Land of the Rising Dragon

Sapa Rural Trek

Private Tour

Starting from $469 pp



Sapa and the surrounding areas are a trekkers’ paradise and once you visit this part of Vietnam it will be easy to see why. The surrounding countryside is stunning, littered with beautiful cascading rice fields, rolling hills, stunning scenery and small hamlets where the local hill tribe people live. Sapa was originally established in 1922 by the French as a hill station to escape the warm seasonal weather. Unfortunately, the French colonial villas have generally fallen into disrepair, however some have survived with love from their new owners. Sapa has a magical, warm and relaxed feeling about it and is a must-visit destination for those looking for bit of walking and a clean air escape.

On this trip you have just enough time to enjoy a glimpse of Hanoi by cyclo before taking the night train to Lao Cai in a private cabin. Once in Sapa you have time to settle into your new surroundings before enjoying a mid-morning trek to see the scattered hill tribes and local Hmong and Red Dzaoe ethnic groups that populate the region. The following day you will embark on another trek to Muong Hoa Valley to get a stunning view of Sapa and the Karts Mountains that are often hidden in cloud. After 2 magnificent days of trekking you then retrace your steps on the overnight train back to Hanoi.


Day 1: Arrive Hanoi & night train to Lao Cai

On arrival at Noi Bay International Airport in Hanoi, you will be met by an Asia for Expats representative who will then transfer you to the city. Your break starts with a cyclo-ride around the fascinating Old Quarter streets, named after specific goods once sold there. Next you stop at Hoan Kiem Lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple, followed by a Water Puppet Show before taking an overnight train to Lao Cai.

Day 2: Lao Cai to Sapa & Ma Tra Valley

You arrive in Lao Cai in the early morning where you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to the beautiful town of Sapa for breakfast. You then start a half day trek from Suoi village. Your route takes you to Ma Tra village through several hamlets of the Hmong scattered on the hill-sides. Your final stop of the day is Ta Phin village, home to Red Dzaoe people.

Day 3: Sapa to Sa Seng Village & Muong Hoa Valley

Another day of trekking awaits as you trek the 12km from Sa Seng Village to Ta Van Village. Your route will take you off the beaten trails through hill tribes and the cardamom forest for a stunning overview of Sapa, the cloudy Karts Mountains and Muong Valley. Once in Ta Van village you’ll walk through the village before being picked up for the ride back to Sapa, the you’ll be transferred to Lao Cai for your overnight train back to Hanoi.

Day 4: Depart Hanoi

Your train will arrive in Hanoi early in the morning, you will be picked up by a porter and walked to a mini hotel where showers are made availabl. Enjoy breakfast and take a short rest before being transferred to Noi Bay International Airport for your departing flight.

*Please see our list of activities that can be added to your getaway.


Activities in Hanoi

Afternoon Half Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet ShowAfternoon Half Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: Half Day (4 hours)
Visit the Temple of Literature & Vietnam’s first university, the Vietnam History Museum, Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend, before watching a uniquely Northern Vietnamese Water Puppet show in one of the oldest theaters in town.

Full Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show (2)Full Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: Half Day (8 hours)
Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the House on Stilts, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Tran Quoc Pagoda.  After stopping for lunch you will then follow the ‘Afternoon Half Day City Tour’ program, finishing with a uniquely Northern Vietnamese Water Puppet show in one of the oldest theaters in town.

Good Morning Hanoi

Good Morning Hanoi
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: 3 hours
See a completely different side of Hanoi during the early hours of the morning, between 5am and 8am.  Walk the empty streets as the city wakes up and see morning food shops and people exercising.  Pop into the Long Bien Night Market and Morning Dye Flower Market, as well as taking a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hanoi Foodie Tour (1)Hanoi Foodie Tour
Minimum Number: 1 Person
Duration: 3 hours
Starting in the Old Quarter you’ll visit the markets of Cho Hang Be and Dong Xuan. Enjoy the tastes and smells as you pass by the food stalls, sit down and try as many different delicacies as you want.  A glass of Bia Hoi, local draught beer, is the perfect accompaniment.

Dinner at home with a Local Family

Dinner at home with a Local Family
Minimum Number: 2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy the atmosphere of a Vietnamese traditional home, try traditional Vietnamese food and get to know the culture of Hanoian people.  You will observe the cooking process, eat, talk and even look through a few photo albums if you wish.  This Hanoi home visit is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of Hanoi culture.

Ancient Pagoda and Handicraft Village TourAncient Pagoda and Handicraft Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Chang Son is a village located 30 km from Hanoi city center. It is Famous for its wooden handicraft products that include rattan, bamboo, printing, paper fans and chopsticks.  Nearby is the 11th century Thay Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s oldest Pagodas.

