As a mountainous district lying to the northwest of Vietnam, Sapa belongs to Lao Cai Province. Favored by nature, this humble-nested landscape owns a wide range of virgin spectacles of green forests, hills, falls and other breath - taking scenes hardly anyone can resist.
2. BEST TIME TO VISIT SAPA
It is highly recommended that you take the trip from either September to November or from March to May to experience Sapa’s signature weather at its best with warm sunlight and the beauty of rice paddies lookt their best.
In details, should you would like to mingle with the local life, don’t miss out on April to May as this is the rice transplant season of indigenous on terraced fields. Flowers blossoms to the fullest to create the most cheerful atmosphere.
Then, from September to October, rice paddies change color into yellow, putting a glowing golden coat to the whole landscape. However, by October, most of the harvesting has been finished, so you should visit no later than middle to the end of September.
3. THINGS TO DO IN SAPA
Have you ever dreamt of conquering Indochina’s roof, the highest of Indochinese Peninsula at 3,143m. Don’t hesitate as you are here, in Sapa! This one-in-a-lifetime experience, in spite of its challenges, is completely worth. Get prepared for your best shape as well as pay close attention to the safety guide before your journey.
If you are not ready to climb yet but still eager to discover, you may go up by cable car, the longest one worldwide.
Watch the Most Spectacular Terraced Fields of the World
As one of the most striking features of Sapa, terraced fields here are also considered among the greatest worldwide, which have been treasured by not only natural favor but also skillful hands of local people for centuries. Hardly no one can resist the marvel of skyline terraces, especially under harvest season, when the whole landscape turns into a glowing goldeness.
Contemplate the Sunrise and Sun Dawn In Sapa
Both sunrise and sunset are breathtaking. Wake up in chilly morning with a warm coffee cup, immersing in the foggy vibe. Then, in sunset, the sun slowly hides deep behind Hoang Lien Son Range, leaving a reddish and purple glow on the sky and exuding a melancholy romance.
Homestay at an Ethnic Minority Home
A stay at ethnic minority house is such a unique and insightful experience that you are allowed to mingle with the most authentic life. Take time to explore the remote and tranquil vibe. However, don’t worry since you are still well-equipped but all basic facilities, thanks to the emerging growth of home-stay service now in Sapa.
Silver and Love Waterfalls
En route to Lai Chau Province and just roughly 12km away from the town heart are two famous falls: Silver and Love. It is so invigorating to indulge in cool stream and run wild in your imagination as the legend get narrated. The fall is named in honour of a love story of the 7th maiden who falls in love with the woodcutter’s flute then get punished by fairies to turn into a gold feathered bird.
4. THINGS TO BUY IN SAPA
Brocade and Handicrafts
Brocade and handicraft making have thrived to make a new and prosperous business for the local in recent years, as such skillful and artistic products appeal to streaming tourists as a unique feature of the ethnic culture. An easily spotted scene is a 5-year old girl advertising handcrafted goods in her childish English.
There is a multitude of choices to opt for like brocaded scarf, bag, meticulously woven skirts. The texture, if you pay close attention, is very soft, smooth and beautiful as they as they silk are taken from naturally-raised silkworms. Colors are also created naturally from local ingredients while patterns represent cultural diversity of various ethnic groups.
Herbs and Honey
Commonplace among almost all minority groups are different kinds of medicinal herbs. There usage, these days, has been maximized to get beyond medicine. They can be utilised as seasoning ingredient, tea mixer, herbal bath or scented extract. Local honey is also offered right from forest in the finest quality. So don’t forget to get home one jar to experience the richness and savor of this unique delicacy.
Different ethnic minority groups have brought the unique diversity in Sapa’s cuisine that no other place can rival. Make sure you have taken a try at one of the most signature local offer, dried food. Regarding dried products, there are a wide range from meats like horse meat and buffalo to fruits like peach and pear, exclusively ta meo - Sapa’s local apple.
Silver jewellery making is also one of the main livelihood of the ethnic H’Mong and Dzao, whose tradition is putting on loads of heavy silver circles around the neck to indicate the social status and differentiate tribes.
5. DOS AND DON'TS
- Do bargain if you shop in the night market near Stone Church’s foot.
- Do get a tourist map and the contact infor of your hotel with you when venturing out by bike. Be cautious for the steep and slippery roads.
- Do rent an experienced porter if you are backpackers, for safety’s sake.
- Don’t opt for gaudy brocaded products since they are highly Chinese.
- Don’t put on high heels, tights. Instead, sportswear and comfortable outfits are highly recommended.
- Don’t buy drugs or ventricular enroute to Ham Rong since they mostly come from China and will be a rip-off.