These aren't town and city markets with meat and veggies for sale — these are genuine country markets, with livestock trading and myriad handcrafted homewares and souvenir stalls.
Minorities living high in the hills walk hours on end to get here just to pick up a new plough-head or a wooden saddle. They are also social centres for clans living in disparate circumstances and the scenes on display are like something out of National Geographic.
One worthwhile market that is more convenient from Sapa is the Sunday Muong Hum Market, 30 kilometres to the northwest. On our last visit the roads were under construction and dangerous, but once the work's done it'll be worth a visit.
Explore Muong Hum Market
Visit many ethnic villages as: Lao Chai village of the H’mong, Ta Van village of the Dzay, Sin chai enjoy the daily life of the ethnic minorities
Description 8.00 pm: We depart ODC's Sales Office to Hanoi Railway Station to catch the night train (soft sleeper with air conditioning) to Lao Ca
8.00 pm: We depart ODC's Sales Office to Hanoi Railway Station to catch the night train (soft sleeper with air conditioning) to Lao Cai.
Day 1: Lao Cai – Muong Hum – Sapa (B/L/D): Train - Bus
5.00 am: Arrive in Lao Cai and be transferred by shuttle bus to Sapa, which gives yours eyes a massage with the endless blue sky and colorful terraced paddy field. The road is curved around the mountain and you will just go from one surprised to another. The further you go, the closer you are to the sky and to nature.
On arrival, you will stop by our office and leave your luggage in our partner hotel.
6.30 am: Have breakfast and then travel by bus to Muong Hum Market, which is located 35km from Y Ty border, where you will meet a large variety of ethnic minorities such as Ha Nhi, Giay, Red H'mong, Flower H'mong and Red Dao. It is not simply a place for buy and sells but also opportunity for people from different ethnicities to come and meet, for relatives to reunite after a long time missing, for women to demonstrate their beautiful handmade traditional costumers and even for youngsters to find their dates. To reach the market, many ethnic vendors have to walk a long distance passing mountain and hills. Yet distance has never discouraged them from joining the Sunday colorful market.
9.00 a.m: Arrive market, and spend 2 hours in market. In the market session, you may hear the sounds of traditional songs and musical instruments of the local boys and girls. Foreign tourists are especially excited with the daily lives and the custom of hill tribe people.
12.00: Enjoy lunch at local restaurant with some special foods of ethnic people.
1.00 p.m: Leave Muong Hum market and transfer to Sapa. On the way, visit Muong Vy Cave if weather permitting. Stretching thousand meters long, the caves are carved with beautiful stalagmite and stalactite, or Thuy Tien, a village of ther Black H’Mong.
5.00 p.m: Arrive Sapa, check in hotel and have dinner.
Overnight at hotel in Sapa.
Day 2: Sapa – Lao Chai – Ta Van (7hours Trekking, 15 Km, 3 Villages) (B, L, D): None
9.00 a.m: Start trekking downhill Y Linh Ho hamlet. The trek offers some stunning views of the rice terraces, gardens and Fan Si Pan mountain ranges. After going through a suspension bridge, we start walking up to Lao Chai San village.
There we are experiencing the richest traditional culture of Black H’Mong people in the region. The trekking route offers a breathtaking view of vegetable gardens and rice terraces with green mountains rising above. There will be time for visiting with local families and learning about their traditional fiber processing.
11.00 a.m: After this you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam. Ta Van is a small village set within a picturesque valley not far from the northern Vietnamese mountain resort of Sa Pa. The area is renowned for its colorful ethnic minorities, and Ta Van is home to two such groups.
1.00 p.m: Arrive in Ta Van. Have lunch with local family.
In the afternoon: Free time and discover by yourself the life of local peole. It is interesting to spend time talking with the teachers and playing with children, teaching them some English. They are very keen to learn new things.
Overnight at a Dzay family in this village.
Day 3: Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Su Pan - Lao Cai (4 Hours Trekking, 14 Km, 2 Villages) (B/L/D): Bus - Train
8.00 am: Get up early in the morning to enjoy the daily life of the ethnic minorities in the village and have a breakfast.
9.30 a.m: Take the road get to a village located at the foot of Hoang Lien range via bamboo forests.
11.30 a.m: Arrive Giang Ta Chai village; it is home to the Red Dzao who wears plain black trousers and a long black tunic with embroidered cuffs and lapels. From here, we can visit a waterfall and a rattan bridge.
1.30 p.m: After the village, get down to the river, cross it and keep going to Su Pan Village for 2 minorities – The H’Mong and the Red Dzao. Also located along Muong Hoa Valley like Lao Chai and Ta Van but Su Pan Commune can be referred to as “mountainous commune”. Occupying the highland on the east side of the main road about 17 Km from Sapa town, Su Pan including 4 small hamlets of the Black H’mong and Red Zao looks down to the Muong Hoa Valley and is one of the poorest commune to Sapa due to the thin and poor soil, you can take a rest while you are served lunch.
3.00 p.m: Back to Sapa by jeep. On the way back, visit Sapa ancient stone circle.
6.00 pm: Bus departs ODC's Office in Sapa for Lao Cai.
7.00 p.m: Dinner at Lao Cai station.
8.20 p.m: Night train back to Hanoi.
5.00 a.m: Tour ends at Hanoi Railway Station
Bring walking shoes, raincoat, jacket, extra clothes, torch, insect repellent and sunscreen...
Train departure from Ha Noi at 9:15PM and from Lao Cai at 20:45PM
Pick you up at your hotel at 8:00PM
Please take your passport to check in hotel.
Beware of your luggage and money
Inform in advance if you are vegetarian.
All customers must obey the order of your tour guide for your safety.
Passengers are advised not to take along big luggage for convenience.
- Transfer from the hotel to Hanoi Railway station
- Roundtrip transfer in Sapa
- Return train tickets Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi (Soft sleeper with A/C – 4 persons in one cabin)
- 1 night at homestay, 1 night at hotel ***
- Meals as stated above
- English speaking guide
- Entrance fees
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Extra food and beverages
- Phone and laundry
- Tips and personal expenses
There is no review for this tour/accommodation. Please visit later!