Destinations: Hanoi – Sapa
Highlights: Stunning scenerry, rice terraces, ethnic monirity.
Brief Sapa essential tour 3 days 2 nights
Day 1: Hanoi – diver to Sapa
Day 2: Sapa trekking tour
Day 3: Sapa – Ta Giang Phinh – Hanoi
Description: Sapa tour by road is now easy, convenient and comfortable. It is only around 4 hour drive from Hanoi airport to Sapa on the newly opened superhighway. Forget the overnight train and book this Sapa tour to enjoy amazing Vietnamese countryside scenery during the way.
Please contact us at email@example.com for booking and more information
NOTE: The above tour prices are estimated per person & applied for group of 2 persons! Depending on your favorite hotels, traveling dates & group sizes, the tour prices will be updated! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information!
Vivutravel's private tour guide and driver pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi and drive to Sapa.
Upon your arrival, have lunch at a local restaurant. Check in and rest before we take a short drive to Cat Cat village of the Black H'mong minority where we walk down to explore their everyday life and relax at Cat Cat waterfall. Back to your hotel and at leisure. Overnight in Sapa.
Sapa, in the terraced hills and mountains of this area, the monotony of the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the colours of its hill tribe population. It is here you will find hands stained with colour from fabric dyes and shades of blue, red and green intricately embroidered and stitched into jackets, waistcoats, pants, skirts, caps, purses and leggings.
After breakfast, take a morning walking tour of Sapa for a visit to the busy market where Red Dao, Black & Flower H'Mong, Tay and other ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding countryside to sell their silverware and handicrafts, and to buy provisions. Afterwards, we will do one of the most beautiful Sapa Tours with the drive to visit Lao Chai and Ta Van village of the Black H'mong and the Day people where you can enjoy fresh air, amazing scenery of the imposing mountain range, trek down world's most beautiful terraced rice fields, visit some local family on the way and learn unique culture and life of these ethnic groups.
Back to Sapa by private car, free at leisure for the rest of the day. Overnight in Sapa.
This morning we drive 25km to visit the beautiful Ta Giang Phinh village of the Black H'Mong minority that located by the lovely stream. This is a least-visited part of Sapa and people are still friendly and welcoming. Take your time to walk around the village and visit some local family to see their daily life such as ploughing, harrowing the fields with water buffalo in growing season, harvesting in rice reason or men gathering to built new houses while women making their traditional costumes. It takes 1-2 hours to discover the village then drive back to Sapa. Visit Ban Khoang village of the Red Dao minority and the picturesque Silver Waterfall on the way (If time permitted). Lunch in Sapa then drive all the way back to Hanoi.
Vivutravel would like to thank you so much for your travelling with us and wish to see you again.
When is the best time to visit Sapa?
Although September through November, or March through May is known as the best time to visit Sapa, each season is different and has exciting reasons to visit. During March through November the temperature ranges from 59-84 degrees fahrenheit (15-29 celsius). March and April are known for warm and dry weather and have beautiful flowers and green pastures. It will generally be warmer while in the villages versus trekking. The climate is dry during these months, which is great for trekking. One big trek that is better to do during October through April is Mount Fansipan. July and August will be the wettest as far as humidity.
The rest of the year December through February are known as the winter months. Due to the elevation in Sapa it is much cooler here. The temperature is around 50 degrees fahrenheit (10 celsius). Warm clothing is advised such as a waterproof jacket due to possible rain and incredible fog. The positive aspect of the fog is that it makes for beautiful photos.
What time of the year should I enjoy the rice terraces in Sapa?
It really depends on your personal preferences and how you would like to see the rice terraces during your visit. From December through April, you will find the rice terraces green, and see little ponds of water. From April to May you can see farmers planting the rice fields, this can happen a bit earlier as well, in March. From June through September everything will be extremely green such as how most of Sapa is advertised in photos. There will be a lot of rain during this time, so you must decide if you want to see it green, or be able to trekk comfortably. October through November is the end of the season and the rice fields will become a brown color. It is nice to view the harvesting by the farmers during this time.
