IMPACT: Trekking & Homestay in Sapa (3 nights)

HCM 404-102
  • Cultural sites in Ha Noi, a-thousand-year capital of Vietnam
  • Trekking in Sapa – explore hill tribe minority cultures
  • Homestay experience at a hill tribe village
Program Overview
Country: Vietnam
Depart: 02/10/2017 1245
Return: 02/13/2017 1930
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Strenuous
Capacity: Min. 15/ Max. 16

IMPACT Opportunity

Program Fee
$1107 (early booking: $1044)

Field Work Conflicts
  • Art 492A: Seminar: Art History
  • GR 330: Urban Geography

Robert Kling photoAcademic Dean Bob Kling will be serving as the Faculty Leader on this unique experience in North Vietnam!

North-west of Hanoi and not too far from the border with neighboring China, Sapa is Vietnam’s premier destination for trekking and soft adventure. Best known for its diversity of hill tribes and minority villages, this remote outpost, a former French hill station, is located at an elevation of 1,650 meters above sea level. Hikes through verdant rice fields, the option to sleep in local homestays and the chance to interact with isolated communities are but a few of the experiences on offer in the remote region that surrounds Sapa. To understand more about Vietnamese culture, a visit to Hanoi, the capital, is a must. Ha Noi retains much of its historical charm and, with an eclectic mix of Asian tempo and French refinement, Vietnam’s capital is a city to be savored. The labyrinthine streets of Ha Noi’s Old Quarter are the ideal place in which to wander and observe daily life. The Vietnamese Women Museum contains the displays of tangible and intangible historical and cultural heritages of Vietnamese women. It is also a centre for cultural exchange between Vietnamese and international women for the goal of equality, development and peace. Before heading to airport for flight back to Ho Chi Minh city, spend your time visiting the Vietnamese culture icons. Included are the 11th century Temple of Literature, the heart of the Confucian education system, Tran Quoc pagoda, and Quan Thanh temple.


Day 1

*All times are approximate and subject to change. Please be flexible. 

  • 12:45 Depart Saigon port for the transfer to SGN airport for flight to Hanoi
  • 18:00 – 19:30 Meet local guide in Hanoi and transfer group to local restaurant for dinner
  • 19:30 – 20:30 Dinner at a local restaurant
  • 20:30 Transfer to Hanoi train station for overnight train to Lao Cai
  • Overnight on local train / shared 04-berth sleeping cabin (21:40 – 05:30+)

Day 2

  • 05:30 Arrive in Lao Cai, meet your guide then transfer 1.5 hours to your hotel in Sapa for freshen-up and breakfast
  • 09:00 – 17:00 Depart from your hotel then transfer to Ban Ho. We will trek through the scenic valley of “Ban Ho”. This is a village of Tay ethnic minority. The Tay preserve a traditional and fairly developed agriculture with cultivation of all kinds of plants including rice, maize and sweet potato as well as seasonable fruit and vegetables. Then we continue walking to Thanh Phu village where your lunch will be provided in a local house.
  • After lunchtime, you head to Sin Chai village. This is a village of of Red Dao people.
  • Dinner and overnight homestay at the village (very basic – mattress & mosquito net – one local stilt house can accommodate whole group of 16 people)

Day 3

  • After breakfast, we start our day by walking downhill toward the My Son village which is inhabited by the Xafo ethnic minority, one of the smallest group’s ethnic in Northern Vietnam. After one and a half hours walk to the Red Dao village of Nam Toong, stop for lunch.
  • In the afternoon, continue our trip towards Ban Ho village where it will be possible to take a swim. Please refer your guide’s advice before jumping into the water.
  • Then transfer back to Lao Cai (approx. 2.5-hour drive) for your train back to Hanoi. If time permits, your guide will flexibly stop at Sapa for your free time to explore the mountain town before head to Lao Cai.
  • 18:00 – 19:00 have dinner at a local restaurant near the train station & enjoy your free leisure time before board on train back to Ha Noi.
  • Overnight on local train / sharing 04-berth sleeping cabin (20:35 – 04:30+)

Day 4

  • Arrive in Hanoi, meet your guide then transfer to hotel for freshen-up and breakfast.
  • 08:30 – 09:30 Walking tour through Hanoi Old quarter
  • 09:30 – 09:45 Transfer to Vietnamese Women museum
  • 09:45 – 10:45 Visit to Vietnamese Women museum
  • 10:45 – 12:30 Transfer and visit Temple of Literature, Quan Thanh temple, Tran Quoc pagoda
  • 12:30 – 14:30 Transfer to Noi Bai airport for flight to Saigon. 1-hour lunch at local restaurant en route
  • 19:00 Upon arrival, meet your local guide and transfer back to Nha Rong Port

Meals Included

3 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 3 dinners

Special Note

– Children under 12 yrs not recommended due to hard trekking
– The trek in Sapa gets through a non-touristic area. Weather in January, February is cold and foggy.
– Good trekking shoes, rain gear, warm clothes, especially in Jan & Feb and insect repellent are highly recommended.
– Trekking approximately 5 hours each day & transfer 1 hour each way between Sapa and Ban Ho.
– Personal luggage should be no more than 6kg while trekking.