Ethos - Spirit of the Community

Ethos - Spirit of the Community

Ethos - Spirit of the Community
5
Cultural ToursBike ToursMotorcycle ToursHiking & Camping ToursPrivate Tours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
ETHOS are an ethical Social Enterprise that strive to offer experiential adventures. Our aim is to facilitate conscientious travellers in creating unique adventures whilst supporting local minority tribal people in helping themselves. The experiences are made by you and enhanced by our team of local guides who will use their vast knowledge and skills to support you in finding something special in the Sapa area. ETHOS tours create a regular and reliable source of income and also for our team and also provide the financial means through which we can implement a wider selection of projects within our community. From human trafficking awareness classes to support with health and literacy, our work is varied and much needed. All of this helps to foster a strong team spirit that we hope you will feel when you visit Sapa with us.
Sapa, Vietnam

Awards
Travellers' Choice
2023

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours and Tickets by Ethos - Spirit of the Community
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Travellers talk about
(71 reviews)
(85 reviews)
(31 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
1,277 reviews
Excellent
1,250
Very good
18
Average
3
Poor
4
Terrible
2

canucks6970
Saskatchewan, Canada11 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
Amazing!! Thank you May Lai for our amazing trek and everything you taught us. Thank you to you & your family for opening up your home to us. We loved your knowledge & skills. Our meals were huge portions and tasted so good. The views were amazing, pictures don't do it justice.

Thank you to Hoa, Phil, Chaz and all the other ladies for setting up this wonderful trek. The morning briefing was fantastic!!
Written 7 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sue S
Burlington, VT26 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo
When I’ve been able to be at the Hmong Community Center, the headquarters of Ethos, and groups have returned from their Ethos-led tours, invariably the travelers are bursting with enthusiasm, and anxious to share the adventures they’ve had. Also, invariably, they say it’s the best travel experience they’ve had in Vietnam or, sometimes, their best travel experience ever.

Ethos trips are individually customized to your interests and abilities, and their guides are highly trained and very personable Hmong women, who lead groups often through their own home landscapes. Often, homestays and meals are involved in the Ethos experience. They’re so friendly and happy to share aspects of their culture and terrain and natural world that it’s easy to forget you’re a visitor from far away. There’s just about no other equivalence that allows for this kind of deep penetration into a world’s culture and ritual and art and nature so different than one’s own. All shared with a vibrancy and friendliness that is characteristic of the Hmong people in general and in Ethos’s guiding philosophy. It is indeed an org that’s committed to being the Spirit of the Community and after even a single day, you’ll quickly see how apt is the name.

It should also be said that Ethos is far from being a large corporation owned by outsiders or big business. Indeed, all the revenues generated are dispersed locally to employees or to members of the community who are in need.

I recommend highly trips of several days’ duration as they allow for maximum immersion, tho if, like myself, you are mobility challenged, there are workshops and classes in traditional arts and cooking and home visits that can be arranged. And I have no doubt you’ll walk away declaring that it’s been ‘the best travel experience’ you’ve had in Vietnam and possibly ‘the best travel experience’ you’ve had, ever.
Written 1 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shannon P
1 contribution
Sep 2023 • Solo
My favourite activity in all of Vietnam and one of the best experiences in my life. I thoroughly enjoyed my trek in the mountains. It was magical and an adrenaline rush experience. My guide, Ker was absolutely fantastic. We trekked to her home and I got to meet her husband and kids. They offered me an amazing meal and the hospitality was mind blowing. I would 100% recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in hiking, adventure and nature. Ethos is a very well run organisation and I’m inspired by their values and mission. Hats off to the founders, Hoa and Phil! Cant wait to come back!
Written 30 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelli C
Soldotna, AK6 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
This is a very authentic experience. We trekked 7-8 km through some jungle. The Homestay was in a Hmong village with an amazing family. A true homestay. We love what Ethos stands for and would do this again in a heartbeat.
Written 22 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your amazing review Kelli. Many businesses in Sapa offer authentic experiences, but in reality, they all visit the same few villages and are very generic. Our approach is totally different. Every ethos trip is reciprocal, benefiting the wider community and the travellers that choose to join us.
Written 30 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Meghann B
5 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
This was by far the best thing me & my partner did in the whole of Vietnam… we did an overnight stay trekking with Ker (our guide) who was incredible, very kind & welcoming! We stayed with her beautiful family and it was really very special. Ethos is very authentic and conscious about sustainable tourism, there is no better way to experience the mountains! Thank you so so much again, especially to Ker and her family!!
Written 16 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mon C
3 contributions
Nov 2023 • Friends
Did a one-night, two-day trekking around Sapa visiting the area where the Red Dao live.
I cannot find one word that describes the extent of our enjoyment!!
It has been a unique experience!
May Kim was our guide. A knowledgeable, kind, pleasant, patient, lovely girl who made our time with her a memory to cherish fondly!
During our trekking there was persistent fog and the paths were extremely muddy but May Kim provided walking sticks and helped us all along. We didn't see the typical green luscious rice terraces as many photos show. We saw instead a different view, beautiful too, with foggy, eerie bamboo forests while chatting to May Kim who's a well of wisdom regarding their traditional medicinal plants, traditions and other stories.
Our muddy adventure ended up on the first day in a homestay with a lovely welcoming family who prepared the nicest dinner (we helped with the spring rolls) and also a relaxing herbal bath, a real treat!!
The food during the trek was healthy, freshly cooked and very, very, very tasty (two lunches, one breakfast and one dinner).
At first we were disappointed at the weather and the fact that we wouldn't be able to get those pics we were hoping for, but sooner rather than later this idea was forgotten. The chats, the sharing, the fun, the food, the people... Conquered our hearts.
On top of everything, Hoa from ETHOS helped us booking a night train back to Hanoi and organised the transfer to Lao Caí to get the train. It was hassle free.

