Things to do and where to go in Sapa
Sapa, people think about it as a hidden high land behind the haze in the middle of the mountain area in northwest Vietnam where there is Fansipan mountain which has a nickname – the roof of Indochina. The beauty of Sapa is a harmonious combination between French architecture of the 1880s of Sapa town, tribal villages, the majestic wilderness of the mountains area and the unique indigenous culture of the ethnic minorities here.
In this trip, Hatvaction will tell you everything about Sapa – things to do and where to go, and answer all your questions: How can I visit Sapa? When is the best time to visit Sapa? How many days do you need in Sapa, Vietnam? Where can you stay? And Hatvacation will take you to tourist attractions where you can capture the Sapa panorama and know more about local culture and enjoy local cuisine here.
If you are a nature lover, passionate with trekking and hiking or just want to get away from noisy and busy modern life, this is definitely for you. In this post, Hatvacation will take you to a Sapa trekking tour and you will know about Sapa trekking routes in which you can visit many tribal villages, stay at Sapa homestay, enjoy local food and interact with ethnic minority people. If you are adventurous and discoverable, Fansipan mountain trek is the right choice for you. Conquer the roof of Indochina at 3,143m where you stand among nature with floating cloud beneath your feet are memories you will never forget in your life.
What are you waiting for? Let discover this beautiful place with Hatvacation!
When is the best time to visit Sapa
Spring is the best time to visit Sapa to see flowers bloom (February to May).
Many tourists think this is the best time to enjoy the wild beauty and fresh air of the mountains area. At this time, Sapa is vast with flowers, cherry blossoms, plum blossoms and thousands of blooming flowers in the hills, Sapa valleys, mountains, tribal villages or roads on the Sapa town. All of them create a lively and colorful picture of nature you will immerse into when traveling Sapa.
Summer is the best time to visit Sapa to avoid hot weather and see colorful terraces (June to August).
While other places in Vietnam are extremely hot, Sapa is much cooler. At this time, the new season started, Sa Pa gradually transformed from the vibrant colors of cherry blossoms, roses, plum blossoms … to the fresh green color of vegetables and young rice, spread all over the Sapa valleys, tribal villages and in terraces.
You should note that at this time it is often rain, sometimes there are very dangerous flash floods. If you plan to travel to Sapa this time, you should contact local people to get exact weather information to ensure your safety.
The easiest way is to contact us to get the most detailed advice.
Autumn is the best time to see Sapa covered by the bright golden color of ripe rice (September to November).
The rice harvest season is in September, October, at that time Sa Pa is golden in all angles. Tourists traveling to Sa Pa share that they like this time the most. However, you should go in the middle/end of September, because by October, there are many places that have already been harvested, so it will not beautiful as at the end of September.
Winter is the best time to visit Sapa to watch the snowfall (December to February).
It can be said that Sapa is blessed with a precious gift. In a tropical country like Vietnam, Sapa still has snow. In recent years, Sa Pa has almost snow. In the winter, the whole Sapa town is floating in the clouds, fog, and snow. The snow covers the houses and the scenery. December to February is also the season of peach blossom. At this time, many couples want to witness the romance when watching the crimson forest peach blossom blooms in the wind between the snowy scenery and the dawn in the valley in the early morning. They are experiences very difficult to find anywhere else in Vietnam. However, this time in Sapa is very crowded and the price of services is more expensive.
Above just is an outline, Hatvacation hopes that is helpful for you to decide the best time to visit Sapa. If you need more information, you should read this article to get the most complete picture of beautiful Sapa, Vietnam.
How do you get to Sapa Vietnam?
You must have been inspired by Sapa’s wild beauty, and wanted to go there immediately to see with your own eyes, right? So do you know how to get to Sapa? Let Hatvacation answer the question “How can I visit Sapa?” for you.
You want to get to Sapa by the fastest way, just take a flight. But wait, is there an airport in Sapa, Vietnam? hmmm… Unfortunately, the answer is “No”. So what is the closest airport to Sapa, Vietnam? The closest airport is Noibai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam. First, you need to take a flight to Noibai airport, and what’s next? Then from Hanoi to Sapa, you have four options to go to Sapa, Vietnam. To answer the question “How to get to sapa from Hanoi”, let read the following section, you will have the answer.
Travel Sapa by motorbike – the riskiest and most exciting way
This option is only for who has advance skill in motorbike riding.
