How we Trek
1-day, 2-days, 3-days or More-days trekking, Market Tours, Homestays or Stay overnight at your guide’s home. Other activities: cook with your guide, Swimming, Harvest Rice (from Sep-Oct (the rice harvest is over for this season, 2014)). What do you want to do?
We don’t believe in fixed itineraries or planned programs. Our private treks give you the freedom to arrange your visit just as you want it. Together with your guide, you plan your trek. You don’t have to know much about the area, your guide will give you suggestions and you plan your trek together, depending on the weather and your wishes. All our treks are private.
A normal day trek would start at 9 am in the morning. We come and meet you at your hotel and together we plan how you want to spend your day. It’s your private trek and we will try our best to arrange it to your wishes.
Most trails go down the valley. We will walk on the edges of the rice fields, pass over the river, through bamboo forest and visit some villages. If you are coming in the summer, bring swimming clothes and ask us to take you swimming!
At the end of the trek, you will go by motorbike-taxi or car back to Sapa. If you want, you can also walk the way back along the main road. The treks normally end at 3 pm.
The price depends on how many days you want to trek, how many people there are in your group and what you want to do. Please fill in our contact form and we will get back to you with our prices.
We also arrange two, three, and some four-day treks with homestays, these are a great way to see the beautiful Sapa Valley and get further from the city. Homestays are a type of Inn that 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 share one big loft room, on the second floor of a 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.
Stay overnight in a local house
Some of the Sapa Sisters guides welcome travelers to stay over in her home or a family members. Their homes often do not have modern “Western” amenities such as water toilets/ shower/wifi, etc. Please ask us when you are booking your trek and we will arrange it for you.
Batik class in Ta Van
If you are interested in handicrafts and textiles or just want to try something new, we can arrange a 2-hour course in traditional Hmong batik down in Ta Van villages.
Batik is a resist dye technique created by wax drawn motives. Hmong people use hemp as a base fabric and indigo to dye it. Traditionally the batik is very delicate made, with many details, and consciously chosen symbols and patterns. The batik design is used for clothes, bags, and blankets.
This is an option for all our travelers who trek for two days or longer and choose to stay a night in Ta Van villages.
Resting after the trek at Sapa Sisters homestay, Zao’s House
Trekking with children?
We are happy to welcome parents with children to trek with us. We offer discounts for younger children and children 2 years or younger, trek for free. Sometimes our guides bring their own baby with them on the trek.
We know from experience that children often are stronger hikers than their parents may think, but of course, their energy might run out. Our guides are flexible to arrange the tour to fit your family’s needs all throughout the trek.
We can arrange tours that start by going down the valley by car you can then have a short walk and visit some villages and maybe have lunch in your guide’s home.
During the hot summer months, we can take you on an easy trek, pass Cat Cat village where you can swim in the clear stream, surrounded by forest. We bring a picnic lunch and eat on the “beach”.
If you prefer to do it all by car, we can arrange that as well. You can still have lunch in local houses and sleep overnight in a homestay.
We have partnered with hotels in SaPa and can offer great rates for customers who are trekking with us and want to explore the city on their own before or after their trek. Please let us know your budget and we will be happy to make a recommendation.
Some of our Partners include Victoria Hotel and Spa, Hill Station Boutique Hotel, Hmong Sapa Hotel, and Bamboo Sapa Hotel.
Zao and her children at Zao’s House
After trekking downhill over the day we either stop at a restaurant for lunch or we can prepare food in a local house.
If you want to have lunch at a local house, either your guide or the hosting family will cook your lunch. If your guide cooks 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 H’mong food. (For now, we don’t offer formal cooking classes). Some guides bring their guests to their family members’ houses or to their own house.
We can accommodate most food restrictions.
Sapa Sisters guide Pen’s house on top of the mountain
We also do day tours to some of the bigger markets in the area: Coc Ly market on Tuesdays, Can Cau market on Saturdays, and Bac Ha market on Sundays. The price depends on whether you depart from Sa Pa (private car or shared bus or from Lao Cai (private car only).
Bac Ha Market Every Sunday we offer day tours to Bac Ha Market. This is the biggest market in the region, visited by people from all different ethnic groups. Red and Black Dao, Nhung, Tay, and of course the colorful Flower H’mong, who dress in clothes covered in pearls. Here people come to trade goods and services, exchange news, and hang out. A really pleasant way to spend a Sunday! The market is located in Bac Ha Town, 2h45min drive, by private car or shared bus from Sapa or (2h drive) by private car from Lao Cai.
Can Cau Market On Saturdays you can visit Can Cau Market. It’s a busy market located close to the Chinese border. It’s beautifully located outdoors, surrounded by mountains. Here you can buy everything: herbs/ local medicine/iron pots and pans/handicrafts and souvenirs/ beautiful handmade clothes/ local-grown tea and local corn-wine/ chickens and water buffalos. Can Cau Market has visitors from all ethnic groups. Sapa Sisters does 1-day tours by private car, starting from Lao Cai (2h drive) or Sapa (2h45min drive)
Coc Ly Market Tuesday market in Coc Ly is the smallest of the markets but it still has everything. If you want to experience a real local market, (with fewer travelers) then Coc Ly is a great choice. After the market visit, you can take a boat along the calm flowing Chay River to Bao Nhai. Sapa Sisters do 1-day tours by private cars, starting from Lao Cai (1h drive) or Sapa (1h45min drive)
Sapa Sisters guide Ker outside her house