Traveling To a Mountainous Town in Vietnam: Sapa
If you want to see a stunning mountain landscape with terraced rice fields, where the Vietnamese still wear their national dress, you must go to Sapa. Sapa is located in the Hoang Lien Mountains in northern Vietnam, near the border with China. One can book a soft bed on the night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and take a minibus to Sapa from there. You can also book a hotel in advance or choose a hotel with a spectacular view. Note that ATMs are not available in Sapa, so be sure to bring enough money. Below you will find more tips about Sapa to help you get ready for your adventure in Vietnam!
Things Not to Miss in Sapa
Here are some of the fun things to do, the sights to see, and the microcosms to explore when you visit this special Vietnam.
1) Go to the Market!
Sapa is a pretty town with a pleasant main street and a covered market where you can buy vegetables, fish, meat, and other local and non-local delicacies. There is a night market where you can try traditional Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, bahn mi, noodles, and more! Don’t like to eat? Then go to the market, where you will likely find Vietnamese people selling nice souvenirs.
2) Take a Scooter to Sapa
In Sapa, we recommend renting a scooter and seeing the Thach Bac and Thach Tinh Bac waterfalls. You may also want to visit the peaks of Hoang Lien National Park and the authentic people who live there. Sapa also has many rice fields and unforgettable scenery.
3) Silver Falls and Tram Tom Pass
Want to see a spectacular natural phenomenon? Then head to Silver Falls. People often pass by here on their way to Tram Tom Pass. The view from here is spectacular.
4) Traditional Minorities in Sapa
There are several small villages in the Sapa area inhabited by hill tribes, the Black Hmong, and the Red Zao. These tribes are distinguished, among other things, by their traditional costumes. In this mountainous area, full-scale agriculture is still practiced. During harvest time, you will see many people harvesting corn and hulling rice, which they dry on large mats along the road. Many women and children will also try to sell their handmade textile products, such as belts, bags, and hats, to tourists. However, to prevent begging and encourage school attendance, the government does not like sales by children and advises that they be discouraged as much as possible.
5) Trekking in Sapa
There are special nature reserves around Sapa, so what else can you do here? Trekking and going out in trekking shoes, of course. For this reason, Sapa is the perfect place to start!
6) Overnight in Sapa
Lodging in Sapa can be a bit pricey. This is because it is much more remote than other parts of Vietnam. Prices are a bit higher, but you can still find a room for 5-10 euros per night. Looking for a nice hotel? Then check out Trivago.nl. Here you can easily compare all hotel prices of different hotel room providers.
7) Transportation in Sapa
As we just said, renting a scooter in Sapa is recommended to have a pleasant trip on your own. However, if you are going to or from Sapa from elsewhere in Vietnam, for example from Sinha Cafe, you can take a train or bus. There, you can book a hop-on hop-off ticket that will take you all over Vietnam.
8) Volunteering in Sapa
Sapa is a very good Vietnamese village for volunteering. Volunteer Sapa is a travel organization that can help you if you want to volunteer in Vietnam. Through it, you can combine teaching with trekking in Sapa, for example. This way, you can see more of Sapa and get to know the people, and have them share their knowledge with you. It will definitely make your trip to Sapa more special.
Have you ever been to any of these places? Share your experience with us in the comments below!