Hanoi to Sapa distance is about 370km, a very long ride and have hidden risks because the road Hanoi to Sapa is located on the mountainous terrain and is located on the winding steep passes and there are many trucks and containers go on it, especially in the evening. Although dangerous, it is worth it. Traveling by motorbike you will be able to go through many places, freely explore and stop anywhere to rest, admire and you will have the most authentic experiences about beauty and people in the regions you went through. This is also the most cost-effective way, it only cost about 150,000 VND (7USD).
Travel Sapa by sleeper train – the safest and also an interesting way
To save costs and have a safe trip, Hanoi to sapa sleeper train is a popular choice for many people. Trains usually depart from Hanoi Train Station in the evening (19h-22h) and arrive at Lao Cai Station in the early morning (5am-7am). Depending on the choice of seats, ticket price from 150,000 to 560,000 VND (7-25 USD)/person depending on the quality of the train compartment you choose. For the tourist train, it is more expensive, about 650,000 to 750,000 VND (28-32 USD) one-way ticket. So how long trains from Hanoi to Sapa? Normally, it takes 7-8 hours.
However, a disadvantage of traveling by sleeper train is that it takes a lot of time and has to take a bus from Lao Cai station to Sapa town (about 35km). One thing to note is that you should book tickets in advance, prevent all tickets are sold out on weekends or holidays.
Travel Sapa by van – a comfortable way
You will not have to worry when you can not go to Sapa by motorbike, travel from Hanoi to Sapa by van is comfortable but the price is not high. There are two types, a 9-seat van suitable for a group and family while a 29-seat van often serves tours. The price ranges from 350,000 to 450,000 VND (15-20 USD)/person for a one-way ticket.
Travel Sapa by bus
The sleeper bus to Sapa depart from My Dinh, Luong Yen or Gia Lam bus station and it usually takes about 7-8 hours. The advantage of traveling by bus is during the journey to Sapa, the car runs through the night and does not stop at any station. The bus routes from Hanoi – Lao Cai can include famous car companies such as Hung Thanh, Sao Viet,…So how much is the bus from Hanoi to Sapa? – Hanoi to Sapa sleeper bus price is around 280.00-300,000 VND (12-13 USD)/person for a one-way ticket.
However, most of the bus companies in Vietnam are small and medium-sized businesses or individual business households, you should choose the highly reputable companies or owners to avoid having bad experiences affecting your trip.
Hatvacation hopes the above information is helpful for you to plan your trip to Sapa. But in short, we cannot tell you all the details such as Where to hire a motorbike in Hanoi? routes from Hanoi to Sapa, Hanoi to Sapa bus time table, Hanoi to Sapa sleeper bus price, Which bus station you should choose? Which bus companies are reliable? Hanoi to Sapa train time table…All of these matters you can find in the following post.
Sapa – things to do 2019
Sapa trekking – things you need to know
If you are a nature lover, passionate with trekking and hiking or just want to get away from busy modern life, this is definitely for you. Besides that, trekking is a very healthy activity and Sapa with it’s pristine is the ideal place for this. When trekking Sapa, You walk on the path between vast colorful terraces and beautiful places at the bottom of the valley and You will be immersed in the majestic natural scenery. On the way, you will trek through many ethnic tribal villages, staying at homestay with a local family, enjoy local food. Sometimes you see children riding a buffalo or ethnic people harvesting rice or women washing clothes by the stream … All of which create a slow, peaceful life. which is hard to see in modern cities.
Today, let discover Sapa trekking routes and what you need to prepare and bring when going to Sapa trekking with Hatvacation.
How is Sapa trekking difficulty
A normal trip is about 12-15km per day and you walk about 5-6 hours. The roads here are not so bad even though they are trails. That is why after heavy rains, some trails become slippery. But one thing is certain that anyone with good health can do this. When doing a trekking tour in Sapa, you should make it clear to your tour guide so they can choose the best trekking route for you. Also, you should decide to trek one day or more depending on your ability.
Can you trek sapa without a guide?
Yes, we recommend you find a guide. The guides here are mostly local people so they know everything about Sapa, every small road, every rice field as well as every forest. In many ways, your guide can take you to locations even not on the map, and from the main trekking paths across the terraces and forests.
