This was an incredible overnight tour, such an amazing experience. Sapa was so beautifully breathtaking, it was surreal. The treks were so much fun, and the mud some of these people described made it even more fun. For the other reviews that gave this tour less stars because you are trekking in muddy terrain and rice fields is not the tours fault... you have to know what you are getting yourself involved in. It really was not as difficult as some described, it was very enjoyable and slow paced to enjoy every little bit of scenery. Every direction you looked was just... wow. The hotel we stayed in was very nice, with an amazing view. Everything seemed to be organized, and our tour guide was very sweet and knowledgeable. The only thing that I disliked was the fact that the sleeper bus, on the way to Sapa from Hanoi, was not the same company of our actual tour which I did not know. I got on the sleeper bus from Hanoi thinking everyone on the bus was part of our tour, which is not the case turns out no one that bus was on our tour which I thought was strange. It made me nervous thinking I wasn't on the right bus, but when we got off at Sapa at our stop, there was my tour guide with my name on a sign.
Overall I highly recommend, it was such a great experience!
Great tour for those who don't mind long uphill, downhill and muddy trekking! Would not recommend if you have injuries of any kind as you are out in the fields for hours. We were in our element though and Hien our tour guide was amazing - so knowledgable, fun and easy to understand. Would definitely recommend as this is a beautiful way to see Sapa.
The bus is faster than going by train but has sleeper seats designed for small people. I could not fit my 6ft 2in into most seats so was left with the option of the seats at the back which are more like beds with about 30 cm of headroom. So not good for those who are claustrophobic. I was told the sleeper train has a similar problem with short beds.
The Panorama hotel was fine but nothing special.
The walks with the local tour guide were good and he was helpful and informative. The itinerary changed from that advertised but only in that the long walk was done on the first day in 3 hours, rather than on the second day over 5 hours. The shorter walk was then done on the second day.
Sapa is amazing. The area these rice terraces cover is so much larger than I thought. It's a beautiful product of man working with nature perfectly. Besides riding an elephant, this was my favorite part of my vacation. We stayed at the Sapa Vista hotel, and the room was amazing, with a great view of the mountains. Our two hikes started from the door of the hotel, which was right around the corner from Cat-Cat Village. The first day of trekking was about 2.5 hours, lots of stopping, didn't cover a huge distance, mainly downhill, and ended at the bridge and waterfall. The second day was easily 5 hours, much more difficult but the views are what makes it worth it. Your not walking on designated paths, it feels like the guide is making it up as you go. We had a group of about 15 people, with some local village people mixed in that helped us along the way. We didn't see any other groups the majority of the day. I have a bad knee and this hike really aggravated it. It was hurting for about a week after this. I still think it was worth it though. The only thing frustrating for me was that the person that picks you up at the hotel in Hanoi, is not your tour guide. There is one person that picks you up in a van, that takes you to a bus, which has driver, that bus takes you for 5 hours to Sapa seats that only lay down, bunk bed style, and not meant for people over 5'11''. That bus drops you off at the bus station for another van ride to the hotel. remember the name of the large bus company, its important info you need to get back, The smaller van driver may or may not be your tour guide for your trekking. There is no clear leader to this plan, but somehow it worked out. There were a lot less people on the way back to Hanoi than on the way there, not sure if anyone got left behind. The town of Sapa is much larger than I thought it would be, very commercial, but the hill tribes, the trekking, and scenery are exactly what you want it to be. Its a long rides to get there, but its worth it. And if it rains close to when you are there, you might lose a shoe in the mud.
This was a bit of a stuff up with the 5km trek on the first day changed to 12km, which meant more than 1 hour walking in the dark - so stupid when the next day we had up until the bus left at 3pm to have done it. Instead they changed the 5km walk to the 2nd day. Not happy, especially it rained all of the first day.
The hiking part was great!
But you change your guides sooo many times (at least 4 different guides).
None of them knew that i booked a whole package. The hiking on the last day took 5 hours instead of 3,5! So, no time for a shower and i nearly missed the bus back to hanoi... a bit chaotic...