Vietnam Trekking Sapa

Trekking Sapa Guide [NEW 2020]: The Definitive Guide (A to Z)

by Giang A Sinh
2 comments

I was born and raised in Sapa; I am working as a trekking Sapa guide with four years of experience.

I am passionate lead guests about trekking and hiking to mountains, rice fields, and I love to introduce the cultural tradition for tourists because I think it is also a way to keep our Black Hmong’s aesthetic culture.

Today I am thrilled to share with you all about trekking Sapa in my hometown.

Trekking Through Rice Fields with a local guide
Trekking in Sapa – Trekking Through Rice Fields with a local guide – Photo: Phil Norton

You have a passion for teleportation.

If you are “bored” of the traditional tours, please once trekking in Sapa to enjoy the new and attractive experience.

One of the most popular trekking lands in Vietnam, Asia is Sapa.

So what is trekking in Sapa attractive, let’s find out with the article below!

Sapa is a Northwest highland town of Lao Cai province with an extremely famous place is the peak of Fansipan mountain, which is considered the roof of Indochina.

Located at an altitude of 1600m above sea level, Sapa has a temperate and subtropical climate, fresh air all year round.

The weather in the Town has four seasons a day: in the morning it is spring, the afternoon is like summer, it is usually sunny, the weather is cool, the afternoon clouds and dewfall to create a fresh feeling like autumn and night is the cold of winter.

If you're interested in a particular topic, feel free to jump ahead:

Introduction about Sapa

Located in the northwestern part of the country, Sapa is a highland town of Lao Cai province, a land of humility, quietness but containing many wonders of the natural beauty.

Sapa Trekking Mountain View
Sapa trekking tour guide – The best view to the Hoang Lien Son mountain – photo: Rob

The natural landscape of Sapa is combined with human creativity along with the topography of the mountains, the green color of the forest, like a picture arranged in a harmonious arrangement creating a region with many scenes, an attractive dreamy color.

The name Sapa is derived from Mandarin Chinese.

In Mandarin Mandarin, it is pronounced Sapa or SaPá, which means “sandy beach” because, in the days before SaPa Town, there was only one sand beach where indigenous people often held markets.

From the two words “Sa Pa,” Westerners pronounce it as unsigned, Sapa, and they wrote in French the two words into “Cha Pa,” and for a very long time after that, people used “Cha Pa” as a Vietnamese word. Later, this word was agreed to be Sapa.

Sapa town is 1,600 meters above sea level, 38 km from Lao Cai city, and 376 km from Hanoi.

In addition to the main road from Lao Cai city, there is another traffic route to Sapa; the National Highway 4D connects from Binh Lu, Tam Duong, and Lai Chau communes.

Although the majority of Sapa residents are from ethnic minorities, the Town is predominantly concentrated by the Kinh people living on agriculture and tourism.

Although located in Northern Vietnam, it should have a humid tropical monsoon climate. Still, due to its high terrain and near the tropics, Sapa has a moist, temperate climate, relaxed atmosphere around the year.

In the summer, the weather in the Town is one day as there are four seasons: in the morning it is the spring weather, in the afternoon it is like the summer, there is sunshine, fresh air, in the afternoon, clouds and dewfall.

Feeling as cold as autumn, and the night is the cold of winter.

History of Sapa

After capturing Sapa in 1887, the French colonialists expanded Hung Ho – Sapa area into a resort.

Sapa in the past
Sapa in the past – Photo: Nhan’s Blog

They brought several French contractors such as Hautefeuille, Lapiques, Alvaro along with French engineers and Vietnamese workers to exploit construction materials, stone, wood, sand …

Mobilizing thousands of workers from the plains, tens of thousands of locals going to their husbands and prisoners at Sapa prison to participate in the construction.

Since Lao Cai province was established (July 12, 1907), the Sapa area was formed, including two communes of Binh Lu and Huong Vinh. In the 30s of the twentieth century, Sapa was changed into a county, consisting of 37 villages and one street with 1020 households.

By 1915, the first two holiday houses were made of wood by the contractor Hautefeuille.

Then there are three large hotels: Metropol, Pansipan, Hotel Dang, and hundreds of other villas also set up for the French resort.

When the resort was formed, the infrastructure was also built by the French.

In 1925, to build Cat Cat hydroelectric station, in 1930 to pave the urban roads and Lao Cai – Sa Pa road, a clean water supply system was built to serve the Town area. At the same time, it was forming a residential area in Sa Pa Town.

In addition to Vietnamese people, there are Chinese and French people who later formed street names such as Pho Khach, An Nam, and Xuan Vien.

By 1943 Sapa had about 200 villas and houses built by the French, gardens, playgrounds, plantations as well as tourist attractions such as Rock cave, Silver waterfall, Cau May … (However, the villas such resorts, hotels, and offices are no longer to this day because most of them have been destroyed under the policy of abolishing resistance in 1947 and the border war in 1979).

In 1954 the peace was restored in the North, Sapa became the resort of all working classes.

But Sapa has only really reopened to international tourists since 1992.

On September 11, 2019, the National Assembly Standing Committee passed Resolution 767 / NQ-UBTVQH14 on the establishment of Sapa town in Lao Cai province.

Why should you choose a trekking Sapa guide?

One of the most popular trekking areas for young people in Vietnam is Sapa.

Sapa owns several roads, with different levels of difficulty suitable for many objects.

Therefore, depending on your trekking experience to be able to choose the appropriate route.

For example, if you are a person with little trekking experience, you should try the roads like Lao Than, Ta Lead Nhù, etc.

If you have accumulated quite a lot of trekking experience, you should choose more complex routes such as Fansipan, Ta Xua, Bach Moc Luong Tu, etc.

Corn Fields in Sapa
Sapa Corn Fields

Who can go trekking in Sapa?

Trekking is a form of tourism with many health benefits, so it attracts many people, especially young people.

However, because of its risky nature, trekking is not for everyone.

This form of travel is only for people who have been prepared both physically and mentally.

I say that does not mean trekking cocoon participants because of trekking Sapa increasingly famous and developed in Vietnam.

Hoang Lien Son Mountain Rang
Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range

What is the best time to do trekking in Sapa

The average annual air temperature in Sapa is 15 ° C.

In the summer, the Town does not suffer from the intense sunlight like coastal plains, about 13 ° C – 15 ° C at night and 20 ° C – 25 ° C during the day. Winters are often cloudy and cold, with temperatures sometimes below 0 ° C, sometimes with snow.

The average annual rainfall here ranges from 1,800 to 2,200 mm, most concentrated in the period from May to August.

  • The dry season in Sapa starts from January to May every year. At this time, the weather in Sapa has started to warm up; Especially in March, the whole Sapa is brilliant by beautiful azaleas. Therefore, this is a very convenient time for Sapa trekking guide trips.
  • From June to August is known as the rainy season in Sapa, so trekking at this time is not easy at all; You need to carefully prepare your belongings and skills to ensure safety for the trekking. But in return, to Sapa in June – July, you will admire the raw beauty of the green terraced fields.
  • September – November is a good time for trekking. Sapa weather at this time is freezing, little rain; Amazing scenery with terraced fields with brilliant yellow color. And trekking Sapa during this time, you will have the opportunity to admire the sea of clouds – one of the most attractive destinations for travelers visiting Sapa.
  • From December to February of the following year, the temperature in Sapa plummeted, possibly even below 0 degrees. Trekking in Sapa at this time, you will encounter difficulties in weather conditions as well as slippery terrain. But in return, you are immersed in the white snow – a scene very rare in other places in Vietnam.
Amazing rice fields in Sapa
Amazing rice fields in Sapa – Photo: Phil Norton

What should I wear and pack for trekking Sapa, Vietnam

It’s recommended to wear:

  • Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes: good sneakers with a grip are fine for most days, boots would be better following heavy rain
  • Warm layers in winter
  • Light, breathable clothes in summer
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses

The Best Carry-On Travel Backpacks in Sapa

  • Camera, with a fully charged battery and plenty of space on the memory card
  • Sunscreen
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Bug Spray
  • Clean clothes for after nightly showers (We trekked in the same thing each day)
  • Waterproof for bags
  • Water: bottled water will also be available for purchase along the trek for about 20,000 Dong for a large bottle
  • Small snacks for in between meals (will also be available for purchase along the trek)
  • Cash in small bills (Vietnamese Dong or US Dollars) for drinks and souvenirs along the trek

If staying overnight, also pack a small overnight bag containing:

  • Change(s) of clothes
  • Flip flops to rest your feet in at the end of the day
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and any other essentials
  • Swimwear (optional)
  • Earplugs and eye mask
  • Muscle rub or pain reliever if you’re not accustomed to walking a lot
  • Torch/flashlight

The risks you may encounter during the trekking Sapa journey

Sapa trekking in Vietnam
Sapa trekking in Vietnam – Taking amazing photos – in winter

1. The problem of altitude sickness and how to prevent it

The trekking roads in Sapa are relatively high compared to sea level because altitude sickness is one of the common issues when hiking in Sapa. 

