Get started: (Monday) Hanoi – Laocai
- 20: 00 pm – Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Hanoi railway station to board the express train to Laocai. Overnight in an air-conditioned soft sleeper cabin.
Day 1 (Tuesday) Lao Cai – Cao Son Market (B/L/D)
- Upon arrival to Lao Cai station early morning, you will meet your local tour guide and driver and enjoy breakfast in a restaurant nearby. Freshen up and heading along the road to Muong Khuong district which weaves its way up and down hills of the tea plantation and pine trees. It gets wilder and greener with thick forest and small tribal villages scattering isolated on slopes of the mountains as you get close to Cao Son Commune. You will enjoy much of the scenery which is marvelous and changes very fast after every bend. Arriving in Cao Son almost at noon, checking in the Lodge where you will stay overnight, take a rest or wandering around breathing fresh air.
- Afternoon is for walking to explore tribal villages nearby for a discovery of tribal culture, custom and self subsidiary way of life of different ethnic minorities. Overnight at Cao Son Eco Lodge.
Day 2 (Wednesday) Cao Son Market -Sapa (B/L/D)
- Today is the market day in Cao Son and you will spend the whole morning to take part in this weekly event. The village seems to wake up after a week staying peacefully. People from different tribal groups such as H’mong, Zao, Nung, Pa Di, Tu Di…wearing their traditional costumes converge to the market place on foot, motorcycles and horses. Many comes from remote villages, near the border and have to start their journey even from midnight. Joining the market, you will soon get the feeling of local, cheerful faces every where. Commodities for sale at the market is rich, from home produces such as fruit, vegetable, chili, ginger, smelled medicinal herbs, mushroom, bamboo shoot, corn wine, local handicraft, animals includes pigs, chicken, dogs, cats… to farming tools as hoes, plough shares, spades, knives…
- You are leaving the market and Cao Son after Lunch for a drive to Lao Cai and then uphill to Sapa through a scenic region. Arriving in Sapa at your hotel in the afternoon and the rest of the day is set free for you to wander around charming Sapa town. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 3 (Thursday) Sapa Tribal Village walk to Ma Tra & Ta Phin (B/L/D)
- Lying on the south of Sa Pa town, this vast valley composes of 3 chambers surrounded by high mountains with thick forest at the top and terraced rice paddies from lower slopes stretching to the bottom. It is home to the Black H’mong and the Red Zao ethnic minority who live in wooden houses scattering here and there.
- Starting from Sa Pa with your guide, you will follow a trail running through fruit and orchard gardens, lush pine forests to a Black Hmong ethnic minority village named Matra, isolated away from the civilization. Chickens, water buffalos, pot – belly pigs and piggy everywhere, some locals will be happy to invite us to their home which offers chances to see their dwellings, weavings on belly looms to makes traditional costumes out of hemp fiber…Our path weaves itself up and down hills, through valleys with terraced rice fields which create spectacular landscapes. After picnic Lunch, we get to Ta Phin Commune where the Black H’mong and the Red Zao live together. It is very interesting to realize culture assimilation: Which can be mixed, which can not! At the end of the footpath, our Jeep is waiting for us for the return journey to Sapa.
- Overnight in Sapa.
Day 4 (Friday) Visit Lao Chai & Ta Van Village (B/L)
- Today morning, you will explore the spectacular Muong Hoa. A Jeep 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. Our Jeep will pick us up at Ta Van Bridge and drive back to Sa Pa at noon.
- Afternoon is at your leisure for wandering Sa Pa town and market until late afternoon transfer to Lao Cai station for taking the night train to Hanoi.
- Overnight in an air-conditioned soft sleeper cabin.
- End of your Sapa Explorer and Remote Cao Son Market Tour