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Things to do in Lao Cai Province

Our most recommended things to do in Lao Cai Province

Sapa: 3 Days 3 Nights Trek & Hotel with Overnight Train

1. Sapa: 3 Days 3 Nights Trek & Hotel with Overnight Train

Day 0: Transfer from Hanoi to Lao Cai by overnight train - At 9pm you need to be at Hanoi station (120 Lê Duẩn street) where you board the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. The train leaves at 10pm. Enjoy the night on the train and reach your destination in the next beautiful morning. Day 1: Sapa center - Cat Cat village (L,D) - Morning: Meet your tour guide at the train station then to Sapa at 6am. Then, indulge in breakfast at your hotel before taking a walk around Sapa, visiting the market and old cathedral, and meet Black H’mong and Red Zao ethnic minorities selling handicrafts. A walk down to the South-west of Sapa (around 4 km) to visit Cat Cat village of the Black H’mong. Relax at the foot of the stunning waterfall and the vestige of a hydroelectric power station that was constructed by the French during colonial time in Vietnam. Enjoy picnic lunch by the side of the river, and then next 3 km to Sin Chai, the village located at the foot of Fansipan Mountain, “the roof of Vietnam and Indochina”. From here you can enjoy huge stunning landscapes before climbing up on the way back to Sapa. - Evening: After dinner, you are free to explore the charm of Sapa by night, enjoy roasted corn, baked eggs beside a charcoal fire or go shopping. - Overnight in Sapa Hotel ( 3 stars hotel) Day 2: Sapa – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van (B,L,D) - Morning: Have breakfast in hotel. And then 6km of walking down to the south east of Sapa along the side of Muong Hoa valley to Y Linh Ho village of the Black H’mong. Continue on 2km of trekking down to Lao Chai village of the H’mong. - Enjoy a cooking class and lunch at a local family, and then walk through terraced rice fields to Ta Van village of the Dzay minority people where we stay for the night. It gives you a worth chance for you to learn about the local house architecture which is full of their daily life styles and exclusive custom. Enjoy the landscapes. - Overnight in a local homestay Day 3: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Sapa (B,L,D) - After breakfast, continue on trekking to visit 2 villages of the red Dzao, the H’mong. Visit a beautiful waterfall and rattan bridge. Enjoy landscapes… through bamboo forest to the main road to catch the Car to return to Sapa. - If any roads are too far or too difficult to trek, we can go by electric car or motorbikes. - Afternoon: around 2pm you’ll be back and pack your things. Say good bye and preapre to leave Sapa, get on the limousine back to Hanoi at 2.30pm. - Evening: around 9-10pm drop off at your hotel in Hanoi. End of tour

From Hanoi: 2-Day Overnight Sapa Tour by Luxury Transfer

2. From Hanoi: 2-Day Overnight Sapa Tour by Luxury Transfer

Head to Sapa on a two-day guided trip from Hanoi. Enjoy an overnight stay in the mountains of northern Vietnam, trek to ethnic minority villages, experience local culture, and try local cuisine. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Hanoi to Sapa and Short Trek (Lunch, Dinner) Meet the tour guide for the bus to Lao Cai and Sapa (duration roughly 5 hours). Check-in at your hotel, then take a walk around Sapa, visiting the market and old cathedral, and meet Black H’mong and Red Zao ethnic minorities selling handicrafts. Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch and then trek through Cat Cat village, stopping at local homes and experiencing the hospitality. (Trekking distance approximately 2.5 km; duration about 2 hours) Return to the hotel for dinner at 5:00 PM and overnight stay. Day 2: Long Trek and Sapa to Hanoi by Bus (Breakfast, Lunch) Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before checking out and heading on a trek to Muong Hoa Valley. Walk to Y Linh Ho village and stop for a picnic lunch. Continue to Lao Chai and Ta Van village, visiting homes and local schools. (Trekking distance approximately 9 km; duration about 5.5 hours) Meet your group at the hotel and head to the bus station. Drop off in Hanoi is at the bus office (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) or your hotel/ apartment in the Old Quarter (Monday to Thursday).