I could keep wrighting, but I think it's best you experience it yourselves.

Best wishes for everyone at ETHOS and thanks very much for a wonderful experience!
Written 15 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Go61217510188
3 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We had a fantastic experience with Ethos. We had a great window into life amongst the local tribes in the Sa Pa area. We chose to do a Red Dao embroidery 1 day tour - we had a fantastic guide called May Lai who welcomed us into her mother's home where we learnt embroidery, cooked lunch with them and took a relaxing herbal bath. The experience was the best we had in Vietnam. It was refreshing to be able to have an authentic tour with people who really knew and cared about the area. Great communication from Hoa throughout booking. They have a lovely shop in their community centre as well where the money goes back to the local communities. I would highly recommend and intend to come back for more experiences as soon as I can!
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your wonderful review. We are delighted to read that your ETHOS experience was the best thing you did during your time in Vietnam. Our Tripadvisor listing has been such an essential asset to help us stand out from the mass tourism model favoured by so many others in our region. We are delighted that your experience was so authentic and enjoyable as such comments help us to ensure we are able to reach travellers to connect with our guide team all year round. May Lai will be thrilled when we pass on your kind words.
Written 14 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

DanitaKT
Mckinnon, Australia37 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
So special! My teenage daughter and I had the privilege of trekking with Ethos. They are not your normal travel organisation. They care about making a positive impact on the lives of people in the communities that we visit as part of our trek. We kicked off by getting an overview of the live and challenges of the Ethnic minority groups in the Sapa region. This provided good context for us before we embarked on our trek.
We were privileged to have Tra (spelling?) as our guide for our two day and one night BuffaloTrek. Tra is a Black Hmong and a mother and grandmother who didn’t go to school but speaks great English; learnt through interacting with tourists.
During our trek through and across rice paddies, across undulating terrain, through villages, bamboo forests, past waterfalls and across waterways, Tra gave us insight into the lives of the Hmong people; many of whom live by subsistence farming- growing enough rice and crops (potatoes, carrots etc), raising chickens, pig and the like to feed their families (& guests like us); the also forage in the forests for their green vegetables. The women also make their own fabric and clothes from start to finish (amazing!!) These people live off the land and live in humble abodes. Tra gave us insight into the culture of the Hmong people including the roles of males and females. It was fascinating. She was also frantically working on her needlework preparing her jacket/ coat/ attire for Tet; very significant culturally.
We were privileged to join local families who opened their homes to us for lunches and dinner. Part of our experience was helping to prepare our meals. We also stayed overnight with a family who were just beautiful and so incredibly hospitable despite the language gap.
Tra has the ability to make all who cross paths with her feel special and to laugh. It was a little sad parting with Tra free two wonderful and insightful days together.
Ethos were amazing and I love their ethical approach- empowering women and girls from marginalised and significantly disadvantaged communities. Hoa and Phil are so caring and real.
If you want a real experience in which you don’t see other tourists as you’re too far off the beaten track, I cannot speak more highly of Ethos. I’d love to join them again for another trek!
Hoa also organised our train from Hanoi as well as our transfers from the train.
Written 11 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your beautiful written and heart felt review. These are the types of reviews we enjoy reading the most as you’ve outlined the many layers of your two day Ethos experience so well. There is a lot of work that goes into making every trek both unique and deeply experiential and it is clear you were able to gain so much from your two days together with Cha. Thanks again for joining us and we hope to see you again if you visit northern Vietnam again in the future.
Written 14 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jarrod W
Perth, Australia1 contribution
Jul 2023 • Couples
This tour was amazing! Our tour guide Maykim was friendly, knowledgeable, and made the entire trek perfect. It was so interesting and enjoyable to help prepare food, and learn about the culture of Sapa and the Red Dao people. The herbal bath is worth it, trust. The scenery is beautiful and will definitely be back!
Written 8 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
What a fantastic review. Thank you! We are thrilled you loved your time in Sapa with May Lai and Ethos so much and completely agree that the trek, family time and herbal baths make a great trip into something truly special. See you when you’re back :)
Written 14 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RPSLMC
London, UK26 contributions
May 2023 • Solo
Ethos' awesome photos and videos on FBook and YTube kept me sane during the long Covid lockdown months. Something to look forward to when travel would again be possible... So, as soon as the need for pre flight testing was lifted, I got in touch with Ethos and off I went! Hoa arranged everything - transport, hotel etc including a very interesting talk by Phil about the history, culture of and their work with local families. I spent 2 days (really not enough) with local guides who spoke excellent English, hiking, meeting their families and learning about how they manage to thrive in such difficult mountainous terrain. I arrived early May and terraces were being repaired and prepared for rice planting. A few were being flooded. I managed to miss my footing and had to spend the rest of the day with one caked up shoe but it was just a little too early for the green mirrored contours of growing rice or the golden sheaths before harvest. The rains arrived a week or so after I left. Life is not easy in the Sapa mountains but the people I met from Ethos have my total admiration. I hope to go back at harvest time one day.. Unfortunately I lost all the photos that I took from January to June, so unable to upload any
Written 3 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your wonderful review. We will be sure to pass on your kind words to the guide team. We’re sorry to hear that you lost your photos, but hopefully the memories of your time in Vietnam will inspire a return. We’re currently working on a series of YouTube videos demonstrating the seasonal differences in our region on a month by month basis, so perhaps that will help you to make a decision about the best month to return for you.
Written 4 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,069

ETHOS - SPIRIT OF THE COMMUNITY (Sapa) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go