Your day-by-day itinerary

Women smiling in sleeper train cabin Vietnam

Days 1-2

Overnight Train to Sapa and trek into the hills

You’ll board the sleeper train in Hanoi and steam off towards Lao Cai, an hour or so from Sapa. The 4-bed cabins aren’t huge, but they’re comfortable enough for an evening. Once the train pulls in, you’ll join a transfer to Sapa where you can stretch your legs and enjoy a tasty breakfast.

Local girls in Sapa

Afterwards, you’ll be met by a local guide who’ll lead you on a private 5km hike into the countryside, stopping at several hill tribe villages along the way. In the final village you’ll stop to spend the night with a hill tribe family, who will give you a large dose of local hospitality and some delicious homecooked food to fill your belly after a long day. The accommodation is simple but gives a real experience of life in this part of the world.

Sapa and Surrounding Area

Day 3

Sapa and Surrounding Area

You’ll cover a fair bit of ground today, and you’ll stop in to see the Giang Ta Chai and Red Dzao tribes, who have both wandered these hills for centuries. As the trek is private, you can set the pace, stopping for scenic breathers whenever you need a break. In the afternoon, you’ll stop for lunch at a picturesque spot before returning back along the mountain roads to Sapa, arriving late afternoon. You’ll stay in the heart of Sapa, the lively tourist hub of the highlands.

Phoenix with luggage by train in Vietnam

Days 4-5

Cat Cat Village & Overnight Train

This morning you’ll hike to Cat Cat, a Black H’mong village not far from Sapa. The Black H’mong are known for their striking black dress and are one of the biggest hill tribes in these mountains. Being so close to Sapa, Cat Cat itself is no stranger to tourism, but it’s still a great place to pick up souvenirs. You’ll visit the village during the morning, and will have the afternoon free to relax in Sapa. Finally, you’ll be taken back to the station for the overnight journey back to Hanoi.

*It costs a little more, but if you’d rather get back to Hanoi a little quicker then we can arrange an earlier road transfer which would get you there in the evening, so you can sleep in a hotel bed….just ask!

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Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:

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Speak to our Vietnam specialist, Miles

“Vietnam is as chaotic as it is calming, which is precisely why I love it! I’ve been spoiled for choice with its incredible landscapes and phenomenal pho"

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