How do I get to Sapa?
Sapa is in a bit of a remote region in Vietnam, so there are no flights directly to Sapa. There are two main ways to get to Sapa, bus and train. You do have the option to hire a car, but this is definitely a lot more expensive.
The train from Hanoi to Sapa is easy and a very popular way of traveling to Sapa. It will take 8 hours to reach Lao Cai which is the closest train station to Sapa. After this you must take a shuttle bus and you will finally be in Sapa. There are a few options of different trains you can book to reach Sapa. The best option can be the overnight train which you should try to book in advance if you are traveling during the summer or a weekend. The overnight train also will save on accomodation by having you arrive in the morning after a fresh night’s sleep.
There are a few things to remember when booking train tickets to Sapa. There are many different options regarding classes, and prices change whether or not you have booked a “hard” or “soft” bed. You also have the option of a private or shared compartment. It will be a bit more expensive during holidays or weekends in the summer versus the winter. Prices will range from $18 usd to over $110 usd for the nicest private cabin. Additionally you will need to hold on to 50,000 dong for the shuttle ride.
The bus from Hanoi to Sapa is actually shorter than the train, being only 6 hours. It ends up being a much better value as well. The bus takes you directly into Sapa, versus having to take a shuttle after the train. Buses are also very convenient, as they leave continuously throughout the day. There are a few different levels of buses, some being more luxurious than others, but all are pretty fair priced anywhere from $11 usd- $20 usd. The only negative aspect of taking a bus is that the mountain roads are windy and can feel a bit dangerous. For the adventure traveler this can be a good option to save time and money, but for those with a family it may be best to stick to the train.
Can I drink tap water in Sapa?
It is not recommended to drink the tap water in Sapa unless it has been boiled. Bottled water is commonly available everywhere such as in larger cities.
Is it safe to walk around Sapa at night?
Like the rest of Vietnam, Sapa is incredibly safe at night and any person should have no worries even if traveling alone.
What is there to do in Sapa?
Trekking is extremely popular in Sapa. With beautiful routes that range from easy to very difficult, you will find something even for those who want to walk around a village or climb Mount Fanispan which is 3,143 meters above sea level. Another option is to trekk to tribal villages. You will see gorgeous rice fields cascading down the hills and be awed with every step.
Cultural traveling is also very popular in Sapa as there are over 54 different ethnic groups that live here. The Kinh people are the most dominant, but additionally you can find Hmong, Thai, Dao, Tay, Muong, Hoa, and Xa Pho people. Home stays are amazing experiences where you stay with a local family, often being part of one of the ethnic minority groups. This is an incredible way to learn about food, culture and have a truly authentic experience.
Shopping is a fun activity to bring some of Sapa home with you. There are many markets where you can shop for handicrafts and even food items. Try something new and experience something great. There are different colorful markets each day of the week such as on Tuesday only there is the Coc Ly Market and on Sunday only the Bac Ha, Muong Hum and Muong Khuong Markets.
What can I eat in Sapa?
There are many different types of local food to be enjoying in Sapa. There are some options with meat, and some options that are vegan. One of the vegan options is Com Iam. Com Iam is sticky rice that is cooked in a bamboo stem, and then removed to enjoy. Another form of vegan sticky rice is 7 color sticky rice which is a dish from the Nung people. There are pink, 2 types of red, purple, green, yellow and yellow green rice which are all made from different plants in the forest. The Nung people believe eating this will bring good luck! Another vegitable dish is Cai me. It is a vegitable that is either stir-fried or boil, and added with ginger or spicy.