Duong Lam Ancient Village TourDuong Lam Ancient Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 8 hours
Duong Lam is a rural village in the Northern Red River Delta.  This picturesque village with its traditional pagodas and houses, surrounded by rice paddy fields, is perfect to discover on bike.  Visit the temples of Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen, and enjoy lunch with a local family.

Tho Ha Traditional Village TourTho Ha Traditional Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 5 hours
Located in the Bac Giang Province north of Hanoi, Tho Ha Village was famous for its pottery production. Nowadays the villager is known for rice wine or cassava wine and rice paper cakes. During the tour you will visit the main family in the village and try your hand at rolling the perfect spring roll.

Love Songs and Traditional Folk Music TourLove Songs and Traditional Folk Music Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy exploring Vietnam’s beautiful countryside and folklore music in the Red River Delta.  After visiting the village of Dinh Bang, you’ll get to know the locals and enjoy some Quan Ho folk songs (duo of love songs), a music style recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2009,

Perfume Pagoda Tour

Perfume Pagoda Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy a boat cruise on Yen Stream, passing by spectacular landscape of flooded rice fields and undulating mountains.  Upon disembarking at Duc Quay, take a short walk to Thien Tru Pagoda, before travelling uphill by electric cable car to visit the sacred Huong Tich Grotto, where pilgrims used to pray for health and luck.

Hanoi Cooking ClassHanoi Cooking Class
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Visit the local market and get a hands-on culinary experience in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  In this class you will prepare some of Hanoi’s favorite dishes while learning about the culture through your taste buds.

Half and Full Day Cultural Bike ToursHalf and Full Day Cultural Bike Tours
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: 4 hours
Our tours visit three different villages and offer three slightly varying programs, from Dong Ngac’s traditional Cultural Village to the Bat Rang Pottery Village, an ancient traditional craft village situated on the banks of the red river, and the Co Lota Citadel, the first ancient citadel of Vietnam.

Expat Tips

Top Expat Tips:

  • Take some time to explore Sapa Market and pick up some fabulous local embroidery
  • Stay a little longer and take a day trip to the Sunday market of Bac Ha for a real local treat


  • Help out the locals in the rice fields and take a photo with some happy farmers (Prizes awarded for the best picture at the end of each season)
  • For food lovers sample some local cuisine at the Hill Station Signature Restaurant#

For Families:

  • Enjoy a rustic home stay experience with the Dzay Family
  • Children of all ages should find the traditional water puppet show a bit of fun

Tour Includes:

  • Land transportation within Vietnam by private vehicles.
  • English speaking guide
  • Accommodation listed
  • Breakfasts each morning on the tour
  • Excursions as mentioned
  • All admission fees at activities mentioned in the itinerary, temples and attractions.
  • All taxes

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights to/from Asia. (Our team can help you arrange flights if requested)
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Visa fees
  • Meals, unless otherwise mentioned
  • Beverages and personal expenses
  • Other excursions and entrance fees
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation and evacuation in the event of accident of illness).
  • All other services not listed in “Tour Includes”.


We will arrange all flights and transportation within Asia as mentioned in the itinerary. Our team can arrange bonded ATOL flights to/from Asia upon request. Please complete the enquiry form with the necessary information to issue a quote for your international flights.


A visa is required to enter Vietnam. Our team will happily advise you on visa requirements.


Please ensure your passport has a validity of at least six months beyond stay. Also at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting and 4 passport-size photos are needed.


Please make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance adequate for your holidays and the activities you want to undertake. Your insurance must cover medical costs related to hospitalisation, repatriation and emergency travel.


Please consult your doctor, clinic or your national Department of Health for recommended vaccinations and medication when travelling to Southeast Asia. It is important to arrange the necessary appointments well in advance of your trip.


US Dollars (USD) are accepted in some places in Vietnam. You can exchange US Dollars for the local currency Vietnamese Dong (VND) once you arrive. For currency conversion please click here.

How to Book

Only once you are fully happy with your tailor-made itinerary you will receive an invoice. In order to secure availability for your booking, tour, activities and accommodation we require a 20% deposit.

Responsible Travel

Asia for Expats is committed to promote tourism that creates better places to live in and better places to visit. As expatriates living in Asia we care about the people and regions where we travel. Please read our Responsible Travel section to find more.

Please note: 

Our prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are subject to changes and can only be confirmed after receiving an enquiry.

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Sapa – Vietnam

We can tailor this experience to suit your needs. Please complete the enquiry form specifying any requirements or alterations to the itinerary.