Travel guide: The top things to do and see in Sapa

dev 11/04/2022

For those who love traveling, Vietnam is worth visiting thanks to its diverse culture and mesmerizing landscape. Sapa is one of the most picturesque provinces in Vietnam, located in the Northwest. Though winter is in favor with the Vietnamese, spring is the best time of year to visit sapa in Vietnam, especially with foreigners. 


1. Things to keep in mind before traveling to Sapa

Vietnam is a tropical country comprising two seasons within a year: wet and dry seasons. Nevertheless, Sapa is an exception as this is the only region where you can experience the extreme cold weather and even see snow falling. The entire town will be covered with snow now and then if the temperature drops to lower than 0°C. 

Though winter witnesses a large number of domestic visitors, spring appeals to more foreign tourists (from February to May). Coming to Sapa at this time, you will be hooked by the mighty terraced fields as the green dominates the landscape, embellished with brilliantly-coloured flowers such as peach blossom, climbing roses and white plum blossom.


Compared to the past, there are various means of transportation to reach Sapa these days. From Hanoi capital, you can travel by van in approximately 5 to 7 hours or drive your vehicle to enjoy the scenery along the way. For those coming from the South and the Middle, you can book a direct flight to Hanoi airport, only around 45 minutes and then you can select between the two ways above to get there. Besides, a train is another option for people with redundant time as this takes up to 2 days of traveling. After arriving at Lao Cai station, you can catch a bus or taxi to Sapa.

Like other tourist sites, Sapa has different kinds of accommodation. Motels or run-down hostels are available for budget travellers who can rough it out and prefer experience to enjoyment. In addition, family-run hotels or time-share apartments are at your discretion if you want to know about the natives ‘ culture. Besides, if you need a high-quality service served with gourmet dishes, luxury hotels, villas, and resorts are also among your choices.


2. Top attractions in Sapa

Cat Cat Village

Cat Cat is the most striking village in Northwest Vietnam discovered by the French in the early 20th century. Its name originated from CatScat – a French word to call the majestic waterfall that belongs to the village.

What makes Cat Cat captivating is its unspoilt nature and the unique culture of The H’Mong. If you first set foot in this place, you should not miss the Cat Cat Fall created by three tortuous streams. Its glamor and breathtaking view will surely make you lost for words. 

You can also try tiptoeing on the stream banks for interesting experiences. On top of that, you can enter The Mong ‘ houses with their consent to observe their creativity through house architecture and understand their history and cultural values by listening to their stories.


Ham Rong Mountain

Ham Rong Mountain is surrounded by drifting clouds and magnificent green hills and called “heaven on earth”. Legend has it that a dragon couple used to live here a thousand years ago. Owing to a sudden flood, they drifted apart as the male fortunately escaped and flew to heaven while the female died, and her head turned into Ham Rong Mountain. 

Nowadays, this is a homeland of flora where you can find up to 6000 orchid vegetation, plus other wildflowers such as peach blossom, hydrangea and geraniums. If you plan to have a romantic vacation with your partner, being immersed in the stunning view of Sapa Town in Sân Mây Cloud Yard is an ideal choice.


Sin Chai Village

Sin Chai Village is well-known for its splendid terraced rice field and the home of the Red Dao, this village is located on the roof of Fansipan Mountain. Being seen from afar, those fields shine brightly under the sunbeam and look like a man-made masterpiece of uniqueness. The indigenous people are indeed hospitable and enthusiastic, they are happy to teach you how to weave and dye fabric and explain to you all kinds of mountainous flora. 

You also have a chance to try on their traditional embroidered garments and wear silver jewelry. If you are looking for a trekking adventure and a place to heal your inner soul, Sin Chai Village is surely what you need. 


3. Things to do in Sapa

Go Hiking/Trekking

Known as the perfect place to escape the heat and unwind, Sapa attracts plenty of tourists in the Spring – the best time of year to visit Sapa. Nothing is more exciting than going hiking or trekking in this cool climate, laying down on lush green hills and enjoying the warm sunshine combined with the minty smell of forests while listening to the murmur of the wind and waterfalls. Thousands of trekking and hiking tours with well-trodden routes are available for you to choose from. If you are an adventure seeker, you can just go alone.

Enjoy Sapa specialties

Imagine what could be more satisfying than having a piece of stewed horse meat and horse organs (Thang Co) in the crisp evenings. If you are a fan of meat, Buffalo meat upstairs kitchen (Thit Trau Gac Bep), Stolen armpit pig (Thit lon cap nach) and Sapa black chicken will surely meet your needs. Besides, do not hesitate to try Bamboo sticky rice (Com lam) – a signature dish of the Northwest mountain area. Wet rice with added salt is pressed into a bamboo tube to prepare for the long journey of the mountain people. 


Take part in Sewing Class

The Mong or The Red Dao are both clever in sewing and weaving. By joining classes in their craft stores, you will learn from members of the local H’Mong community how to make your own handicrafts. If you are not interested in hand-made activities, you still can purchase your favorite souvenirs such as teas, spices and textiles.


Explore Flea Market in Spring

Coming to Flea Market, you will be impressed by the locals ‘ traditional costumes with colorful patterns. Some famous ones in Sapa are Bac Ha, Coc Ly, Muong Hum, Sin Cheng,… where you can find different types of products such as fabrics, clothes, herbs, vegetables or castles and poultry.


In addition, this is an opportunity for young men and women to meet and date. You can join their singing and dancing activities, and the sound of the flute will surely captivate you. Springtime is actually the best time of year to visit sapa in Vietnam.

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