Journey from Hanoi to Sapa and back on a Vietnam adventure

The remote mountains of northwest Vietnam are home to some of South-East Asia’s most rugged terrain, beautiful scenery and colourful hill tribes. Leaving the graceful boulevards of Hanoi behind, travel to Mai Chau before traversing the bumpy mountain roads to Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Lai Chau, and Sapa. Experience breathtaking mountain views and meet friendly locals along the way. If you want to get off the beaten track in Vietnam, this is the trip for you.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
89kg pp per trip


  • Discover a myriad of Hanoi attractions
  • Explore the remote mountains while trekking in Sapa
  • Travel to historic Son La
  • Visit the site of the battle of Dien Bien Phu
  • Meet friendly H'mong tribes people
  • Trek to charming Cat Cat village
  • Experience an overnight train to Hanoi


Admire the Temple of Literature during a free day in Hanoi. Vietnam's bewitching capital is a melting pot of Asian culture, wide European streets, commercial activity and history. Experience the real Hanoi by diving straight into the furious current.
Travel to Mai Chau, past fields of tapioca, sugar cane and rice. Visit ethnic minority villages nestled in stunning mountainous surrounds and spend an unforgettable night as guests of a local family.
Home to Thai, Muong and H'mong minorities; Son La is a fascinating stop. The area near Son La also has historical significance for the role it played in the Vietnamese struggle for independence during the first half of the 20th century.
Visit the remains of a former French prison and enjoy a dip in the local hot springs. Travel to the scene of the infamous battle of Dien Bien Phu.
Gain an insight into the history of the region on a walking tour. Call by the haunting Dien Bien Phu museum, see Hill A1, and then travel onwards to Phong Tho.
Make the journey east to Sapa. Admire the remoteness of this region and soak up vistas few travellers encounter. Enjoy a short trek at Binh Lu through endless green tea plantations before driving through Hoang Lien Son Pass to experience mountain scenery at its best. Keep a lookout for Mt Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina. Once in Sapa, trek to the idyllic village of Cat Cat, home to the H'mong. Have the chance to meet other ethnic minorities, including the Red Dzao and Tay people, while in this unique corner of Vietnam.
The trip comes full circle after an overnight train back to Hanoi. A farewell breakfast with newfound friends at the renowned KOTO restaurant is a perfect way to cap off the adventure.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Overnight sleeper train, Private minibus
Homestay (1 night), Hotel (5 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included activities
  • Cat Cat village walk
  • Dien Bien Phu Museum and A1 Hill
  • Hanoi - breakfast at KOTO restaurant
  • Mai Chau villages
  • Old Son La Prison


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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip.


Please note that for 2013 this tour will begin on selected Thursdays, instead of selected Mondays in 2012, and will run from March - November only. The itinerary no longer visits Dien Bien Phu or Phong Tho.

The itinerary will be as follows:

Day 1 Hanoi
Day 2 Mai Chau
Day 3 Son La
Days 4-5 Sapa
Day 6 Vu Linh
Days 7-8 Hanoi

The finalised itinerary and prices will be released on the 1st November 2012.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes