Day 1: Ha Noi - Mai Chau - Son La
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
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 as you pass the villages of Black Thai, White Thai, Meo and Muong peoples. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 3: Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau
From Muong Lay, the drive is stunning with tiered tea plantations and verdant rice terraces carved into the landscape. 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 (D): Lai Chau - Sa Pa
From Lai Chau to Sa Pa you pass through Tam Duong (formerly Binh Lu), and over the 1900 meter Tram Ton pass, Viet Nam's highest mountain pass and considered the most beautiful stretch of road in the country. Sa Pa is nestled at over 1600 meters in the breathtaking Hoang Lien Son Mountains. 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. Enjoy the savoury food and the hospitality of your Dzay hosts.
Day 5: Sa Pa - Ban Ho.
A good day trekking along rice terraces, through lush bamboo forest and local villages including that of the colourful Dzao hill tribe, and down to a rolling stream for a picnic lunch. After lunch, continue trekking along the rice terraces, trails and dirt roads into Ban Ho for an insightful night with your Tay hosts, where you’ll sleep in the cosy loft complete with comfy mattress and a mosquito net.
Day 6 : Ban Ho - Sa Pa - Lao Cai.
Short trek to the dirt road for the car 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.
8.20pm - Night train back to Ha Noi (soft sleeper with air conditioning).
5am - Trip ends at Ha Noi Railway Station.