Explore Vietnam’s most remote and rugged region with an unforgettable scenic road trip. Travel from Hanoi to Sapa, stopping in small towns stepped in history and surrounded by majestic mountains. The journey rewards with visits to colourful hilltribe villages and a chance to summit Vietnam’s highest peak.
Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
Train tickets Lao Cai – Hanoi in shared cabin
Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
English speaking guide (for other languages supplements apply)
Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
Entrance fees for mentioned visits
What’s Not Included
Other meals than mentioned
Other services than mentioned
International and Domestic Flights
Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
Begin this 6-day tour in northwest Vietnam with a 07:00 departure from Hanoi for Son La. The road departing Hanoi through the Red River Delta region is fairly flat, however this soon gives way to limestone Karst Mountains. Arrive in Son La in the late afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day free at leisure.
Overnight in Son La.
DAY 2 – SON LA – MUONG PHANG – DIEN BIEN PHU
The day begins with an 08:00 departure for Dien Bien Phu. En route, pay a visit to the Son La prison, which was built by the French in 1908 in order to jail anti-colonialist Vietnamese. Destroyed by American planes during the Vietnam War, the prison has since been restored.
After the visit, transfer toward Muong Phang located 35 km outside the city of Dien Bien Phu where a local lunch will be waiting. After lunch, pay a visit to the headquarters of General Giap, used during the battle of Dien Bien Phu. The site is located inside a dense jungle lined with tunnels built to protect from French bombings.
After the visit, transfer to Dien Bien Phu City. En route, stop in an ethnic Thai village surrounded by picturesque rice fields.
Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
DAY 3 – DIEN BIEN PHU – MUONG LAY
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the museum of Dien Bien Phu and continue onwards to ‘A1 Hill’, a site which saw some of the fiercest fighting between French and Vietnamese forces during the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1946. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant here.
After lunch, depart to Muong Lay. Boasting some of the most remote communities in Vietnam and skirting neighboring Lao’s Xa Ly Province, Muong Lay is a stunning area and home to some of the country’s most colorful hill tribes. En route, stop to admire the stunning scenery that lines the way.
Overnight in Muong Lay.
DAY 4 – MUONG LAY – TAM DUONG – SAPA
Depart around 08:00 for Sapa. This is perhaps the trip’s best drive as the scenery is magnificent; the fertile valleys surrounded by huge mountains are a sight to behold. Arrival in Sapa in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Sapa.
DAY 5 – SAPA
After breakfast, depart with the guide on an ‘off the beaten track’ trek to discover lesser-known areas outside of Sapa town. Leave Sapa for the 30-minute winding road transfer to Ban Khoang Valley. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Hoag Lien Mountain Range along the way, also known as The Tonkinese Alps.
The trip’s first stop is at Lu Khau Village in Ban Khoang Valley, home to Blue Hmong and Red Zao communities. Explore the village on foot, meet the friendly local people and learn about their colorful culture and lifestyle in the countryside.
Depart from Ban Khoang Valley and continue 8km by road to Ta Giang Phinh Valley and enjoy a local lunch there.
This afternoon, take a leisurely walk through the charming Ta Giang Phinh Valley. Walk on the village path which winds down the impressive valley, home to Blue Hmong ethnic minority people. Visit some local houses to see handicrafts workshops and observe villagers working in the fields tending to their crops with buffalos.
Please Note: Appropriate footwear must be worn on treks in Sapa. Also note that if conditions are wet, programs may be changed.
Mid-late afternoon transfer back to Sapa town and the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.
Overnight in Sapa.
DAY 6 – HANOI
This morning is at leisure to relax or explore Sapa town and its surroundings independently. Wander the town’s markets or enjoy a spectacular cable car ride to the summit of Mt Fansipan – the highest mountain in Indochina (surcharge is payable). If the weather is clear the panoramic views are amazing.
Return to the hotel for a checkout by 12:00. In the afternoon, begin the 5 hour-drive back to Hanoi.
Note: The itinerary is subject to change based on the weather and road conditions, especially during monsoon season (July – September)