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Encounters Photography Expeditions

In conjunction with Intrepid Travel of Australia



Sapa Extension to Viet Nam through the Lens 2011

Only available as part of the above trip


March 29th-April 3rd




Current bookings: 12 

 All trip prices are based on 8 participants on each trip and reflect a maximum cost. Although 8 is strictly the smallest number to guarantee the trip, they may well run with 5 at my discretion. If there are 9-12 participants on each trip, discretionary benefits in kind or discount will be given to the photographers depending on prevailing circumstances such as currency comparisons. - once this occurs I will re-calculate pricing to the clients benefit. Max number will be 12. 

 ‘Sapa’ is a collaboration between photographer Ian Wright ARPS, based in Exeter UK  and Intrepid Travel of Australia. This trip is not a stand-alone expedition but is an extension to the expedition ‘Viet Nam through the Lens’ (March 16-29th 2011). 

Please email for a full version of the Trip Notes which include a mass of practical information provided by Intrepid.

For details of the structure of the photographic elements of the trip see and specifically:  

Intro and Photo Trip Diary:


Travel Photography:


Photography On Location:



Day 1 Hanoi 29th March 2011


The trip seamlessly combines with Viet Nam through the Lens – Day 1 is Day 14 of that trip – returning from Halong Bay to Hanoi by early afternoon, there is time to return to the hotel used before the boat trip and for a little extra exploration of the city. In the evening, you are transferred to the train station where you board the sleeper train bound for Sapa via the town of Lao Cai. Please note that the train journey is unaccompanied by an Intrepid guide and you will be met upon arrival in Lao Cai.
Meals included: none

Overnight: Soft class sleeper train

Day 2  Sapa, 30 March 2011


You are met on arrival into Lao Cai in the early morning and transferred to Sapa by minibus, driving through dramatic scenery along the way. The remainder of your day is free to explore and photograph this fascinating hillside town.


A walk to Cat Cat Village, set in a beautiful valley just outside Sapa is a must. Cat Cat is home to the H'mong people who originated from China about 3,000 years ago. The H'mong people are easily recognisable by their dark blue or black clothing, dyed using the juice of the indigo plants that are native to the area. H'mong women wear long aprons with embroidered waistcoats and have their hair rolled up into a turban-like hat, while the men wear black skullcaps, long waistcoats and loose trousers. As you walk to the village nestled in the valley below Sapa, you will meet some of the local minority people on their way to and from Sapa. These minority people walk to Sapa to trade at the markets, making them a great place to meet the locals and explore the range of eclectic wares on sale. As well as the H'mong, you can also expect to see the Dao (pronounced Zao). Dao women are particularly striking as they wear a large red turban often covered with old coins or jewellery, and shave their hair and eyebrows.


Meals included: none

Overnight: Chau Long Hotel, Sapa

Chau Long Sapa Hotel overlooks Mount Fansipan. The hotel has lovely fully equipped rooms, a wonderful restaurant and bar, indoor heated swimming pool and massage facilities.


Days 3-4 Sapa Trek,  March 31st – April 1st 2011


Following breakfast, set off on a six hour trek with your guide, taking you along buffalo paths and trails, as well as through several hill tribe villages. This is a spectacular walk, winding through stunning scenery, and you'll encounter some of the friendliest people you could ever hope to meet. Stop for a picnic lunch along the way, and later, enjoy a night in the home of a Zay family in Ta Van Village. Zay people have become very adept at rice cultivation, in marked contrast to the H'mong, and have a higher living standard as a result.


Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Overnight: simple family homestay where facilities are basic but comfortable


After breakfast on day 4, set off for a two hour walk to Su Pan Village where you meet up with your vehicle for the drive back to Sapa. Arriving in Sapa around lunchtime, you have a free afternoon to further explore the town before transferring to the train station, where you catch the overnight train to Hanoi.


Meals included: breakfast

Overnight: soft class sleeper train


Day 5 Hanoi,2nd April 2011


Your adventure ends upon arrival at Hanoi train station in the early morning. If you would like to stay a little longer in Vietnam, Intrepid can book additional nights for you at the joining-point hotel. Please note that it is not possible to organise a transfer from the train station, so please make your own way to your hotel or the airport.





Hotels (1 nts), homestay (1 nt), overnight trains (2 nts)





While travelling with us you will experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Generally, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where and what to eat, not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Please check the 'meal inclusions' section below for details of meals included.

Allow USD $50 for meals not included.


Meal Inclusions


2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner



Overnight train, minibus, walking

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