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Travelling to Sapa - Vietnam


Overview of Sapa

Situated in north west Vietnam, Sapa - a mountainous district of Lao Cai province, is a modest and tranquil land having wonderful landscapes. Scenery in Sapa is the harmonious combination between people’s creativity and mountain terrain, green forest which make an attractive tourist site.

Sapa shrouded in mist

On a visit to Sapa, visitors will have chance to conquer the roof of Indochina: Phan Xi Phang or have a backpacking tour to discover the life of ethnic people. Magnificent mountain landscape with lots of beautiful flowers blooming and clouds on top of mountain will give delight to the people landing on this area.

Best Time to visit Sapa

Sapa – engulfed in clouds as a fanciful city, has cool, fresh atmosphere and diverse climate. With average altitude of 1500 – 1800m, Sapa has climate of temperate zone. Average temperature is 15 -18 degree Cenci us. Rainy season lasts from May to late August with highest rainfall in July and August. So, the best time to visit Sapa is from September to November or from March to May. At this time, the weather is stable with dry sunshine in daylight and cold at night. From April – May, Sapa is full of blooming flowers and green fields. In winter from December to following February, it is very cold, particularly in the south east part at night. And in the early morning, visitors can contemplate the view of sunrise on high valley. Especially, in recent years, there is ice and snow falling creating beautiful and romantic scenery. For this reason, Sapa is very crowded with visitors in this season.

Destinations of Sapa
Fansipan ridge in Lao Cao which is 3,143m on Hoang Lien Son range was formed 100 million years ago in Neo - tectonic period. Currently, it is destination of many climbers. Visitors can conquer this ridge with the tours by professional travel agencies or with the guidance of local people.

Fansipan ridge  

Besides, visitors can climb Ham Rong mountain in Sapa town to take an overview of the town, Muong Hoa, Sa P?, Ta Phin valleys looming in smog. With the efforts of people, Ham Rong is truly a beauty spot full of fruits and flowers. Standing on Ham Rong mountain, visitors will feel like a fairy world with cloud around you and flowers on your foot.
Sapa has old church right away the town. On the way to Ta Phin cave up to the southeast of the town, there a monastery which is mostly built with stone in spacious area. Passing the monastery about 3 km to the north, you will reach Ta Phin cave which is big enough for number of people of an army regiment. In the cave, lots of stalactites forming such amazing shapes as fairy dancing, fairy sitting, far fields and twinkling tree forest. Especially, in Muong Hoa valley, 196 stones were carved with many unusual illustrations that have not been decoded by archaeologists thousands of thousands of years ago. The carved area is recognized as national relic.

Stone church in Sapa

About 20km to the west, on the way from Sapa town to Lai Chau, you will see Bac waterfall with flow of water falling from altitude of 200m creating impressive sound of mountain area. Besides, Sapa is considered as the “kingdom” of flowers and fruits such as peaches, big yellow peach, small yellow peach, plum, purple plum, gladiolus, plum flower, peach flower, daisy, rose and immortal flower. You will have chance to see and take some photos in your tour to this north west mountain.

Bac (Silver) waterfall

Every 6 groups of ethnic people in Sapa has their own culture with such festivals as “Roong Poc” festival (praying for bumper crop, prosperity) of Giay Ta Van ethnic group, “Sai San”(praying for good weather, prosperity in new year) of Mong people, “Tet Nhay” (showing gratitude to their ancestors in New Year) of Dao Do people which are held every year. Visitors can walk through hills or ride motorbike, bike to discover and visit villages of ethnic people.
 Market fair in Sapa is on Sunday in Sapa town. People living far away have to depart from Saturday. Visitors will be attracted by a unique market fair. Love market is held on Saturday where people entertain with each other with folk songs, sound of dan moi (traditional music instrument made by bamboo), flute, pan pipe of girls and boys from Mong and Dao ethnic group

 Market fair in Sapa
 Transportation Sapa
Sapa is 38km away from Lao Cai city and 376km away from Hanoi. Visitors can get there by 2 ways: from Lao Cai or from Binh Lu (Lai Chau) by means of transportation as car or motorbike.  

Night trains from Hanoi railway station to Lao Cai railway station running from 7.00p.m to 10.30p.m are the most popular means of transportation to Sapa. You can catch train named Victoria Express with air-conditioner system and beds. It takes you 8 hours to get Lao Cai. After that, you use car or mini truck to go from Lao Cai to Sapa. And it may take about 50 minutes to cross over terraced fields of local people.

Instead of can catching train, visitors can go by long-distance bus but it is inconvenient because of bumpy roads.

When arriving in Sapa, visitors can hire motorbike or jeep car to go around discovering or visiting villages and vicinities.
Ticket price from Hanoi railway station to Lao Cai railway station is about 25$ (425,000vnd). Price for bus from Lao Cai to Sapa is about 25,000vnd.

Before travelling to Lao Cai, visitors should prepare some change to be convenient in shopping and eating in here. The hotel price is from 100,000vnd to 150,000vnd/night.


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