Sapa Homestay

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Sapa Homestay

Sapa is famous for both its fine, rugged scenery and also its rich cultural diversity. If trekking is your thing, why not opt for a two or three day experience incorporating homestays in the villages of your choice. What better way to expose yourself to the cultures and colour of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities on a trek through terraced rice paddies, bamboo groves and traditional villages all in the shadow of Mount Fansipan. Sapa Travel work in association with a number of host families throughout the Hoang Lien Son Mountain range and each village has something different to offer. Our homestay partnerships grew out of Sapa Travel’s mission to promote and support responsible travel. From the popular Lao Chai and Ta Van homestays to the quiet and remote village of Lao Chai San, each homestay has a different feel, but all offer the traveller a rare glimpse into the way of life that has all but vanished from the rest of Asia. Here you will find no welcome mats or rehearsed “cultural” parades, just real people living real lives who greet visitors with genuine warmth and real smiles. There are two types of homestay. The choice is either a well established mini guest house style homestay with other travellers or staying in an a traditional Hmong home as exclusive guests. In both, expect to experience village life in all its glory. On the plus side, you will get some quality time with the wonderful Black Hmong community. Hmong homes are set within the famed rice paddies and have incredible views if the weather permits. On the downside, expect to be awoken early by roosters or the families livestock. You can choose towards the end of your trek which type of homestay you want to stay.   Village Guesthouse Your choice of trek often influences the homestay we can use. The guesthouse style homestays are quite large and built from wood or brick. There are no separate bedrooms or en suit bathrooms and only some homestays have wifi. The guesthouses do have electricity. Typically, there is one big open space upstairs, which is then divided into zones with mosquito nets. The photos below show the sort of setup you might expect. These homestays normally have a couple of western style toilets and warm showers. The number of guests varies per day, but typically, two to three groups will share a particular homestay on any given night. There are facilities to buy soft drinks, beers or water at an additional cost. What are the bathrooms like? The bathrooms are clean and do offer privacy. There are hot showers and flushing toilets! Whilst walking around the house, it is best to take off your boots and slide into a pair of the plastic sandals. For more tips of acceptable behaviour, please see our comprehensive code of conduct.   Traditional Homestays If you are...

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Can Cau Cattle Market 2015

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Can Cau Cattle Market 2015

Most of the buffalo here are male, huge and strong with quite threatening looks. Can Cau Cattle Market in the northern highlands province of Lao Cai is the largest of its kind in Vietnam’s northwestern region with hundreds of buffalo and cows put up for sale. It is organized every Saturday along the Can Chu Su Hill in Can Cau Commune, about 115 kilometers from Sa Pa It is not unusual for some of the aggressive-looking animals to suddenly start a fight. The market attracts many tourists, foreign and Vietnamese. Many people come to the market to sell and buy cattle, while some are just watchers. Some onlookers gather for chit-chats. Buffalo traders are recognizable with backpacks or shoulder bags, often made from traditional brocade. It is said that a trader can carry up to hundreds of millions of dong with them to the market Although buffalo are often considered an important asset of farmers, they do not have fixed prices. Instead, both sellers and buyers decide on the animals’ value and then negotiate with each other. This buffalo for instance is offered at VND40 million (US$1,800). Among the buffalo put for sale, many are sold specifically for breeding, while others for farming or meat. Can Cau Market often ends soon after noon. When traders have bought enough buffalo and left with them on trucks, many sellers stay at the market to buy necessities before leaving as well   Sapa Travel is a team of experienced guides in Sapa Town and its villages. Sapa Travel is not a big company, and we do not pretend to be.  Our work is to combine a personal touch with a high level of reliability, while maintaining excellent value for our inbound destination management services to Sapa and the North of Vietnam.  We compete with a flexible and creative attitude towards travel, and by doing what we say when we say we will do it. While many large companies promise to have their ‘best’ team on the ground, we ARE the team on the ground, providing you unparalleled communication and attention you...