This is a normal phenomenon for many people when moving on areas with altitudes above 2400m. The reason is that the body is still not able to adapt to the changes in pressure and the air.

To limit this situation, you can apply the following measures:

  • Move at a suitable place so that your body has time to adjust to the height change.
  • Reasonable rest
  • Use altitude sickness pills. This means that before trekking, you should see your doctor for advice and prescribe several medications to help reduce this condition.
  • Drink a lot of water. Research has shown that when your body is dehydrated, it reduces its ability to adapt to new heights. So you must promptly replenish the amount of water lost to the body.
  • Eat sensibly. Some foods that help you avoid altitude sickness include pasta, bread, fruits, and potatoes …

*Note: in the process of moving, if there are any symptoms of altitude sickness, you must immediately notify the team leader for the support!

2.Minor injury during trekking Sapa

Traveling for a long time in an area with complex terrain such as Sapa, the damage is very reasonable.

The injuries you may encounter are common, such as knee pain, joint muscles, or blistering in the legs…

These are all treatable wounds. If you encounter difficulties, you can seek the help of other members or guides in the group.

Treating such wounds is a skill that any guide has learned, so you don’t need to worry.

Sapa – Indigo Harvested
Sapa – Indigo Harvested – Photo: Phil Norton

Is it safe to drink mountain spring water?

Asserting that spring water is not safe for your health.

Therefore, you must prepare clean water to use during the trip. You can buy water at the motel or bring a water filter/water purifier to filter before use.

However, in some emergencies where your body is severely dehydrated, spring water is also considered a right solution you should use.

Guides and porters

Vietnam Trekking Sapa
Vietnam Trekking Sapa with a local expert

Who is the tour guide? Who should I choose for my Sapa Trekking Guide?

Guides are native or non-native but experienced, knowledgeable about the terrain, information about places to go. 

They will use appropriate language to present, introduce accurate information about the roads, mountains, culture, and what you are curious about the trek.

Therefore, a guide is not merely a guide but also a person who will support and help you handle problems arising during the trekking journey.

Do you need a porter or not for trekking in Sapa?

This is also the question of many self-sufficient travelers, and our answer is the need for a porter! There are porters; you will move more efficiently, will also be more comfortable with enjoyment and sightseeing.

At the same time, the porters are often ethnic minorities in Sapa with an understanding of the terrain they can help you more on the trekking journey.

At the same time, hiring a porter will help people here have more jobs and earn more income.

If using the tour, you will not need to worry about this issue. Usually, the tour will prepare a porter for you (about three guests/porter).

The children are looking after buffalo
The children are looking after buffalo

Usually, a porter will carry you about 15kg and 5kg for them. In case your item has a higher weight, there will be an additional charge.

For the porters to be more motivated, you should give them money right at the start of the journey.

Sapa is a “fertile” land for trekking enthusiasts

How do you get from Hanoi to Sapa

About 400 km from Hanoi, about 40 km from Lao Cai city, to get to Sapa town, there are only road vehicles.

The option most tourists use is to book a car from Lao Cai to Sapa, with a small group. Some people are choosing the motorbike option.

From Hanoi to Lao Cai

From Hanoi to Lao Cai about 300km, you can choose a bus, car, limousine or train.

In the past, most tourists chose to go by train because the travel time by train and car was the same; the space on the train was more comfortable and more spacious.

However, all changes since the Hanoi – Lao Cai highway is completed, the number of train passengers plummeted (so the price of train bed tickets is now much lower than before – 400k in 2017). 

Most tourists chose to travel by car because the time was shortened to half (4 hours compared to 8 hours) with the past.

In general, if you want a comfortable and safe space, choose a bed train.

If you want to bring a motorbike from Hanoi to take advantage of other places besides Sapa, take the train.

If you want to go fast or if you’re going to have many options for the time for the day’s bus trips, you can choose to go by the bed to Lao Cai.

Most people choose buses and trains for the round trip from Hanoi to Sapa.

You can find your bus or train ticket online, there are some website like baolau.com, bookaway.com, and 12go.asia

OR you can just email to us to arrange your tickets from Hanoi to Sapa here

Best bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang
Bus from Hanoi to Sapa – this is low price

Hanoi to Sapa by Train or Bus? Choosing the best way from Hanoi to Sapa

About safety level

  • Going by Train: The train is considered to be the safest among road vehicles. However, if you only take the train, you can only get to Lao Cai station, and from Lao Cai station to reach Sapa town, you still need to take a taxi or bus to take about 40km of the pass.
  • Sleeper bus: Traveling by sleeper bus, you will take Hanoi Highway Lao Cai, and often you choose the night trip to save time. Those beds are also very safe, and very few cases of accidents occur.

Travel time

  • By Train: The travel time of the train takes more time. If you go from 7 PM to 4 AM you only come to Lao Cai Railway Station. Then from Lao Cai, you will need about 1 hour by bus to Sapa town.

Take a sleeper bus: It takes less time to move, if you take the 10 PM trip, you will arrive in Sapa at around 4 AM, bus trip go straight to Sapa town.

Ticket cost

  • Train: Take the train with a soft air-conditioned room ticket price is about 30US$ – 35US$ / way, so the two-way will take about 60US$ – 70US$ / person + 3US$ bus fee from Lao Cai station to Sapa and vice versa.
  • Take a sleeper bus: One way about 13US$ – 15US$, It will be about 26US$ – 30US$ for the round trip, you will reach Sapa town directly.

So, which one to choose?

In terms of cost savings and travel time savings: the bus ride is the best for those who have less time.

If you want to experience it, you can choose the train to have other experiences.

Pros and Cons of travel from Hanoi to Sapa

Train:

Pros of traveling from Hanoi to Sapa by Train:

  • Depending on the operator, the more luxurious carriages offer a perfect night’s sleep, meaning you’ll feel refreshed on arrival and ready to start sightseeing immediately
  • Train leaves from centrally-located Hanoi Railway Station
  • The train arrives in Lao Cai which is the jumping-off point to visit the various weekly minority markets in the surrounding hillsides
  • Some private companies have their waiting lounges for check-in
  • Private, 2-people cabins are available, making the experience ultra-comfortable, like staying in a hotel room
  • Overnight train saves on travel time and a night’s accommodation
  • There’s a mobile snack cart with items for purchase
  • You’ll get glimpses of urban Hanoi life or countryside living
  • The safest method of travel
  • Some private carriages offer reliable WiFi to help pass the time

Cons of traveling from Hanoi to Sapa by Train:

  • Some people may not like the gentle swaying motion of the train
  • You won’t get to see much scenery as you’ll likely be sleeping or traveling at night
  • If selecting some of the cheaper options, the journey may not be very comfortable
  • You’ll need to make arrangements for onward transfer to the town of Sapa
  • The actual travel time is longer compared to road travel

Bus: 

Pros of traveling between Hanoi and Sapa by Bus:

  • Night bus trips can save a night’s accommodation
  • Buses typically leave early morning (7 am), midday (1 pm), or late evening (10 pm)
  • Sleeper buses are inexpensive, usually between USD 13-16

Cons of traveling between Hanoi and Sapa by Bus:

  • Arriving very early morning can be inconvenient if your hotel room is unavailable for check-in
  • The element of safety needs to be considered when undertaking long road journeys in Vietnam, as accidents are not uncommon, especially on high-speed roads and especially at night
  • Luggage is stored in a compartment under the bus and out of your sight
  • Seats are generally uncomfortable, and the scenery is monotonous
  • The coach can be noisy with passengers talking, videos being played, and constant honking of the horn
  • Places on the upper tier are at the same height as street lights which can make it difficult to sleep
  • Travel by bus can be tiring, with a lot of swerving, requiring some recovery time and negating the benefit of traveling by night

3. Also, I would like to add more 3 options transport from Hanoi to Sapa and back; you can consider as follows:

A 1: Travel from Hanoi to Sapa by motorbike

Traveling by motorbike Sapa is an appropriate choice for backpackers. With a cost of less than 150,000 VND (7US$)of petrol for a distance of nearly 400km, you can comfortably conquer high roads, rest sightseeing, taking photos at any time …

Ha Giang motorbike for rental
From Hanoi to Sapa by motorbike

If you don’t have a motorbike, not a problem, you can also rent a self-driving car like a motorbike or car in Hanoi to be more active for your Sapa trip.

