Day 1: Hanoi arrival (D, GP). Upon arrival at the Airport, you'll be met and taken to your hotel where you’ll have time to relax after your journey. Later, you’ll be picked up for a ‘Welcome’ dinner at a good restaurant hosted in a French colonial building. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Viet Nam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture). Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi/Lao Cai (B, L, G). You’ll spend this day getting familiar with Vietnam on a city tour, possibly including the Temple of Literature (the first university in Viet Nam dating back to the 11th C), the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Ethnology Museum and the bustling Old Quarter with its eclectic mix of architecture - traditional tube houses, religious buildings, vernacular artisans cottages, colonial houses and modern concrete edifices. In the evening, your car will arrive to take you to Hanoi railway station in time to board the 10 p.m. overnight sleeper to Lao Cai. We’ll arrange your programme to avoid the busy times at popular destinations, but if there’s anything you particularly want to see, let us know.
Day 3: Lao Cai/Bac Ha ethnic market (B, L, G). Your vehicle will be waiting at Lao Cai station in the early morning to take you to a remote ethnic market, followed by a visit to the Lung Phin ethnic village. Your overnight stay will be in Bac Ha. The authentic markets in the area are nearly all weekly - the one referred to above takes place on a Saturday. If the itinerary cannot be adjusted to fit your requirements, we will suggest alternatives
Day 4: Bac Ha/Sapa (B, L, G). After breakfast, a morning visit to another colourful market. After lunch, you’ll return to Lao Cai and continue your journey into the mountains to Sapa, a small town perched on the mountainside opposite Mt. Fan Si Pan, Vietnam’s highest peak. You’ll arrive in Sapa in the late afternoon, with time to relax before dinner. Your overnight stay will be in Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa (B, L, G). An easy walk to visit a H’mong ethnic village in a scenic valley followed by a streamside picnic lunch. Your afternoon will be free to allow you to prepare for the mountain climb starting on the following day. Your overnight stay will be in Sapa.
Day 6: Sapa/Fan Si Pan (B, L, D, G). Our team will first trek along the bottom of the Valley heading for the Black H’mong village of Sin Chai. Soon after, the ascent begins with about a three-hour hike up the foothills before our cook serves a well prepared lunch in the forest. Afterwards, we continue to climb. Around 4.30 pm we should arrive at our base campsite at approximately 2,500m above sea level. The tents will already have been pitched for you and the cook will be busy preparing dinner. You should have time to relish the fresh air and the sounds of nature before darkness falls and you eat your meal under a blanket of stars.
Day 7: Fan Si Pan (B, L, D, G). After an early breakfast, we leave our base camp around 7.00 am and continue climbing. Hopefully, around noon we can put our hands on the summit marker and quietly enjoy the spectacular view towards Laos and China while eating lunch and resting our feet! The duration of our stay at the summit depends on the weather conditions - normally it takes around four hours to return to our base camp, where a small feast will be laid out to celebrate the climb and simply enjoy life!
Day 8: Fan Si Pan/Sapa (B, L, G). Your body will probably be complaining after your exertions, but a refreshing cup of coffee and some breakfast should give you enough energy for the descent. After the camp has been broken and packed, we start walking around 9.00 am. After lunch in the forest, we should reach Sapa in the early afternoon with plenty of time for refreshment and dinner. Overnight stay in Sapa.
Day 9: Sapa/Lao Cai (B, G). A free day in Sapa until the early evening when you’ll be driven back to Lao Cai station for the overnight train to Hanoi.
Day 10: Hanoi (B, DP). You’ll arrive in Hanoi in the early morning. A car will be waiting to take you to your hotel to check in for refreshment and relaxation until you’re picked up for your departure flight.
Note: In view of the prevailing weather conditions, this adventure tour should only be undertaken from October to mid-December and from March to April. Please note that the climb up Fan Si Pan is long, strenuous and requires fitness and good health. Anyone in doubt should consult his or her doctor about the advisability of this challenge. No specialist skills or technical equipment are needed – just plenty of stamina and a good head for heights. All camping and cooking equipment can be provided, or you can bring your own. Porters are available to carry equipment, if required.
To enjoy the best of the ethnic markets of this area, the adventure tour should commence on a Friday, as indicated. However, if it is not possible for you to start your holiday on that day, we will reschedule the itinerary to make best use of the dates you have available.
- Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
- Homestay condition in villages and overnight camp as specified.
- Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above.
- Overnight train Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi in air-conditioned sharing four berth cabin.
- Road travel in an appropriate private vehicle.
- The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
- Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
- Lunches and dinners, as specified, in the best local restaurants, picnics where suitable restaurants are not available.
- International, domestic flight tickets and airport tax.
- Dinners, except as specified above.
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
- Others not mentioned
- High season surcharge (if any)
- Gala Dinner (if any).
Prices vary depending on level of accommodation, group size and dates of travel. Contact us to customize a vacation itinerary and price to meet your needs and budget.
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