Hanoi - Sa Pa - Thac Ba Lake - Hanoi

435km (+350km by train)

2 nights in homestays and 1 night on a sleeper train

any skill level

Sa Pa; the Muong Hoa Valley; Thac Bac Waterfall; Ta Phin village; Thac Ba Lake; the minority area of Vu Linh

(Overnight) Hanoi - Lao Cai

350km

sleeper bunk

The night train saves time, allowing you to spend more time doing what you came here to do!

Day 1: Lao Cai - Sa Pa

35km

homestay

Sa Pa; the Muong Hoa Valley; Thac Bac Waterfall; Ta Phin village

You'll disembark the night train at Lao Cai, a city 35km from Sa Pa that lies on the banks of the Red River right on the Chinese border. Sa Pa itself is a sort of old market town where minority folks from the surrounding area come to trade. During the colonial era it became favoured by the French as a sort of Summer retreat because of its landscape and cooler climate, and over time has developed into a tourist town. In the morning you'll explore the Muong Hoa Valley and Thac Bac Waterfall, before heading back into Sa Pa Town to check out the Old Quarter, with its stone church and traditional marketplace. That evening you'll ride a dirt road to the nearby minority village of Ta Phin where you'll spend the night.

leaving Ta Phin in the morning
leaving Ta Phin in the morning
riding through Ta Phin in the morning
riding through Ta Phin in the morning
Day 2: Sa Pa - Thac Ba Lake

220km

homestay

Thac Ba Lake; the minority area of Vu Linh

You'll leave the Sa Pa countryside and head into Luc Yen, a mountainous district that's covered in unmapped dirt roads that wind through the villages of the minority folk who made them, before skirting Thac Ba Lake on the way to Vu Linh, a Dzao minority area nestled on its eastern bank. Created by damming the Chay River at three points to power Vietnam's first power station, Thac Ba Lake is the largest man-made lake in Vietnam. Time and weather permitting, you'll have the opportunity to take a boat trip across it and onto one of the many little islands dotted around.

sunset on Thac Ba Lake
sunset on Thac Ba Lake
taking a break in Vu Linh
taking a break in Vu Linh
Day 3 : Thac Ba Lake - Hanoi

180km

flat rice fields and limestone cliffs

Leaving the far north you'll see the terrain change from hills to flat plains pierced by limestone cliffs on the way to Phu Tho, a farming province just west of Hanoi. From there on the roads are pretty good, and you should arrive back in Hanoi before rush hour.

 

Prefer single rooms?

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Pay a 30% deposit per item

Included

airport pickup

English speaking tour guide

breakfast, lunch and dinner

accommodation (shared)

motorbike rental

fuel

helmets and gloves

tickets to national parks and for ferries

Not Included

drinks at the end of the day

souvenirs

health and liability insurance