Example Itinerary

Hilltribes & Rice Terraces: Hanoi to Sapa

6 days / 5 nights
Price Per Person
Tribal, Amazing Landscapes

Starting in the capital, you'll see some of the city's most intriguing historic landmarks, including a trip to the charming Old Quarter. You'll experience the romance of overland travel with a sleeper train journey aboard the luxurious Victoria Express to Sapa. In Sapa, you'll trek through rice paddies to the region's most picturesque hill tribe villages. Enjoy fresh mountain air and the simplicity of rural life before returning via sleeper train to cosmopolitan Hanoi.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.


• Hiking: North Vietnam's rice-terraced mountains are perfect to explore on foot, showcasing the best views and the traditions involved in growing the staple grain.

• Ethnic Groups: The region's many hill tribes include ethnic Kinh, Red Dao, and Black Hmong, and travelers will get to meet members of these communities on village walks, at handicraft markets, and in home visits.

• Overnight Train: Dusky views pass by your cabin window as you enjoy an overnight trip on the elegant Victoria Express sleeper train.


Day 1


The capital of Vietnam is an ancient city with more than 1,000 years of history. On your first day here, you'll get a feel for the city in the Old Quarter, with its narrow tree-lined streets and tightly packed shop-fronts. Next, relax by scenic Hoan Kiem Lake, with its 17th-century Turtle Tower on an island in the middle. In the evening, settle into your luxury Hanoi hotel.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Theatrical Splendor: This glamorous hotel turns a stay into an experience. Over a thousand pieces of operatic memorabilia and thematic interiors ensconce guests in Bill Bensley’s vision of opera’s golden days passed.

Location: Just a mere steps away from the iconic Hanoi Opera House, the Capella Hanoi sits in the prestigious Hoan Kiem quarter, offering guests convenient access to cultural highlights, shopping, and restaurants.

Curated Culture: Capella Hotel Group’s focus on cultural experiences is a cornerstone at each of its properties. From intertwining local culture in the property design to bringing local cuisine to its house restaurant and bar menus, Capella’s Culturists further enhance guests’ stays with complimentary Rituals and Programming curated to furture explore the local culture.

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Capella Hanoi Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

History: The hotel has its own bomb shelter used in the American War (1964-1975).

Relaxation: Enjoy complimentary tai chi and yoga classes.

Food: A wide range of dining choices from seafood and chocolate high tea buffets to French, Italian and Vietnamese cuisine.

Opera: The hotel offers guests complimentary front row tickets to the famous nearby Hanoi Opera House.

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Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Preferred Hotel

Day 2


For some insight into local history, today you'll visit the striking Temple of Literature, an 11th-century temple of Confucius comprising five courtyards, various halls and pavilions and altars to Confucius. This fascinating place was Vietnam's first university. Next, it's over to Hoa Lo Prison Museum for a look at the place famously dubbed the "Hanoi Hilton" by US POWs. After a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, you'll hop aboard an Express Train for an overnight trip to Sapa.


Day 3


This morning you arrive in the high-altitude town of Sapa, famous for its picturesque rural scenery and ethnic diversity. After settling into your  room, you'll make the leisurely trek to Cat Cat Village, a Hmong township surrounded by lush green mountains and terraced rice paddies. Here, you can buy local handicrafts and glimpse day-to-day rural life in the highlands.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Aesthetics: The vibrant array of haute design elements will stun guests of the Hotel de la Coupole, where marble floors, elegant crown moldings, ornate light fixtures, and plush furnishings are aesthetic touches that come mandatory.

Variety: Whether in reference to the many room types or the numerous dining options and amenities, the Hotel de la Coupole brings no shortage of options to the table for guests to choose from.

Services: The Hotel de la Coupole is truly a five-star establishment in every sense — especially when it comes to service, which is extensive and thorough.

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Hotel de la Coupole Sapa Preferred Hotel

Located 18 kilometers from the town of Sapa, Topas enjoys an idyllic mountaintop location with stunning views over Sapa Valley. Its 25 individual lodges offer double or twin occupancy, and come with traditional thatched roofs and hot water.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 4


Today you will trek to the village of Ta Phin, thirty minutes from Sapa. Ta Phin is inhabited by ethnic Kinh, Red Dao and Black Hmong, and here you can experience rich cultural exchange through home visits, guided village tours, mountain walks, observing field work and interacting with locals. Ta Phin has a wealth of traditional craftspeople and here you can pick up intricately embroidered clothing or locally-made silver jewelry.


Day 5

Overnight Train

Another of Sapa's beautiful must-see sites is Heaven's Gate, Vietnam's highest stretch of road, located on the provincial border. From this vantage point you'll enjoy spectacular valley and mountain views. Tonight, board the  Express sleeper train for the 10-hour journey back to Hanoi. On the way, enjoy a gourmet dinner accompanied by fine wines, then wake up back in the capital.

Day 6


This morning, the train arrives in Hanoi where you can stay to enjoy the sights of the capital for a little longer, or continue your onward journey. Hanoi offers all manner of cultural activities, shopping and fine dining included – or you might decide to follow up this northern itinerary with a trip to the stunning limestone karsts of Halong Bay.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.


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