One dish from the Mong people, which is definitely not vegetarian, but made from horse meat. Thang Co is made from the heart, innards, liver and blood of a horse. There are 12 spices included such as ginger and cinnamon with thang co, the spice, being the last ingredient. It is usually served with vegetables and corn wine on the side. Grilled pork is another delicacy in Sapa, along with “Black Bone Silky Fowl.” These fowls are raised in the hills and the meat is grilled with honey, lemon and mint.
For those who specifically eat fish over meat, or simply enjoy fish, Sapa has many delicious fish dishes. There are grilled fish, and a favorite is Sapa salmon. It has less fat than normal salmon and is very nutritious. It can be prepared raw such as sashimi, grilled, or in a hotpot which is a local favorite.
Sapa is a beautiful area of Vietnam that may be a bit of a trek to get to, but will be worth it. As long as you plan out your route whether it is a bus or train, you will have endless things to do once you arrive.
Vivutravel is a local, trustworthy and professional Vietnam tour operator, offering a wide range of Vietnam and Indochina tour packages to the most exciting destinations at most competitive price. Our Business License Number is 0104000493 and our International Tour Operator License Number is 01 – 258. We are very pleased to be a member of Vietnam Administration of Tourism with financial guarantee – a deposit of 1.000,000,000 million Vietnam Dong (US$ 50,000) in a bank of Vietnam. Besides that, we are also official members of VISTA (Vietnam Society of Travel Agents), PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) and higky recommended on Tripadvisor.
Are you planning your Vietnam Holiday, but not sure how to arrange the trip? Getting lost in many tour options? Being sick of searching...? Just leave your troubles behind to read our Vietnam travel guide and send us your requests. Your private travel consultant at Vivutravel will help you design a perfectly suggested tour itinerary and quote which are tailor made to suit your wishes and budget.
* How to plan my Vietnam tour with you?
1. Send us an inquiry by submitting one of our online tour inquiry forms (Click). Tell us as much information as possible. For examples;
- Please tell us how many people will be traveling with you?
- Please tell us your preferred hotels, level of hotel (3, 4 or 5 stars), type of hotel, type of room...
- Please tell us your type of travel, length of travel and activities that you are interested in. For example; Family with kids, Couple's vacation, Honeymoon, Friends, Shopping, Sightseeing, Leisure and Relaxing, Cuisine & Cooking, Kayaking, Caves & Grottoes, Fishing, Swimming, Hiking, Minority, Adventure & Discovery...
- Please tell us where and what you want to visit. If you do not know much about Vietnam and Indochina, just give us your travel plan and ideas and we will create a suggested tour for you.
- Most of our tour guides are English speaking tour guides, but if you want another language like French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese... we can always arrange. Please tell us what you do you expect from your guides, for example; you want a guide with sense of humor? Good knowledge in history & culture? Male/Female guide? Talkative/untalkative? Young/Old guide?
- Please advise if you want breakfast included only or also lunch and dinner. Please let us know if you are a vegetarian, the food you can eat or can't? If you want local food in local restaurants or western food in tourist restaurant...? Actually, you do not have to send us all information, but the more we know, the better we plan your holiday.
2. After having received your inquiry, one of our professional Vietnam travel consultants will email and give you a proposal.
3. If you accept the proposal (you may modify it till you are satisfied with it), we will calculate the tour cost and send you the tour price. If you accept it, please confirm that you would like to book it.
* How Travel Experts at Vivutravel Service you?
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at Vivutravel.
Everyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
1-on-1 Travel Consultant
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in Vietnam and Indochina, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
* How to proceed to book Vietnam and Indochina tour with you?
When you decide to book your Vietnam and Indochina holiday with us, please send us your full names (name on passport) for hotel and domestic flight reservations, and your international flight details in and out Vietnam/Indochina for airport transfers / pick up & see off.
* How to pay the deposit and the balance?
Deposit: When the booking is completely confirmed, we will send you confirmation details including confirmed itinerary, invoice, voucher then deposit request of about 30% of the total tour cost (can be less). You can pay by credit cards (via onepay gateway, pay online), make wire transfer, western union. The deposit is used to pay the flight tickets, hotels, train tickets in advance.
