Sa Pa District is in Lào Cai Province, northwest Vietnam, 380 km northwest of Hanoi close to the border with China. Sapa is located on the ground at an altitude of 1500 to 1650 meters compared with the sea surface.
1 - Enjoy a herbal bath at Ta Phin Village.
2 - See a performance in the tơn square every Saturday night.
3 - Bring toothbrushes for kids and reading glasses for craft workers.
4 - Visit the craft workshops in Lao Cai Village.
5 - Sample the local wines.
6 - Buy vintage fabrics upstairs in the central market.
7 - Visit the studios of local artists, many prominent Hanoi artists stay in Sapa in summer.
8 - Visit regional markets such as Mung Hum, Coc Ly, and Bac Ha.
9 - Accept invitations to eat with a local family.
10 - Collect children's clothes and shoes to bring with you as you trek.
11 - Donate school stationery to a local school.
12 - Teach English phrases to your hotel staff team.
Sapa has many natural attractions to visit such as Ham Rong Mountain, the Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, the Bamboo Forest, and Ta Phin Cave. Sapa is also the starting point for many climbers who want to reach the top of Fansipan mountain the highest peak in the Indochina peninsula. The pyramid-shaped mountain is covered with clouds year-round and temperatures often drop below zero, especially at high elevations.
Visitors to Sapa will have the opportunity to discover the unique customs of the local residents by visiting Bac Ha market, running every Sunday. Coc Ly market is open on Tuesday, Can Cau market on Saturday, Cao Son market on Wednesday and Lung Khau Nhin on Thursday.
Home to ethnic minorities who live the same way as they have done for centuries. Catch xe om (motorbike taxi) from town, or for the full mountain challenge, trek there on foot and visit villages including Ban Ho Village, Cat Cat Village, Lao Chai Village, or Ta Van Village.
Observe an ancient tradition, where ethnic minority people go to find a partner at the “Love Market”, which takes place on Saturday evenings.
Hike through the lush and green valley meeting friendly locals en route and staying overnight in a home-stay in the villages.
Address: Xuan Vien Street, Sapa
Built as a traditional mountain chalet with accented wooden décor and a welcoming stone hearth fireplace, the Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa overlooks the village, blending perfectly with the natural surroundings.
Address: 24 Muong Hoa, Sapa
Simplicity, quality and character located 20km from Sapa town. Situated in a perfect location between two cone-shaped hills set deep in the spectacular Sapa Valley. The ecolodge consists of 25 individual lodges placed in a circle. From the lodge, there are breathtaking views across the scenic valleys below.
Address: 24 Dong Loi, Sapa
This hotel lies perched on a hill oﬀering beautiful views of surrounding forests, fast streams, and Vietnam’s highest peak. The hotel is within walking distance of Sapa Market and features an onsite restaurant and bar which serves Asian and Western dishes.
Address: 10 Hoang Dieu Street, Sapa
Nestled in the heart of the market area, the Sapa Panorama Hotel is an ideal spot from which to discover Sapa. With the city’s main attractions such as Sapa Catholic Church, Sapa Museum, and Sapa Lake close by, visitors to the hotel just love its location. The 5th-ﬂoor restaurant has panoramic views across to Mount Fansipan.
Address: Dong Loi Road, Sapa City Center
Conveniently located in the center, Amazing Hotel Sapa is a great base from which to explore this vibrant city. Smart, contemporary rooms, restaurant, wi-fi, spa, fitness center and indoor swimming pool make this a popular choice.
Address: 18 Pham Xuan Huan street, Sapa.
One of the most highly recommended restaurants in town with delicious local food in addition to Vietnamese dishes made to order.
Address: 4B, Thac Bac Street, Sapa Town.
An excellent place to dine out in Sapa, the restaurant oﬀers a range of interesting Vietnamese and European meals at very aﬀordable prices.
Address: 7 Muong Hoa, Sapa
Very nice ambiance and good service that deserves a try.
Address: 22A Phan Xi Pang, Sapa
The design brings the traditional style. They oﬀer local Vietnamese food and Chinese food.