Sa Pa: Muong Hoa Valley Trek and Local Ethnic Villages Tour

3. Sa Pa: Muong Hoa Valley Trek and Local Ethnic Villages Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Sa Pa, and then start your 10-kilometer trek through the beautiful valley. Admire the rice terraces hidden behind the morning mist as you follow a small trail to cross the Muong Hoa River. Continue past well-tended, terraced rice fields on your way to the village of Lao Chai, where a local Black Hmong ethnic group live. Hike to the village of Ta Van Giay and trek along the route of the Muong Hoa River to cross a small suspension bridge roughly 2 kilometers from the settlement. Discover a fascinating collection of ancient rock carvings that depict images of men, stilt houses and different decorative patterns. Enjoy lunch at a local house in the village before hiking through a bamboo forest and reaching the Red Dao ethnic minority village of Giang Ta Chai. Enjoy a short rest at a nearby waterfall before climbing uphill to the main road where the driver will be waiting for you to take you back to SaPa. 

From Sapa: Waterfalls, Trekking and Tribal Villages Tour

4. From Sapa: Waterfalls, Trekking and Tribal Villages Tour

After meeting your local guide and driver, head about 30 minutes out of Sapa Town to visit the Silver Waterfall, Love Waterfall and Tram Ton Pass. Explore the area before leaving for the traditional village of Ban Khoan. From there, begin your trek. The trek, about 4 hours and 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), takes you along mountain trails and through remote tribal villages. Enjoy amazing views of the surrounding rice paddies, and take plenty of photos as you learn about the unique cultures of the Hmong and Red Dzao people. Take a break for a picnic lunch before continuing the trek to the home of the Red Dzao tribe in Ta Phin Village. In the afternoon, meet your driver to begin the 30-minute transfer back to Sapa.

From Hanoi: Two-Day Sapa Tour with Fansipan Peak Visit

5. From Hanoi: Two-Day Sapa Tour with Fansipan Peak Visit

Enjoy a 2-day tour from Hanoi to Sapa, visiting Cat Cat village and taking a cable car up Fansipan Peak – the Roof of Indochina. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa – Cat Cat village (Meals: lunch, dinner) Depart Hanoi for Sapa early in the morning. Stop for short breaks in Phu Tho Province and Lao Cai city before arriving in Sapa town. Be greeted by a representative in Sapa and enjoy lunch with local Vietnamese dishes. In the afternoon, trek to Cat Cat village, the home of the Black H’Mong people. See the Cat Cat Waterfall and the hydrofoil constructed by the French during the 19th century. Visit a local H’Mong family and learn about their culture and customs. Then, trek back to Sapa for dinner. Spend the night in a hotel in Sapa. Day 2: Sapa – Fansipan Peak – Hanoi(Meals: breakfast, lunch) After breakfast, transfer to the cable car station. Your driver will help you buy your cable car ticket. Then, take the 20-minute cable car ride up Fansipan by yourself. Admire the spectacular scenery, visit the pagoda, and climb the 600 steps to the peak, known as the Roof of Indochina. Return to Sapa and have lunch at the hotel. Enjoy time to explore Sapa on your own before boarding the sleeper bus back to Hanoi.

From Hanoi: 2-Day Sa Pa Ethnic Homestay Tour with Trekking

6. From Hanoi: 2-Day Sa Pa Ethnic Homestay Tour with Trekking

Reconnect with a more simple way of life on an amazing 2-day tour of Sa Pa from Hanoi. Spend the night at a homestay of the ethnic minority people and learn more about their way of life in the mountains. Day 1: In the morning hop on the bus departing for Sapa via Lao Cai. Continue to Sa Pa and see the colorful costumes of the Hmong, Dzao and Tay people. The representative in Sapa will welcome you at the bus stop and take you to the hotel to relax, and enjoy a lunch of local dishes in Sapa town. Trek through the rice terraces and along the Muong Hoa Stream. Arrive in the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai surrounded by Hoang Lien Son Mountain. Continue to the ethnic village of Ta Van to check into your homestay and get to know the family. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast prepared by the family before your morning trek through the rice paddies and bamboo forest. Get a panoramic view of Giang Ta Chai village before crossing the Giang Ta Chai Bridge, where a bus will take you back to Sa Pa for lunch and a shower before the return trip to Hanoi. The bus stops at the meeting point from there you get to your hotel by yourself.