If you want a real adventure then you can do Sapa trekking alone. But before you go, you must know well the trekking routes. Ideally, you should trekking to villages where you can find accommodation to stay overnight like Cat Cat Village, Y Linh Ho or Ta Van. Make sure you bring enough food, water, shoes, rain coast, extra batteries, GPS equipment … They are very useful if you get lost.
If you have trouble with finding a tour guide the easest way is leaving your message and Hatvacation can help.
Sapa trekking routes
The following are the Sapa trekking Hatvacation routes suggesting to you.
- Sapa – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Sapa (2 days/1 night Sapa trekking)
- Lao Cai – Y Ty – Muong Hum – Sapa – Lao Cai (3 days/2 nights Sapa trekking)
- Sapa – Ta Phin – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Sapa (3 days/2 nights Sapa trekking)
- Sapa – Bac Ha – Ta Phin – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Sapa (3 days/2 nights Sapa trekking)
- Fansipan mountain trek
Fansipan mountain trek is totally different from other Sapa trekking routes about trekking level and experiences. It takes 2-3 days to reach the peak and you definitely need a local tour guide. This journey to conquer the roof of Indochina at 3,143m where you stand among the majestic natural scenery with floating cloud beneath your feet will bring unforgettable memories. To know more about Fansipan mountain trekking, read the following post.
Sapa tourist attractions – How do you get around in Sapa
To go around Sapa, you can hire a motorbike, take a taxi or trekking. motorbike rental price is about 120.000 to 200.000 VND (5-9 USD) and taxi fees usually more expensive than some big cities. In this section, Hatvacation lists up some popular places in Sapa tourist like the most. Check this out to see the panorama of Sapa. Read the post below to have detail information about transportation in Sapa.
Transportation in Sapa
Sapa attractions map
The beauty of Sapa town is a harmonious combination between French architecture of the 1880s, the majestic wilderness of the mountains area and the unique indigenous culture of the ethnic minorities here.
Fansipan – the roof of Indochina
You cannot miss this place when visiting Sapa. A few years ago, the only way was to cross the Hoang Lien Son mountain range on rugged trails for 2-3 days to reach the mountain peak at 3,143m altitude. But in recent years, tourist can easily to get to the peak by cable car. You can go to the station to buy a ticket or buy online and they will send the ticket to your hotel. Ticket price about 700.000 VND (30 USD). You can take a train from Sapa town to cable car station with the price is about 70000 VND (3 USD). Going by this train you can see the whole Muong Hoa valley below.
Dragon Moutain (Ham Rong mountain)
Standing on the top of Dragon mountain, you can see the whole of Sapa, Muong Hoa and Ta Phin valleys hidden in the fog. At the top of the mountain, you are like in the fairy garden, clouds float around you, colorful flowers cover the ground.
Location: Right in the center of Sapa town.
The Sapa Church is built in 1895 is considered to be the most complete old architectural of the French still remaining. The church has been embellished and preserved, becoming an indispensable image when it comes to misty Sapa town.
Location: Right in the center of Sapa town.
Cat Cat village
Cat Cat is a very old village of the Mong people, this place also preserves many traditional handicrafts such as cotton, linen, and weaving. Now this place has been built into Cat Cat tourist area.
Location: 2km from Sapa town center.
Ta Phin village
It has a beautiful natural landscape, unique indigenous cultural features of the Red Dao people with brocade weaving. Coming to Ta Phin village, you can visit Ta Phin cave nearby. In the cave, there are many interesting stalactites that make viewers think of images such as dancing fairies, rice field scenery … like in the fairy tales of the people here.
Ta Van village
Follow to the 4D highway to the southeast, about 8 km from Sapa town to Ta Van Giay village. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the style and lifestyle of the Giay people. the road to Ta Van Giay village is small, narrow and a trail. On both sides of the road are fertile terraced fields adorned with the green of corn and young rice.
Lao Chai village
Lao Chai village is the home of ethnic minority people, about 7km from Sapa town center. Travel to Lao Chai village you have started the journey to leave the bustling streets and start to experience another life, the true local life of the ethnic Mong, Dao, Giay, Tay … Although Lao Chai today has more modern facilities, local people still retain the traditional culture and lifestyle. That is also the attraction of domestic and foreign tourists.