Train: The Sapa Victoria Express oﬀers a luxurious option from/to Hanoi to Sapa. Regular trains also ply the route or visitors can travel by bus, from Hanoi’s Old Quarter, along the recently (2015) upgraded road. Whether traveling by train or bus, booking in advance is essential.
Sapa enjoys four distinct seasons and provides year-round relief from the tropical climate of the lowlands and cities.
Spring is blossom time in Sapa, with the valleys painted with the flowers of peach, pear, pomelo and the plum trees. Orchids are in full bloom, the fragrances amazing. The ethnic people, in their colorful costumes, their smiling faces, and festivals, welcome you. Crop planting begins. March-April.
Summer, probably the most favorable time of year to visit weatherwise, brings gladioli, dahlias, pansies, and sunflowers. The fruit is ripening; the markets are full of colorful baskets of local produce. Artichokes are in bloom; their flowers covered to protect from birds. The rice terraces covered in green plants. Winemaking begins. May-August.
Autumn brings the forest fruits, fungi, mushrooms and a whole range of spices such as star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon. Medicinal herbs and roots gathered, mountain herbs dried. The green fields turn golden in preparation for harvesting. Many cultural activities held among the ethnic communities. Sept – Nov.
Winter brings frost to the valleys covering them with sparkling silver. Discover crisp blue skies but also clouds and maybe even snow. It can get very cold, especially at night. These are hard times for remote villagers. Dec- Feb.
Sapa is famous for its barbeque cuisine. Every evening the fires are lit and all kinds of special foods are made ready for the grill. Among the fresh cút ò pork and chicken you will see suckling pigs, small birds, duck eggs and many vegetables on offer.
It is fragrant sticky rice cooked in bamboo sticks. Eat with sesame seed and chill salt.
It can be found in the market. thy look like they have been dipped in indigo dye but in fact, the coloring is natural even the bones are "black". It tastes much like normal chicken but has a slightly gamier flavor.
It is a local bbq delicacy made from marinated bbq buffalo meat wrapped in a tangy bitter lemon salad leaf. This lemon salad leaf is only found locally grown in Sapa.
They are one of the popular snacks in Sapa and are considered a nutritious food. in the markets in Sapa, you will see many duck eggs however be warned usually they come with a 19 to 21 dáy old embryo inside.
1 - Book a central compartment on the train for comfort away from the bathroom and between the front and rear wheels.
2 - Have a warm jacket handy as the air conditioning on the train can be set to sub-zero.
3 - Pre-book your transfer from Lao Cai train station to avoid the cháo of tái and coáces arrival.
4 - Eat well before you take the overnight train to aid sleep. Only snacks are served from the trolley on the train. Pack water and nutritious snacks and fruits.
5 - Dress comfortably for your journey and bring good quality earplugs.
6 - Pack some gifts for children such as pencils, crayons, exercise books, toothbrushes, and soap. Please don't give them money or sugear candies.
7 - On arrival drink plenty of water. The air conditioning on the train and the thin mountain air can cause dehydration and fatigue during your first trek.
8 - Wear sunscreen. The sunburn through the mountain clouds and can easily cause sunburn.
9 - Any donation of children's clothing can be deposited at the Sapa Rooms Hotel.
10 - Don't give sweets to children - give fruit instead.
11 - Dress modestly. For trekking, the local people do not show a lot of flesh
The Lunar new ear celebrations take place on the first morning of the first day of the lunar new year. Families return to their home towns. Children receive little red envelopes of money. Homes are decorated with chrysanthemums bonsai trees and family shrines are decorated with peach or plum blossom. This is the most significant Vietnamese celebration.
This takes place on the rice fields around Ta Van village after Tet. Colored eggs sold in the market. Hmong and Giay compete for in traditional games, dance and play music.
On 5th May people eat sour plums to kill stomach worms and eats cakes made from fermented rice and bee eggs to ward off insects from the new rice crop.
This is to celebrate the new rice at harvest time. They make sticky rice cakes They clean all the tools, tapes a small piece of red paper on each (fo good luck) and display them in a basket under the family shrine.
This takes place at the full moon in mid-October. Each community makes a GIANT fancy lantern to parade around the town. Fish are released into the lake and there is a prize-giving for the bét lantern each year.