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Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

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Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Hi - we will be catching the Friday nt traiin from Hanoi to Sapa arriving Lao Cai on Sat Morning - May 2013. We like to travel independently where possible, rather than tours and would like to visit Bac Ha Markets. Can anyone advise the best way of doing this. Are the markets open on Saturday - so that we could maybe leave our bags somewhere and visit the market before continuing to Sapa and checking into acccom for 2 nights? Or should we just make our way up to Sapa from the train Station and travel again on the Sunday to Bac Ha? We have 2 nights - 3 days in total around Sapa and wil be taking the night train back on the Monday. Also, I would consider 1 night in a homestay if anyone can provide me with a good recommendation. Are the markets the same distance from Sapa as from Lao Cai? Thanks so much for your help with our itinerary.

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rural West Aussie
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1. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Pretty sure Bac Ha markets are Sunday only. Be sure you book your train tickets well ahead of time as weekend tickets sell out fast. We stayed in a really nice homestay in Bac Ha organised by Pete at Sapa Rooms Boutique Hotel. It was about three years ago now so not sure if they still do it.

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2. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Presume you have 2N-3D only ( except the time on train back and forth ). In order to get the best of your wishlist, heading to Can Cau market ( held in Sat only ). I personally prefer it better than the Bac Ha market. Be around, get to Bac Ha in the afternoon and overnight. Next morning, you are early bird for the market than the ones who on the way from Sapa. Then you can leave BacHa by around 10 am or 11 am and make your way to Sapa. Send the whole day Monday in Sapa before getting back to the train station. My two cents!

Hanoi
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3. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Regarding your information, you want to spend 1 night in home-stay, so I suggest you a brief itinerary that can be come up to your expectations. Firstly, you arrive Laocai on Saturday, so you can spend the first day to explore Cancau Market and overnight in Bac Ha town. The next day, you take a walk to Bac Ha market and then driving to Sapa. You can take car down town to Laochai and Tavan village for home-stay. Exploring the life of ethnic minority on Monday before take night train to Hanoi.

Waytosapa Travel!

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4. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Colorful Hill Tribe Markets - And Sapa

Day 1 Saturday(L): Starting from Lao Cai, you will first visit Can Cau market. It is small but extremely colorful, set on mountains near the Chinese border. You can see many ethnic minorities people going to the market from the villages to sell or buy goods. The Flower H’mong minority is the most common here, their colorful dresses make it the most beautiful sight. You will spend the whole morning there, then go to Bac Ha for lunch. In the afternoon, you can take an easy trek to Ban Pho villages and visit the old castle of the former H’mong King. You stay overnight at a hotel in Bac Ha.

Day 2 Sunday(BL): We visit the big market and colorful ethnic people of the Flower H'mong, Phu La and Dao Tuyen minorities, who gather here to buy and sell their handicraft products. After spending the morning exploring the market, your lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After lunch we drive downhill to start a short walk to Trung Do Village which is home to the Tay minority. Here you can visit a traditional Tay house. We will then travel by boat through amazing countryside to Bao Nhai Village. Transfer you back to Sa Pa. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 3: Monday(B/L): Sa Pa – Love Waterfall & Muong Hoa valley :

A 40 minute drive takes you to Tram Ton Pass at the height of 2047 meters above sea level (the highest pass in Vietnam) where great views are offered of the surrounding mountains and lush forests of the Hoang Lien National Park. From there you will trek 30 minutes through forest. Along the way you have many chances to see wild flowers. Trekking along the stream you will arrive the Love Waterfall . It is the best place for relax in Sa Pa then return Tram Ton and drive back to Sa Pa. In the afternoon you will visit Muong Hoa valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in northwest Viet Nam. Descending into the valley by foot you will see the largest terraced rice paddy in the Sa Pa area (If you visit the valley between May and October, there is a chance to experience and observe how the locals plant and harvest rice). The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of the Black H'mong minority to Ta Van village of the Zay minority, providing the opportunity to see the different traditions and costumes of the two ethnic minority groups. Return to Sa Pa by car. and then down to Lao cai train .

Overnight on the train back to Hanoi. End of trip.

Trailsofmountain Travel

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5. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Thank you all for your replies to my question. I was hoping to just have 2 nights accommodation in the one place without staying one night in Bac Ha and one in Sapa and then the next night train back again. All seems a bit rushed. would also like to travel independantly without a tour guide etc. I was hoping to visit a local school or orphanage to give some donations. Guess I'll have to keep looking into it and thank you all. I will do some research on the can cau market. Maybe I could do this one on arrival in the morning at Lao cai and then head up to sapa and have the 2 nights there. What do you think?

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6. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Although Can Cau is only about 18km by road from Lao Cai, when we went there it took 45mins-an hour to drive there as the road is so poor and there were frequent stops to wait for buffaloes etc to get off the road. So assuming there's a bus or car available to go pretty well as soon as you arrive at Lao Cai it will be lunchtime-ish by the time you get back to Lao Cai, then you have to find other transport for the hour or so it will take to get to Sa Pa. You can't feasibly visit Bac Ha from Sa Pa as it's an hour on the other side of Lao Cai, so that's four not terrifically comfortable hours on the road for a return trip- more mucking about than simply staying one night in Bac Ha and one in Sa Pa IMO.

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7. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

OP: I'm with you. Let's just do the Cancau market which is more traditional than the modern Bacha, then heading to Sapa after the market time.

You probably don't need a guide but a private car and driver should be arranged. That way, you can do your wish list of stopping by a village school or any Kodak moments. Happy planning!

Hue, Vietnam
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8. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

Bac Ha market is on Sundays so it is better you should arrive in Lao Cai in Sunday morning and take bus from Lao Cai to Bac Ha market. Because there is only bus to Bac Ha from Lao Cai, no bus from Sapa. If you arrive Sapa first on Saturday you must return Lao Cai on Sunday morning to arrive in Bac Ha.

The rest days you can walk around Cat Cat village, Shin Chai village 1 day

1 day to Lao Chai and Ta Van village

Sunny

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9. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

We have arranged pickup at Lao cai for a bus ride to Bac Ha.

Have to wait 2 hours fore the bus (coming from Sapa with some guests).

So, you can do Bac Ha market from Sapa. (on sunday only).

The busride was not pleasant, but the scenery was very beautiful.

Edited: 4:43 am, November 17, 2012
10. Re: Please help with Sapa and Bac Ha Market Itinerary

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