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SP 05: Sapa 3 Villages & Ethnic Market

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Duration: 3 days Transportation: Hanoi

Route: Hanoi

Languages: English Tiếng Việt (View map)

from US$ 185
(per person)

Located 38km from Lao Cai City, Sapa is a mountainous district of Lao Cai Province. Sapa is very well-known with Sapa Townlet, a beautiful and romantic resort.

At the height of 1,600m above sea level, the average temperature of the area is 15-18°C. It is cool in summer and cold in winter.

The first thing you notice when approaching the resort town are some detached wooden mansions and villas perched on a hill top or hillside, behind thick pine forests and almost invisible on this foggy morning. Old and new villas with red roofs now appear and now disappear in the green rows of pomu trees, bringing the town the beauty of European towns.

Visitors to Sapa will have opportunities to discover the unique customs of the local residents.

Silver Waterfall & Tram Ton Heaven gate

Following the main road 4C 14km further north is the famous Silver Waterfall and 4 km more is the highest mountain pass of Vietnam which is called by locals Heaven Gate. The road ride offers great view of the magnificent Fansipan on the other side of the valley with immense lush forest. Tram Ton pass is also an ideal point for enjoying breathtaking scenery of the west side of Fansipan which is very different from the east side due to the different climate.

Lao Chai Village
About 8 – 9 Km southeast of Sapa town on the west bank of Muong Hoa River, Lao Chai is a commune composed by three large villages with over 100 families of the Black H’mong ethnic. From a high point of the main road 8 Km from Sapa town, great view of the whole village open wide to offer the marvelous panorama of the village, backed by high mountains and facing the river. The H’mong people in this village experience rice intensive farming on the lower land near the bottom of the valley as main source of earning while growing corn on the mountain slopes at the back of the village.

Ta Van Village
Next to Lao Chai on the same side of Muong Hoa River is Ta Van village where the Zay and H’mong ethnic people live together. This is one of the best places to see the different traditional ways of living as well as cultural assimilation. The Zay live a sedentary style and always choose the low land near valleys’ bottom and river for growing wet rice while the H’mong prefer higher elevation for corn farming. Especially some decade ago when poppy cultivation for opium was not forbidden. Recently, the H’mong changed from sifting into sedentary way of life they gradually move to lower land and learn many things from others. At this moment Ta Van can be reach by car, Jeep, mini van. However a trail up and downhill from Y Ling Ho through Lao Chai to Ta Van offers superb and romantic rout to hikers.

Cat Cat Vilage
Cat Cat is a village of the Black H’mong, about 5 Km west of Sapa Town. Located near the bottom of a deep valley right at the foot of Fansipan, the village is surrounded by high mountains and terraced rice paddies on hill slope. There is a waterfall near the village where the French built a hydraulic power station and It is really a beautiful sport. A short walk from Sapa Town to Cat Cat Village, especially in late afternoon to admire magnificent landscape is worthwhile.

As going to attend a festival, tribal peoples always wear their best colorful traditional costumes to go to the markets. After selling out their produces such as fruit, rice, corn, vegetable, handicraft, chicken, pigs or even buffaloes and horses… men gather, sitting on wooden bench at many footstalls drinking corn wine while women with children enjoying noodle soup and all talking cheerfully. Especially the markets give youngsters chances to make friend with others and seeking for lover!

Walking to visit remotest villages, meeting tribal peoples at home, at work and joining them to enjoy their most exciting weekly event at market place, wandering the famous Sapa town and exploring its surrounding tribal villages…you will enjoy the stunning scenery of the mountainous region as well as discovering interesting culture of tribal peoples. It is also a good chance to see the contrast between a famous tourist destination and a really rural one.

Tour Price & Availability:

Propose Date of your traveling

1. Tour Category:


Night 1: Ha Noi - Lao Cai by Train
You will be picked up from your hotel lobby by our representative at 20:00 for a short transfer to Hanoi Railway Station for boarding to Lao Cai by Express Train at 21:10. 
Overnight in the A/C soft sleeper wooden cabin (4 people/cabin or 2 people/cabin on request). 

Day 1: Lao Cai - Sapa - Silver Waterfall and Tram Ton Pass (B, L, -)
Sapa Town | Sapa market | Silver Waterfall | Tram Ton Pass
The train arrives at Lao Cai station early at about 06.00, where your guide and driver will be waiting for you and an hour transfer uphill the Hoang Lien Son mountains to Sapa. Great views of valleys and terraced rice fields along the way! 
After Breakfast, you will walk for a brief introduction of this charming town. At the market, you will meet many ethnic minority peoples from different groups, wearing their traditional costumes made by themselves, selling local products includes vegetable, bamboo shoot, mushroom, medicinal herbs and souvenirs… Lunch at local restaurant. You will be back at the hotel for check in.
Afternoon, your guide and driver will pick you up at about 14.00 for a drive up hill to the famous Silver Waterfall and then onto Tram Ton, the highest mountain pass in Vietnam at 1,800 m above sea level for enjoying the magnificence of Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range as well as over viewing spectacular landscapes of the whole area. Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
In the evening, you’re free to do as you wish. You can explore the town of Sapa at night.

