Lao Cai Province
Meet the Locals

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SaPa Muong Hoa valley trek and Local ethnic Villages

1. SaPa Muong Hoa valley trek and Local ethnic Villages

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Sa Pa, and then start your 10-kilometer trek through the beautiful valley. Admire the rice terraces hidden behind the morning mist as you follow a small trail to cross the Muong Hoa river. Continue past well-tended, terraced rice fields on your way to the village of Lao Chai, where a local Black Hmong ethnic group live. Hike to the village of Ta Van Giay and trek along the route of the Muong Hoa river to cross a small suspension bridge roughly 2 kilometers from the settlement. Discover a fascinating collection of ancient rock carvings that depict images of men, stilt houses and different decorative patterns. Enjoy lunch at a local house in the village before hiking through a bamboo forest and reach the Red Dao ethnic minority village of Giang Ta Chai. Having a short rest at a nearby waterfall before climbing uphill to get the main road where the driver is waiting for you to take you back to SaPa. 

From Sapa: Waterfalls, Trekking and Tribal Villages Tour

2. From Sapa: Waterfalls, Trekking and Tribal Villages Tour

After meeting your local guide and driver, head about 30 minutes out of Sapa Town to visit the Silver Waterfall, Love Waterfall and Tram Ton Pass. Explore the area before leaving for the traditional village of Ban Khoan. From there, begin your trek. The trek, about 4 hours and 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), takes you along mountain trails and through remote tribal villages. Enjoy amazing views of the surrounding rice paddies, and take plenty of photos as you learn about the unique cultures of the Hmong and Red Dzao people. Take a break for a picnic lunch before continuing the trek to the home of the Red Dzao tribe in Ta Phin Village. In the afternoon, meet your driver to begin the 30-minute transfer back to Sapa.

From Hanoi: 2-Day Sapa Trekking Tour with Limousine Transfer

3. From Hanoi: 2-Day Sapa Trekking Tour with Limousine Transfer

Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa (Lunch) Start with pickup from your hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and depart for Sapa. Follow the highway to Lao Cai city where you will make your first stop for breakfast by yourself. Stop off at Lao Cai city before arriving in Sapa, where you'll see the colorful traditional costumes of H’mong, Dzao, and Tay People. Here enjoy a lunch of local Vietnamese dishes. After lunch, take a short trek to the gate of Cat Cat village, home of the Black H’mong ethnic people and located near the bottom of a deep valley at the foot of Fansipan Peak. A local guide will give you insight into the daily life of the locals. Trek down to the bottom of the valley to the waterfall, where the French built a hydraulic power station. Stop to take photos before walking back uphill to meet the bus. The trek is approximately 2.5 kilometers and lasts for 2 hours. In the evening, return to Sapa Town, where you can enjoy your evening at your leisure. Stay overnight in the Sunny Mountain Hotel or similar. Day 2: Sapa – Hanoi (Breakfast/Lunch) Have breakfast at your hotel and prepare a light pack for trekking. You can keep your luggage in the storage at the reception. Take a Trek to Y Linh Ho through the rice terraces and along Muong Hoa Streams to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai.  See the spectacular landscape of Hoang Lien Son Mountain before heading to Ta Van village, home of the Dzay People. The trek takes around 3.5 hours and covers about 12 kilometers. The tour guide will make the best itinerary for the trek depending on your ability of trekking. The bus will pick you up at Ta Van Bridge to take you back to the center of Sapa. Take a break at the hotel and have lunch, before enjoying some time to explore at your own leisure. After some free time, meet the rest of your group at the hotel to prepare for your return to Hanoi. Get back on the bus to go back to Hanoi. During the journey, you will stop for a break. Arrive back at your accommodation in Hanoi in the late evening.

