Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
The 7-day Sapa Halong bay tour is a combination of Sapa villages trek and Halong bay cruise tour. You meet up with different ethnic groups as you hike from village to village. Spending the night at local home (homestay) also offers a real life experience. The trek is a medium difficulty that is recommended to parents, children travelling in dry season. The overnight cruise tour to Halong bay is most beautiful in summer time when it is hot and sunny. The multi activity tour can be extended with other breaks such as spa package, homestay, Tam Coc sampan cruise tour, cooking class, hanoi countryside cycle or rock climbing vacations…Contact your Lotussia Travel consultant for more details.
Day 1: Overnight train to Lao Cai.
In the evening, transfer to Hanoi Railways Station to take the night train to Laocai. Departure at???. Overnight on the train.
Day 2: Arrive Lao Cai. Travel to Sapa. Trekking Sapa hilltribe villages (Tram Ton – Sin Chai).
Arrive Lao Cai Railway Station early this morning. You will be picked up by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to Sapa.
Breaffast will be provided in a local restaurant in town.
Transfer to Silver Waterfall where you will be able to take a short walk to the waterfall. You will then drive further to Heaven Gate, the highest peak of roads in Vietnam. From there you can see Fansipan, the highest peak of Indochina mountains as well as enjoy stunning views. We start descending nearby the waterfall. The trail takes you all the way downhill through bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park.
Your lunch will be served at a nice spot nearby a river.
After lunch, you continue the trek to Sin Chai village of Black Hmong minority, where Community Based Tourism in Sapa takes place. You will have opportunity to explore daily life of one of the largest group ethnic minorities in Sapa area.
Homestay in a local house.
Day 3: Continue hiking Sapa (Sin Chai – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho)
After having breakfast, you start heading up the mountain. Once you get to the top, you will trek on a small trail with spectacular view and then gradually descend to Cat Cat village, where you will have lunch nearby a waterfall.
In the afternoon, you take a trail sneaking through mountain. You also will enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. Eventually you will arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest in a nice spot nearby the beautiful river.
The night will be spent in a local house in Y Linh Ho village.
Day 4: Continue Sapa valley trek (Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van)
Today’s trek will continue along Hoang Lien mountain range, which offers you many opportunities to enjoy view over huge rice paddy terraces in Muong Hoa valley, the largest one in the area.
After lunch at a nice spot, you descend into the bottom of the valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route.
You spend the night in a traditional house of Giay minority. You will be able to take a walk to enjoy the valley view as well as swim in the river nearby.
Day 5: Trekking Ta Van – Su Pan. Return Sapa town. Travel to Lao Cai. Overnight train back to Hanoi.
Today’s trek is short, but still the landscape is beautiful. Once you get energy for your last day trek after having breakfast, you leave for Giang Ta Chai village where you can take a rest nearby a waterfall for lunch.
After passing trough the bamboo forest we will find a nice place to enjoy lunch. After lunch we continue towards Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. After taking a rest nearby a waterfall to refresh, you start climbing uphill to a road where the car is ready for your journey back to Sapa, then down to Lao Cai Railways Station.
Take the night train back to Hanoi. Departure ??? Overnight on the train.
Day 6: Arrive Hanoi. Travel to Halong bay. Boat junk cruise and sea kayaking tour.
Arrive early this morning in Hanoi. You will be picked up again by Lotussia Travel guide, driver and transferred to a local restaurant in town for breakfast.
At 8:30, depart to Halong Bay. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Halong Bay at any spot that you wish to visit (if weather permits). Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner.
Overnight on board junk.
Day 7: Halong bay – Hanoi.
Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City.
At 11:00, disembark at the dock at Halong City. Transfer back to Hanoi.
Need further information about this Sapa Halong bay tour 7 days? Contact us here
Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary prior to travel. If you have any queries, please contact us.
Please note that while we operate successful cycling holidays in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Bargaining is not a strange fact in Vietnam. There are many places in Vietnam where people bargain, especially in open-air markets, street shops and rural areas. Therefore we are not good at bargaining. We don’t like this trick neither. Our time is precious and we appreciate your time as well. We would prefer spending our time on the tour arrangements to the price negotiation. Our price is fixed.
Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.
- Vehicle for transfers and support
- Tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
- Bicycle rental
- Sightseeing entrance fees.
- Bottled water.
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
- Visa (required)
- Flight/Train tickets.
- Accommodation pre/post trip.
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses
Visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors, though it is possible to arrange three months or six month – multiple entry visa for regular visitors.
