Sapa Trekking: Day One

To get to Sapa we took an overnight sleeper train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. Our cabin on the train had two sets of bunk beds with a table and lamp in the middle by the window. There were a few snacks provided with our tickets but we could also purchase food and drinks off of a cart that would pass by the cabins throughout the night and early morning. The train ride was about 8-9 hours, departing Hanoi around 10:30pm and arriving in Lao Cai early the next morning. It definitely was not as comfortable as I had hoped but definitely worth the journey.


Sapa Town

Once we arrived in Lao Cai, we were met by our guide and driver and driven up the mountain to Sapa. It was about an hour-long drive up winding, mountain roads; a little terrifying but breathtakingly beautiful. We were dropped off at our hotel, Chau Long Sapa, and given some time to wash up and grab breakfast before starting our first Sapa trek.


Our hotel in Sapa



Our hotel was a bit older but still full of charm and in a perfect location. The view from our balcony was astonishing, at least when the weather was clear.


View from our hotel balcony

It was pretty foggy during our stay in Sapa but luckily once we got out of the town and into the trails it started to clear up.


For our first trek we were transfered a bit north of Sapa to a surrounding area of the village of O Quy Ho. We had amazing views of Fangxipan Mountain, Indochina’s highest peak. We also made our way through a few tea farms before ending up on a path that took us past rice terraces  that were spotted with grazing water buffalo and hard-working farmers.

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Eventually we made it to a paved path that took us into a small village. The Black H’Mong tribe had migrated to these mountains centuries before so our tour guide was filling us with neat facts about the tribe along the way.

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We also made a quick stop to an elementary school in the village. The kids were absolutely adorable!

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Our trek was about 3 hours up and down steep, slippery slopes. We were in awe with the beauty but relieved when we were able to take a break for a late lunch in Sapa town. Having gotten little to no sleep on the train the night before really took a toll on us.



After lunch we headed back to the hotel to relax before going back out in the town for some delicious egg coffee, a little shopping and some dinner. We called it an early night since we had another trek planned for the entire next day. Day one in Sapa was definitely a memorable experience and we were looking forward to another day full of adventure.

Check back soon for another post on our second day of Sapa trekking!



Adorable puppy at the cafe in Sapa