From Hanoi: 2-Day Sapa Trekking Tour with Limousine Transfer

7. From Hanoi: 2-Day Sapa Trekking Tour with Limousine Transfer

Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa (Lunch) Start with pickup from your hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and depart for Sapa. Follow the highway to Lao Cai city where you will make your first stop for breakfast by yourself. Stop off at Lao Cai city before arriving in Sapa, where you'll see the colorful traditional costumes of H’mong, Dzao, and Tay People. Here enjoy a lunch of local Vietnamese dishes at the hotel. Take a short trek to the gate of Cat Cat village, home of the Black H’mong ethnic people and located near the bottom of a deep valley at the foot of Fansipan Peak. A local guide will give you insight into the daily life of the locals. Trek down to the bottom of the valley to the waterfall, where the French built a hydraulic power station. Stop to take photos before walking back uphill to meet the bus. The trek is approximately 2.5 kilometers and lasts for 2 hours. In the evening, return to Sapa Town, where you can enjoy your evening at your leisure. Stay overnight in Sapa Lodge/Charm Sapa Hotel or similar. Day 2: Sapa – Hanoi (Breakfast/Lunch) Have breakfast at your hotel and prepare a light pack for trekking. You can keep your luggage in storage at the reception. Take a Trek to Lao Chai Village through the rice terraces and along Muong Hoa Streams to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai.  See the spectacular landscape of Hoang Lien Son Mountain before heading to Ta Van village, home of the Dzay People. The trek takes around 3.5 hours and covers about 9-12 kilometers. The tour guide will make the best itinerary for the trek depending on your ability of trekking. The bus will pick you up at Ta Van Bridge to take you back to the center of Sapa. Take a break at the hotel and have lunch, before enjoying some time to explore at your own leisure. After some free time, meet the rest of your group at the hotel to prepare for your return to Hanoi. Get back on the bus around 2:30 PM to go back to Hanoi. During the journey, stop for a break. Arrive back at your accommodation in Hanoi in the late evening at about 9:00 PM.

From Hanoi: 2-Day 2-Night Sapa Tour by Overnight Train

8. From Hanoi: 2-Day 2-Night Sapa Tour by Overnight Train

Day 0: From Hanoi to Lao Cai by overnight train If your hotel is in the Old Quarter, around 9pm our staff will catch a taxi for you and take you to Hanoi Railway station (120 Lê Duẩn street) where you board the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. If our hotel is outside the Old Quarter, please move to the destination to meet our staff. They'll help you find your cabin. The train leaves at 10pm. Enjoy the night on the train and reach your destination in the next beautiful morning. Day 1: Hanoi to Sapa and Short Trek with lunch and dinner Meet your tour guide at the train station then to Sapa at 6am. Then, indulge in breakfast at your hotel before taking a walk around Sapa, visiting the market and old cathedral, and meet Black H’mong and Red Zao ethnic minorities selling handicrafts. Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch and then trek through Cat Cat village for a duration of around 2 hours. Stop at local homes and engage with the community. Day 2: Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van - Limousine back to Hanoi Morning: Have breakfast in hotel. And then 6km of walking down to the south east of Sapa along the side of Muong Hoa valley to Y Linh Ho village of the Black H’mong. Continue on 2km of trekking down to Lao Chai village of the H’mong. Walk through terraced rice fields to Ta Van village of the Dzay minority people. It gives you a worth chance for you to learn about the local house architecture which is full of their daily life styles and exclusive custom. Enjoy the landscapes and have lunch. Afternoon: around 2pm you’ll be back and pack your things. Say good bye and preapre to leave Sapa, get on the limousine back to Hanoi at 2.30pm. Evening: around 9-10pm drop off at your hotel in Hanoi. End of tour!

From Sa Pa: 5-Hour Muong Hoa Valley Trek and Ethnic Tribes

9. From Sa Pa: 5-Hour Muong Hoa Valley Trek and Ethnic Tribes

Depart from Sa Pa and walk for 20-minute along the stunning road heading to the Muong Hoa Valley to visit the Y Linh Ho village of the Black Hmong tribe. You will interact with the locals and experience their everyday life at the market. Arrive in the village of Lao Chai and get spectacular views of some of the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam. Enjoy lunch near the river and taste the local produce of the Black Hmong community. Next, trek to Ta Van village and visit the local houses to learn more about the traditional crafts of the minority people, such as weaving and rice cultivation. Learn more about rural life and meet members of the Dzay tribe to contrast their customs and costumes with the Black Mong people. Take the bus back to Sa Pa, where you will be dropped off at the local office on arrival.

