Indochina Pioneer worked with Trails of Mountains for an excellent Sapa Adventure!
We were pleasantly surprised by Mr. Duong Dai Lam (“LAM”)’s attentiveness to our needs via email for months before the trip. He was very professional, flexible, and accommodated all of our needs for our 4 day, 3 night (homestays) trekking tour of Sapa Valley.
We were picked up at our hotel in Hanoi by one of the Indochina pioneer people. He escorted us to the train station and then made sure we got on the train in the exact cabin. (We splurged to buy out the whole 4-berth cabin for 2 of us…it was WORTH IT! No one to bother you and you can lock the door while you are sleeping, only $144 per person total).
Mr. Lam had booked us with a local Sapa tour company called “Trails of Mountains.” Our guide picked us up with a driver at 5am in the morning to drive 1 hour through the mountains to a hotel where we could take a shower and rest before our first day of trekking. It was surprising easy.
Mr. Nga was one of the most knowledgeable, fun, athletic, and kindest tour guides I have ever met. He absolutely made our trip. We had a private tour with Mr. Nga, which meant we did a lot of hiking (some strenuous parts, but worth it)….we went off the beaten path and really experienced Sapa. He seemed to know all of Sapa Valley like the back of his hand. It was amazing!
Mr. Nga was a great translator during the homestays as well. The homestays were fascinating! I would caution that they are provincial in that there is no air conditioning, little running water, and/or plumbing in some places. However, that is what we expected and didnt mind at all.
Hands down, the food in the Homestays were probably some of the best meals I have EVER eaten. Everything in the meal was fresh from the garden or farm (I mean everything, meat, fruits/vegetables, grains, herbs). DELICIOUS!
All in all, the tour was amazing. I would highly recommend to everyone. Mr. Lam and Mr. Nga were absolutely fantastic. Ask for them 🙂
The only thing I would caution about the booking with Indochina Pioneer: it is better to pay everything before you start the tour, we paid 50% before we arrived in Vietnam and had to pay the rest while waiting at the Hanoi station for the train to Sapa (it was sort of a hassle).
Overall, a fantastic experience, we would definitely book with them again! Thanks Lam and Nga!