A DIY Itinerary from Hanoi to Bac Ha, Vietnam
A popular tourist destination is the Lao Cai Province in northwestern Vietnam near the border of China where people from all over flock to view the beautiful rice terraces of Sapa, climb to the summit of Fansipan, and trek to many of the Hmong hill tribe villages in the mountains.
As with many scenic places, the tour groups have practically taken over Sapa in the past few years and everything we've read cautions travelers to brace for overcrowded trails with a constant stream of persistent villagers trying to sell you something.
Transportation is always a challenge when trying to get around in the mountains, so it's no surprise that the majority of visitors to this region join one of the hundreds of organized tour groups departing from Hanoi.
After much research, we decided to stick to a do-it-yourself itinerary. The cost wasn't all that different, but we didn't want to feel rushed and confined to a group itinerary. We definitely have plans to spend a couple of days in Sapa, but we also desired a more quiet mountain town to settle in so we ended up choosing Bac Ha.
Why Bac Ha?
- Fresh mountain air
- Very friendly locals
- Sunday market
- Not too many tourists stay overnight
- Easy transportation from Lao Cai train station
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