Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe

Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam

Changi Airport T1

This adventure is: #on the weekend, #for a good cause

Sa Pa: Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe

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Lee Ling Chong

" The second-hand torn Atlas that I picked up when I was 7 years old. I flipped it every day and wonder what is happening in the world and to the people. I wonder why straight lines can be drawn on the map and then called country. "
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"While enjoying the diversity and beauty of the land, [..] you can contribute to protect the region’s biodiversity and provide a sustainable income source for these isolated and fascinating local communities."  (Source: ETHOS Spirit supporting local communities directly)

We have chosen one of the best seasons to visit Sapa, cool with little rain expected and if we are lucky we may see cherry blossoms.  It is also a time where farmers start planting rice. 

Here is the plan, I usually pick treks with few visitors, and therefore Hmong families in this valley are quite reserved and unfamiliar with visitors, so cultural sensitivity is essential. It is certainly off the beaten track.

 Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe starting at Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam

Sapa rice terrace

We will get to meet weavers of hemp who use traditional techniques to craft their tribal costumes.  Trekking through characteristic rice and corn fields that give Sapa its fame.
Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe starting at Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam

Sapa rice terrace sunset

 We can even take a shower under a cool mountain waterfall and visit an unusual rock archway and an ancient cave.  I love the idea that our visit will have a direct and positive impact on the local please expect basic village facilities.  We will get to experience village life, the hospitality of villagers and if weather permits Hmong homes are set within the famous rice paddies providing incredible views.

Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe starting at Sa Pa, Lao Cai, VietnamVillage market, photo credit to Magnus Manske@Flickr

We will visit Heaven's Gate" and the highest mountain pass in Vietnam and then visit the "Love Waterfall" (Thac Tinh Yeu).  The scenery is some of the most spectacular in the far North West of Vietnam. 

Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe starting at Sa Pa, Lao Cai, VietnamHoàng Liên National Park

It is also home to many hill tribes such as the H'Mong, Man Tien, Lu and Cu Chu people that we will get to meet.  It is a day of spectacular scenery, river valley, crossing suspension bridges, witnessing green rice terraces and cultural immersion.

Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe starting at Sa Pa, Lao Cai, VietnamLove Waterfall

I will leave 1 day open to 3 possibilities as time get closer, we can cycle through some of the most incredible scenery or trek the foot of Fansipan Mountain that offers a spectacular view of the Fansipan Peak, or we can take the cable car ride to Fansipan Peak dubbed the roof of Indochina.

Sapa's mountains in Vietnam with the local Hmong tribe starting at Sa Pa, Lao Cai, VietnamView of Fansipan mountain range

All this will cost us US$397 for 5D/4N trip and we need 10 people to make this happen. We are using US$1 to S$1.45 to reflect the price in Singapore dollars, should US dollars depreciate we will refund the difference or should US dollars appreciate you will need to top up the difference.


Itinerary

Day 1
0930 hrs: Meet at Changi Airport and leave for Sapa
1230 hrs: Reach Hanoi, eat lunch on the way
1800 hrs: Arrive at Sapa, overnight Sapa town

Day 2
0800 hrs: Breakfast in hotel
0900 hrs: Checkout and leave for Mt Fansipan
1030 hrs: Arrive Mt Fansipan
1330 hrs: Leave for Sapa town
1400 hrs: Lunch and visit Sapa town, market, church, or Ham Rong mountain nearby the church
1800 hrs: Dinner
1900 hrs: Pack for 1.5-day trekking, overnight Sapa town

Day 3, trekking time about 6 hours and trekking distance between 12km to 16km
0700 hrs: Breakfast in hotel
0830 hrs: Leave for trekking
1200 hrs: Lunch
1630 hrs: Reach home stay, overnight at Sapa village home stay
1800 hrs: Dinner at Sapa village home stay

Day 4, trekking time about 7km
0700 hrs: Breakfast in Sapa village home stay
0930 hrs: Leave for Sapa town from Sapa village
1230 hrs: Arrive Sapa town and lunch
1330 hrs: Leave for Love Waterfall and Heaven's Gate
1830 hrs: Reach Sapa town, overnight Sapa town

Day 5
0430 hrs: Breakfast in hotel
0530 hrs: Leave for Hanoi Airport,
1130 hrs: Arrive Hanoi Airport
1310 hrs: Leave for Singapore
1740 hrs: Reach Singapore

Things to bring 
1) Head Lamp
2) Outdoors attire ranging from weather at 30 degrees to 5 degrees, good to have windbreaker to protect against chill from wind
3) Shoes recommended Trekking Shoe. NO Slipper 
4) Clothes for changing
5) Gloves
6) Insect Repellent
7) Raincoat
8) Water bottle or water bag big enough for 1-day trekking
9) Cap
10) Lotion for sun protection and dry weather protection
11) Sunglasses
12) 1.5-day backpack

Includes:

1)    All land transfer in Sapa
2)    Return land transfer between Hanoi to Sapa
3)    Guides for Day 2, 3, and Day 4 activities, if we take cable car on day 4 we will be on our own
4)    4 nights’ accommodation, including 1 night stay in Black Hmong village
5)    4 x breakfast, 2 x lunches, 1 x dinner

Excludes:

1)    Airfare
2)    Meals not mentioned above
3)    Tips
4)    Travel insurance

Fitness Level:
1)    Beginners, you need not be a marathon runner just fit enough to walk uphill and downhill at normal pace that can last 5 to 6 hours every day.

Important Note:

Please read through the following terms of participation before RSVP:

http://threeplaygrounds.com/pages/champion-terms-of-participation

 

DISCLAIMER: Your safety and well-being during the trip are your sole responsibility. By RSVP for this event, you have confirmed that you have read, acknowledged, agreed and accepted the terms and conditions of participating this trip.

 

By WEIRDOFREAKO OUTDOOR PTE. LTD. - TA License No: 02937

This adventure is: #on-the-weekend, #for-a-good-cause
What it takes to make it happen:
It will cost us
593$
and we'll need confirmed RSVP from
6-30 friends
and we'll need confirmed RSVP from 6-30 friends
by
28/04/2017


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By WEIRDOFREAKO OUTDOOR PTE. LTD - TA License No: 02937