I am trying to organise a guide for a 3 or 4 days trek in Sapa with homestay accomodation. I want to get to a more remote areas than the usual spots (Cat Cat, etc) and I don't mind long hard treks. I would prefer to hire a local minority guide directly instead of an agency. I have sent an email to one but got no answer yet. In the hotel I am staying they are offering me these treks:
A.- 3 days/2 nights (with transportation to different points included): Ban Khoang - Ta Phin (night) - Han Thao - Hau Thao - Ta Van (night) - Giang Ta Chai - Supan
B.- 4 days/3 nights (same as last one but adding this): Ban Ho - Nam Toong (night)
B. 4 days/3 nights (with transport to and from Su Pan): Ban Ho - Nam Toong - Nam Keng (night) - Nam Sai - Suo Thau - Sin Chai A (night) - Than Phu-Su Pan.
The hotel recommended me the first two saying that the area on the third one has become very developed. They told me that only the area around Ta Van is very touristy but that I shouldn't miss it. They also said that we will get a private local guide who speaks English. The agency is called Cuonghuong Travel (White Lotus Hotel) and the price they quoted me is $45 for 2 people per day including everything.
Is the type of trek and the price ok or, even better, can anyone recommend a local guide and type of trek so I can contact him/her directly? I don't know anything about the area. I am in Sa Pa now and I would like to start on the 5th or 6th at the latest.
#1 gorkreg has been a member since 20/10/2011. Posts: 15
If you really want a local guide then just head up to Sapa , befriend a local there and you'll be on your way.
Or, you don't really need a guide at all. Get a motorbike to Taphin village, when you are there you can ask one of the locals for a place to stay. After you stay there, walk up to Sapa using the trekking trails (and locals to point you in the right direction). Stay the night in Sapa, then walk to Tavan (ask for a place to stay once you get there), then if your up to it continue onto Ban Ho. Then bike or taxi back.
The trouble will be food, so you might have to tell your home stay host that you will need to eat there as well so they can prepare in advance.
A little bit tough if you don't speak the language but doable!
#2 FootprintVn has been a member since 2/1/2012. Posts: 9
Thanks FootprintVn. I usually trek without a guide but this time I think it would be better to do it with a guide and learn a little bit about their culture (plus the food and logistics issue).
Funny you said that the last option sounds the best as the hotel told me that it has got quite developed and it is not as remote as it used to be. I wonder why.
#4 gorkreg has been a member since 20/10/2011. Posts: 15
It has gotten more 'developed' because of a dam they are building near Ban Ho village. The area however, is remote when you consider the number of tourists that are around there. Tavan is the busiest of all the places, Ban Ho is busy, however it is usually the last stop for tourists before heading back to Sapa.
The other villages and towns in the area are a mix of hill tribe culture (that yes have seen 'development') as well as small Vietnamese towns - still really cool to check out!
#5 FootprintVn has been a member since 2/1/2012. Posts: 9