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Vietnam Sapa Trek & Ha Long Bay
(Coming Soon!)

Highlights

  • Exploration of mountainous Vietnam
  • Discover village cultures of Vietnam
  • Big rivers, rice paddies, and remote villages
  • Wonderful home-stay lodging and meals
  • Ha Long Bay cruise
  • Fantastic Vietnamese cuisine

Description

"Xin Chao" from Vietnam! We start this epic Vietnam trekking adventure off in the ancient capital city, Hanoi, where we pick you up from the airport and transfer you to our hotel. We acclimatize in Hanoi and subsequently travel via train to Sapa, which lies on the Northwest border of Vietnam and China. Sapa sets our scene for the hiking portion of this trip as we trek through beautiful rice paddy terraces to remote ‘hill tribe’ villages. The trails we walk on connect village to village and are backdropped by rolling hills, pristine rivers and terraced mountainsides. We experience the lives of the Black H’mong, Red Dzao, Green Dzai and White Tay hill tribes by sleeping in luxurious homestays, making personal connections and trekking from village to village. After the trekking portion of this trip, we head east to the South China Sea for a luxury cruise of Ha Long Bay. The World renown limestone archipelago is a must for any travelers who visit Vietnam and no better place to end our adventure tour of Vietnam. The cultures, mountains, trekking, food and Ha-long bay make this trip one of the best trips in the world!
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Trip Dates

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Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Vietnam and Southeast Asia! Get ready for new sounds, smells, and sights as we enter a unique, vibrant and colorful culture. Your Wildland Trekking guide will pick you up from Noi Bai International airport in Hanoi, Vietnam and transfer you approximately 1 hour to the Hanoi Essence Hotel & Spa for the night. We will enjoy dinner with our guide(s) and group as we get to know each other and talk about the details of the trip.
Day 2

Today will serve as a sightseeing and rest/acclimatization day from our International travel. After breakfast, your guide will host you on a tour of this historic city. Among Hanoi's sightseeing highlights is the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where we will see ‘Uncle Ho’ (Ho Chi Minh) laid out to rest. Ho Chi Minh was the founder and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and a very important figure in the development of Vietnam. We will also visit the Hanoi Hilton museum where John McCain and other prisoners were held during the Vietnam-USA War; the Ethnology museum and the Temple of Literature, which serves as an excellent example of Vietnamese architecture. We will have lunch during the day and return to the hotel in the late afternoon. We will have free time until meeting up for dinner. After dinner, we will return to the hotel and pack our bags to head to the train station for our departure for Sapa around 10PM. No Vietnam adventure would be complete without taking an overnight sleeper train (ours has air conditioning and very nice bathrooms.)
Day 3

This morning between 6 and 7 AM our train will arrive at the Lao Cai train station in the mountain city of Sapa. Our driver will be waiting for our arrival and transfer us roughly 1 hour to our hotel, the Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel and Spa. After check-in, we will have breakfast at the hotel. We will meet up for lunch and dinner, and between meals you will have time to explore this amazing town. Sapa is known for its colorful markets, friendly people and beautiful textiles. You will love and be intrigued by this amazing place!
Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 1,914 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours
This morning after breakfast we will begin our hike. We will meet our local Black H’mong guide and begin our beautiful trek through the mountains. Expect there to be many local women walking with the group, asking to sell us goods. It is awesome to get to know the people, their culture and how they live their daily lives in Sapa. We will have lunch along the way and continue trekking through beautiful terraced rice fields, until we reach Ta Van Village, where we will check into the Ta Van Ecologic Homestay for the night. Ta Van Village is nestled in the mountains and provides a great opportunity to be immersed in the local village life of the Black Hmong and Red Dzao people. The majority of people in Ta Van are rice farmers and our local guide will be able to answer all of the questions we have. Upon arrival at our Homestay, we will be welcomed by our local ‘host mother’ who will be in charge of cooking dinner and breakfast for us. We may even have the option to help prepare spring rolls or appetizers! Getting to know the local people is one of our favorite things about this trek!
Day 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: appx 500 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours
This morning after a hearty breakfast, we will pack our bags and begin walking to the village of Giang Tai Chai. The rolling hills and rice terraces of this area shape the local people's culture and it is evident how the environment plays an impact on the people’s lives. Along the way, we will have lunch and then continue on to Ban Ho village where we will stay for the second night of our trek. Ban Ho is one of the most interesting and diverse villages in the Sapa area. Black Hmong, Red Dzao, White Tay and other minority hill tribes all live together here. Ban Ho is a lovely village surrounded by rice terraces, glistening streams and traditional stilted houses. We check into our accommodation at Uncle Chu Thinh Homestay. We will have free time for showers, rest or village exploration before our delicious dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.
Day 6
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: appx 500 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours
This morning after a hearty breakfast, we pack our backpacks and set off for the village of Thanh Phu. Our trek today starts off by climbing roughly 600 ft until we level off near Nam Tong village. The terrain is sub-tropical and the trails are used by local people to connect the villages. We will have lunch in route and continue trekking until we reach the village of Thanh Phu. Upon arrival at Thanh Phu, we will be picked up and transferred to the Topas Ecolodge where we will check into our luxurious accommodation for the night, the Topas Eco Lodge! We will have free time for showers, village exploration or rest until dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the following day.
Day 7
  • Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: appx 500 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 3 hours
This morning we have a leisurely breakfast, pack our day packs and hike to Lech, a Red Dzao minority village. Upon arrival at Lech, we will visit with the Red Dzao people and learn about their culture and daily life in their village. After our visit with the Dzao, we will head back to the Topas Ecolodge, have showers and free time until lunch is served. We then board our private mini-bus for our 5 ½ hour ride back to Hanoi. We will arrive back to Hanoi, check into our hotel and all go to dinner together. It will be roughly 8:30pm when we arrive back to Hanoi, so we will have some snacks and drinks in route. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.
Day 8