Balance: You can pay the rest 2 weeks before your arrival, or you can pay us on your arrival in Vietnam by credit cards, cash (AUD, USD, EUROS, VND...)
* How to enjoy the tour?
Our job is to make your holiday a memorable experience. To make sure you will have a great time, there are something that we should share;
When you request the tour: Please let us know your personal interests so our travel consultants will design and include in the itinerary, or take notes for the hotels, tour guide, restaurants...
Before you come: One week before your arrival. we always send our clients an email to update about the weather and climate, booking status, and remind you to prepare/check the documents, visa...for the holiday.
When on tour: The tour is fixed, but you can always discuss with us if you want to make it more flexible. For example, you want to make some changes in the itinerary, restaurant (meals), tour guide... please just let us know, we will do the best for you.
Tour guide: Please let us know what do you expect from your tour guides and we will arrange the right ones for you.
* Can you buy the international flight tickets for us?
Yes, we do. However, we advise you to buy the flight tickets in and out Vietnam from your end as it is always cheaper than if booked in here.
* Do you offer any discounts?
Yes, we offer discounts for;
- Family with kids and children < 12 years old
- Disable people
- Old people (> 65 years old)
- Second trip with us
- Big group
* How can I pay you the money?
1) Credit card; (secure online payment gateway via Onepay)
ONEPAY - ONLINE PAYMENT GATEWAY (VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX & JCB ACCEPTED)
Like PayPal, OnePAY is a payment gateway but specialized in Vietnam where the PayPal has not yet reached. This is a perfect and the first payment processor which gains reputation among clients about its efficiency and timely friendly support.
OnePAY in cooperation with biggest bank in Vietnam - Vietcombank which has been implemented this service among many tour operators in Vietnam.
OnePAY is approved by MasterCard for this payment collection on the behalf of us. OnePAY uses SSL Verisign® over internet transaction under 3D-Secure program by respective creditcard companies so you are free from worries your card information disclosed. OnePAY payment portal also meets standards of international financial system such as PCI DSS of PCI Security Standards Council, 3D-Secure of Visa, MasterCard and JCB.
2) Wire transfer (bank transfer)
4) Western union
* Is there any charge if i change my travel plan such as travel dates, tour itinerary, hotels,...?
We are happy to work on your requests, and will not charge you any money. However, if it is too urgent and the date is too close, the hotels or airlines may chare you some money, in this case we will let you know.
* What is the latest time that I can make my reservation?
We suggest you make reservations at least one month before the departure date. If you decide to travel to Vietnam in May, September or October which is peak season, we recommend you make the reservations two months (at least one) before your departure date. Late reservations can not be guaranteed for the availability of domestic flights, hotel rooms, etc.
However, we DO accept late reservations, things are possible at Vivutravel.
* What about Cancellation policy?
In case of cancellation, we will not impose any charges if we are not being charged and possible to get refund from our suppliers but if our suppliers apply charges for cancellation, you will have to pay those charges that apply. Cancellation policies vary, depending upon the type of service, the time of year, and the reason for cancellation. We will pass on to you all details of any cancellation policy with our transparent reply upon demand.
General cancellation charges that applied by travel services in Vietnam and Indochina.
- Domestic flights: 25% of the fares
- 3 star hotels, no charge if you cancel 5 -7 days before your arrival. (FIT)
- 4 star hotels, no charge if you cancel 10 - 15 days before your arrival (FIT)
- 5 stars hotels, no charge if you cancel 15 - 20 days before your arrival (FIT)
However, in peak season, we may have to pay the hotels one month before your arrival to secure the booking, and in this case, the cancellation policy will be based on the hotels' cancellation plolicies.
* Can we get refund?
For the unused services, Vivutravel will refund you the money.
* How do I get a visa?