From Hanoi: 2-Day Sapa Cultural Exchange Tour with Homestay

4. From Hanoi: 2-Day Sapa Cultural Exchange Tour with Homestay

Day 1: After getting picked up by your guide in Hanoi Old Quarter, board your tour bus and begin the journey to Sapa, stopping for regular breaks along the way. Arrive in Sapa just in time for lunch at a local restaurant to prepare for your first hike.  After lunch, begin your hike to Y Linh Lo. Trek downhill through the Muong Hoa Valley, passing by rice paddies and small hamlets where you will learn more about the life of local tribes. Continue trekking through villages and rice terraced fields to Ta Van village, a place settled by the Dzay people and is commonly considered to be the most beautiful in the area. Whilst in Lao Chai village, you will also be able to exchange communication with the local villagers. Here, you will also cook and eat dinner overnight with a local family of the Dzay people in Ta Van. Stay with your family overnight for an evening of rest and relaxation.  Day 2: Commence your day of adventure with a nourishing breakfast prepared by the family you are staying with before setting off on your trek. The trekking distance for this part of the tour is 4 kms and lasts 2-hours. Start your scenic trek to the rice paddies, where upon arrival you will have a fantastic opportunity to take some unique holiday photos of the surrounding landscapes. Enjoy a walk through a bamboo forest and stop to have a panoramic view of Giang Ta Chai village – home of the red Dzao People. Continue on your trek through the Ciang Ta Chai Bridge to the main road, from here, a bus will pick you up to head back into Sapa town.  Upon your arrival in Sapa Town, you can shower in your hotel, check-out, have a bite to eat and relax at a leisurely pace until all the group members are ready to travel to Hanoi again. Once the group is ready, you will board your comfortable bus back to Hanoi, with two comfort breaks along the way.

From Sa Pa: 5-Hour Muong Hoa Valley Trek and Ethnic Tribes

5. From Sa Pa: 5-Hour Muong Hoa Valley Trek and Ethnic Tribes

Depart from Sa Pa, about 20 minutes walk along the stunning road heading to the Muong Hoa Valley, visit the Y Linh Ho village of the Black Hmong tribe, interact with the locals and experience their everyday life at the market. Arrive in the village of Lao Chai and get spectacular views of some of the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam. Enjoy lunch near the river and taste the local produce of the Black Hmong community. Next, trek to Ta Van village and visit the local houses to learn more about the traditional crafts of the minority people, such as weaving and rice cultivation. Learn more about rural life and meet members of the Dzay tribe to contrast their customs and costumes with the Black Mong people. Take the bus back to Sa Pa, where you will be dropped off at the local office on arrival.

3-Day Sapa Trekking Tour with Lux ComLimousine Transfer

6. 3-Day Sapa Trekking Tour with Lux ComLimousine Transfer

Day 1: Get picked up from the meeting point between 6:45 and 7:00 AM. The bus will stop for a couple breaks before arriving in Sapa at 12:30 PM. Once there, you will meet some local ethnic minority community members from the H’mong, Dzao and Tay tribes, in their colorful traditional costumes. Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch and check in to your hotel afterwards. At around 2 PM, continue your tour with a drive to Cat Cat village, home to the Black H’mong ethnic minority and located at the foot of Mount Fansipan (the highest mountain in Vietnam). Your local guide will introduce you to local daily life and you will trek down to the valley. The two-hour trek covers about 4 km (2.3 miles). In the afternoon, you will be transferred back to Sapa for dinner by 5:00 PM. Enjoy some leisure time afterward. Day 2: After breakfast, take a 5 km trek along rice terraces to the Black H'mong village of Lao Chai. Then, trek to Ta Van village, home to the Dzao ethnic minority. The total trekking distance is about 9 km and lasts about four hours. At 11:30 AM, a bus will pick you up at Ta Van Bridge to head back to Sapa. After lunch, enjoy some free time to discover Sapa on your own. In the evening, return to your hotel for dinner and another overnight stay. Day 3: After breakfast you will trek to Ham Rong (Dragon’s Jaw) Mountain. There are several well-tended flower gardens along the way and you will take in a breathtaking view at the top of Ham Rong Mountain. This two-hour trek is approximately 2 km (1.2 miles) long. At 11:00 AM, you will be back at your hotel to check out and have lunch. By 3:00 PM you will be on your way back to Hanoi, arriving at your hotel around 9:00 PM.

