Sapa Travel Guide from A to Z

Sapa Travel Guide from A to Z

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Located in the northwest of Vietnam, Sapa hides many wonders of the natural scene. The town attracts tourists with spectacular mountain views and many unique experiences to discover the life of ethnic minorities.

Overview for Sapa tour

Sapa is a mountainous district of Lao Cai Province. It treasures a lot of breath taking landscapes of mountains and forests as well as the villages of ethnic minorities for tourists to discover and better understand the customs and habits of the land and the hospitality of locals.

sapa-mountain-magnificent
So much beauty still untouched

Tourists will have the opportunity to conquer famous Fansipan Mountain or make a backpacking trip to the villages hidden in the mist. Mountain scenery with blooming flowers certainly would delight travelers have come to this place.

Climate

Cool and fresh air with nuanced diversity has played an invaluable resource in Sapa. Located at an average altitude of 1,500 m – 1,800 m, the climate is more or less in temperate zone with an average temperature of 15-18 ° C. From May to August, Sapa will have much rain. In winter, Sapa is even snowy.

What is the most beautiful season for Sapa tour?

+) The right time to travel to Sapa is from September to November or from March to May because Sapa’s
weather is stable with hot daytime and cold night.

+) April and May is when the ethnic minorities grow rice on the terraced fields. And this is also the season of many flowers blooming beautifully. Rice transplanting is very beautiful scene so photo hunters like to go in this season and the season of harvest.

+) September and October is the season of grain so every angle you stand to sightsee Sapa will be cover with the yellow of ripen rice across the hills. But you should go in the middle or end of September as many places have finished harvesting.

yello-rice-terrace-sapa

+) December to February, the weather is very cold, especially at night. On the other hand, you have a chance to see a sunrise over the valley in the morning. In recent years, some ice may be formed and there is snow. This is also the season of cherry blossom.

sapa-snowing

Transport to Sapa

Sapa town is far from Lao Cai about 38km and Hanoi 376km. To travel Sapa, you can choose a train or passenger bus.

• Option 1: Go to Sapa and then rent a motorcycle with the price of about 120000-180000 VND /, not including fuel for self-drive to the locations. Note that renting is fixed only for 1 day (6am to 6pm) so no matter what time in a day you rent, the price is unchanged. Motorbike should be returned at 6pm or sometimes 8pm.

• Option 2: You make a deal with a motorbike taxi (xe om) to a few well-known tourist destinations, usually about 100000-150000 dong for 4-5 places.

Cannot-missed places when traveling to Sapa
Here is the list of the most attractive destinations.

Around Sapa Town

 

 

Cat Cat village

cat-cat-village

This is one of the oldest villages of Mongolia. It is far from the center of Sapa town about 2km. It has preserved many traditional crafts such as growing cotton, flax and weaving fabrics, ect. The Cat Cat Village in Sapa town attracts many tourists to visit. Currently it has already been built into Cat Cat tourist site.

Sapa stone churches

Sapa stone church built in 1895 is regarded as a mark of the most ancient architectural integrity of the French colonist. The church has been restored and preserved to become an integral picture of smoggy Sapa town.

Ta Phin village

The far distance from Ta Phin Village to the center of Sapa town is about 17km in the eastern direction. It has beautiful natural landscapes, the cultural identities of the Red Dao people with famous brocade. Also, you can take a visit to Ta Phin Cave, where there are stalactites with a lot of strange but beautiful shapes like the dancing fairy, the sitting fairy group, rice field in far distance, sparkling forest, etc.

Muong hoa valley – the ancient rocks in sapa

Muong Hoa valley belongs to Hau Thao Commune. It is far from Sa Pa town about 8km to the southeast. From Sapa town, tourists have to cross a mountain pass along the high mountain range (with tollbooth, about 80,000 VND/ person), you will arrive in the Muong Hoa valley.