Vietnam Visa - For those who would like to avoid the perhaps lengthening visa procedures with their local Vietnam's Embassies, the service of Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.
Steps to obtain Visa on arrival
a) Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa.
1) Full name on passport
2) Passport number
3) Date of birth
5) Date of arrival
6) Date of issue
7) Date of expire
8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months
You can apply Vietnam visa online through our www.vietnamvisaprovider.com.
b) How long does it take?
It will take 2-3 days (Normal process), 01 day (Urgent process) to get the “Visa Approval Letter” which we will send you via mail. What you need is to print it out and take it along to get the stamp at airports/borders
c) Get the stamp
Upon arrival, you will need to fill in a certain form with your personal information, get the stamp and visa will be done. For this process, you will need to prepare 02 photos (4*6) and $25 USD each in cash which is stamping fee.
* Do our tour guides and drivers have meals with us?
The guide and the driver in each destination will dine at the same restaurant as yours. But, they will not join you unless you invite them.
* Where can I exchange our money into Vietnam currency?
We advise you to stop in any of a Vietnamese bank during the tour (Our tour guides will take you to the bank), you can also exchange money at your hotel, but the exchange rate is not really good.
* Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?
Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can be used to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.
Note: If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.
* Do I need to bring my medical record with me?
Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event of an emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.
* When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?
Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.
Tipping is not compulsory, but expected by your tour guide and driver. We advise you to tip as below:
- US$10 - $15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 - US$10 per day for driver
- Tipping can be more or less or nothing that depends on how big is the group? And how do you enjoy our services?
- Other tipping for tuktuk, sampan boat, cyclo,... please check with your tour guide during the tour.
Vivutravel guarantees "no shopping tour", which means we protect you from the tourist shopping centers or traps. However, if you want to buy something, our travel consultants, tour guides will give you suggestions, advices and help you buy to avoid being overcharged.
Bargaining is a "Must" when buying something in Vietnam and Indochina.
Vivutravel believes that a good choice of accommodation will be the key factor for a successful holiday, and for many years of experience in tourism, we have created a list of the best hotels and resorts each destination that offer us both more benefits of competitive rates, early birds, guaranteed promotion and discounts with availability.
We pick the selected hotels for you as below:
Location: The hotels must be centrally – located, close to the main attractions and most convenient for you to enjoy your holiday.
Facility & Service Quality: Vivutravel only uses the hotels that are regularly and strictly inspected. The hotel must provide international standards and your every need is cared for by the hotel staff.
Variety in Choice: As Vivutravel offers different styles of tour such as honeymoon,, family, adventure, discovery, homestay,... so we will offer many styles and grades of hotels which are available for different budgets, tastes and culture backgrounds.
Hotel Information for planning your holiday and stay.
2 Stars - From US$35 - US$40:
We hardly use 2 star hotels for our clients but sometimes we have no choice if your trip is in the mountainous or remote areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms
3 Stars - From US$40 - US$80:
Offering basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.
4 Stars - From from US$80 - US$130:
Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.
5 Stars - from US$130 - US$200 – US$ 300:
Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site and a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.
Tour guide and driver are Vivutravel's representatives and your travel companions during your travel in Vietnam and Indochina who take care of our travel services and make your holiday a memorable time. Understanding this, Vivutravel always selects the best tour guides and drivers for tours.
Private Guide & Transfer
Vivutravel's tour packages are private and tailor made so during your travel with us, you will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel to. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.
We do understand that a good tour guide will make your holiday a beautiful time and tour guides who work with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our culture, lifestyle, knowledge...with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch.
Note: In Sapa or some mountainous areas, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic groups like H'Mong, or Red Dao as they know better than anyone else about their land, culture, customs and habits... and this is also the way that Vivutravel helps the local people a better life.
Vivutravel's requirements for a tour guide:
1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with working experience.
2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
6 - Clear speech and good hearing.
