Bac Ha market minority woman
Bac Ha buffalo market
Coc Ly Market
Sapa trekking
Sapa trekking guide

Sapa minority market tour & trekking – 2 days

  • Visit a local minority market in the surroundings of Sapa
  • Learn about the culture of the hill tribes of North Vietnam
  • Make a stunning trekking through rice terraces, mountains and villages of the Muong Hoa Valley
Day 0
Hanoi - Sapa
Sleeper train
Day 1
Sapa minority market tour
Day 2
Sapa - Hanoi
Sapa trekking tour - Sleeper train

Itinerary order can change, depending on the market you want to visit and the day you start from Hanoi.

Day 0: Hanoi – Sapa

Sleeper train from Hanoi to Sapa


Your Sapa market tour starts from Hanoi. For both a great travel experience and to save you some daylight travel hours, we offer a sleeper train option for your transfer from Hanoi to Sapa.

You will be traveling on the Dream Train Express, which is a comfortable tourist train. With this option, you will have a sleeper berth in a 4-berth cabin, complete with bedding provided and air-conditioning.


Alternative transfers Hanoi - Sapa

If you do not like to travel by sleeper train, we can offer the following alternative options.

  1. VIP sleeper bus
  2. Limousine bus by day time + 1 night extra in Sapa
  3. Private transfer


SP3: Depart Hanoi – Lao Cai: (22:00 – 05:55)

  • The bunk berths are pretty comfortable, but if you’re over 6 foot (1.83cm) you won’t be able to fully stretch out, if you are over 6 foot or (1.85cm) you might pull your legs a bit, however the ride is comfortable but it can be noisy of the train track is a bit bumpy ride.
  • If you like to have a snack during the night, it is best to bring your own.

Day 1: Sapa market tour

Sapa activity

Arriving at the Lao Cai station early in the morning, you will be met to be taken to Sapa.

Breakfast will be prepared for you in Sapa before you start your Sapa adventure.

Important! Depending on the market you choose and which day you arrive, this daily schedule can differ. Two options


Option 1: 

  • Day 1: Visit the market
  • Day 2: Trekking tour

Option 2: 

  1. Day 1: Trekking tour
  2. Day 2: Visit the market

You have 4 options for a market visit:

Option 1: Bac Ha market

  • Day of the market: Sunday
  • Departure from Hanoi: Friday or Saturday
  • Distance from Sapa: 100 km
  • Driving time: 2.5 – 3 hours
  • Tour type: private or group tour

It is the most popular and busiest market in the Northern Province trading a wide variety of goods including livestock such as cows, pigs, buffalo and horses and everyday items such as rice wine, vegetables and household goods. It is particularly popular with visitors as it provides an excellent opportunity to see and meet the people of the Flower H’mong ethnic minority, which is characterized by their extremely light and colorful dress. For this reason, the Bac Ha market is also called the most colorful market in Vietnam.

Option 2: Can Cau Markt

  • Day of the market: Saturday
  • Departure from Hanoi: Thursday or Friday
  • Distance from Sapa: 120 km
  • Driving time: 3 hours
  • Tour type: private

It takes about 3 hours to reach the relatively little visited and small market of Can Cau, located in a small valley close to the Chinese border. It is this location that gives the market a unique atmosphere. Here there is the opportunity to observe the Dao Tuyen, Phu La, Tay and Flower H’mong minorities each doing business in the market.


Option 3: Coc Ly Market

  • Day of the market: Tuesday
  • Departure from Hanoi: Sunday or Monday
  • Distance from Sapa: 80 km
  • Driving time: 2.5 hours
  • Tour type: private

Coc Ly is a small market and is known for the buffalo and horse trade. It is quite a small market, but especially interesting for its location next to the Chay River. It is a market where you can observe different ethnic groups including: Flower H’mong, Phu La, Dao Tuyen and Tay who come to exchange, buy and sell goods every Tuesday.

Option 4: Muong Hum Market

  • Day of the market: Sunday
  • Departure from Hanoi: Friday or Saturday
  • Distance from Sapa: 45 km
  • Driving time: 1.5 hours
  • Tour type: private

This remains the least “touched” market in the area. It takes 1.5 to 2 hours drive east of Sapa via Lao Cai which takes us through beautiful scenery. The market is frequented by a wide variety of ethnic minority groups, including: Black H’mong, Zay, Tay, Red H’mong, Lu, Ha Nhi and Flower H’mong. There is a lot to see in this interesting and very rural market.



