If one is looking for a unique place that cannot be found anywhere else in Vietnam, Sapa is just the right choice. Though Vietnam is known for its beach landscape with luxury resort, the mountainous area is no less charming.
Resides at an elevation of 1,600 meters above the sea level, Sapa is a mountainous district in the northwest of Vietnam, located about 38 km from Lao Cai City and 376 km from Ha Noi – the capital city of Vietnam.
Sapa is not a place to look at on pictures – once you come, you will see how reality is even more picturesque than the polished photos. From the terraced rice field to the exciting ethnic lives, from the cool climate to the colorful trek, Sapa is a must-see, must-go and must-experience.
After 9 hour train ride, which you can twist easily with a sound sleep, and another scenic 60 minute bus crawl, you will get to the mountain town of Sapa. Hotels are abundant, as Sapa became a tourist attraction as early as the beginning of 20th century. If you do not feel too rush to get some quick rest, a walk around town at this time of the day is just magnificent. The crowd is not yet out while you can inhale the freshness of early morning air.
Sapa is best seen on foot: book a trekking tour or just wander around the town yourself if you are not too interested in vigorous activities. Come at the right time (September – October) and you can catch the green-turn-yellow horizon of rice fields. At other time of the year, such as wintertime, expect a mysterious foggy scene that is just as charming.
Sapa is as famous for its people as for its nature. However, ask for permission before you take photos of the ethnic group. The life of Dzao, Hmong and other ethnic has much change yet many still retains its unique trait – enjoy a new lifestyle that is quite dramatically different from the lower land.
Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa by bus with a short trek to Cat Cat village (L,D)
6.30 – 7.00: Pick up from your hotel in old quarter, get on big bus and depart for Sapa.
9.30: Follow the highway to Lao Cai city with the first comfort break
11.00: Second comfort break at Lao Cai city before approaching Sapa
13.00: Arrive Sapa Town with colorful traditional costumes of H’mong, Dzao, Tay ethnic People.
Welcome drink and itinerary briefing
Enjoy the lunch with local Vietnamese dishes, check-in procedures
14.30: A short drive to the gate of Cat Cat village which is home of Black H’mong ethnic people and is located near the bottom of a deep valley at the foot of Fansipan Peak. Our local guide will show you the daily life activities of the locals, trek down to the valley bottom to the waterfall where the French built a Hydraulic Power Station; stop for photo with bridge and waterfall then you will walk uphill for bus to pick up to get back to Sapa in the afternoon.
Trekking distance is about 2.5 kms and it lasts for 2 hours
16.30: Come back to Sapa Town. Have dinner and overnight in hotel with night activities
Day 2: Sapa discovery with long trek Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van village (B, L,D)
7.00 – 7.45: Have breakfast at hotel and prepare light pack for the long trek of 5 kms
8.00: A short drive to Y Linh Ho then trek through the rice terraces and along Muong Hoa Stream to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai to see the spectacular landscape of Hoang Lien Son Mountain then trek to Ta Van village - home of Dzay ethnic people. Trekking distance is about 9 kms and it lasts for 4 hours
11.30: Bus picks you up at Ta Van Bridge to Sapa.
12.00 – the Evening: Have lunch and enjoy free time in the afternoon do discover Sapa town by yourself. Have dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Sapa - Bac Ha market - Lao Cai - Ha Noi (B, L)
6.15 – 7.00: Have breakfast at hotel. Check out the room and bring all your luggage for Bac Ha market.
7.00 – 14.00: Take 2.5 hour drive to Bac Ha Town – home of Flower H’Mong ethnic People
Visit Bac Ha market – the most typical weekly market with inhabitants of lots of Ethnic People.
Have lunch at local restaurant
A short walk to Hoang A Tuong’s palace which was built in 1914 with French – Viet architecture and visit “Pho” village of Flower H’Mong People. Trekking distance is about 4 kms and it lasts for 2 hours
14.00: Take 1.45 hour drive back to Lao Cai city, have a shower and relax in Border gate city.(Do not come back Sapa town)
16.30: You are welcomed to shuttle bus back to Hanoi with one comfort break.
21.15: We say goodbye to you at your hotel/stay. Trip ends
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
-Modern air – conditioning bus with comfortable seats from Hanoi – Sapa -Hanoi
-Modern air - conditioning bus from Sapa – Bac Ha – Lao Cai with experienced drivers
-Complimentary bottles of water, tissues 2 snacks/2 ways/person on bus Ha Noi – Sapa – Ha Noi
-English speaking tour guide escorted Hanoi – Sapa - Hanoi, local guide in Sapa, Bac Ha
-Meals as 3 lunches, 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners
-All entrance tickets to indicated sites
-2 nights with Deluxe room in Royal View hotel or similar on twin sharing basis
-Insurance during time using the bus
-Beverages, travel insurance, VAT, personal expenses
-Others not clearly mentioned above
When you come back to Lao Cai city, you will have a shower and may wait sometimes to get on bus to Ha Noi. If you want to visit somewhere, transport fee is paid by yourself
You can join this tour even you depart for Sapa on Saturday with the same tour price.
Thing to bring
Warm clothes, scarf, hat, cap because the weather in Sapa is pretty unpredictable. It is normally cold in September, October, November, December, January, February and March
Due to altitude of Sapa, it is sometimes foggy in December, January, February and March.
Trekking shoes, sun glasses, sun cream, insect repellent are also necessary. You should take cash with you in Vietnam Dong because banking system in Sapa sometimes doesn’t function well. US Dollar, Euro, Australia Dollar are accepted in Sapa.
You should take medicine with you although there are some chemist’s shops in Sapa in case you get sick.