The 6 days Off the beaten path Vietnam North Trekking Muong Hum, Sapa is designed for family holidays and those looking for a combination of Vietnam top destination – Sapa and off-the-beaten path places. Highlights include boat trip on Thac Ba lake, Muong Hum market, trekking homestay to H’mong and Dzao villages.
DAY 1: HANOI -> THAC BA LAKE
7h00: You will be met up with Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi (please advise your hotel contacts when booking). Depart Hanoi for Thac Ba lake, Yen Bai province. Enjoy a half day road trip along the national road 2 via Vinh Yen, Phu Tho to Yen Bai. Have some photo stops en route for you to enjoy beautiful scenery of lush palm forests, tea plantations and stunning valleys. Upon your arrival in Vu Linh, you will have lunch in a local restaurant in Vu Linh. After lunch, enjoy a short hike to a Dzao village. You will hike for about two or three hours through local Dzao villages and terraced rice fields. The hike is easy as you mostly walk on flat roads without much up and downhill climbs. Stop by a local house of the Dzao where you can learn more about the local life. Around mid-afternoon, you will be picked up again by your car and transferred to Vu Linh. Check into a local stilt house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2: THAC BA LAKE -> MUONG HUM
Enjoy the morning boat trip on Thac Ba lake. Thac Ba Lake has an area of 23,400 ha and 1,331 islands and hills with diverse ecological environments. The water in the lake is blue and clear, and imprinted with the reflections of the surrounding ancient forest. Then depart for Muong Hum, Lao Cai province. Lunch is provided in a local restaurant en route. Arrival in Muong Hum, check in a house on stilt. Dinner and overnight at the homestay.
DAY 3: MUONG HUM TREKKING
Depart at 9.30 am for a full day trekking to explore Den Sang Valley. Follow the paved path from home-stay to cross the stream and then uphill for half an hour to the area of Den Thang Commune, then trek along an earthen path which winds up and down on high elevation of Den Thang Mountain for nearly hours, enjoy great view of Den Sang and Sang Ma Sao Valleys before paying visit to local homes of the Zao peoples. Picnic lunch break before crossing the stream through a small dam at 2,498 ft to the northern bank and follow a narrow dirt trail up steep hillside for an hour to Ma Mu Su Village beautiful set along the high side of Khi Chu Phin Mountain at about 3,200 ft high, meet hospitable H’mong doing their everyday works before trekking along a single dirt track for nearly 2 hours gradually downhill to Lang Moi Village which is beautifully set at the bottom of Sang Ma Sao Valley at 2,242 ft high. Explore this charming and peaceful village before check in home-stay at about 4.00 pm. Refresh, taking shower and relax before dinner at 7.00 pm.
DAY 4: MUONG HUM TREKKING
Breakfast and depart at 8.30am for 7 hours medium trekking. From home-stay (679m), the dirt trail sneaks amongst terraced paddies along the stream for nearly 2 hours through Sang Ma Sao Valley, passing by several hamlets of the White H’mong. Enjoy beautiful scenery as well as pay visiting to some H’mong homes along the way. Reaching to the large hamlet of the H’mong belong to Ki Quan San Village (936m) which is situated at the northern edge of the valley right at the foot of a imposing mountain range. Walk around the village, pay visiting to the village school and kinter garden before trekking up steep path for an hour to an isolated hamlet on the top of Ma Mu Su mountain (1,014m), have lunch break here. Continue trekking after lunch for 2 hours along the large path getting through Ki Quan San Village, pay visiting to houses of the Red Zao people in well-organized hamlet for understanding culture and living way of the Zao which is quite different from that of the H’mong. Leaving the Zao Hamlet of Ki Quan San Village in mid afternoon for an hour walk mostly downhill back to the house on stilts near Muong Hum Market Place, check in and relax. Dinner sever at about 7.00pm.
DAY 5: MUONG MUM -> SAPA
It is Sunday, the important day to locals. Living on high mountain side, in remote and isolated valleys… hill-tribal peoples from H’mong, Zay, Zao, Ha Nhi… go to the market for shopping, of course, but more important than that, they go to the market for meeting others, for socializing, and for family re-union! Dressing in best colorful traditional costumes of their tribe, peoples add colors to market place and turn it into a kind of local festival. Some members of the group may wish to wake up early, have a cup of tea and go out at about 6.00 to see peoples along the way to the market at some sections of the trails nearby the market place. Group gather at 07.30 to have breakfast at home-stay and spend the whole morning attending locals at the market place. Local tour guide will lead the group around the market place and then leave the group free to explore the market, meet peoples, talking, taking photo…Back to home-stay at 12.00 for lunch. Check out after lunch for the afternoon road transfer to Sa Pa via Ta Giang Phinh and Ban Khoang Valley. Arrive Sapa, checkin hotel. Free dinner. Overnight in Sapa at hotel.
DAY 6: SAPA -> HANOI
You can either have the morning free in Sapa or early departure for Hanoi. The road trip takes about 6 hours to bring you back to Hanoi (taking the new Highway Laocai-Hanoi). Arrival back in Hanoi you will be dropped off at your hotel. End of tour.