From Hanoi: Sapa Tour with Fansipan Cable Car and Limousine

7. From Hanoi: Sapa Tour with Fansipan Cable Car and Limousine

Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa - Cat Cat village (Lunch) You’ll be picked up from Hanoi early in the morning. Admire the scenery as you travel through the countryside. Stop at Lao Cai for a break. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountains and rice terraces along the way from Lao Cai to Sapa city. At 1:00 PM, arrive in Sapa Town, where you'll view the colorful traditional costumes of the H’mong, Dzao, and Tay local people. Enjoy a lunch of traditional local Vietnamese dishes. Then, enjoy a trek to Cat Cat village, home to the Black H’mong. In the evening, free to discover Sapa Town in Night. Day 2: Sapa - Easy Trek to Lao Chai and Ta Van – Sapa. (Breakfast/Lunch) After breakfast, trek to Lao Chai village, about 8km from Sapa town. Here you will discover the daily life of the locals and how they make traditional clothes and handicrafts.  After lunch in one of the local houses, you will walk to Ta Van village, home to the Dzay people. These people have a rich culture and beautiful houses located on rice paddy fields. You will visit the home of a local family to learn about their life, and enjoy some green tea. In the evening, return to Sapa Town for free time.  Day 3: Sapa – Fanxipan Peak – Sapa – Hanoi. (Breakfast/Lunch) After breakfast, check out from your room and depart for the Sapa cable car station, where you will board a cable car to Fansipan Peak. At the summit, enjoy free time to admire the panoramic views.  You’ll then head back to Sapa for lunch and to explore the town by yourself. At 3:00 PM you’ll be picked up by bus and driven back to Hanoi.

From Hanoi: 2-Day Overnight Sapa Tour by Bus

8. From Hanoi: 2-Day Overnight Sapa Tour by Bus

Head to Sapa on a two-day guided trip from Hanoi. Enjoy an overnight stay in the mountains of northern Vietnam, trek to ethnic minority villages, experience local culture, and try local cuisine. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Hanoi to Sapa and Short Trek (Lunch, Dinner) Meet the tour guide for the bus to Lao Cai and Sapa (duration roughly 5 hours). Check-in at your hotel, then take a walk around Sapa, visiting the market and old cathedral, and meet Black H’mong and Red Zao ethnic minorities selling handicrafts. Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch and then trek through Cat Cat village, stopping at local homes and experiencing the hospitality. (Trekking distance approximately 2.5 km; duration about 2 hours) Return to the hotel for dinner at 5:00 PM and overnight stay. Day 2: Long Trek and Sapa to Hanoi by Bus (Breakfast, Lunch) Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before checking out and heading on a trek to Muong Hoa Valley. Walk to Y Linh Ho village and stop for a picnic lunch. Continue to Lao Chai and Ta Van village, visiting homes and local schools. (Trekking distance approximately 9 km; duration about 5.5 hours) Meet your group at the hotel and head to the bus station. Drop off in Hanoi is at the bus office (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) or your hotel/ apartment in the Old Quarter (Monday to Thursday).

Trekking Mu Cang Chai Tour 3 Days

9. Trekking Mu Cang Chai Tour 3 Days

From Hanoi, you will head to Nghia Lo town – the home of Thai people, one of the main ethnic groups in Yen Bai. Arrive in Tu Le town, walk around the rice fields and explore the lifestyles of the Thai and Mong people. Go on a trek then spend a night in a homestay. After breakfast the next day, you will move to Mu Cang Chai. Drive over the Khau Pha pass (one of the four greatest passes in Northern Vietnam, connecting Tu Le and Mu Cang Chai). These scenic roads offer a lot of stops for picture-taking. When you arrive in Mu Cang Chai spend around 3 hours trekking from La Pan Tan to Rasberry Hill – one of the most famous destinations in the country. Eat a simple lunch at a Hmong house in Mu Cang Chai. After lunch, you will continue to enjoy some trekking from Che Cu Nha to Kim Noi village. Stay overnight in a stilt house. The next day you will trek up to Sang Nhu or Lao Chai village, where there are beautiful rice terraces. Enjoy trekking through the pine forests and along the hidden paths as you take in the views of Mu Cang Chai.