There will be many different types of vehicles, such as cars, scooters, sports cars.

To make your trip to Sapa convenient, as expected. Here are some suggests that you should follow either of the following two routes:

Going to Lao Cai direction:

  • Option 1: Hanoi – Vinh Phuc – Viet Tri – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – Yen Bai – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total road about 360 km)

Option 2: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Trung Ha Bridge – Phong Chau Bridge – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – along Road 70 – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total route 370 km)

Traveling to Sapa in the direction of Lai Chau:

Route: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Thanh Son – Along NH32 – Sapa (Total road more than 420km)

However, traveling by motorbike requires you to be healthy, persistent, like to explore and conquer. 

More importantly, you must study the time and the appropriate weather, mainly to avoid the rainy season.

   A 2. Transfer from Hanoi to Sapa by Limousine

If you are looking for a comfortable and economical way to move, Limousine will be an option not to be missed.

Sharing the same connection Limousine buses across the country; All vehicle information, price, date, and time are aggregated on the Dichungtaxi.com website. The right car, smooth seat, luxurious space – Book today.

– Price: VND 350,000 / time

– Travel time:

+ Hanoi – Sapa: 6:30 – 15:00, 15 minutes / trip

+ Sapa – Hanoi: 7:45 – 15:30, 15 minutes / trip

– Pick up / drop off location:

+ Hanoi: 16 Hang Chinh

Note: There are transfer cars in the old town area

+ Sapa: 36 Luong Dinh Cua, Sapa town

Note: There are transfer cars in the old town and Sapa town

Book here: dichungtaxi.com

 A 3. Transfer from Hanoi to Sapa by Taxi

Starts at 7:30 AM

Taxi is a fast, most convenient means of transportation, which only takes about 5 hours.

You can comfortably stop the car, rest sightseeing on the go, and do not have to schedule.

However, the price of a taxi from Hanoi – Sapa is quite high and usually calculated by the meter. Moreover, not every driver is familiar with the Northwest route.

Book here: dichungtaxi.com

4. Bus from Lao Cai to Sapa (if you take a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai)

From Lao Cai to Sapa about 40km, take about 1 hour if not in traffic.

If you bring a motorbike to Lao Cai and then go to Sa Pa, you follow QL4D to Sapa.

Small roads and lots of passenger cars, container cars run (and even run at high speed) so you should ride very carefully.

If you see these vehicles from afar, it is best to go very slowly or stop close to the curb, do not try to emulate that will endanger yourself.

Bus from Lao Cai to Sapa
Bus from Lao Cai to Sapa – the price about 30 – 50.000vnd

Up to Sa Pa Town, remember to follow the prescribed speed, to the turn sections (including curved sections), remember to turn on the turn signals, do not remove the helmet, do not go in the opposite direction …

There is always one the traffic police station is located at the beginning of Sa Pa Town, turning into the lake to catch the offending motorbike.

Going from Lao Cai to Sapa by public bus

If you go by train, you will only get to Lao Cai station, continue you will need to move a little more about 40km to get to Sapa Town.

For those who can afford it or for those traveling in large groups, renting a private car will be most convenient.

However, for those traveling alone or want to save money, you can choose to go by bus.

Right at the door of Lao Cai station, on the left is the bus stop, 29-seat bus, and all seats, the bus also accepts you to carry bulky luggage on the car, the same ticket is 30.000vnd – 50.000vnd.

The bus departs from Lao Cai station square and ends at Sapa Church.

The car is very early, even the earliest train to the station is about 5:30, there are already cars ready to leave the passenger terminal.

This bus route usually stops to pick up passengers at the stations in Sapa, to the foot of the pass from Lao Cai to Sapa, enough passengers, and run straight.

Is Sapa a great place to visit?

Definitely! Most especially if you love nature and the great outdoors. Trekking of hiking is a good way to see the area and to experience real Sapa.

Take a look at the houses of the ethnic minorities in the village and discover how people in this area live. You can visit Cat Cat as it is the closest village.

It is one of Vietnam’s top tourist destinations, and for very good reason.

The mountains are home to distinct ethnic minorities who are willing to open their homes to travelers for a chance to learn about their unique local cultures and explore their beautiful homeland.

It is also one of the best places for trekking in Vietnam and is home to the country’s largest mountain—Mt Fansipan. For these reasons and more, Sapa is firmly etched on the tourist trail

Vehicles  – you will need when you go anywhere in Sapa

1.Motorbike:

Sapa town is small, but the tourist sites are quite far, about 2 to 20km.

If you have experience riding a highland motorbike or driving a car, you can rent a bike in Sapa Town to easily explore this place.

This option is also suitable for you to go deep into the villages, stop taking pictures, or actively do whatever you like.

If you do not want to ride a motorbike but still want to sit on this vehicle to breathe fresh air, feel the cold breeze of Sapa, please rent a motorbike taxi.

Motorbike taxis in Sapa are very available and many, concentrated around the church area very much and the Cau May Street.

You can also rent a motorbike taxi every turn, to the tourist destinations or “contract” package to take around Sapa while you are there.

2.Taxi

Taxi options are suitable for families with young children, the elderly, or for those who prefer to ride in cars only.

Taxi prices in Sapa are usually agreed between tourists and taxi drivers for each leg (one way or roundtrip).

3.Grab Taxi

Grab in Sapa
Grab in Sapa

Grab has just been available in Sapa not long ago, around September 2018, but it was chosen by many people as a convenient way to travel in Sapa because the cost is cheaper and you can take the initiative in time.

You can order a Grab anytime you want to move.

* My name is Sinh. De is one of my best friends, he is great a taxi driver, he also connects with the Grab app, if you need a good and friendly driver who can speak English and Vietnamese, you can contact he by details as follows:

Phone Number: (+84) 0329214519 OR (+84) 0834549242

His Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zebyaajpaistaag

One of my best guests review about him bellow 😍

The best driver in Sapa, Vietnam
The best driver in Sapa, Vietnam

4.Walking

This is the plan that many of you like, they often walk from the town center to Cat Cat village, Hàm Rồng (Dragon Mountain), Sapa new market or around Sapa.

Can I do Sapa trekking without a guide?

Is it easy to trek without a guide in Sapa?

Yes, it’s straightforward. You could easily find high spots, and you bumped into someone at least once every hour. That way, you could easily ask for directions if necessary.

Could you trek in Sapa for more days without a guide?

I will say no because trekking any day will be challenging. You will not know the exact way and things to do. One day, you can do without a guide, but more days, of course, you need a guide.

And is it safe to trekking in Sapa without a guide?

Yep, nothing to worry about. Also, there are a lot of local women and kids trying to sell you stuff; we noticed that they generally followed people with guides more. Maybe they thought you couldn’t afford anything as we didn’t pay for a guide ;).

Pros and Cons of trekking in Sapa without a guide?

 Pros:

  • Save the extra fee for the travel agency
  •  No schedule. Go anywhere, free to stay longer or leave earlier.
  • Full of unexpected things – even though you have read thousands of reviews about Sapa, you can not be sure about what you will meet, will see in Sapa.

Cons:

  • While enjoying the trip, you have to manage other stuff as avoid robbers, sicks, or bad people.
  • Say bye-bye to the comfortable services like TV, hotels, and other sweet things.
  • It’s difficult to join the local lifestyle in villages without a guide because of the language barriers.
  • The unexpected things also mean risky things such as robbers, bad quality of foods, homestays.

