Vietnam, Hanoi and The North
Info : Topas Ecolodge
In a stunning rural location in the northern highlands of Vietnam lies the impressive Topas Ecolodge; a 25 villa property with sound principles concerning sustainable tourism. A bold and charming development, it brings a new face to accommodation and activity options around the picturesque and popular north-western town of Sapa.
Surrounded by lush paddy fields, rolling hills, lush green forests and villages, Topas Ecolodge sits on the top of two conical hills deep inside the Sapa Valley. The villas spread in a circular fashion around the hill and afford contrasting views of the valleys and villages below.
Each is comfortably and creatively designed and lets in plentiful natural light. The stone-walled villas are furnished in a minimal style, with private balconies, tiled bathrooms with hot water and interior seating. Solar panels heat the water and provide electricity for the lights. Heating is provided during the winter months.
All meals are served in a central two-storey building. Downstairs is a relaxing bar with cushioned furniture, while dining takes place in the upper floor. Topas Ecolodge is also flanked by its own farm, which supplies the kitchen with fresh vegetables. Hearty Asian meals are served on a set-menu basis, which changes daily depending on whats in season.
Topas Ecolodge is a great place to really get away from it all. Some great day hikes are possible and interesting excursions around Sapa are offered. It is also possible to swim in nearby streams. Life around the lodge is colourful and intriguing with the minority tribal communities of Black Hmong, Tay and Red Dao going about their daily lives. The lodge is committed to ecological and social sustainability and is engaged in nature and community driven projects.
Topas Ecolodge would be a good choice for the more adventurous, or those who prefer not to stay in Sapa when visiting the mountains of the North-West. Similarly, a stay here could be combined with a stay in Sapa. The lodge is located 18 kilometres from Sapa town, about 45 minutes drive by vehicle. Sapa itself is normally reached by the overnight sleeper train from Hanoi.
Comfort - This is our lead in category. There will generally be a no frills approach and while some will be characterful, some will do exactly what it says on the tin - provide a clean, comfortable and good value place to spend the night. These places are normally 3* hotels.
- Spectacular Views
- Varied Local Excursions
We informed Experience Travel Group which countries we wished to visit and our budget and left it up to them to suggest an itinerary and organize. We actually went with all of there suggestions including a cruise up the Mekong which hadn't occurred to us but was stunning. All the travel arrangements went without any hiccups and all the guides met us when and where arranged. As we were doing different things every day (at our request) this was no mean feet. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Experience Travel for people who want a tailor made holiday in the Far East!