7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer
9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
12 - If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.
Vivutravel guarantees to offer the best means of transport during your holiday in Vietnam and Indochina. The safety, comfort and security of our customers come first. We use only the latest modern cars, vans, coaches and all our drivers are full time workers, government licensed in the tourism industry with at least 5 years driving experience. We are fully in control of our quality and service as we own our vehicles.
Vivutravel's requirements for a tour driver.
- Our drivers must be good drivers with at least 5 years of experience
- Our drivers must keep the vehicles clean,
- Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
- Our drivers must be friendly, helpful.
- Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
- Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained.
Tipping is not compulsory, but expected by your tour guide and driver. We advise you to tip as below:
- US$10 - $15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 - US$10 per day for driver
- Tipping can be more or less or nothing that depends on how big is the group? And how do you enjoy our services?
Indochina holiday to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand offers you some of the world's best food and it is really the highlight of your travel. Vivutravel tends to include meals where necessary and when special. Other meals are at your own choices.
Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.
If allergic to some food
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our reservation's team and tour guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay, overnight on cruise in Halong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but Vivutravel's tour guide will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.
I am very lucky to have experienced 3 days away with the lovely people from Vivutravel and their family friends. I cannot put into words everything I saw and how much I learnt from the experience, but here are some of the highlights. I was taught so many interesting things about the culture within Vietnam, Sapa itself and the ways of life within Vietnam. I particularly found the traditional ways to show respect to the different members of society an interesting topic to learn about whilst sharing a few rice wines. I was taught how to toast correctly when drinking rice wine, the women's role within the family and how a family is described as 'sticky rice' - wanting to always be together and look out for each other. We travelled by road up North from Hanoi to stay in the 'Amazing Hotel' - Sapa, a hotel with a panoramic view of the Fanzipan mountain. The guides could not share enough of their knowledge or do enough to make me feel welcome and enjoy my time with their families. I really enjoyed my visit to the Cat Cat Village. This is a place that you walk to via traditional villages belonging to the Black Hmong tribe and as we passed through we handed out food to the children living there. This was a nice experience because they were very grateful and with them bing so open about educating us on their ways of life, it is nice to be able to give something back to them. The waterfalls here were so vast and beautiful, I saw how the traditional products were made and watched a show of the tribes dancing. The Silver Waterfalls were beautiful. You were able to climb up alongside the waterfall to then cross a bridge which allowed a close up view. At the bottom there is a traditional market that sells the locally made cooking knives and other things that were made in the area. I was very lucky to be staying with a few of the Vivutravel guides families, all with children. I enjoyed playing cards with the children and helping them to speak a bit of English. I was amazed at how well they could understand me and how confident they were with trying to speak a new language. I was also very lucky to learn a few new phrases which helped me out when I had to carry on travelling solo after the trip to Sapa. I also really enjoyed the long trek on the Sunday morning from the homestay to the Giang Ta Chai waterfall in Sapa. We set off early and despite the slightly wet weather the night before, we did not let the muddy paths put us off. As you are trekking you will be joined by the local Black Hmong tribal people who will advise you the best routes to take and in my case, hold my hand to stop me from sliding over haha. We made it to the top of the waterfall and I sat on the bench taken back by just how spectacular the views are in Sapa. By the time I got to the bottom, I was very ready for a wash in the fresh flowing water. The hospitality, knowledge and kindness shown over these 3 days will stay with me for a very long time and all have played a part in building my love for the country of Vietnam. I hope to return and visit you all one day! Thank you to Mr Tuan and all of your family and friends!
We booked our trip in Sapa with Vivutravel and it was wonderful. They organised a special trip for us with the destinations that not too touristic. We trekked many kilometers to get to the village that very far from the town. The people there was so friendly and nice. Did a home stay right at the village to discover their culture and saw their daily life. It was an amazing experienced. Our tour guide was a Mong lady with perfect English. It was a great trip.