Some tips for trekking Sapa without a guide: keep in mind

  • Be careful: make copies of all your documentation in case you lost the original ones.
  • In some cases, you must pay money for taking photos of local people, ask them before doing it.
  • Do not hesitate to ask a local for assistance, they are very friendly.
  • Do not leave your wallet, don’t wear jewelry and be back at your hotel early
  • In Ta Phin village, there may be children selling something here, if you don’t want what they’re selling, don’t buy and say “no”.
  • Bargain half prices for anything

Why should trekking in Sapa with a local guide?

The guide should be local rather than a foreign one. Well, due to an elevation in tourism all across Sapa. The demand for tourist guides has increased. Due to high demand, there are many weekend guides that appear on the board.

These tourists do not know the in-depth ancient stories of Sapa and thus cannot make you enjoy the inner essence of your trip.

Sapa Trekking Local guide
Trekking in Sapa with a local tour guide – Photo: Phil Norton

These local stories are actually the essence of your journey that’s going to stay with you even when you have left the place. Therefore, you need to hire a local guide for the trip. How local guide helps you through your trekking journey here are some points:

1. Local Guides Know All Places and All Secured Trekking Paths:

Yes, the first thing that counts is the knowledge of ways and paths. Sapa has dwindling roads, some ending in caves while some are never-ending.

A local Trekking guide will take you from the safest route to ensure your security. Local guide understands what are the tricks of trekking to be utilized across Sapa. Hence, for a comfortable journey, local guides are most suitable.

2. Local Guides Can Take You To Inside Hidden Places That Only A Local Can Know:

There are many hidden caves and hills in the Sapa about which most foreigners don’t know.

However, when you have a local guide with you, he cannot only take you to those places but will tell you all the necessary details and in-depth knowledge of the areas he is taking you to.

You can listen to the history of these ancient places and many other things you want to know.

     3. Local Guides Charge You In Local Currency That Makes Pricing Low:

Making a trip by remaining under your budget is the most challenging thing one requires. So, you should take all the necessary measures to spend less and less.

With a local trekking guide in Sapa, you can save enough because its currency is quite lower than dollars and other currencies of the world. Thus you can save enough money.

4. Local Guides Know Complete History and Necessary Details about Sapa:

A local guide is staying in Sapa by birth.

There is a ritual of storytelling about essential events of Sapa by the grandparents to their grandchildren.

They have learned these stories entirely and saved them in their hearts.

Whenever a tourist hires them, they tell them about these ancient stories which are very interesting to read.

Trekking in Sapa – Choose the right local guides

Sinh and Chu is a team of local guides that are available in Sapa. We are best in taking the trekking tours in Sapa with full responsibility. The charges of Sapa trekking guides and homestay are very good.

Check on Airbnb here OR on our website: Trekking Tour Sapa OR Hmong Trip Adventure & Culture

Sapa Trekking - Off The Beaten Path
Sapa Trekking – Off The Beaten Path

What is the best accommodation in Sapa?

In recent years, Sa Pa has made changes in the way of tourism, such as building a tourist-friendly environment, saying no to street vendors, and stalking tourists.

Along with that, accommodation facilities in Sapa are increasingly invested and developed and can accommodate tens of thousands of tourists flocking at the same time.

Hotel reservation in Sa Pa

There is one thing that you never know if you never travel to Sapa, this is a tip for you to remember, the room price in Sapa is particularly high on long holidays like April 30 (30/4) – Liberation Day/Reunification Day AND September 2 (2/9) – National Day (Vietnam)

On occasions like this, the price of a double room of a typical hotel can be up to 1.000.000vnd, which is equivalent to the price of a 3-4 star hotel but still in a state of the full room.

This is because the number of tourists flocking to Sapa on these occasions is vast, the prestigious motel hotels in Sapa were booked a long time ago, so these motels have the opportunity to cut down.

Experience is that if you plan to travel on those occasions, 

Make a reservation 1-2 months in advance, book a hotel online through reputable online booking networks such as Agoda or Booking.com. 

When you have paid through these reservation networks, the hotel will always reserve your room.

What is the best hotel in Sapa?

There are hundreds of hotels in Sapa which are invested with the quality from 1 to 5 stars.

The better the hotel with the location, the higher the price with the lowest rate of about 1.000.000vnd.

With HmongTrip’s Travel Guide, we have suggested a list of some good hotels in Sapa, these hotels have relatively suitable room rates, and the quality is much appreciated.

Some of the best hotel list in Sapa as follows:

  1. Chau Long Hotel Sapa (Cost: 43US$ – 65US$), Address: 024 phố Đồng Lợi
  2. Bamboo Sapa Hotel (Cost: 29US$ – 86US$), Address: 018 Mường Hoa, Sapa
  3. Muong Thanh Sapa Hotel: (Cost: 26US$ – 56US$), Address: 044 Ngu Chi Son
  4. Cong Doan Sapa Hotel: (Cost: 26US$ – 65US$), Address: Phố Hàm Rồng
  5. Sao Phuong Bac Hotel Sapa: (Cost: 26US$ – 65US$), Address: 05 Ngũ Chỉ Sơn, lake view and lean.
  6. Auberge Dang Trung Hotel Sa Pa (Cost: 19US$ – 30US$), Address: 031 phố Mường Hoa.
  7. Royal View Sapa Hotel, Address: 034 Phố Cầu Mây
  8. Holiday Hotel Sapa, Address: 016 Mường Hoa.
  9. Luxury Hotel Sapa, Address: 036 Fansipan

Best Guest House in Sapa

In Sapa, some small hotels have the same quality as motels, but still being attached as hotels will make it difficult for many travelers who have never been to Sapa to choose.

These hotels/guest houses usually have room rates in the range of 200.000vnd – 300.000vnd for weekdays and increase to 500.000vnd-600.000vnd every weekend.

Homestay in Sapa

Since trekking will be going in remote areas, you will have to prepare equipment for camping journeys such as sleeping tents, dining tents, toilet tents, …

However, if using the tours, these items will be prepared by a group of guides, cooks, and porters.

Our side of homestay in Sapa
Sapa Homestay and Trekking – Photo: Giang A Sinh

For example, when using our Fansipan trekking tour (Hmong Trip and Trekking Tour Sapa), you will have a rest at 2200m, a camp at an altitude of 2800m.

Food and drinks will also be carefully prepared by this unit to ensure you have enough energy for the journey.

Also, do not forget to choose for yourself a beautiful homestay address, suitable for resting before and after a trekking trip in Sapa.

What is the best homestay in Sapa?

When you choose a homestay, you have to see if it is right for you?

Some homestays are suitable for someone but might not be right for you.

In my opinion, a good homestay must ensure the following factors:

  • Must be clean (compulsory)
  • Good price
  • Fully equipped with some necessary facilities that homestay requires, such as towels, clean toilets, hairdryers, etc.
  • Must have a private room (Everyone wants their privacy)
  • The homestay must be operated by the local people (if you choose the right homestay of the real locals in Sapa, you will learn a lot of traditional cultures and have more experience)
  • Must have the best homestay experience
  • And of course, must be a beautiful view
  • ……

Here are 2 best homestays in Sapa, I would love to recommend for you

  1. My’s homestay

My’s Homestay is located in a historic village, 13km from the Sapa church. You can take a motorbike or taxi in 30 minutes to come to Homestay.

All rooms are made of tangle wood and a shared bathroom with a hot shower. Staff can assist guests with luggage storage, parking, and tour registration. 

My's homestay in Sapa
My’s homestay in Sapa

You will find a garden and a lounge with mountain views at Homestay. Visitors can enjoy various activities such as hiking, motorbike sightseeing, and more.

Guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant serving local organic food and drinks.

This homestay run by Thung and his wife (Dủ)

You can book here OR contact us for more details

Room rates start at around 10 – 13 USD.

My’s Homestay SapaAirbnb 

Address: Thôn Vạn Dền 1 – Xã Muong Hoa – Sapa

  1. Elephant’s Foot Hmong Homestay (Recommend by me)

Just above the Ta Van Mong village, Elephant’s Foot Homestay overlooks the panorama view of rice fields as well as mountains and valleys, 20 minutes driving from the town. 

Sit down on the balcony to enjoy the sunset, sunrise, and see the village’s daily life. If the right time, you will see the local people are planting or harvesting rice fields – Just below my homestay.