This morning we will enjoy waking up at the Hanoi Essence Hotel & Spa in Hanoi. Breakfast will be served at the hotel and then we will depart between 9 and 10 am to Hai Phong. We arrive to Hai Phong before noon and will be welcomed to the Orchid Cruise’s lounge (read more). Around midday, we will transfer by a smaller boat to the main cruise ship, which is waiting for us in the Cai Trap Canal. We will enjoy a welcome drink and receive a briefing from one of the crew members. Our cruise will set sail through the amazing Ha Long Bay, towards Da Chong Inlet and lunch will be served on board. After lunch, we continue sailing towards Con Vit and Gia Luan Islands where the amazing limestone karst structures rise up out of the water! It is absolutely amazing! Upon arrival, we have a road transfer to a 2000 year old cave called Trung Trang. After visiting the cave we will board the vessel and make our way to Lan Ha Bay for time to swim and relax. Back on board, we have the option to join a traditional cooking class, in which the chef will instruct us in making of some traditional Vietnamese dishes. We then have dinner and will enjoy the landscape of Ha Long Bay, while relaxing and soaking up the views.
Day 9

This morning you can sleep in or rise early to witness Ha Long bay at sunrise! After breakfast, we will continue our journey and head out among small, wooden rowing boats to explore the bay in the area where the Ao Ech is situated and enjoy some time exploring by sea-kayak. After the morning of activities, we will return to the boat to complete the check-out procedure and enjoy a delightful brunch and tea ceremony and then cruise back to port. We arrive at the quay on the south side of the Bay where we will disembark in the late morning. At the quay, we will meet our driver, begin the drive back to Hanoi and have lunch before arriving at our hotel. We have the afternoon free to do some last minute shopping and/or site seeing before gathering back for our celebratory dinner.
Day 10

After breakfast, your Wildland guide will meet you in the hotel lobby for your transfer back to Noi Bai International Airport. We will ensure that you arrive in time for your flight back home or you can continue your adventure in Vietnam. We hope you have had an amazing time and thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!



Add-on Rooms: If you'd like to extend your stay, we are happy to book extra room nights at some destinations (not available at all destinations) before and/or after your trip at our preferred hotel for an additional 30% service fee.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Lodging for the duration of the tour (double accommodations or single supplement)
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast the final morning
  • Professional, certified Wildland hiking and tour guides
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Hanoi
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD or local currency is acceptable.)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Vietnam hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. For the most part we'll be enjoying in-town meals for dinner and some breakfasts and carefully-selected restaurants and lodges, and lunches are prepared on the trail by your guides.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at Noi Bai International Airport (in Hanoi) on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting the first evening (your flight needs to arrive before 12PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Trip Insurance

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.


Weather in Northern Vietnam

The weather in the mountains of Northern Vietnam is often rainy with moderate temperatures and humidity. We offer Vietnam trips in May and September only.

Month Hi Low Precip
May 73° F 59° F 14 in
Sept 73° F 59° F 13 in