Muong Hoa valley – Sapa ancient stone park
A special thing in this valley is that there are many ancient stones engraved with many different shapes, located between trees and terraces of ethnic minorities. Hundreds of sandstones have carved drawings, strange characters so far have not identified the origin and meaning. Today, this ancient carving area has been classified as a national monument, a unique heritage of ancient Vietnamese people. In Muong Hoa valley, there is also a beautiful stream stretching about 15 km, through Lao Chai, Ta Van, Hau Thao communes and ending at Ban Ho.
Location: Hau Thao Commune, 8 km southeast of Sapa town. From Sapa town, crossing a glaze pass along the high mountain range, you will come to Muong Hoa valley.
Boating upstream of Chay river about 6 km, from the center of Bao Nhai commune (Bac Ha district), the boat will take you through Trung Do ancient citadel with many legends. The river section here is constricted, forming a deep, gentle stream, flowing between two steep cliffs. Hang Tien landscape is like a miniature Ha Long, associated with the legend of Ba Co shrine in Bao Nhai commune. Many tourists come here to sightsee, bath on Tien stream, immerse themselves in the morning light on the flower island, praying for beauty, health and wealth.
Silver waterfall – Love waterfall
From Sapa town, going west about 11 km on the way to Lai Chau, you will see the Silver Waterfall rushing down from a height of over 100m into the stream under the O Quy Ho valley, creating a joyful sound of nature. However, in the dry season, you should consider whether to visit Silver Falls or not because there is very little water at that time and you will not be able to see all its beauty. Going 3 km further from Thac Bac, you will reach the Heaven Gate to look down at Lai Chau valley and majestic Fansipan peak. If you like walking, you can stop at Tram Ton and go through Hoang Lien National Park, about 1 km more, to discover the Love waterfall.
Location: From Sapa town, go west about 12 km, on the way to Lai Chau.
The road to the Heaven Gate twists in the middle of the mountain. This pass is named Tram Ton which meanders between the majestic Hoang Lien Son range. And the Heaven Gate is the peak of this pass. When standing in the middle in Sapa Heaven Gate, you can take a panoramic view of the vast valley below with green terraces, pass roads, and Silver Falls in the distance.
Location: 18km from Sapa town to the North.
A recently known location on O Quy Ho Pass is O Long Tea Hill. Here, green tea trees are grown with forest plums along the pathway. When the plum tree grows young leaves, the leaves are red and when the sun rises, it turns the tea hill into a charming picture of nature that make people fall in love.
Con San caves – completely natural and wild
Coc San is a system of large and small waterfalls and caves. From the road 4D, you turn to a small trail that is about 1km long leading to Coc San. The road to Coc San is very zigzag, dark and covered with rocks. Coc San’s beauty is still completely natural and wild. There is a very special thing that is almost under every waterfall, after a water drop down there is a cave.
Location: Coc San Commune, Bat Xat District, 7km from Lao Cai City.
Hoang A Tuong palace
The architecture of Hoang A Tuong Palace is Asian-European style combined, creating harmony, closed rectangular layout. This is a beautiful architecture with highland characteristics.
Location: Center of Bac Ha district, Lao Cai.
Bac Ha market
Bac Ha is one of the largest markets in northwestern Vietnam. The market is only held on Sundays, attracting many people around the region to trade and entertain. This is still a place to exchange and sell ethnic minority people from all the villages around. Stalls display essential items such as clothes, shovels and household utensils. Bac Ha Market is a colorful mix of brocade costumes, unique indigenous culture and the language of many ethnic minorities.
Location: Central town of Bac Ha district, 60km from Lao Cai city.
Unique foods you can only try in Sapa
The cuisine culture of Sapa is unrivaled and you will not regret trying food in Sapa. Let take a look at 10 foods you have to try in your life when visiting Sapa, Vietnam.
- Thang Co (horse meat soup)
- Com Lam (fried rice-in-bamboo-tube)
- Thit Lon Cap Nach (free-range pig)
- Thit Trau Gac Bep (dried smoky buffalo meat)
- Mam Da (a kind of vegetable)
- Men Men Sapa (Steamed corn flour)
- Ga Den (black chicken)
- Con Sui (dry Pho)
- Salmon hotpot
- Tao Meo Wine of Sapa (wine from Assam apple)
Let’s check the article below for address and price of delicious dishes in Sapa and Vietnam with Hatvacation.com.
Best food in Vietnam you must try
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