#WHAT YOU CAN DO WHILE STAY HERE?

You can play with children because they love to play and talk with tourism or sit down reading books on our balcony, enjoy your own time or go around the village to take great pictures, here has so many amazing things to explore, absolute, you will NOT find and see in the Town or City.

You can join with the family to cook authentic local foods, share stories, and have fun together in our house.

If you love ADVENTURE, the host is an Airbnb experience host with more than 250 reviews on his profile. He is glad to arrange a one-day or multi-day trekking adventure safe for you. Check it here

# WHAT YOU CAN USE IN THE HOMESTAY?

– 01 double room + 01 bed (1m8x2m) with high quality of mattress for a better sleeping experience

– Parking

– High-Speed Wifi

– Hairdryer

– Clean towel

– Kitchen appliances and utensils

– Sandals

– Shampoo, Shower gel

Room rates start at around 15 – 20 USD.

Elephant’s Foot Hmong Homestay 

Address: Thôn Ta Van Mong – Xã Ta Van – Sapa

Book it here on Airbnb

Hmong Heritage Homestay

Hmong Heritage Homestay was founded by the Hmong couple, Tang and Chinh. Located in a Black Hmong village at the foot of Hoang Lien Son and Muong Hoa Valley.

The house features natural wooden floors overlooking the beautiful rice fields of Lao Chai.

hmong heritage homestay
Hmong heritage homestay

Here, you can escape to the middle of mother nature and the usual busy life of the city.

Come to Hmong Heritage Homestay to experience life with a local Hmong family and witness or even participate in some local traditional customs.

A popular activity for tourists is to dress in the traditional clothing of the local Hmong and enjoy a visit to the daily market just as a local would.

Hmong Heritage Homestay is the perfect place to be welcomed into the local culture, to the local people and to soak in the spectacular natural surroundings.

Room rates start at around 9 – 12 USD.

Address: xã Lao Chai – Sapa

Check it here

Costs for the Sapa trekking guide trip?

The cost of the trip that changes every year depends significantly on the way you plan your visit, which are the accommodation you stay in, the kinds of food you eat, and the way you transport. 

It’s advisable to consider every option carefully based on your sense of adventure, your budget, and your schedule. 

In general, it is estimated to cost about $110 (2.530.000vnd) per person for the 2-day trip to Sapa. If you stay in Sapa longer than 2 days, of course, you need to spend more.

What are the top attractions for trekking Sapa?

1.Fansipan Mountain (The Roof of Indochina)

With a height of 3,143m, Fansipan is considered the highest mountain not only in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, but also the highest in Indochina (the roof of Indochina).

The reason for saying that your trip to Sapa is not complete if you have not been to Fansipan is because: you will not have the opportunity to stand at the highest place to see the grandeur stretching of the Northwest.

You will not be a sea of clouds, see the immense green rice fields or golden, do not touch the highest place in Vietnam.

Fansipan Mountain
Fansipan Mountain – The Roof Of Indochina

There are two ways to visit Fansipan. If you take the cable car, you will take some time to reach the top of the mountain.

However, the landmark here is only a simulation, not the actual monument at 3,143m.

The second way is climbing. This way is for those who love climbing, conquering, wanting to reach the highest place.

On the way to the mountain, you will discover flora and fauna, admire the fantastic nature of the Hoang Lien mountain range.

This is the mountain that many people want to conquer during doing trekking in Sapa, bus it’s a hard trek.

If you want to challenge yourself, check out our best Fansipan Trek One Day here

This is an itinerary for conquering Fansipan 2 days 1 night, check it here Mount Fansipan 2 Days Trek

2.Muong Hoa Valley

Muong Hoa Valley is located 8km southeast of Sapa town. This is one of the most beautiful and full valleys in Vietnam.

The beauty comes from the high terraced fields winding along the ridge. In the summer, a large green of rice fields and plants.

By the end of September, the Muong Hoa fields will put on the golden color of ripe rice, creating a beautiful view.

As a symbol of Sapa tourism, no visitors to Sapa do not want to see the terraced fields.

Sapa has a lot of terraced fields, but the most beautiful and most extensive, only the terraced system of this Muong Hoa valley.

Amazing rice fields in Sapa
Sapa stunning rice fields – Photo: Phil Norton

In the summer, the whole valley is full of life because of the green color of the rising rice.

In the fall, the whole valley is changed into clothes by the golden color of ripe rice.

Many visitors did Sapa trekking came here saying that autumn, golden season, ripe rice season is the most beautiful Muong Hoa valley season.

Still, it can be noted that each valley season is beautiful – the beauty that only tourists come here to have their feelings about it.

In addition to the terraced fields of Sapa with steps leading up to the sky, near the valley, there are many colorful flowers, racing, and blooming all year round.

This is the best place, I would love to recommend for you to visit when you do trekking in Sapa

3.Ta Phin

As one of the attractive community-based ecotourism routes of Sapa town, Ta Phin has become a destination for many tourists visiting Lao Cai.

At the end of winter, the road to Se Seng village (community tourism center of Ta Phin) was covered with clouds, hidden at the moment.

In the distance, there are many layers of green mountains in the clouds, mist, and villages of the Mong people crouch on the high slopes.

Ta Phin village
Ta Phin village – Rice fields and Rocky

Ta Phin is about 13km northeast of Sa Pa town center, including the Dao and Black H’ mong ethnic groups.

Far from the headquarters of Ta Phin Commune, about 1km to the North, there are limestone mountains, a branch of Hoang Lien Son mountain range.

In this mountain range, there is a small mountain, at the foot of the mountain cracked into a cave door, about 5m high, about 3m wide, opening a path to the ground.

Ta Phin has a beautiful natural landscape, precious cultural traits of the ethnic identity of the Red Dao people with famous brocade.

Coming to Ta Phin village, you can visit the nearby Ta Phin cave.

In the cave, many stalactites are creating exciting shapes such as dancing figures, sitting fairies, distant fields, sparkling forests …

Red Dao ethnic minority
Red Dao ethnic minority in Ta Phin village

The Hmong have unique marriage traditions; the Red Dao are known for their expertise in herbal medicine as well as the usage of plants from the land to treat many illnesses

– > Many people came here to take a bath after a wonderful trekking Sapa Vietnam tour.

This village, you can do an easy trekking Sapa. If you interesting this village, check out our best Sapa trekking tour here

4.Lao Chai

Lao Chai is a commune located in the most comprehensive and most beautiful valley – where you can see from Sapa Town or on the top of Ham Rong.

About 7 km from the center of town, Lao Chai is not far so many people walk from the city to this village.

From the Town along Muong Hoa Street past the bustling and busy streets, visitors begin to experience a different, authentic life of the villages.

Sapa stuning rice fields
Sapa amazing rice fields – Photo: Phil Norton

Still follow the Muong Hoa slope, go on the winding road of hills and mountains parallel to the Hoang Lien Mountains to Lao Chai.

It was a moderately crowded village located a stream away from a large stream.

From above, visitors can observe the close-up of idyllic houses, very typical of the “streets” of the village.

Lao Chai is located deep in the valley and surrounded by mountains and terraced fields.

The field here is ranked the most beautiful in Lao Cai and is one of the national landscapes.

From the village overlooking the surrounding is the Hoang Lien range, the other side is the Ham Rong range, then the rice terraces are located at a lower level.

The field extends to the door. It seems that the stairs connect Lao Chai with the mountains to mingle with clouds to the sky.

September range onwards, lasting until next April, is the “season” of Lao Chai.

That is when the most beautiful version is. This time, Lao Chai is autumn. Towering terraced fields from deep valleys squeeze up halfway through the golden sky of ripe rice.

Lao Chai Autumn is not only a warm-weather but also a season of golden rice and a call for tourists.

Trekking Sapa through rice terraced fields is the best idea for this village, check out best tour to Lao Chai here

5.Y Linh Ho

From Sapa town, you want to get to Y Linh Ho village, you can follow the direction of Lao Chai village.

Through Lao Chai village about 3km at the foot of the slope, you will see the shadow of the pristine and beautiful Italian version of Y Linh Lake on the side.

The mountains, surrounded by beautiful terraced fields, have existed for a long time.

Sapa hut in the rice fields
Rice fields – Hut – Bamboo in Sapa

Tourists visiting the tourist destination in Sapa – Y Linh Ho village will be amazed at the peaceful beauty of this place.