Sapa: 3-Day Medium Trek and Bus Trip from Hanoi

10. Sapa: 3-Day Medium Trek and Bus Trip from Hanoi

Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa by bus, free and easy After 6:30 AM pick-up, depart to Sapa town. Following the highway to Lao Cai city, see the rice fields on both sides of the road and enjoy the peaceful scenery. Take a short comfort break at Lao Cai city before approaching Sapa. At 1:00 PM, arrive in Sapa, take a quick break to freshen up then walk around this charming town, paying visit to Sapa market and the old cathedral. Meet local ethnic minority people such as Black H’mong and Red Zao wearing their traditional colorful dresses, selling farming products and handicrafts as souvenirs. A meal with local Vietnamese dishes will be served in a local restaurant. After lunch, spend some free time this afternoon discovering Sapa town by yourself. Around 5:45 PM,  enjoy dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. Overnight at hotel. Day 2: Sapa - Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van village (breakfast, lunch, dinner) Wake up in the morning and enjoy the fresh air. Have a local breakfast in the restaurant, then, get ready for trekking. Check out the room and begin your exploration trip to Muong Hoa valley. Follow the main road heading south for about an hour before turning right to a foot path down hill to Muong Hoa Valley. This part offers spectacular scenery of the highest part of Hoang Lien Son mountain range and on a nice day, Fansipan Peak can be seen. Crossing the river by a suspension bridge you will challenge your feet uphill to Y Linh Ho village. Here, pay a visit to some H’mong families, and watch them doing their daily work. After a picnic lunch, the trail continues up and down hill for about 2 hours as you reach Lao Chai, a large village of the H’mong and then follow the river bank to Ta Van of the Zay people. Visiting local homes, and village schools, enjoy your cultural discovery of local ethnic people as well as breathtaking scenery of the Muong Hoa Valley. Settle down in Ta Van village for an overnight home stay. Accommodation: Homestay in Ta Van Village Day 3: Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Sapa – Hanoi (breakfast, lunch) Leaving Ta Van village after Breakfast, take the trail uphill, passing fascinating terraced rice fields and some small hamlets of the H’mong before getting through a bamboo forest to a waterfall. Enjoy a break for some magnificent scenery and then continue walking for half an hour to Giang Ta Chai village of the Red Zao people, which sits on the top of a hill and looks down Muong Hoa river. After spending time visiting the village, making friends with the Zao and experiencing the hospitality, cross the river by another suspension bridge and then go uphill again to Hau Thao village. Visit a local handicraft center where H’mong and Zao women gather to exchange experience and skills of making handicrafts. A late Lunch will be prepared nearby this center and then you have time to relax and prepare before heading back to Hanoi. The tour guide will take you to the bus station. Tour ends. The bus journey back to Hanoi takes five or six hours (depending on traffic). Arrive in Hanoi around 9:30 PM to 10:00 PM. Please notice the drop off location: - During weekdays (Monday to Thursday): your hotel/apartment in the Old Quarter - During Weekends (Friday to Sunday): the bus office or street corner that is close to your hotel/apartment in the Old Quarter. (There is a walking street area on some streets in the Old Quarter during the weekend and the transfers are not allowed inside these walking streets).

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What people are saying about Lao Cai Province

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 451 reviews

This is a fun hiking trip, in the beginning you will need to climb up the mountain a bit. After that it's mostly descending. You will see beautiful sceneries and the guide will inform you about the life of the tribes etc. Which is quite interesting. Make sure to wear good shoes as some parts can get slippery. The tribe women will help you in case of need. They are very lovely. When having lunch they will ask you to buy something, which I think is the least thing you can do for them.

We had a great guide Lan that was very knowledgable and told many stories and facts about the area. The tour was at a great pace and we appreciated the choices to customize our experiences. Lunch was wonderful spread by a local. Overall we enjoy the trek very much

Loved the experience! The agency is excellent, they took good care of me all the time and our guide was amazing! Super fun and patient. The family that hosted us is a love.

What an incredible experience and our guide was so lovely and informative. I really recommend. We really enjoyed this!

Nice guide who talked us about her village, her tribe, her culture, traditions... It was incredibly beautiful.