3 days & 2 nights at Topas Ecolodge​

The ethnic minority markets of Northern Vietnam are the colorful meeting places for the hill tribes of Vietnam. Minorities come down from the mountains to sell their produce; sometimes it is a long hike for the tribes to come to sell or exchange their goods. Others may simply come to catch up on the latest news or gossip. With the various tribes in their colorful traditional dress, the smell of exotic herbs and spices, abundant rice wine and food stalls – you can be assured that market day in Vietnam is truly an unforgettable experience.

Your journey from Hanoi to Sapa is by the Topas Mountain Express. The 8-seat limousine has luxurious modern interior design with wood and leather, spacious and soft chairs, offering you a comfortable journey for the 5 hours transfer.

You will stay the 2 nights at Topas Ecolodge, set deep in the Hoang Lien Mountains. The 50 bungalows overlook the entire valley with magnificent views of the ethnic minority villages, valleys covered by rice terraces, and towering mountains.

Reference: SEM3  |  Activity: Relaxing and Market visiting |  Grade: Easy
Duration: 3 days 2 nights – it’s possible to extend with one or more nights.

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Cho phien - Market in Vietnam


Day 1 (Friday): Take Topas Mountain Express via the mountain road to Topas Ecolodge.

Day 2 (Saturday): Relax at Topas Ecolodge or book a day excursion to explore the area.

Day 3 (Sunday): Visit Bac Ha market. Transfer by Topas Mountain Express to Hanoi.

What to expect?

Day 1 (Friday): Comfortable drive directly to Topas Ecolodge (-,-,-)

From 6:30 – 7:00 AM, you will commence from your hotel with Topas Mountain Express for 5 hours transfer to the remote hilltop of Topas Ecolodge. After checking in your bungalow, you will enjoy the beautiful and peaceful view of the surrounding mountains and valleys from your private balcony.

Day 2 (Saturday): Topas Ecolodge (B,-,-)

The day is at your leisure at Topas Ecolodge. You can either relax or borrow free of charge high-quality mountain bikes from the lodge for an exploration of the neighboring villages. You can also book one or more of the available activities at the lodge:

  • Join a half-day or full-day walking/biking excursion, the best way to experience nature and the local cultures of the ethnic minority people.
  • Book a half-day tour to explore the highest peak of Indochina, Mt. Fansipan (3.143m), with the cable car, as well as visit Sapa town
  • Try a traditional Red Dao herbal bath at the lodge’s spa

Day 3 (Sunday): Visit Bac Ha minority market. Back to Hanoi (B,L,-)

At 8:00, you will commence the market tour from Topas Ecolodge by an 80km transfer to Bac Ha. The market is the largest in the area, situated inside the small town of Bac Ha. Every Sunday morning, it is literally a riot of color as many different ethnic groups such as the Flower H’mong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities gather to trade. Most of the goods are simply farming products such as rice, corn, vegetable, herb… While the local women are more interested in food and clothing, the unique cattle area draws a lot of attention from the local men. After spending the rest of the morning exploring the market, you will enjoy lunch in a local house in a nearby village.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a drive downhill to Trung Do village for visiting the Tay ethnic who live in the pretty traditional house on stilts. The Tay people are very friendly and open-minded, they are doing very well in agriculture farming, organize their village nice and clean. An easy walk will lead you around the village to admire the pretty rice field, tradition houses, meet the villagers and visit their homes.

You then continue with car driving to Pho Lu, here you continue the drive with Topas Mountain Express back to Hanoi.

Please note for Topas Mountain Express:
  • Only pick up and return passengers at hotels/residences in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and Tay Ho Area.
  • Pick-up time is around 6.30 – 7.00 am but clients need to be ready at 6.30 for smooth services.
  • Due to limited space, guests are requested to bring only 1 cabin bag/suitcase 115cm (56cm x 36cm x 23cm) per person.
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This package includes:

  • English-speaking guide during shared excursions*
  • 2 nights at Topas Ecolodge (twin shared Premium Executive bungalow)
  • 2 breakfasts + 1 lunch (B = breakfast, L = lunch)
  • Transfer by Topas Mountain Express: Hanoi – Topas Ecolodge – Hanoi (SIC)
  • Mineral water and snack during excursions
  • All entrance fees to the indicated places

* The excursions are based on sharing a group of maximum 10 travelers

What to wear and bring: It is recommended to wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, trekking shoes, and to bring insect repellent, sunglasses, sun hat, and sunscreen.
  • Please note that during the tour, you may be followed by ethnic women who are eager to sell their handcrafted items. They may follow you throughout your journey. If you are not interested in purchasing, just decline nicely. We are very sorry for this inconvenience.
  • As described on the program, you will visit a local house, and interact with local people. However, during the seasonal days, they all may not be at home but work in the fields, this experience may be lacking.
  • Visiting a local school is also subject to availability of the school calendar.