Sa Pa Tribes and soft treks

Explore spectacular natural landscapes that are home to some of the most colourful hill tribes in Asia. Trek through the lush countryside of Northern Vietnam and experience the vibrancy of a morning market before continuing through thick forests, past waterfalls and into hill tribe villages. You will visit small communities and have a chance to interact with the locals.

The best trekking conditions in Sapa are during the months between September & November, and from March to May.

Sa Pa Tribes and soft treks at a glance
  • Day 1: Hanoi - Son La
  • Day 2: Son La to Dien Bien Phu
  • Day 3: Dien Bien Phu to Muong Lay
  • Day 4: Muong Lay to Sa Pa
  • Day 5: Sa Pa
  • Day 6: Sa Pa to Hanoi
  • Day 7: Hanoi
Sa Pa Tribes and soft treks Image 1

Day 1: Hanoi - Son La

Depart for Son La. The road departing Hanoi through the Red River Delta region is fairly flat however this soon gives away to limestone Karst Mountains. Arrive in Son La in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Son La.

Distances & journey time:

Hanoi to Son La: 320 km, approx 6 hrs

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Day 2: Son La to Dien Bien Phu

Continue your journey from Son La to Dien Bien Phu. In one of the most remote areas of Vietnam, surrounded by steep forested mountains, Dien Bien Phu was the city where the Vietnamese decisively defeated the French in a single battle and ended their colonial control of Indochina. Visit the Dien Bien Phu Museum which contains artefacts and exhibits related to the battle. Then head off to Hill A1, where the defenders fought the never ending French forces. Today, there are realistic re-creations of the bunkers and the bomb crater is still visible. Continue the trip to the Bunker of De Castries where the headquarters of this French commander was recreated.

Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

Distance and journey time:

Son La to Dien Bien Phu: 140 km, 4 hrs

Sa Pa Tribes and soft treks Image 3

Day 3: Dien Bien Phu to Muong Lay

Depart to Muong Lay. Boasting some of the remotest community’s in Vietnam and skirting neighbouring Lao's Xa Ly Province, Muong Lay is a stunning area and home to some of the countries most colourful hill tribes.

Overnight in Muong Lay.

Distances and journey time:

Dien Bien Phu to Muong Lay: 100 km,  3 hrs

Sa Pa Tribes and soft treks Image 4

Day 4: Muong Lay to Sa Pa

Drive through spectacular scenery to Sa Pa. Arrival in Sa Pa in the late afternoon for overnight.

Distances and journey time:

Muong Lay to Sa Pa: 180 km, 5 hrs

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Day 5: Sa Pa soft trek

Take a soft trekking excursion to the handicraft village of Ta Phin which is inhabited by the Red Dzao people. This ethnic tribe is known for their distinctive red headscarves and handicraft skills. Continue the tour and visit the Ham Rong Mountain and the San May (Cloud Yard). Overnight in Sa Pa.

Sa Pa Tribes and soft treks Image 6

Day 6: Sa Pa to Hanoi

In the late afternoon transfer back to Lao Cai to catch the night train to Hanoi.

Overnight on the train.

Distances & journey time:

Sapa to Hanoi (380 km): 9 hours by train

Day 7: Hanoi

Arrive into Hanoi to continue with your Vietnam adventure.

Highlights

Dien Bien Phu: historical battlefield

Dien Bien Phu, in Vietnam’s far north-west, is an entry point into Laos. It was also the scene, in 1954, of the decisive battle marking the end of French colonial rule in Indo-China.

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Hanoi: colonial charming Capital

At the heart of the Red River delta, the Vietnamese capital Hanoi combines French colonial charm with the excitement and dynamism of modern Asia

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Sa Pa: Highlands and tribes

Set in Vietnam’s mountainous North West bordering Laos and China, Sapa has the edgy feel of a frontier town

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Accommodation

Sa Pa, Superior Class
Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa

The Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa was built as a traditional chalet with accented wooden décor

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Sa Pa, Standard Class
Topas Ecolodge

Topas Ecolodge is a small hotel situated on a beautiful hilltop deep in the mountains of Hoang Lien National Park

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