearby hidden valley to explore the daily life of ethnic minority people
  • Visiting the laid back Topas Ecolodge with a stunning view over Sapa Valley
  • Feasting your eyes on the most colourful and diverse costumes of all Vietnam's ethnic groups

tour details

This journey combines the best of a remote and off-the-beaten-track area of Sapa. The highlights include accommodation at the unique Topas Riverside Lodge (formerly Nam Cang Riverside Lodge), remote walks along beautiful terraced rice fields with a spectacular view of Hoang Lien Son, a stretch of Himalaya mountain range, visit the ethnic minority villages and explore Sapa town, the old French Hill Station.

Why choose this tour?

See the best of a remote and off-the-beaten-track area of Sapa with visits to ethnic minority villages and exploration of  Sapa town, the old French Hill Station. 

20:00 hours
Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi and transfer to Hanoi train station.

Overnight train trip to Lao Cai in shared sleeping compartments (sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment). The train departs at approximately 21:15 hours.

Notes:
• Our tour guide will not accompany during the train trip
• Train schedule is subject to change.
• Private compartments on request at surcharge.
• Train journeys are part of a great local experience. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless private cabin is requested and all berths paid for - with supplement). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience.
• Victoria Train is on request at a surcharge

Meal included:
None
05:30 hours
Arrive at Lao Cai railway station early morning. Meet your guide then take journey starts with a 38 km drive on winding roads up the mountains to Sapa, located About 1,500 m above sea level.

After breakfast at local restaurant, head off into the beautiful Hoang Lien National Park by car, along the road you will have chance to see the vast rice terraces and a hopefully the high tops of the mountain range. Soon your guide will introduce you to the biggest group of minorities in this area, the colourful Black H’mong people, famous for their indo coloured cloths and silver necklace. The walk is on a good path and will take few hours, plenty of time to learn about history and traditional customs.

You will then continue the transfer deeper into the valley and cross the beautiful Muong Bo River before reaching Thanh Phu village of Tay minority. Here you will see the big difference in culture as the group wears lighter colours of silk clothing. Your lunch will be served next to the rice fields in a local restaurant.

After lunch, the tour continues to the small village of My Son with an interesting afternoon walk. This remote tribe is the smallest minority group in Sapa area and home to Xa Pho people. In the afternoon, you will arrive in the remote and quiet Red Dao village of Nam Cang. Walking along the small roads “off the beaten trail”, you will see the peaceful life of local people. Finally, you will cross a private bridge and check into your private room at the comfortable Topas Riverside Lodge. You can now explore the village or relax in the river or at the riverside veranda (About: 3 hours of easy walking)

Meal included:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

07:30 hours
In the morning, take a walk to the nearby hidden valley just next to the forest where you can visit the cardamom fields and the farmers living remotely in the mountains. You will not help being inspired by the virginity of the nature here. If the weather and water level permits, try a swim in the river for a great experience.

Get more insight into the life and culture of the Red Dao ethnic minority people in Nam Cang and surrounding villages. The Red Dao women wear some of the most colourful and diverse costumes of all Vietnam’s ethnic groups. Herbal bath, local medicine and embroidery are some of the things that the Red Dao are very skilled at. Accompanied by your guide, you will explore and learn how the local villagers make writing paper, jewellery and embroidery.

Meal included:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
06:30 hours
You will wake up to the sounds of nature. The day starts with a nice breakfast served just few meters from the river. Today’s hiking will commence from Nam Cang village on quiet road for short walk before turn into the beautiful rice valley. The small trail leads you through rice terrace and stream where you can take some great picture of the beautiful landscape. At the harvest or growing season you will meet local working hard on their field, buffalos then be used for ploughing the field. The trail is soon getting steeper until Nam Nhiu village, inhabited by Red Dao ethnic. You will meet the local villagers and a chance to visit their house, experience the life as mostly rice farming. The Red Dao women are very skill at making beautiful embroidery and keep their culture of shaving hair and eyebrow. Leaving the village behind you will continue on a nice track in mountainside with beautiful rice valley below. Finally
you will meet the car on the road near Sin Chai village. The short transfer will bring you to Thanh Phu for lunch, prepared at a local family. After lunch is journey back to Sapa town.

17:00 hours
Transfer to Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi.

Overnight on train, departs at around 20:15 hours (shared sleeping compartments, sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment).

Notes:
• Our tour guide will not accompany during the train trip
• Train schedule is subject to change.
• Private compartments on request at surcharge.
• Train journeys are part of a great local experience. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless private cabin is requested and all berths paid for - with supplement). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience.
• Victoria Train is on request at surcharge

Optional: Extension one or more nights including breakfast and one dinner at Topas Ecolodge (Executive bungalow room). Using Topas Ecolodge’ shuttle bus to Sapa town next day.

Meal included:
Breakfast
Lunch

06:00 hours
Early morning arrival in Hanoi at approximately 06:00 hours. Transfer to your hotel (accommodation in Hanoi is not included) or to Hanoi / Noi Bai International Airport at a surcharge.

Meal included:
None

customise the tour

You can combine this with tours to Mai Chau Valley and Pu Luong Nature Reserve for more experience of the tribal life. We also have soft adventure modules in central and southern Vietnam for longer active holidays. Most of the tours can be customized to suit individual interests and schedules.

includes

  • 2-night accommodation in a shared twin room at Topas Riverside Lodge (formerly Nam Cang Riverside Lodge)
  • Drinking water and snacks during hiking time
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Transfers and tours with local English-speaking guides in air-conditioned vehicles as indicated
  • Return train ticket Hanoi – Lao Cai in shared 4-berth compartment with air-conditioning
  • All entrance fees, boat fees and permits as mentioned in the programme

excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to/from Vietnam (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for night-time services especially applied for transfers with arrivals after 23:00 hours and arrivals or departures before 06:00 hours.
  • Surcharges for Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • Visa application and visa stamp fees at Vietnamese embassies overseas and/ or upon arrival (Please note that a visa is compulsory for most nationalities.)
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
Tour code: WEBHANDHSN5

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