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Update timetable for trains Hanoi Lao Cai 2015

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Update timetable for trains Hanoi Lao Cai 2015

On 21st January 2015 we have the announcement from Vietnam Trails Cooperation 10/CĐ VTHN  that the SP 7 and SP 8 train will stop their services from Hanoi to Lao Cai and return. So, the previous train timetable will be only on the SP 3 and SP3 trains. Hanoi- Lao Cai: on SP 3, departing Hanoi at 21:50 and arriving Lao Cai at 6:25 Lao Cai- Hanoi: on SP 4, departing Lao Cai at 20:20 and arriving Hanoi at 5:20 So, if any of the passengers who have the vouchers for SP3 and SP4 will get the new departure and arrival as this notice. The services and seating will keep...

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Trusted hill-tribe tourist guide in Sapa

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Trusted hill-tribe tourist guide in Sapa

One of the best experiences you can have is to by-pass all the hotel and travel agency organised treks and go straight to the source – the local hills-tribe women. By doing this, you will not only be able to choose your own itinery, have a small group (just you and your friends) and be able to set your own time-table, you will also be assured that all the money you are spending will go directly to the people who need it most – your guide and her family. Many of the trekking companies pay their guides a flat fee of around $12 USD irrespective of the size of the group – often charging each tourist over $25 USD. It is pretty easy to meet a local guide if you are in Sapa and willing to be mobbed by very persistent handicraft peddlers – just sit in the square, and it won’t be long before you are approached by a hills-tribe woman offering to take you to her village for a day trek. The guide may be able to offer multi-day treks and home-stays as well. Most guides will speak a bit of self-taught English. If you meet (or find) the right guide, she will also suggest lesser known villages without any tourist shops at all or indeed any other tourists. You will have to negotiate with your guide for the right price. Remember that most of the hills-tribe people are very poor by developed world standards and your money will be given directly to her family and extended community. Many of the older hills-tribe women are not literate but they will have a phone number. Younger hills-tribe guides are likely to have an email address as well. There’s even one in Sapa with a website and tripadvisor listing! However for the majority of hill-tribe guides, its pretty difficult to get to them outside of Sapa. You are likely to meet tourists who will give you the number of their guide – your guide will ask you to recommend her to your friends and other tourists. But that’s about the only way outside of Sapa. Sept 2014 For a wonderful 1/2 day Meme will guide tourists on the trek for 1/2 the price the agents charge and even arrange a taxi back to Sapa. Meme speaks great English (self-taught) and is full of information. She has2 daughters studying at the village school and can explain and demonstrate every aspect of how the women make their clothes from raw hemp to the finished product. She can even find some fresh local herbs which cured an upset stomach. Ask the Hmong women for Meme from Lai Chau village. One of the many guides in Sapa is Chu, she speaks English and French and her phone number is 01657256913. Feel free to add your recommended guides on this page! If you wish...

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Buying Vietnam train tickets online

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Buying Vietnam train tickets online

As per the announcement of Vietnam Railway, the tickets will be sold online at the following websites: – www.vetau.com.vn – www.dsvn.vn – www.vietnamrailway.vn https://www.facebook.com/muavetau Hotline 19006469 Video how to buy train tickets online   From 21st November 2014, Vietnam Railways will start to sell train tickets online via website www.dsvn.vn and you can buy train tickets like you do with the flight tickets. The method of selling train tickets on the website www.dsvn.vn of Vietnam Railway Coporation is applicable for individuals only. After holding tickets, you can choose the methods of payment: in cash or bank cards. The system is developped by FPT IS. Mr. Pham Minh Tuan, GM of FPT IS said that the system will be in used from 21st November...

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Wifi free on train Hanoi Lao Cai

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Wifi free on train Hanoi Lao Cai

The elegant Victoria Express Train is known as one of the most deluxe trains on Hanoi-Lao Cai route, offering every visitor a wonderful travelling experience. The management constantly improves the service in order to offer the best outcome to customers; therefore, several added-services have been launched recently on the effort of improving passengers’ convenience during the trip. Passengers now can enjoy the freedom to read your email, surf and listen to online music thanks to the new Wi-Fi access on board throughout the whole trip. Moreover, a tasty crunchy French croissant as pre-breakfast treat is also offered for every passenger. Last but not least, passenger can sip on a cup of espresso while relaxing in the brand new mini library for their own leisure. With these latest offers, the journey with Victoria Express Train promises to be an unforgettable experience with exotic landscapes of North Vietnam and world-renowned services. For further information and booking please contact us at Sapa Travel Website: http://www.travelsapa.com Add: 18 lane 32 Chua Ha street,...

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