Same region, access, sceneries and ethnic populations, but a totally different spirit. When Sapa offers you everything that an overexploited mass tourism spot has to offer, we take you to the other side of the mountain range. Where wilderness meets hospitality in a beautiful setting.
- Hike the less travelled trails.
- Experience homestay in a traditional ethnic village
- Assist to a weekly market (if your dates match)
- Take a boat ride on the Chay River in the gorges of Lao Cai
Day 1. Lao Cai – Song Chay mountain range
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Homestay
You have taken the night train from Hanoi last evening. So you arrive today early morning at Lao Cai’s train station. Let’s start with a breakfast and some time to emerge. We then hit the road. If it is a market day we will start our journey by assisting to the event. If not, that will simply let us more time for hiking. Freewheeling style! The least we can do is to guarantee you that you will end your day in the stilt house of our friendly hosts after having wandered stunning valleys and lively villages, experienced load of interactions and got the dose of hiking you wanted.
Day 2. The Chay River, around and on
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Night train
We get up and ready to go. No rush, we have the whole day ahead. We take a short drive to the spot where the hiking starts. In the morning we have an about 2-hour scenic walk to a small village lying no far from the Chay River. We take the time to wander around the village and make sure we enjoy any unexpected encountering on the go. We end up in a family home and have a homemade lunch there. It is then an exciting boat ride on the Chay River that is awaiting us. We head downstream, in the “gorges of Lao Cai”. We can stay on the boat all along or get on and off, alternating between sliding down the river and hiking on its banks.
We’ll end with a car transfer back to Lao Cai. It is time for a quick shower and dinner before we hop on the train. Arrival in Hanoi early on the next morning.