(6 days, 6 nights Northwest Loop Of Vietnam 4×4 Tour)
Booking code: OV08
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The mountainous North West provides spectacular scenery and perfect terrain for trekking routes. In addition, winding roads through mountain ranges take you past communities with varied lifestyles. The final two days are spent trekking to stay in ethnic minority villages around Sa Pa with warm and also very friendly people in their stilt houses.
Day 1: Ha Noi – Mai Chau – Son La (~320 km, ~8 hrs)
07:30 – Depart from Hanoi early since we have a long day today. Travel through the Red River Delta before stopping in Mai Chau for a short walk, and then drive onto Son La. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 2: Son La – Dien Bien Phu (~220 km, ~7 hrs)
Son La has an old French prison and museum, perfect for a small walk to visit in the morning before your departure to Dien Bien Phu. You’ll enjoy the picturesque scenery while driving past the villages of Black Thai, White Thai, Meo and Muong peoples. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 3: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau (~200 km, ~7 hrs)
From Muong Lay, the drive is stunning with tiered tea plantations and verdant rice terraces carved into the landscape. Then continue to Lai Chau (formerly Tam Duong) for the night. If you happen to be in Lai Chau on a Sunday morning, the town is bustling with activity as the local hill tribes gather for their weekly market day. Overnight in a hotel or guesthouse.
Day 4: Lai Chau – Sa Pa (~90 km, ~3 hrs)
From Lai Chau to Sa Pa you pass through Tam Duong, and over the 1,900 meter Tram Ton pass. In fact, this pass is Viet Nam’s highest mountain pass and considered the most beautiful stretch of road in the country. Sa Pa is nestled at over 1,600 meters in the breathtaking Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. After lunch, take a short 3-hour trek down this stunning valley sculpted with steep rice terraces to Ta Van village for a home stay. Finally, enjoy the savoury food and the hospitality of your Giay hosts.
Day 5: Sa Pa – Ban Ho
A good day trekking along rice terraces, through the lush bamboo forest and local villages including that of the colourful Dzao hill tribe, and then down to a rolling stream for a picnic lunch. After lunch, continue trekking along the rice terraces, trails and also dirt roads into Ban Ho for an insightful night with your Tay hosts. You’ll sleep in the cosy loft complete with comfy mattress and also a mosquito net.
Day 6 (B): Ban Ho – Sa Pa – Lao Cai
Short trek to the dirt road for the jeep ride back to Sa Pa. Enjoy an afternoon to explore Sa Pa town, great shopping in the market for local produce and you can buy handicrafts from many of the local hill tribes selling their wares there. At 17:00 take the bus to Lao Cai.
21:20 – Night train back to Ha Noi (soft sleeper with air conditioning).
05:00 – Trip ends at Ha Noi Railway Station.
* You can choose to ride from Sapa to Hanoi with a stop at a Dao village near Thac Ba Lake in 8 days, 7 nights.
* Offroad vehicle options: Russian UAZ, Japanese TOYOTA Land Cruiser or NISSAN Patrol or MITSUBISHI Pajero.