Located 400km northwest of the capital city Hanoi and belonged to Lao Cai province, Sapa lying on the Hoang Lien Mountain range at a middle height is a perfect destination for tourists who are finding a hideaway among beautiful nature to relax after busy daily life and interested in trekking. In the past, this charming town was a resort for the French military and officers’ summer holidays when they worked in Vietnam. There are numerous colorful ethnic people residing in Sapa and the major tribes include Dzao, Tay, Hmong, Dzay, and Xa Pho. Due to the main terrain of the mountain, most hill tribes people do agricultural works on terraces to earn their living.

Ethnic people in Sapa Vietnam

The Hoang Lien Mountains are famous for the abundance of birds, plants, reptiles, insects, and mammals. Among them, there are lots of species that can be only seen in the Northwest regions. For that reason, this nature reserve has been established to become a National Park since 2006. The magnificent scenery of Sapa is on a very grand scale, and the town offers the most breathtaking views of spectacular mountain ranges, endless rice terraces, and a magnificent valley on clear days. A tantalizing glimpse of the epic scenery is more common than full-frontal vistas, for the town is often wrapped in a thick mist that rolls back and forth along the peaks. But even if it is damp and cloudy, Sapa has a lot going for it – this is an important market town for hill-tribe people, who fill the cobbled lanes with color.

Scenic train ride in Sapa

Planning a trip to Sapa, besides the chance to admire the impressive natural landscapes, you will also get memorable experience through various interesting activities such as do the trekking around villages, conquer the top of Fansipan Mountain, taste local food right at any restaurant in town, join the unique Sunday love market, and stay for a night at a house-on-stilt homestay to have local interaction with people and get more knowledge about their traditional culture.

Fansipan peak in Sapa

Affected by the subtropical climate and situated on the mountain, the weather in Sapa is quite pleasant for all months with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. The hottest months are July and August while the coldest months fall in December and January with the appearance of snow on the highest peaks in some years. In general, you can travel to Sapa anytime in a year. The peak time of tourism in Sapa is from March to May and from September to November.

Sapa is about 380 km from Hanoi and there are different ways to reach the town. If you wish to get local experience as well as save a 1-night hotel, you can take an overnight train with the option of staying in a private or shared 4-berth cabin which arrives at Lao Cai station in the early morning the following day. Once set foot on the station, you will board a car for a 1-hour transfer to Sapa. Other options are joining the comfortable limousine van at reasonable prices or taking a private car which is convenient and allows you to make any stops along the way to capture nice sceneries or have a break. With the combination of great natural beauty, colorful ethnic minorities, and unique culture, Sapa is among the list of wonderful destinations that you should not miss in your journey to Vietnam.

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