The atmosphere in the town is tranquil, not noisy, bustling as tourist attractions inside Sapa town.

Coming to Y Linh Lake, tourism is also an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the daily life of the Mong – Dao people who are living inside the village.

Tourists to visit Y Linh Ho village will see the vast terraced fields and cornfields, very carefully cared for by the people here living mainly on agriculture.

In the ripe rice season, the village welcomes hundreds of tourists to visit and take pictures of the mature rice fields.

The pristine beauty of the natural landscape in Y Linh Ho village has not only terraced fields but also Hoang Lien Son mountain, beautiful Muong Hoa stream.

The Muong Hoa stream flowing through Y Linh Lake brings new vitality to nature here.

Stream filled with water into terraced fields, bringing fish and shrimp to the village … the presence of Muong Hoa stream brings beauty and attraction to the Italian Spirit Lake, turning the village into a new tourist attraction.

Book trekking in Sapa here: Trekking Tour Sapa

6.Ta Van

From Sapa Town, follow the winding path about 10km halfway up the mountain to reach Ta Van commune.

Many tourists still choose motorbikes to go, because the only bike you can enjoy all the natural scenery and countless other exciting things.

Sapa the best trekking Vietnam
Sapa the best trekking Vietnam – Ta Van village

It only takes about 100.000vnd-120.000vnd, you can rent a motorbike right in Sapa to explore.

In the Mong language, Ta Van means “big arc.” Beautiful as a picture, back against the Hoang Lien Son range, in front of the stream of Muong Hoa clear stream.

From Ta Van, you can travel very conveniently to other famous tourist destinations of Lao Cai, such as Lao Chai, Cau May, Ta Phin …

In recent years, Ta Van has become one of the destinations for those who love to explore and experience.

In the majestic space of cloudy sky and sky, Ta Van hides many deep “eyes” – where people go up to find more “past fragments” of the alpine brothers who are both familiar and strange.

In Ta Van, there were survivors of ancient Vietnamese worshiping stones.

Across the stream, there is an ancient stone carving area with nearly 200 large and small rocks of all sizes on each rock engraved with many unique images and patterns of the ancients.

Every day in that space, people live and work, go to Sapa to sell brocade products, go to the market, and talk about transplanting …

Book trekking in Sapa to this beautiful place here: Trekking Sapa

7.Silver Waterfall

Silver Waterfall is a beautiful tourist attraction in O Quy Ho Ward.

The waterfall is located right next to the 4D national highway, the arterial road to Lai Chau province, and only 12 km west of Sapa Town center, so it is quite convenient to visit.

Silver Waterfall with a height of over 200m is upstream of Muong Hoa stream with an altitude of 1,800 m located at the foot of O Quy Ho pass.

Silver waterfall in Sapa
Silver waterfall in Sapa

Standing on the top of Ham Rong Mountain in the center of Sa Pa Town, you can see Silver Silver Falls on bright days, and this is also considered the origin of the name of the waterfall.

From the high ravine, the water was rumbling down, and the white foam was like flowers, so people called it Silver Falls.

8.Love Waterfall – Golden Stream

Love Waterfall is located in O Quy Ho Ward, about 4km from the center of Sapa Town in the southwest.

This is the ideal resting and convalescence, and coming here, you will have the opportunity to learn about the legend of a romantic love story.

Sapa Love waterfall
Sapa Love waterfall

The path leading to Love Waterfall is a red dirt road running through the lush green forest, immense and dense.

Somewhere, reflecting the gentle beauty of azaleas with red, white, and yellow colors, peace in the beautiful scenery here.

You will sometimes hear in my ears the rustling sound of forest trees swaying in the wind …

When you have finished this path, you will encounter a stream, continue along the stream, and you will come to the Love waterfall.

Love Waterfall has an altitude of nearly 100m.

The waterfall originates from the peak of Phan Xi Pang and then brings with it the coldness of the mountains and forests flowing through the high, sloping terrain, pouring torrentially, rushing down the white stream of white foam.

From a distance, you will see the waterfall resembling a hat; looming behind each thin layer of water flowing on either side of the falls was lush forest vegetation.

At the foot of the waterfall, the iridescent Golden stream bends with two banks of smooth green grass stretching at the foot of the bamboo bushes …

In the immense space and beautiful scenery here, Love Waterfall is a great tourist destination for visitors.

Come to Love Waterfall; you will find the source of a romantic love story.

9.Sapa Heaven Gate

For a long time, when mentioning the sky gate, people often think of Ha Giang, where there is Quan Ba heaven gate (Ha Giang). But few people know that Sapa also has a heaven gate. 

This is the highest road peak in Vietnam that can be reached to admire the mountain of Phan Xi Pang – the roof of Indochina.

Sapa Haven Gate
Sapa Haven Gate

Exit Sa Pa Town, follow the North direction to Lai Chau about 18 km, the road to the zigzag sky gate meandering halfway through the mountain coincides with the same message with the long-running sun shadow.

Only the wind makes the vegetation have to stick to the rocks. This pass is called O Quy Ho, weaving between the majestic Hoang Lien Son range, and in the middle of the highest point of O Quy Ho pass is the Heaven Gate.

Book trekking in Sapa to this beautiful place here: Trekking Sapa

10.Cat Cat

Cat Cat village is the Black Mong ethnic village in San Sa Ho commune located about 2 km from Sapa Town.

This is an attractive tourist attraction of Sapa in particular and Lao Cai in general.

Cat Cat Village was formed in the middle of the 19th century by a group of ethnic minorities gathered secretly (based on the mountainside and gathered together, the roofs are several dozen meters apart and live, cultivating crops right on the hillsides).

Near the settlement, they also grow rice and corn on terraced fields entirely by manual method.

They know how to cultivate, raise animals, and retain quite a lot of traditional crafts such as planting cotton, linen, and weaving.

Muong Hoa Valley
Cat Cat village – Muong Hoa valley

This place deserves to be considered as a cultural tourist destination as well as exciting ecotourism for visitors and a satellite community of the picturesque town of Sapa.

Book trekking in Sapa to this beautiful place here: Trekking Sapa

11.Sapa Market

The new Sapa Central Market (the primary market), built and used from the beginning of 2015, is located at the junction from Lao Cai going up and turning to Lai Chau, about 1.5km from Sapa stone church (center).

The old market, formerly located on Cau May Street, is being converted to other uses.

Sapa Central Market is the place to trade and provide daily necessities.

The market was built on a large scale, in front of the market is Sapa bus station.

The two-story central market district is where business of clothing items, thick, brocade, traditional medicine, souvenirs … Behind is the food area selling fish meat, vegetables, and fruits in Sapa.

12.Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha Market is located in Bac Ha town, Lao Cai province. The market is held every Sunday.

This is also one of the few markets in the Northwestern region that still retains its natural features in the trading culture of the Mong and Red Dao ethnic groups.

Dong Van Market
Bac Ha Market

It takes more than 2 hours from Lao Cai town to visit Bac Ha market. Along the way, visitors will have the dip to see the vast terraced fields spread like giant rugs across the mountains.

The market is early in the morning, so people across the road start to walk first, others still far away have to go from the morning before.

As a rendezvous point can not be missed every week, the Bac Ha market is full of colors, vibrant products, but perhaps the most impressive for visitors are the exquisite and beautiful brocade woven products of the sisters.

Bac Ha Market attracts visitors by the rare ancient culture, the market is very crowded and most extensive in the highland but never see the scene of rowing or catching people.

After a while of shopping, observing busy business people, you should stop by a small shop and enjoy the hot bowl of hot pot and anise with a cup of aromatic corn wine.

Coming to the Bac Ha market, you should enjoy winning a great popular product here, eating and trying to sip a cup of wine, and listen somewhere the flute of the boys and girls calling each other.

That feeling will surely be an unforgettable memory in the hearts of visitors.

What to do in Sapa at night?

This is the question people always ask me. Here are some suggestions for you:

Walking around, taking photos of Sapa at night

Except for weekend nights, ordinary Sapa evening is entirely peaceful, not noisy; there are no cultural activities in the central yard. Therefore, if you like to take photos, you can wander around the town to hunt for really artistic photos of Sapa.