Night 2: Overnight at hotel in Sapa town

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner on your own

Day 2: Sapa - Explore Muong Hoa Valley (B, L, -)
Sapa | Lao Chai | Ta Van Village | Cat Cat Village

Breakfast at hotel. Today morning, you will explore the spectacular Muong Hoa. A car will take us out of the town, following the only road built on the side of a mountain range, looking down the valley, over viewing magnificent landscapes composed of high mountains, deep valleys, and stream of water winding, waterfalls and terraced rice paddies…walking trail can be seen clearly from the road winding up and down hills on the other side of Muong Hoa River to connect village to villages… Our suggested walk starts from Lao Chai village of the H’mong along the river to Ta Van, the Zay village. You will be picked up at Ta Van Bridge and drive back to Sapa at noon. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon depart for a walk to Cat Cat village locating near the bottom of a deep valley at the foot of Fansipan Peak. Spectacular scenery of mountains and terraced rice paddies changes after every corner as you walk downhill. Getting through Cat Cat village of the H’mong, you will pay visiting to some local homes, witnessing their daily life activities and experiencing their hospitability. Continue walking down to the valley bottom, having a break at a stunning waterfall where the French built a hydraulic power station, you will walk uphill and make a loop around the valley and get back to Sapa. Dinner on your own.

Night 3: Overnight at hotel in Sapa town
Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner on your own

Day 3: Sapa - Ethnic Market - Lao Cai - Night train to Hanoi (B, L, -)
Today you will visit one of the colorful tribal markets near Sapa (depend on your travel date)
The schedule as follow:
Tuesday: Coc Ly Market (90km from Sapa) 
Wednesday: Cao Son Market (100km from Sapa)
Thursday: Lung Khau Nhin Market (80km from Sapa) 
Saturday: Can Cau Market (140km from Sapa) 
Muong Hum (85km from Sapa) 
Muong Khuong Market (90km from Sapa)
Bac Ha Market (120km from Sapa)

Transfer to Lao Cai railway station in the late afternoon, you will have dinner on your own in a local restaurant before getting on overnight train back to Hanoi leaving at 20:15

Night 4: Overnight in the A/C soft sleeper wooden cabin (4 people/cabin or 2 people/cabin on request).
Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner on your own
Arrival in Hanoi around 5:00 AM next day. You will be picked up at Hanoi station and walk to our Hotel - Hanoi View 2 Hotel (5 minutes walking) for breakfast and short rest. Check out time is on or before 12.00 (noon)

What's Included:
- Full transportation by private A/C vehicle as tour program indicated.

- Return train ticket basing on first class 4 berth shared cabin with air-conditioner (Soft sleeper wooden cabin)
- Sightseeing fees and permits. 
- Local English speaking guide (French speaking guide on request at additional cost US$ 15.00/day per group).
- Meals as mentioned in program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch).
- Accommodation as program based on twin sharing or double (on request).
- The above private escorted tour is customized for you, your family or your friends exclusively. No other travelers will join in your group.

What's Not Included:

- Drinks, except otherwise mentioned.

- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Mineral water and chilled tissue served on trip.
- Insurance, Personal expenses, Tips and emergency transfers.

Good to Know:
- Prices are per person. Prices may vary according to your travel time and are higher in the high season, e.g. Christmas period (Dec 24-26), New Year period (Dec 31-Jan 02). 

- Group tours are not available for this tour option.
- For additional hotel night cost to the packages, please contact us for the rates.
- If one person prefers to stay in one room, the single room supplement must be paid as follows:

Hotel category  Price per person per night 
02/5/2016-30/9/2016 01/01/2016-29/4/2016
Economy (2 star hotel) US$ 40
US$ 40
Standard (3 star hotel) US$ 50
US$ 50
Deluxe (4 star hotel) US$ 42 US$ 80
Luxury (5 star hotel) US$ 110

- 2 bed cabin on the night train at extra cost US$ 98 per person on request. 
- This tour package can be fully customizable to fit your Sapa travel plan. You can also disregard full package tours and choose whatever travel items you need. We can quote the tours you really want. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.
- Keep your luggage and money by yourself.
- Inform in advance if you are vegetarian.
- Take original passports, good and comfortable trekking shoes, insect repellent, torches, sun scream, towels, rain gear and extra warm clothes. All customers must obey the order of your guide for your safety.

Very important notice from TUN Travel: 
- Child definition: From Age 3 to 9 Years (usually enjoying 10%-20% discount. Contact our trip advisors for the actual discount for your case). 9 Years old and above will be charged as Adult Price.
- All tours & transfers are all based in English Speaking local guides. For other languages, please contact our trip advisors for new quotations. 
- Itinerary Change to the confirmed itinerary may happen because of traffic, weather, or any other conditions not under our control such as war, strike, fire, acts of government, riot, etc. We will do our best to make sure that all the travel will be similar. Tun Travel can substitute the itinerary upon your agreement.
- Transportation and Restaurants:
The cars, vans or coaches for the land transportation should be in good shape with air conditioner. All restaurants should be tidy and clean.

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