From Hanoi : 3-Day Homestay Trekking in Tour Sa Pa

10. From Hanoi : 3-Day Homestay Trekking in Tour Sa Pa

You will be picked up from your hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi in the evening and driven to Sa Pa, where you will arrive at 4:00 AM the following day. You can sleep on the bus until 6:00 AM, then you will be woken up and taken to a boutique hotel for breakfast.  Day 1: Lao Cai to Ta Van (B, L, D) After having breakfast and getting to know your group, your guide will pick you up from the hotel at 9:30 AM. You will start trekking to Lao Chai, an area inhabited by the Hmong ethnic minority, through Y Linh Ho village. Enjoy lunch in Lao Chai village, in the home of a local family. Keep trekking to Ta Van village, where Giay people live. Stay overnight in Ta Van village, and discover the cultural identities and local tradition of the Giay people. Day 2: Ta Van to Ban Ho (B, L, D) Have a local breakfast then leave Ta Van village, trekking through the bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai village, where people from the Red Dzao ethnic minority group live. Enjoy the countryside along the trail. Visit Rattan Bridge and a Dzao’s family home, then enjoy lunch on footpath. Continuing trekking to Ban Ho village, where you will have free time for relaxing and strolling in the village. Have dinner and spend another night in a homestay with local people.  Day 3: Ban Ho to Lao Cai (B, L) After breakfast, enjoy the amazing sunrise in Ban Ho valley. Start the short trek to Nam Tong village, inhabited by the Red Dzao tribe. Learn more about their culture and traditions. Return to Ban Ho village, where a van will pick you up for the journey back to Sa Pa. Relax at the hotel before taking the bus back to Hanoi at 4:00 PM. When you arrive in Hanoi at 10:00 PM, your tour will end.

Top sights in Lao Cai Province

Other Sightseeing Options in Lao Cai Province

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What people are saying about Lao Cai Province

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 984 reviews

Although the weather was clearly not on our side in Sapa (rain, muddy, foggy, and cold), yet, we had an enjoyable and memorial trip. Lana proactively provided a guidance and an arrangement before the trip. The night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai was really comfortable with private beds. Thanks to Lana, we luckily got a free upgrade to a private cabin. Our favourite tour guide, Lily (an ethnic local lady) who was nice, supportive, and knowledgeable. During the trip, we learned a lot about the richness of the local culture and the insight stories. The home stay at the village was also excellent, where we had a good evening and chat with other visitors and the locals. The foods were average but the hot drinks were outstanding. The home stay could consider providing heaters rooms for the cold nights. The hotel was good. The return trip to Hanoi on a Van (called Limousine!) was interesting as we sat on the first row to experience the “traffic”. We would definitely recommend the tour.

Went on 28 Dec 2022. It rained in the morning but we decided to go ahead. We were a group of 5 and we chose the difficult route. The guide gave us an easy or difficult route. There were 2 people above 50 in the group but they were fit. The decision to change into wellies was great due to the slippery mud and steep climbs up and down. The Hmong ladies that followed us were a great assistance on the slopes. One of them was 75 and another, 17, carrying a 10mth baby on her back whilst traversing the slopes. Lunch was yummy. We bought stuff from the ladies that walked with us all the way to lunch. It was not easy because of the wet trails and mud. You don’t have to but looking at the way they earn a living, it’s the least we could do for their efforts. The rice terraces were beautiful, we saw many animals and the guide was knowledgeable. Highly recommend but go the easy route if you want to chill and be clean. Much respect to the Hmong women who make a living this way.

Guide (Lu) was on time and all 3 of us enjoyed her well paced hike She was able to cater to the weakest n was looking out for her while we climb on up to the waterfalls. During hike thru villages she was also helpful.

Unique experience in a unique landscape. Everything was well organized down to the smallest detail

Very comfy seats and we had a very friendly driver. Great way to get to Ha long bay