FAQ – Frequently asked questions
How difficult is the trekking, how many hours will I need to walk?
You decide together with the guide how you want to spend your trek, our guides are skilled at customizing adventures for your (and your children’s) capacity and wish. We do both easy and difficult treks around Sapa. A normal trek is about 12-15km/day and you walk for about 5-6 hours.
How about safety durring the trek?
Most of our guides have certificates in First Aid and CPR. Sapa Sisters regularly arrange 2 days of classes for all staff.
According to Vietnamese law (Starting from Aug 2019), all travel companies have to buy insurance for their customers. We buy insurance for all guests trekking with us. To do this we will need the name and passport numbers of all travelers. We still highly recommend that you have your own travel insurance.
Do you do group tours?
No, we only do private tours.
How do I pay for my trek?
You can either book and pay for your trek through our online booking page or if you have booked your trek by email, you can choose to pay in cash, directly to your guide when you meet her. We can not accept credit cards, only cash. We prefer payment in VN Dong but US Dollar is also fine. If you book a tour to any of the markets you will have to pay for your tour in advance by credit card online. To read our terms and condition for advance payment click here.
Do you have a office in Sapa?
Yes, we have a temporary office at Alley 29, 9 Fansipan Street, Sapa. For late bookings, if you are already in Sapa, you can book your trek directly in our office. Here you can store your luggage while trekking, buy train tickets, book private cars around the area, to Hanoi or Ha Long Bay, book a shared minivan or private car to Lao Cai train station, and more. Welcome in!
What about food during the trek?
Lunch is included in all our treks. If you choose a trek with homestay you will also have breakfast and dinner at the homestay. Dinners are a mix of traditional food with lots of vegetables, pork, rice, and tofu. If you are vegetarian simply inform our guides ahead of time and they will be happy to purchase food that fits your dietary needs.
If you want to have lunch at a local house instead of in a restaurant we can arrange that for an additional fee. Then either your guide or the family cooks your lunch. If your guide cook for you-you can buy the groceries together on the way. You are also welcome to take part in the cooking if you want to learn how to make Hmong food. Some guides bring their guests to their family members’ houses or to their own house.
What is a homestay?
Homestays are a type of inn which is normally run by local families down in the valley. When you choose to stay the night at a homestay you wake up already in the valley, which enables you to explore more of the scenery. The guests shear one big loft in our room, on the second floor in a beautiful traditional house. The host and their family stay in a separate part of the house. There are no private bedrooms in the homestays. There are hot showers, western standard toilets, beds, and tasty traditional food. The homestays are clean and safe.
Can I stay at a local house?
Some of our guides welcome guests to their house. They all have beds, electricity, and good food but they don’t have showers or western-style toilets, some have very simple toilets. This option is only available for small groups with 1-4 travelers. There will be an additional fee for this option.
What do I need to bring on my trek?
Bring a smaller backpack with a change of clothes and personal things needed for the trek. You can buy water along the way, but bring some with you if you choose to go off the main tourist trail. All homestays provide bed sheets, and towels and have mosquito nets over the bed but bring mosquito repellent for the evenings. Other things to bring: sun cream, extra toilet paper, snacks for the road, warm clothes if you trek in winter, early spring, or late autumn, and a swimsuit if you come in the summer.
Where do I meet my guide?
Most of the time you meet your guide in Sapa, she can come to your hotel or you meet in our office. If you have booked a tour to any of the markets, with start from Lao Cai, your guide will meet you at the train station.
Do you offer Herbal Bath?
Yes, if you trek to Ta Phin villages you can have a traditional Herbal Bath. You pay an extra fee directly to your host.
Where can I leave my luggage in Sapa?
You can leave your luggage for free in our office while trekking.
Do you offer pick-up from Lao Cai to Sapa?
We arrange pickup by shared minibus, 1-way Lao Cai-Sapa. We can also arrange pickup by private car, Lao Cai-Sapa, and Sapa-Lao Cai.
How do I get from the train station in Lao Cai to Sapa?
Minibuses Lao Cai – Sapa leave right outside the train station, they cost about 3-4USD. The ride takes about 50 min. We can also arrange pickup and drop-off for you.
Does Sapa Sisters arrange climbs to Fansipan.
No, we don’t have the right permission to guide travelers to the peak of Fansipan.
Does Sapa Sisters arrange hotel bookings?
Yes, We have a few hotel partners in SaPa please let us know your price range and we will check availability.
What is not included in the price?
•Pre and post-trip accommodation.
•Drinks and Beverage.
• All other services not mentioned as inclusive.
All prices include VAT
We would like to make you aware of an issue that you may encounter during your trek. The issue concerns the selling of goods by local villagers to travellers during their treks and what can be uncomfortable for some travellers. These women are often on the trails, following travellers, looking to sell their wares and can seem “pushy”. The best course of action in dealing with them is to politely but firmly decline to purchase goods – if you are not interested. It is quite difficult for our guides to ask them to leave as these women are often from the same villages or are directly related to them, and asking them to leave could (and has in the past) cause conflicts for them once they return to their village. This sellers are in no way affiliated with /employed or encouraged by Sapa Sisters.