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Trips Vietnam

Vietnam - Sapa Village Trek & Homestay

Hanoi is a beautiful city which retains an air of French colonial elegance with pretty yellow stucco buildings lining leafy streets - a big contrast to bustling Ho Chi Minh in the south.

Considered the premier destination of north-west Vietnam, Sapa is a hill station built in 1922. It lies in the beautiful valley close to the border with China. The region around Sapa is indeed home to various colourful ethnic minorities, wearing traditional attire. Among the tribes are the H'mong, Tay and Dao people. The Hoang Lien Mountain Range can also be seen at Sapa. This place is famous for its cool climate all year round though year-end (Oct - Feb) tends to be colder (as cold as 0 degree Celcius). Thus it attracts lots of domestic travellers during mid summer.

Highlights

  • 3D trekking in spectacular Sapa landscapes
  • 1N stay with an ethnic minority family to experience the lives of the ethnic minority people
  • Learn to make home-cooked Vietnamese dishes
Included
  • Accommodation in homestay on trek and hotel in Hanoi
  • All local land transfers including 4 berth soft-sleeper overnight train
  • All meals, except 1 lunch in Hanoi
  • English speaking Vietnamese or ethnic minority guide for trek (see story in "What to Expect")
Excluded:
  • Return international flight to Hanoi
  • 1 lunch in Hanoi
  • Soft/bottled/alcoholic drinks
  • Personal equipment/gear, travel insurance and expenses
  • Gratitude fee to guides

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Duration: 6 days

Group Size:  Mininum 2 persons

Dates :  
   
Group Size Price (valid till 31 Mar 2014)
2 - 3 persons : $730
4 - 5 persons : $680
6 - 7 persons : $630
8 or more persons: $580
   
Best Season : The cool season from Oct to Apr is the best time to visit the north. Warm clothing may be required for the highlands. May & Jun is the rice planting season where you can see green fields and the farmers hard at work. Perhaps you can join in too!
  • Return international air ticket to Hanoi can be arranged on behalf

Grading:

Extension Options:

  • 1D Bac Ha Market (Sunday Only) at Sapa
  • 1/2/3 Days Halong Bay cruise with overnights onboard or in hotel or both


Day 1
Singapore - Hanoi. Pick up at the airport, transfer to Hanoi station for the night train to Sapa at 10.00pm.
Day 2-4

Sapa Trek
Enjoy spectacular landscapes & ethnic minority people on this 3D2N trekking to the remote North-western highlands. Sapa's countryside is carved by dramatic rice terraces, and dotted with the clay and thatch houses of the various ethnic groups. Cross rivers and waterfall and visit various villages. Interact with the local people and learn how their clothes and handicrafts are made entirely in their own house. (B/L/D)

Day 5

Hanoi
Free & easy day in Hanoi to explore the Old Quarters, French Quarters and get your bargains. Or simply relax at a cafe beside Hoan Kiem Lake sipping the famous Vietnam coffee, watching the life of Hanoi around you. (B/L)

Day 6

Free & easy in Hanoi. Evening transfer to airport, back to Singapore. Home sweet home in the wee hours. (B)

  Optional Extensions
 

Bac Ha Market (On Sundays Only)
Bac Ha is the largest market in the region, a place where many ethnic groups gather to buy and sell, eat and drink together. There are 10 minority groups in the Bac Ha region. Mingle with the locals and enjoy the kaleidascope of minority costumes, cultures and market produce.

Extend for a day trip to the market before returning to Hanoi on the overnight train.

 

Halong Bay
About 160-km northeast from Hanoi lies the magnificent Halong Bay, an amazing complex of 3000 chalk islands rising out of the South China Sea - strange, eerie and very beautiful with bizarre cave formations & grottoes. Nearby is Catba Island which is a designated National Park with a rich repository of plants and wildlife.

Choices of 1D, 2D/1N, or 3D/2N cruise on Halong Bay. Activities, depending on duration, include visiting the beautiful Heavenly Caves, floating fishing village, swimming, kayaking, trekking & cycling in Cat Ba National Park. Overnights can be onboard the junk boat or in hotel on Cat Ba Island.

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Dinh, (pronounced like ‘Zinc’) is a 25 year-old Black H'mong, and a mother of 3 lovely children. She is also a trekking guide in Sapa, bringing trekkers from village to village, sharing her knowledge, traditions and time. Dinh started guiding by chance, at the tender age of 12 when Sapa was still fairly inaccessible & unknown. She was selling glutinous rice cakes in the Sunday market, 1 day’s walk from her village when a tourist asked to visit her village and home. Dinh spoke not a word of English then. With sheer determination to pick up the language on her own, solely through conversations with the foreigners she met, Dinh can now hold a conversation in English easily with about anyone.

The guiding provides an additional source of income for her family and Dinh continued to be a guide after starting her own family. Dinh's story is but one of many among the minority tribes in Sapa. We hope to do our small part in helping to contribute to the income of the minority groups in Sapa by engaging their guiding services. You will find Dinh or one of her peers to be your guide for this trek.

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