While many flocks to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Halong Bay in Vietnam, Sapa Vietnam has become increasingly famous for its beauty, culture, and sense of welcome. Sapa was settled by the French in the 1920s as a hill station and has developed over time into a haven for backpackers, hikers, and those looking for a bit of peace.
Sapa is most famous for its opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, and trekking in the mountainous terrain, but it is also the ideal place to try other outdoor activities. You can also visit traditional villages, shop at local markets, and sit and watch the mist over the mountains with a beer. Sapa has a little something for everyone and is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. Here’s what we recommend:
1) Stay at a Home-stay in Sapa
Sapa is the ideal place to experience some local culture and tradition in Vietnam. You stay with a local Sapa family and eat meals with them, help out with chores, and generally learn about the type of life they live. The real benefit of a home-stay here is that local people are amiable and very keen to learn about other people’s way of life. You will learn a lot, in turn, from them.
2) Visit the Main Market in Sapa
Sapa market is open every day, and it is the place to come for ethnic handicrafts and traditional clothes, and hill tribe artifacts. You will also find fresh produce, herbs, medicines, and flowers on this attractive market. Go in the morning and stay for lunch at one of the food stalls at the market – this is a great place to eat cheaply from a range of different food choices.
3) Visit Ban Pho Village
There are some beautiful and unique traditional Hmong villages in Sapa, but the best place to go is Ban Pho. The village is set on the hillside and is nestled in the heart of the mountains. The views are amazing, and the people are also excellent. The small village is often visited as part of a day trip, and there are shops to see and places to eat. The village is famous for its corn wine, which is a must-try experience.
4) Climb Fansipan Mountain
This is an expedition of around three days which is suitable for fit and healthy trekkers. The trek starts by passing through hill villages and entering into the forest as you climb upwards into the mountain range. The mountains here form the highest peaks in the country, and there are many wildlife species that you may be lucky enough to spot.
5) Visit Ta Phin Village
Ta Phin is another lovely hill village that is home to the Red Dao people. This tribe has its own unique culture and is famous for its skill at brocade weaving. Ta Phin is around 17km from Sapa and can be visited on a day trip. Ta Phin Cave is another attraction that you cannot miss in the area, and it has its unique stalactites.
6) Go to Thac Bac Waterfall
Thac Bac is also known as Silver Falls and is located around 15km from the town of Sapa. Beautiful mountains surround this waterfall, and the landscape is full of interest and beauty.
7) Look at the Rice Field Terraces
Sapa has numerous terraced rice fields that stretch across the landscape amid the rolling hills and mountainous terrain. It is a beautiful environment, and the rice terraces are a unique emblem of Sapa Vietnam, worthy of much consideration.
8) Visit Muong Hoa Valley in Sapa
Muong Hoa valley is one of the most beautiful places in the surrounding area and is blessed with a beautiful valley filled with wildflowers and yellow rice fields. There are some lovely places to explore and some intriguing ancient rocks that appear in the rice terraces. The most distinctive part of the valley is the Hoa stream, which passes through several villages. There is a suspension bridge across to a hill tribe famous for weaving and numerous opportunities for day and longer treks in the river valley.
9) Go to Muong Khuong Bird Market
The bird market is one of the most unusual markets you will experience in Sapa Vietnam and is a riot of color and sounds. The hill tribes gather together at this vibrant place to look for the best birds, prized as a traditional part of spiritual practice.
10) Go to Cat Cat Village
This small village is set in the foothills of the Fansipan Mountain and is another excellent place to experience traditional hill tribe life.