A must do in Sapa – choose a less touristed route
We organized our trek through the Sapa Travel located just off the main square, as we weren’t sure what we wanted to do. We did this the same day we arrived for the following day. We asked for a tour where we wouldn’t encounter too many other tourists and that our 10 yr old daughter could handle. The guy recommended a 14km trek, passing through 3 different villages (not exactly sure what it is called). He arranged a local girl as our guide and she met us at our hotel at 8:30am the next morning.
Chau was a 19 year old local Hmong girl with excellent English and was just lovely. She was happy to answer all our questions and was full of local knowledge. The trek started by walking out of town past the new market building being constructed then headed up into the hills. We had the usual 3-4 other local women tagging along in the hopes of selling us stuff – but they were harmless, very friendly and even helpful at times it got tough. The trek itself wasn’t the easiest – lots of up and down and the track was often slippery because of the rain the day before (the day of the trek was gorgeous and sunny) – but, that said – it was worth every step. We only ever encountered one other couple doing the same trek the entire time. The scenery was breathtaking and walking casually through the villages was quite an experience and a good chance to see how they lived. The villagers basically ignored us and we loved seeing the baby farm animals and wildlife as we walked along. Up high, we spend a lot of time walking in and out of the clouds and then they would clear and the scenery was wow.
Lunch was supplied by Chau – very simple baguette with ham, egg, tomato, cucumber, cheese and an apple. We took plenty of water and she had a couple of small bottles as well. There is no where to buy stuff along the way – so come well prepared.
At the finish, we stopped at a ‘cafe’ of sorts and met a minivan which took us back to Sapa. It was only about a 15min ride back to town and we got there around 3:30 – 4:00pm. It is normal to tip the guide – which we did, as she was great.