Vietnam’s northern mountains boast not only some of the region's most dramatic and beautiful landscapes but are also home to the majority of Vietnam’s fifty-plus ethnic minority groups.
Reached easily by overnight train from Hanoi, the charming alpine-style town and former French hill station of Sapa is the most popular base for exploring the region. Whether you gently walk or trek through the sweeping valleys, mist-shrouded peaks and terraced rice paddies here, you will have plenty of opportunities to visit the villages and market towns of the region's minority communities, including the Black H'mong and Red Dao, famed for their traditional costumes and highly individual culture. You may even choose to be a guest of the local communities and stay in one of the beautiful stilt guest houses on offer.
The more adventurous among you might choose to climb Mount Fansipan, the ‘Roof of Indochina,’ towering over Sapa, while most opt for the world’s longest cable car system over stunning mountain scenery. Ideally visited in the autumn from September to November, when the rice terraces are at their most impressive, we recommend a minimum of three nights to make the most of the region. Over the winter months, Sapa is known as the ‘frosty city’ with an exceedingly cold climate and frequent snowfalls but remains popular for its exuberant local ethnic festivals.
Ethnic Vietnam | 19 days from £4400