Hi, I have traveled to Sapa, Vietnam, several times and I want to share my experience on how to plan your Sapa trip without booking an organized tour. For me, it’s a way to help the local female guides find travelers and earn some extra money (they don’t have access to the Internet) and for you it’s the best way to truly experience Sapa and the minority hill tribes.

Plan a tour to Sapa by yourself

On my first visit to Vietnam, I entered a tour agency in Hanoi and booked a 3-night 2-day tour in Sapa. This included night train, 1 night in a hotel, a guided trek in Sapa and 1-night homestay. I thought it was a bargain for the price of around 100$. At first impression, the hotel looked good with amazing views of the Sapa mountains, but I got a terrible room on a dark floor with no view at all. The trek itself started the next morning with a big group of other tourists. The guides took us for a walk on a paved road; everything was very touristy with souvenir shops and peddlers every step of the way. The views of the terraced rice..

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