Sapa or Binh Lieu? Which one for your trip?

by Travel Authentic Asia on January 31, 2024

Sapa and Binh Lieu are also mountainous areas in the North Vietnam. Sapa, a globally renowned destination, beckons travelers with the majestic Fansipan, the rooftop of Indochina, breathtaking terraced fields, rich ethnic diversity, and a unique cultural tapestry. On the flip side, there's a lesser-known gem that we believe won't disappoint – Binh Lieu. Join Travel Authentic Asia in unraveling the debate of whether Sapa or Binh Lieu is the perfect destination for your next adventure.

Sapa, where majestic mountains meet hill tribe charm

Sapa or Binh Lieu

Sapa, nestled in the northern mountains of Vietnam, is a picturesque town renowned for its stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural tapestry. Surrounded by terraced rice fields that cascade down the mountainside, Sapa offers breathtaking views of lush greenery and traditional ethnic minority villages. The town serves as a gateway to the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, including Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina. Sapa is a melting pot of diverse ethnic communities, such as the Hmong, Dao, and Tay, each contributing to the region's rich cultural heritage.You can explore local markets where colorful handicrafts, textiles, and unique souvenirs showcase the skilled craftsmanship of the indigenous people. Beyond the cultural charm, trekking enthusiasts find Sapa to be a haven for hiking adventures, with trails leading through serene landscapes and remote hillside villages. The cool climate, coupled with the warmth of the local hospitality, makes Sapa an enchanting destination for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and cultural immersion.

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Binh Lieu, unveiling Vietnam's untamed beauty & hidden gem status

Binh Lieu

Binh Lieu, a district in the northernmost province of Quang Ninh, Vietnam, is a hidden gem nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of the Northeast region. Characterized by lush mountains, pristine rivers, and dense forests, Binh Lieu is a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking tranquility and serenity. The district is renowned for its picturesque terraced rice fields, creating a mesmerizing mosaic on the rolling hills. You go to Binh Lieu are captivated by the ethnic diversity of the region, where several minority groups, including the San Chi, Dao, and Tay, contribute to the vibrant cultural tapestry. The area's unique cultural identity is celebrated through traditional festivals, folk performances, and the warm hospitality of the local communities. Binh Lieu also boasts the stunning Ban Gioc Waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Vietnam, which straddles the border with China. As a destination off the beaten path, Binh Lieu offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking an authentic and immersive experience in the heart of Vietnam's natural beauty.

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Sapa or Binh Lieu



Binh Lieu


Sa Pa District can be found in the northwest region of Vietnam, situated within Lao Cai Province

Binh Lieu District is located in the northeast of Quang Ninh Province

Distance from Hanoi

315km (about 6-hour driving)

258km (about 4-hour driving)

Combination with Halong bay

From Sapa to Halong Bay, it’s about 450km. You should spend at least 3 days 2 night in Sapa and then go to Hanoi before reaching Halong Bay. So if you want to visit Sapa and halong Bay you need to spend at least 5 days and 4 nights.

From Binh Lieu to Halong Bay, it’s about 110km. And it takes about 3 days for you to explore Binh Lieu and Halong Bay.

Scenery, Nature, and Local Culture

Iconic terraced fields, vibrant markets, and the Hmong and Dao ethnic communities

An untouched haven, terrace fields, pristine forests and waterfalls, experience clay house and Dao Thanh Phan ethnic community, free from commercialization and mass tourism, allowing for genuine enjoyment and exploration


Trekking, explore hill tribe villages

Trekking, explore hill tribe villages


More expensive


While Sapa holds historical charm, it has become a mainstream destination, losing some of its original authenticity. Tourist crowds and inflated prices are not uncommon. In contrast, Binh Lieu offers a true escape into nature, untouched by commercialization or tourist-centric activities. Here, you can genuinely enjoy and explore without the disruptions of the commercial world.

Sapa or Binh Lieu, choosing your Vietnamese mountain escape

Torn between the iconic Sapa and the up-and-coming Binh Lieu for your Vietnam adventure? Both offer stunning mountain scenery, rich ethnic cultures, and unique experiences, but cater to different travel styles.

Crave adventure and authenticity?

Binh Lieu

Binh Lieu might be your match. This hidden gem boasts breathtaking treks, pristine waterfalls, and homestays nestled amidst untouched nature. Embrace the local Tay and Dao cultures, and be among the first to discover its off-the-beaten-path charm. However, prepare for fewer amenities and a more rustic experience.

Seeking iconic sights and creature comforts?


Sapa beckons. Marvel at the majestic Fansipan peak, wander through vibrant markets overflowing with handicrafts, and immerse yourself in the buzz of a bustling town. But be prepared for crowds and potentially inflated prices during peak season.

Considering a multi-destination trip? Binh Lieu's proximity to Halong Bay makes it a perfect combo, while Sapa's distance requires more planning.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your priorities. Embrace adventure and tranquility in Binh Lieu, or soak in the cultural tapestry and iconic sights of Sapa. Whichever you choose, get ready for an unforgettable Vietnamese mountain escape!

Our insights aim to provide you with a comprehensive overview of these two captivating destinations in Vietnam. Whether you choose Sapa, Binh Lieu, or even both, we are confident you'll create unforgettable memories and experiences that will linger in your heart forever. So, Sapa or Binh Lieu? The choice is yours, and either way, it's bound to be an extraordinary adventure.

Travel Authentic Asia Company is your best choice for discovering the beauty of Southeast Asia. Our experienced and knowledgeable travel advisors are committed to helping you create a tailor-made tour and extraordinary experiences in this majestic region.

If you're looking for an authentic cultural experience, do not hesitate to contact Travel Authentic Asia to choose a Vietnam tour, Southeast Asia tour package or to customize your own style tour to South East Asia.


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