Sapa is one of the naturally serene and lush towns in Vietnam. It attracts many travelers with its magnificent landscape, which features colorful tribal villages, French colonial villas, lush vegetation and numerous green fields stacked on one after another.
Sapa is also close to Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam. Nestled at an elevation of 4921 feet or 1500 meters, Sapa is in Hoang Lien Son mountain range, in the northwest region of the country. Because of its geographical location, the town’s rugged scenery usually experiences being clouded by a warm mist, which only adds to Sapa’s beauty and charm, and making it truly a unique place to visit.
Sapa is about 376 kilometers from capital city of Hanoi. Sapa has risen to be the most popular mountainous district in Vietnam. You will easily be charmed by the terraced rice fields, the ethnic lifestyle and the cool climate, inviting you to stay longer in Sapa than you intended. Becoming a tourist destination paved the way for the establishment of hotels and accommodation facilities in this town so you don’t have to worry about finding a place to sleep during those tranquil nights. If you really want to immerse yourself into the Sapa lifestyle, you can also arrange for a homestay in one of the tribal villages.
One of the best things to do in Sapa is walk around the town early in the morning as the tourist crowd is not yet in full swing. The town is small, so you can easily navigate your way on foot. In fact, everything in and around town can be explored on foot making the most popular activity in Sapa – trekking. Trekking to various villages is fun and adventurous. Just make sure that you have good trekking shoes or boots and waterproof bag. There are also tours that involve renting a bicycle or motorbike to explore the countryside and visit waterfalls.
There are other less rigorous things to do while in Sapa. You can always visit other neighboring villages like the Lao Chai Village, by hiring local transport like a jeep or van. You may also watch ethnic minority dance performances, sign up for the Hmong sewing classis and visit notable attractions like the Han Rong Resort, Sapa Culture Museum, the Sapa Lake, Bac Ha weekend market and the European orchid gardens and colonial buildings.
Sapa is home to a couple of ethnic minorities such as the Dzao and Hmong. These people live a simple life and have managed to maintain their culture and traditions. It is a rewarding travel experience to visit their villages and learn about their way of life. You can ask them to be your trekking guide instead of getting one through the hotel. Other than agriculture, the tribes are also now relying on tourism for a living.
Remember to always be respectful and courteous when dealing with them, especially when taking photos; always ask their permission first. The best time to visit the town is arguably from September to October as this is the period when the rice fields are turning their color from green to yellow. During wintertime, the town receives more of that appealing fog. No matter when you visit Sapa, you will definitely enjoy this new pin on your travel map!