  • Authentic mixture between a hotel and a homestay
  • Good location: quiet but not far from the center
  • Very friendly staff
  • Lovely villa with a great vibe and cozy interiors.

* Depending on availability, you will stay in this hotel or similar

Day 2: Hanoi – Sapa

Sleeper train from Sapa to Hanoi


After breakfast you will start a beautiful trekking through the famous rice fields of Sapa. Along the way you will visit authentic villages of local hill tribes (ethnic minorities), where you will learn more about their local culture.

  • Route: Y Linh Ho – Lao Cai – Ta Van
  • Difficulty: Easy – Medium

This is one of our most popular treks. The route takes you to villages in the Muong Hoa Valley, inhabited by a variety of ethical minorities, including Black H’mong and Zay. We move over back roads and local paths between the terraced rice fields.

From Sapaa we trek via Y Linh Ho, through a beautiful landscape to the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai. We spend time looking around the village.

Sapa trekking Y Linh Ho village


After lunch, we will continue and walk through bamboo forest and terraced rice fields to Giang Ta Chai village where we meet the people of Red Dao minority.

Finally we go back into the valley and we go back to Sapa by jeep.

Rest and enjoy dinner in the evening.


In the evening there is dinner at the hotel and then you will be transferred to the train station for the train back to Hanoi.


  • VIP Sleeper bus
  • Limousine bus by day + 1 extra night in Sapa
  • Private transfer or alternative destination (ex. Ha Giang)

Booking information

Tour options

Market visit itinerary

Depending on the market you choose and which day you arrive, this day schedule may differ. Two possibilities:

  1. Day 1: Market visit – Day 2: Trekking
  2. Day 1: Trekking – Day 2: Market visit
Option 1: Bac Ha markt
  • Day of the market: Sunday
  • Vertrek vanuit Hanoi: Friday or Saturday
  • Distance from Sapa: 100 km
  • Duration driving: 2,5 – 3 uur
  • Tour type: private or group tour
Option 2: Can Cau Market
  • Market day: Saturday
  • Departure from Hanoi: Thursday or Friday
  • Distance from Sapa: 120 km
  • Driving time: 3 hours
  • Tour Type: Private
Option 3: Coc Ly Market
  • Market day: Tuesday
  • Departure from Hanoi: Sunday or Monday
  • Distance from Sapa: 80 km
  • Driving time: 2.5 hours
  • Tour Type: Private
Option 4: Muong Hum Market
  • Market day: Sunday
  • Departure from Hanoi: Friday or Saturday
  • Distance from Sapa: 45 km
  • Driving time: 1.5 hours
  • Tour Type: Private


  • Start tour: Hanoi train station
  • End tour: Hanoi train station
  • Duration: 2 days and 3 nights


  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and Lao Cai back to Hanoi
  • Transfers between Sapa and the train station in Lao Cai
  • Sapa market tour
  • Local guide
  • Transport on site
  • Overnight stays
  • Trekking tour


  • Meals and services not describer in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses

What to bring

  • Camera
  • Good walking shoes
  • Money for own expenses
  • Protection from the sun (hat / sunscreen) or rain (raincoat) – Tip: check the weather forecast
  • Clothing and toiletries
  • Small backpack for hiking and day trips

Additional information

  • Confirmation: You will receive a confirmation immediately after booking. You will receive a voucher by e-mail within 3 working hours. If you have not received your voucher, please check the Spam or notify us via email or chat.
  • Voucher:Save a digital voucher on your phone. As a sustainable company, we would like to ask you not to print the voucher..
  • Itinerary: The itinerary is subject to change depending on the weather and other conditions.
  • Pick-up:Please arrive at the hotel lobby 10 minutes prior to departure. Please be patient on shared / group tours in case of unforeseen delays along the pick-up route.
  • Cancellation:View the cancellation conditions here.


One of the most well-known minority markets in the area is Bac Ha market, and there are join-in tours available for those who would like a more affordable option to visit. However, keep in mind that this also means it is a highly popular market among other tourists. If you would prefer a less crowded experience, consider visiting one of the other nearby minority markets in the Sapa area.
The markets around Sapa are held once a week and the day of the week depends on which market you want to visit.
The trekking in this tour is low to medium level. You should be able to walk for a few hours, but you don’t need to be very fit.

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Local support

Local team in Vietnam for questions and help on the spot

Deposit possible

Pay 30% now and the rest to your guide at the start of the tour.

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