7 days 6 nights
Hanoi – Mai Chau – Son La – Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau – Sapa
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau (-/L, D)
Your driver and guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel and take you along highway No. 6 to Mai Chau: a small town nestled in the midst of a lush valley and surrounded by emerald-green rice fields. Enjoy picturesque views of the scenic landscape, sewn with pagodas and rural villages. Stop along the way to visit the Muong tribe and then at Thung Khe Pass for a spectacular view of Mai Chau Valley. You will have lunch in Mai Chau then spend the afternoon trekking off the typical tourist track, along the Song Ma River. Trek through terraced rice paddies and small villages, discovering the natural beauty of the valley and encountering the culture of the White Thai people, living in the region. You will stop at a Thai village for the night, where you will have dinner with a local family and enjoy a live dance and music performance in the evening.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La – Dien Bien Phu (B, L, D)
Start the day with a simple breakfast with your host family, after which you will drive to Son La. You will stop en route to visit the villages of various tribes including the H’mong, Thai, Muong and Dzao and an orchard and tea plantation in Moc Chau Plateau – Vietnam’s premier tea-growing region, before reaching Son La (200km from Mai Chau) for a late lunch. In the afternoon, you will continue along winding mountain roads through North Vietnam’s stunning countryside. The most picturesque scenery here is Pha Din Pass, well-known as a historical site during the 1st Indochina War. It is a charming but dangerous pass at an elevation of 1,300m with breathtaking views of the valleys below. According to local legend, “Pha Din” means the connection between Heaven and Earth. On arrival, you will check-in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 3: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau – Phong Tho (B, L, D)
Nestled in a heart shaped basin near the border with Laos, lies Dien Bien Phu, the famous historical battleground where the Vietnamese successfully defeated the French, marking the end of French colonial occupation. Start the day early with a visit to the local market where you will meet charming Thai tribes in their traditional costume.
Next, you will visit Dien Bien Phu Museum and A1 hill and then Dien Bien Phu Cemetery to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the heroes who devoted their lives to the victory of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign. You will also visit General De Castries’s Bunker, Old Muong Thanh Bridge and Nam Rom River.
After the lunch, proceed to Lai Chau along a bumpy road, passing a series of ethnic villages of Kho Mu (Xa), Huoi Chan, and Bung Giat. Taking the scenic roads, you will continue to Phong Tho, crossing the junctions of the Da and Na rivers by way of the Chinese-built Hang Tom suspension bridge. From here, the road weaves its way northwards through the picturesque and steadily more spectacular Na River Valley, past more ethnic villages of White Thai, Kho Mu and later Red and White H’mong minorities. When you arrive in Phong Tho you will be free to spend rest of the day exploring the village by bicycle.
Day 4: Lai Chau – Sapa (B, L, -)
This morning, you will leave Phong Tho for Sapa. The road is a bit bumpy at times, but the rough route is quickly compensated by the magnificent scenery: yawning valleys, winding rivers, and towering mountains – a photographer’s dream. The drive to Sapa takes you up Tram Son – the highest pass in Vietnam – and offers amazing views of the Fansipan Peak, known as “the roof of Indochina”. You will stop en route to visit Heaven’s Gate and the Silver Waterfall. You will arrive in Sapa in the afternoon. Nestled in a sweeping valley near the Chinese border, Sapa is Northwest Vietnam’s premier travel destination. Built in 1922 as a French colonial hill station, this quaint town is now a trekker’s paradise, offering hiking routes through terraced rice fields and enchanting hill tribe villages. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the colourful town on your own. You will have dinner and stay overnight in Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa Trekking (B, L, D)
Enjoy an entire day trekking through Sapa’s breathtaking countryside. After breakfast at the hotel, begin your adventure, trekking down to the Muong Hoa Valley, continue on one of Vietnam’s most beautiful trekking routes. Walk through pine forests, terraced rice paddies and traditional Hmong villages. Along the way, you will visit a village school and have a picnic lunch along the river’s edge. After lunch, trek through the Zay village. You conclude your journey at Ta Van Bridge, where your driver will collect you and take you back to Sapa. Enjoy the evening free at your leisure.
Day 6: Sapa – Free at leisure (B, -, -)
Today you are free to discover Sapa town.
Day 7: Sapa – Hanoi (B, L, D)
After an early breakfast at the hotel, you leave Sapa for the long and beautiful drive back to Ha Noi. Enjoy many stops en route to savor the beautiful countryside as the landscape changes from arching mountains to the flat plains of the Red River Delta. You will arrive back in Ha Noi in the late afternoon.
This rate is quoted in USD per person, based on Double/Twin occupancy. Applied for the – Private Tour. Valid from 30 Apr 2016 - 31 Dec 2017