Children in Sapa
Children in Sapa

Eat street food in Sapa

Among many exciting animals sipping and enjoying the cuisine of the tourists during the long days of traveling here, Sa Pa barbecue is becoming an exceptional “brand” that cannot be mixed with localities.

Many tourists said that “If they come to Sapa without enjoying the barbecue, it is not yet to fully discover the originality, richness, and poetics of the culinary culture of Sapa.”

Barbecue is not only in Sapa, but perhaps due to the preference of the fresh and dreamy climate of the natural sky, Sapa barbecue always gives people to enjoy a flavor.

Exceptional taste, not in any one locality.

Go to a bar/pub to listen to music

If after enjoying the barbecue and you still wonder what to do for the end of the night in Sapa, why not try to go to a bar, order yourself a bottle of beer or a cocktail and listen to music.

Almost every bar has these dishes, you can find around Cau May, Muong Hoa … If you like listening to live music, you can go to Thac Bac Street, visit Wooden Pub to try.

This shop is currently the only restaurant in Sa Pa that has live music. Usually, the show is held on Friday and Saturday nights; the holidays can be more.

Unique Foods, you MUST try in Sapa (What to eat in Sapa?)

1.Beef rolls with Cải Mèo vegetables

The beef is sliced thinly, marinated with spices, and rolled with cat vegetables inside, all into a skewer and grilled over charcoal. 

Beef rolls with Cải Mèo vegetables
Beef rolls with Cải Mèo vegetables – Photo: Cung Phuot

The sweetness of beef and the bitter taste of cabbage mixed with a little spicy from chili sauce will make it difficult for you to remove.

2.Fire Cơm lam

Cơm Lam is a popular dish that you can easily see in the mountains.

Basically, the rice is baked since the rice is still alive, but in fact, most of the blue rice has been cooked before using a pot, only Put in a tube to heat again.

Com Lam Bac Me
Com Lam Sapa

3.Salmon

Despite being raised in many places, but to date, salmon farms, Sapa is still the most successful unit.

Many domestic and foreign tourists have the opportunity to explore and learn about the process of raising salmon, to see firsthand the fish swimming around the foot of Silver Falls.

The presence of rainbow trout among Northwest mountains makes Sapa tourism products more attractive and diverse.

Salmon in Sapa
Salmon in Sapa

The fish farm at the foot of Silver Waterfall is the most visited place, because it is near the tourist destination and located right at the foot of Phan Xi Pang, so it is very convenient to stop.

At an altitude of 1,800m above sea level, the rainbow trout originated from Europe, and the Americas are cared for “thoughtfully” in artificial ponds.

Survival characteristics of rainbow trout live in a “dynamic water” environment; the temperature is lower than 15 degrees, so all the water in the ponds is led by 1,000m of pipe from Silver Waterfalls to the fish farm.

With a tasty taste, beautiful pink meat, high nutritional value, salmon is a luxury dish of travelers coming to Sapa.

With a cool year-round climate and a cold winter even with snow, Sapa salmon has a hunting fiber, no fat, no inferior quality to imported salmon,

Salmon is very suitable for processing into many different dishes such as salad, hotpot, porridge, grilled salmon, steamed roe, smoked fish, lettuce with green vegetables served with salmon soaked in orange sauce, and green pepper, stuffed salmon cucumber…

4.Thang Co (horse meat soup)

Thang Co is a traditional dish of the Mong people in Bac Ha and Muong Khuong regions.

However, over the years, this dish is captured by most ethnic groups and varies greatly. Yet, it still has the typical flavor and raw materials of the organ, bones of horses, cows, pigs.

Thang Co Dong Van
Thang Co Sapa

Thang Co is cooked with a lot of common herbs at the fairs; people try to cook in a large pot for dozens of people to eat, simmer for a few hours, when eating, scooping out bowls.

Sipping and trying to sip with corn wine, cider will make visitors an unforgettable experience.

5.Thit Trau Gac Bep (dried buffalo meat)

Meats of buffaloes, cows, horses, and pigs are usually hung on the kitchen floor by the Mong people for drying. 

Buffalo and beef meat are sliced along longitudinally into pieces of about 2 – 3kg, threaded, and hung on the kitchen to make food for storage.

dried buffalo meat
Dried buffalo meat

The meat hanging on the kitchen counter will dry out and leave for years. When eating, scrub the soot and dust, then fry it with tomatoes, bamboo shoots … The meat is fragrant and fleshy.

Top 5 Trekking Sapa Agencies, you must book a tour with them:

#1: Ethos – Spirit of the Community

ETHOS Adventure Travel Specialists provides well-designed tours that connect travelers to Sapa and its people, creating authentic, unforgettable travel experiences.

They provide tours for people of varying ages and fitness levels that want to experience Sapa within a range of comfort zones.

They practice sustainable and responsible tourism, and therefore ETHOS Adventures appeals to the ethically conscious traveler.

ETHOS Adventures cares for the environment, its workers, and the local people, and we constantly strive to improve our operations and services through self-evaluation, innovation, and creativity.

Email: ethosadventuressapa@gmail.com. Website: http://www.ethosspirit.com/

#2: Sapa O’Chau Travel Social Enterprise

Today, Sapa O’Chau Travel Social Enterprise is the only tour operator in Vietnam that is officially registered as a social enterprise.

Sapa O’Chau runs on the same social enterprise principles on which it was founded: working hard and giving back to Sapa and all ethnic minorities.

It is made up of five inter-connected pieces: the boarding facility, the hotel, café, the Hmong handicraft store, and the tour operation.

These are administered by our dedicated Founder and Director who is in Forbes Vietnam’s 2016 30 Under 30 and shortlisted for 2019 Women of the Future Awards – Southeast Asia Social Entrepreneur.

Email: trekking@sapaochau.org. Website: http://sapaochau.org/

#3: Sapa Sisters

Sapa Sisters was started in 2009 by six friends: Radek Stypczynski, a painter and visual artist from Poland/Sweden, Ylva Landoff Lindberg (www.ylvalandofflindberg.com), also an artist, with four Hmong women Lang Yan, Lang Do, Chi, and Zao.

Radek, having seen and heard first hand the difficulties of young Hmong women, in particular, finding decent jobs and wages in Sapa began collaborating with the Girls on a venture that could be self-sustaining and operated almost entirely independent of outside assistance.

Email: contact@sapasisters.com. Website: https://sapasisters.com/

#4: Trekking Tour Sapa

ETHICAL AND ECO SAPA TREKKING EXPERIENCES – LOCALLY OWNED & SUPPORTED BY H’MONG PEOPLE.

Trekking Tour Sapa is comprised of a local team of expert guides representative of the ethnic minority group of the Black H’mong tribe based in the beautiful northern mountainous highlands of Sapa, Vietnam.

We are so proud to share our vibrant culture, unique ecology, and stunning landscapes so that we may preserve it for generations to come.

We use our local knowledge to create personalized hiking, trekking, and motorbike tours for those wanting to discover the best and most beautiful areas of Sapa.

We were born and raised in this region which helps us to show you places that many companies in Sapa may not be able to provide.

Email: info@trekkingtoursapa.com, Website: https://trekkingtoursapa.com

#5 Hmong Trip Adventure & Cultuure

Hmong Trip is a unit specializing in organizing tours in the Northern of Vietnam such as Sapa, Bạc Ha, Ha Giang, and Mu Cang Chai. Our guides mostly are ethnic minorities living in the provinces where we organize the tour.

We represent the young people of ethnic minorities here with the desire to change and improve the quality of life for ethnic groups and bring value to the community and society.

Hmong Trip is built and run by young Hmong ethnic people; we want to inspire young people to continually strive to improve the quality of life and the sense, preserving, and promoting distinctive cultural traits.

Ethnic identity, which associates tourism development with the preservation of cultural identity.

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Some itinerary for your trekking Sapa

Some itineraries for trekking Sapa and this is some nearby tourist places for your reference. Based on this information, you can adjust it to fit your schedule.

Itinerary: Sapa trekking 2 days 3 nights

Day 1: Hanoi – Lao Cai – Sa Pa

If traveling by train or night train, early in the morning, you are in Sapa. If the hotel allows for check-in, check-in first or if not at the hotel to send out. Prepare some snacks then climb Ham Rong.

From here, you can enjoy the panoramic view of Sapa Town and look up to the top of Fansipan.

