Today we are still talking about Asia, we want to tell you about our Sapa, a border town in northern Vietnam, precisely in the province of Lào Cai. At about 1500 meters above sea level, Sapa is one of the most fascinating areas of the country because in addition to being rich in nature, Sapa is famous for the high concentration of ethnic groups in Vietnam. In recent years, Sapa has become a very developed tourist destination, one of those places not to be missed if we decide to make a trip to Vietnam, especially stopping in the northern areas of this beautiful country. A unique experience, the beautiful terraced rice fields, which can be visited accompanied by local tribes, allow us to get to know more closely the history of this still mysterious country.
Located about 300 kilometers from Hanoi, the whole area is known for hiking, admiring the highest mountain in Vietnam, Mount Fansipan (3140 m) and spend a few days in contact with nature. How to get to Sapa? You can use the train or bus from Hanoi, as there is no airport. We chose the bus for several reasons, including the ability to get directly to the city center, close to most hotels, the pickup directly from the hotel in Hanoi, and the very affordable cost, about $ 20 per person. The journey to Sapa takes about 6 hours and there are several times that you can evaluate. If you prefer to save time and travel at night, the night train is a good alternative, but the arrival station, Lao Cai, is about 40 km from Sapa and then you have to arrange a transfer. The costs are certainly higher, however the bus route is very beautiful, foggy landscapes in the middle of the mountains, although a little winding. Here, you can get an idea of the SAPA EXPRESS transports.
Before continuing, remember to share this article if you liked it with the buttons at the bottom of the page. We are happy to respond to your comments and remain available for any suggestions you may have.
Sapa Vietnam weather
Sapa’s weather? Should we go to August? We’ll try to answer the question. The weather of Sapa is unique to say the least, subtropical summers, temperate winters and about five months a year of fog that significantly affect the harvests of rice and corn. We have seen Sapa several times and we can say that the best time is September, the colors are incredible, the photos you can take will make the absolute beauty of the territory. We can certainly also evaluate March and April, if we want to visit the rest of northern Vietnam.
To be able to go trekking in Sapa, we absolutely recommend a visit with a local guide, which allows you to know the place and to be able to devote yourself to the discovery of the territory, respecting the customs and traditions. We have relied on Sapa O’Chau Travel, one of the few tour operators in the area for responsible tourism, aimed at promoting the development of the area and ethnic minorities. With its different tours, allows you to discover the area in many ways, different routes suitable for those who are an experienced trekker or families with children, on foot, by bike, the guides are experienced and speak good English, their earnings often serve to maintain an entire village, where the guide herself still lives and spends cold winters. Together with them, you will walk along paths immersed in nature and will be accompanied, with much sympathy and kindness, in what is the world of the local populations.
We have chosen to visit during the last tour in Sapa the zone of Muong Hao, one of the most evocative places, where to be able to make beautiful photos, admiring the splendid terraces of rice. We left early in the morning with our guide and along paths, dirt roads, rice crops, we could live and admire a unique landscape in itself, colors, scents, smiling and welcoming people.
Three days of trekking-tour, about 15 km a day, with stops in small markets scattered in nature, where you can rest and drink a good fresh drink, the famous Vietnamese coffee and then get to lunch time, stop in one of the few inns where you can eat typical dishes of the area and then resume the journey until you reach Lao Chai, one of the oldest villages in the minority Hmong. Waterfalls, terraces of rice as far as the eye can see, we reach the valley of Ta Van, on the second day, where you can meet the minorities Giay and walk in the forest of bamboo. The nights spent strictly in local homestays, the second we spent in a Tay family, in beautiful piles overlooking the rice terraces. Local wine, dinner around the fire. On the third day we know last local minority of the Red Tao, a bath in the frozen river (if you dare) and we return to Sapa. The experience of interacting with local guides is incredible, they are often young, they walk for many kilometers a day without feeling fatigue, they are considered a resource for the area, their salary serves to support entire families.
We recommend, before embarking on the trip, to equip yourself with everything you need for a good tour in Sapa. Prepare your backpack with everything you need; a bottle of water, snacks in case we get hungry, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, rainproof, shoes suitable for hiking, camera and for the loved ones of photography with your smartphone, a portable battery charger. Let us remember that for the whole day we will be in a wild area, few refreshment points, the paths are not very easy to walk, a 3-day trek is recommended for trained people, there are lighter versions that still allow you to see and learn about this beautiful area.
Sapa Vietnam what to see
Sapa, besides the trekking, does not have much to offer, but in our opinion, it is a nice town to visit. It offers a beautiful lake and advancing through the streets, you can get to the central square where, like any Asian center, there is no lack of daily life and we point out the possibility of buying excellent equipment for trekking, NorthFace, in the many small shops that there are in the center. The quality is excellent, perhaps better and at lower prices than those present in Hanoi.
Excellent restaurants, bars, can offer you a unique hospitality and at the same time enjoy their typical dishes but also international dishes, all at prices more than affordable. We also point out the possibility of arriving with the new funicular to Mount Fansipan, to admire the mountain ranges in the area of Sapa. You can leave from the centre of Sapa, from the hotel de la Coupole the station leading to the cable car is right in front of the hotel.
Where to sleep in Sapa? Of course, there is no shortage of thesefacilities, all more or less cheap, offering everything from boutique
hotels to hostels for the more adventurous. For anaffordable budget, about 20 dollars per night, we recommend the Sapa Memory Hotel. A few meters from the center, a beautiful room with windows overlooking the lake and a large terrace where you can spend a few hours in the evening sitting and drinking a good cool beer.
Sapa must be lived intensely, three or four days are ideal for us,the right ones to visit this jewel of Vietnam. At Consigliviaggiasia we wil always carry in our hearts the smiles and kindness of allthose people we have met on our way to discover Sapa.
Did you like the article? Click and share.