The official national currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), but the US dollar is widely accepted in Vietnam. However, small towns and the villages the VND is preferred, ATM are available in all major cities and towns, tourist destinations, Vietcombank, Agriculture banks are the two largest networks with a limit a single withdraw limit of 2,000,000 d (95 USD). Most major currrencies can be exchanged in Vietnam, but the USD is the most preferred. The exchange rate 1 USD = 22.400 VND (Nov. 2016)
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. Broadly speaking, the weather in Vietnam is dictated by two seasons – the southwest monsoon from April to September and the Northeast monsoon from October to late march or early April.
Due to regional climate differences, there are no right or wrong seasons to visit Vietnam. The north Vietnam is cool, damp in winters between November and December and February with tempreture in Hanoi falling to around 15oC. The summer months from April to October are hot and dry. The best time visit Vietnam is spring (February – April) or Autunm (late September – December) when it is not so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues to march. The humidity can prove oppresive from May to the early September.
Wearing a helmet is compulsory on all our biking adventures. Our tour guide often carry first aid kit while riding. Please follow your guide while biking, and much attention is required while you cross streets.
To assist you visualize how our bike trip is difficult, we have graded our Vietnam cycling tours into three categories, easy, moderate, and challenging. We group many factors into consideration into this grading, including distant covered, terrain, altitude, and vehicle support.
Involves cycling for up to two to three hours a day at easy pace and usually, less than 3 days in duration. The cycling distances is around 15 – 30 km per day. There are likely to be no steep and sustained descents as well as demand for technical riding. We will normally ride on flat roads. Suitable for bikers who enjoy occasional weekend riding on trails at home. Push bikes are sometimes used for these itineraries.
Involves biking for up to six hours a day at a steady pace and are usually between three to five days in duration. The cycling distance is about 35 – 55 km per day. Sometimes it can be long flat rides or medium ride with fews up and downhill climbs. The support vehicle will not always be available. We will need a good level of fitness. We use either mountain bikes or road bikes for these itineraries.
Involves biking in mountainous areas with big climbs for up to seven or eight hours a day and usually more than a week in duration. Cycling distance is about 60 – 80 km per day. There will be steep and sustained ascents and descents. The support vehicle will not always be available. These trips will provide a real sustained workout even for fit and experienced mountain bikers.
When cycling we mostly stay in small hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail. In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels. Camping is not available on cycling tours in Vietnam unless it is required and this should be booked months in advance. Please see the details at the session “inclusions”.
Most of our tour guides speak English. Some other speak French. Few speak other language such as German, Russian, Spanish. All our guides have great knowledge of history, local culture, and religions of the area where you are cycling. Our guides have been trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding.
We arrange a mechanic, with extra charge only for big groups or when it is required. When there is no mechanic, our guide will take care of problem which may occur during the bike ride.
Depending on the nature of the tour, our cycle journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections. We often use mini bus or bus for transfer and back up (guided tours).
- 1 – 4 people: we use minivan to support and carry bikes. Sometimes we use car with support truck.
- 5 – 8 people: we use one van and one truck to support
- 9 people – over: we use one bus and truck to support
We only provide bike rental and truck to support for self-guided bike tours.
Basic spares and tools kit are generally carried by our guide or mechanic or on the support vehicle, although we can not guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem.
Food and drinks
All the meals which, are mentioned in itinerary (B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner), are included in the tour price. Most of meals are Vietnamese local food. Vegetarians are certainly welcome and are always accommodated, please let us know of any dietary concerns at time of booking. Beverage and alcoholic drink are not included at mealtime or in restaurants.
Snacks and water
When we transfer, ride by minibus (no cycling day), our bottled waters are always available for you in the car/van. When we have cycling days, we will offer cold water (summer) plus fresh tropical fruits, soft drinks. Please find out what is included in our service proposal.
Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.
What you take will naturally depend upon where you are travelling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.
- 2 pairs of riding shorts
- 2 riding jerseys (quick-dry)
- 2 pairs of quick dry socks for cycling
- Comfortable shoes for biking and walking
- Riding gloves
- 2-3 t-shirts or casual shirts
- Trousers or jeans
- 1-2 pairs of casual socks for non-cycling activities
- 3-5 sets of underwear (quick-dry)
- Cool-weather jacket or rain jacket
- Extra layers and gloves for cooler season or climate (thin, thermal, water-wicking)
- Bathing suit
- Tooth brush and tooth paste
- Hair brush
- Hand sanitizer
- Passport, wallet and ID
- Health insurance card
- Travel insurance card
- Cash and/or credit cards
- Camera (with spare battery)
- Plastic bags (for dirty laundry, wet clothes)
- Electronic chargers (for camera, e-reader, cell phone)
- Adaptors or convertors
Tipping for good services is always appreciated. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of the tour. Hotels and station porters should also be tipped a small amount for.
Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.
Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.