Have lunch at the center of Sapa town. After lunch, trekking to Cat Cat village.

Day 2: Sapa – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van (15 km or 6 hours)

The tour starts at 9 am. Our local guide will meet you at your hotel in Sapa Town or in front of the main church. 

After a brief introduction, you will be taken 2km down to Cat Cat’s road, a well-known village of the Hmong minority. 

From there, you will be reaching the hanging bridge of the Muong Hoa river and then continue uphill into the mountains and through a bamboo forest. 

From there, you will get the chance to admire some of the biggest and most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam, as well as enjoy the majestic mountain view on top of the Hoang Lien Son mountain. 

You will then head down to Y Linh Ho village and have lunch at a small, traditional restaurant run by a local Hmong family. 

After the break, you will make it to Lao Chai, a village of Black Hmong. Continue the trekking to the Ta Van village, where you will meet the Giay minority. 

You will learn all about the differences between the ethnic minority groups; you will see before we reach the car that will bring us back to Sapa.

Book with us here: Trekking Through Rice Terraced Fields – 1Day OR on Airbnb

If you have experience of trekking, you want to do challenge tour, you can check it here: ​Discover rice fields and nature of Sapa – 1 day

Sapa Trekking town
Trekking in Sapa – Sun Set

Itinerary: Trekking Sapa 2 days 1 night

Day 1: Sapa – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van (15 km or 6.5 hours)

The tour starts at 9 am. Our local guide will meet you at your hotel in Sapa Town or in front of the local main church. 

After a brief introduction, you will be taken 2km down to Cat Cat’s road, a well-known village of the Hmong minority. From there, you will be reaching the hanging bridge of the Muong Hoa river and then continue uphill into the mountains and through a bamboo forest. 

From there, you will get the chance to admire some of the biggest and most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam as well as enjoy the majestic mountain view on top of the Hoang Lien Son mountain. 

You will then head down to Y Linh Ho village and have lunch at a small, traditional restaurant run by a local Hmong family. 

After the break, you will make it to Ta Van, a village of the famous Giay minority, where your local host family will welcome you. 

You will then have some time to rest, take a hot shower, and get ready for your dinner – if you want, you will also have the chance to take part in an informal cooking class!

Day 02: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Sapa (12km around 5 hours)

Enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea and discover your homestay’s surrounding area and the nearby rice fields. After breakfast, you will be retaken uphill into the mountain till the waterfalls of Giang Ta Chai. 

You will then enter the Red Dao area where, together with your local guide, you will learn more in detail about their culture and daily life. 

After a short visit at a Red Dao family, you will then head back to the waterfalls by taking an alternative trail and across a second hanging bridge. 

You will then have your lunch in Giang Ta Chai village at a small, local restaurant run by a Hmong family. After the break, our bus will be waiting for you, and you will then head back to Sapa Town.

Book with us here: Rice Terraced Fields & Homestay Experience– 2D 1N​ OR on Airbnb

More check it here: Sapa trekking 2 days

Sapa, Ta phin rice fields
Sapa trekking 2 days 1 night

Itinerary: Sapa trekking 3 days 2 nights

Day 1: Sapa – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Homestay (15 km or 6.5 hours)

The tour starts at 9 am. Our local guide will meet you at your hotel in Sapa Town or in front of the local main church. 

After a brief introduction, you will be taken 2km down to Cat Cat’s road, a well-known village of the Hmong minority. 

From there, you will be reaching the hanging bridge of the Muong Hoa river and then continue uphill into the mountains and through a bamboo forest. 

From there, you will get the chance to admire some of the biggest and most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam as well as enjoy the majestic mountain view on top of the Hoang Lien Son mountain. 

You will then head down to Y Linh Ho village and have lunch at a small, traditional restaurant run by a local Hmong family. 

After the break, you will make it to Ta Van, a village of the famous Giay minority, where your local host family will welcome you. 

You will then have some time to rest, take a hot shower, and get ready for your dinner – if you want, you will also have the chance to take part in an informal cooking class!

Day 2: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan -Ban Ho – Homestay (18 km or 6.30 hours)

Enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea and discover your homestay’s surrounding area and the nearby rice fields

After breakfast, you will be retaken uphill into the mountain till the waterfalls of Giang Ta Chai. 

You will then enter the Red Dao area where, together with your local guide, you will learn more in detail about their culture and daily life. 

After a short visit at a Red Dao family, you will then head back to the waterfalls by taking an alternative trail and across a second hanging bridge. 

You will then have your lunch in Giang Ta Chai village at a small, local restaurant run by a Hmong family. 

After the break, we will make our way to Su Pan, a community of the Black Hmong minority. And then continue walking to the Ban Ho village, where you will meet three ethnic minorities such as Red Dao, Tay, and Black Hmong. 

A Tay family and check-in will welcome us to their family. 

You will then have time to rest, take a hot shower, and wait for your dinner.

Day 3: Ban Ho – Nam Tong – Sapa (3km around 3 hours)

After an excellent breakfast in Ban Ho, we continued trekking to the village Nam Toong, about 3km from Ban Ho. 

In this village, you can learn everything about the Red Dzao minority that lives here. The Red Dzao are famous for the red scarfs they wear on their heads. 

Sapa rice fields
Sapa Trekking guide and homestay

After visiting Nam Toong, we walk back to Ban Ho, where we will have lunch. 

After lunch, transportation will be waiting for you to bring you back to Sapa. End of the tour.

Book the tour here: Sapa Valley Trek and Homestay – 3D2N OR on Airbnb

If you would like to go trekking that is no touristy. I would love to recommend you choose this Off The Beaten Path OR on Airbnb

Check more tour on our website Hmong Trip Adventure & Culture OR Trekking Tour Sapa

Some tip for trekking Sapa to keep in mind

  • If you come to Sa Pa for the first time, you will probably be surprised because many small babies often go to sell goods, in Cat Cat village, besides selling, they also ask for money. Notice that often if you want to take pictures with these kids, they will suggest buying something. In villages, please do not give money to the children, although sometimes they can follow you for kilometers to ask for 1,000vnd – 2,000vnd.
  • Some essential personal items you should bring when traveling to Sapa: a windbreaker and a thin scarf (because the weather in Sapa even in summer is still quite chilly), hat or umbrella To cover small rain or dew, and a small flashlight for evening use or cave visits. You can refer to the article about what to bring when traveling.
  • Bring more than 1 type of identification document (ID card, passport, or one more notarized copy) and driver’s license if you want to rent a motorbike to explore Sapa. Because you will need one copy for the party Rent a car, one copy at the hotel.
  • Book your hotel online in advance if you intend to go during the peak season, the advantage of this is that you can book for an extended period maybe a month, avoid close to the date but cannot reserve or have to Book with a high price.
  • Similar to booking hotels, you should book train tickets or bus tickets to Sapa early to avoid running out of tickets, for train tickets should be purchased at Tran Quy Cap station or purchased through travel companies.  Bus tickets should be booked in advance for about one day for weekdays and ten days for holidays.
  • In Sa Pa, the amusing situation of tourists buying goods has somewhat worsened the image of Sa Pa in the eyes of tourists. If you do not intend to buy souvenirs, it should be right for the first time; do not watch then do not buy because at that time people will cling for a long time can cause discomfort. When you enter the village, do not give children money even though they follow you for a whole kilometer.
  • If you intend to drive yourself to dust, remember to buy Sapa tourist map for convenience, available at tourist offices or the ticket counter to Ham Rong Mountain. Note that the roads in Sapa are steep and steep, only suitable for robust drivers.
  • Trekking in Sapa, you should avoid wearing high heels, tight pants instead should wear sports shoes, wide cloth pants, etc.
  • If it is not winter, it is not necessary to wear too warm during the day (because the temperature is not too low at that time and you walk quite a lot, so it is boiling). Only pay attention to wear warm at night.
  • Even if you decide to go along, you should hire a guide to accompany you. They are experienced and will lead visitors along fascinating routes.
  • When traveling from Lao Cai to Sapa is a very high segment of the road, you should use earplugs to prevent tinnitus.

If you have any questions about the trekking sapa, leave a comment below, I will make sure to answer all of your questions. If you need more information,  check out our other articles.

Looking for awesome guides to Travel in Vietnam, what to do, where to stay? Please check out our HmongTrip’s Travel Guides

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