The particular thing about the valley is the ancient rocks in many strange but eye-catchy shapes. There are up to hundreds of sandstone rocks carved with strange drawings and characters which researchers have yet to identify where it comes from or what it is used for.

strange-ancient-rocks-sapa-muong-hoa-valley
Ancient Rocks-Hidden Messages from the ancestors

Today, these ancient rocks were ranked the national monument, the unique heritage of the country. Muong Hoa Valley also has a beautiful small stream stretching about 15 km, through communes including Lao Chai, Ta Van, Hau Thao and ending at Ho Village.

 

Ham Rong mountain

If you want to have the view of the whole Sapa, including Muong Hoa Valley and ethnic minorities’ villages like Ta Phin, you will have to climb up to the top of Ham Rong Mountain. Currently, with the creation and skillful hands of human beings, Ham Rong is truly a fruitful landscape of Sapa. Climbing to Ham Rong Mountain, travelers will feel like that they are emerging themselves in the heaven gardens when covered around by clouds with a number of colorfully blooming flowers on the ground.

What to eat when traveling to Sapa?

Tourists coming to Sapa should not miss the specialties listed below:

Fresh Vegetable of Cold Land

With chilly climate, Sapa is the land of vegetables for typical temperate regions such as cauliflower, broccoli, beets, chayote, etc. Vegetables in Sapa have especially sweet taste. The most popular dishes from vegetables Sapa are boiled chayote dipped in sesame salt or chicken hot pot served with vegetables.

Grilled Dishes

Maybe because of cold climate in Sapa, any kinds of dishes can be brought out for barbecue like chicken eggs, duck eggs, meat skewers, meat wrapped vegetables, rice, and chicken wings/legs, corn, potatoes and so on. In the evening, barbeque area is the stone church attracting the most tourists because the space is cozy and delicious dishes suitable for cool mountain town.

River Fish

Spring fish have many kinds and it is of no fishy taste. Spring fish is just cooked on charcoal, then serve hot immediately. Many people just grilled or fried with tomato sauce with the spices of curry powder, pepper powder. In doing so, you will have a delectable dish.

Mushrooms
In any season at Sapa market, you are invited to buy dried mushrooms, specialty of the mountainous area with the price of 50,000 VND / 0.5 kg. Dried mushrooms soaked in water will remain the mountain scent, taste of forest trees. As a gourmet, you can ask the restaurant to stir fry mushrooms foot with meat or some dishes from mushrooms.

Thang Co
The ethnic minorities often cook “Thang co” with buffalo meat and pork meat. Thang co is very delicious thanks to 27 different species such as cinnamon, anise, cardamom, chives… The wild vegetables are the second important ingredient in this dish. It is so hard to express the taste of the dish in words with special aroma and sweetness. There is no more interesting thing than sitting around the sauce of Thang Co and drink corn wine to feel warmer in the cold wind. The famous restaurants for this dish are Thang Co Ma Le and A Quynh Thang Co restaurant.

Sapa Black Chicken

Black chicken is very small as it just weighs 1.2kg. The black chicken can be cooked into different dishes but the most delicious one is the grilled black chicken with honey which is served hot, accompanying with mint leaves and mixture of salt and pepper. Any tourists in Sapa tours enjoy this dish once will never forget its taste.

 

Where to stay in Sapa tour?

Hotels in Sa Pa are plentiful with relatively good service. We list some great hotels from 1 star to 5 stars in Sapa with stable rates as follow:
1. Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa Address: Xuan Vien, Sapa, Lao Cai

2. Hotel U Sapa
Address: 08 Cau May, Sapa, Lao Cai

3. Amazing Sapa Hotels
Address: 44 Ngu Chi Son, Sa Pa, Lao Cai

4. Hotel Muong Thanh Sapa
Address: No. 9 Fansipan Street, Sapa, Lao Cai
5. Hoa Phong Sapa Hotel
Address: 60 Ngu Chi Son, Sapa, Lao Cai
Remember to note the useful information about Sapa down for the preparation of the trip to Sapa!

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