In the northwest mountains, Sapa is situated in an idyllic location between the Hoang Lien Son mountains and paddy fields on endlessly stepped rice terraces. Sapa had long been the market place for the surrounding montagnard villages before the French built a town around and made it a station for holidays and expeditions. Today, Sapa offers greatest treks of a lifetime, authentic interaction with local cultures and fascinating visit to colorful tribal markets.
Sapa is a mountainous town in Northen Vietnam where you write poem, have your cameras on for most of your time, cheer over a community wine pot, learn to appreciate indigenous culture or just to escape Hanoi heat and city noise.
Being one of the most attractive tourism destinations of the country, Sapa is a precious gift that Mother Nature dedicates to Vietnam. Sapa offers travellers various choices of activities, depending on your hobbies and budget. Here are some for you to consider:
For trekking lovers, Sapa is absolutely the best choice as there are several trekking routes from easy to hard level in this area for you to try. Tourists can spend a few hours wandering through tribal villages along the mountain sides such as Cat Cat or Ta Phin, Ta Van Village, or three days conquering Fansipan Peak- “The roof of Indochina” at the height of 3143m. The breathlessly stunning untouched nature of beautiful valleys, high mountains, waterfalls, terraced fields will surely impress you. Trekking tours are available at almost every hotel and travel agency in Sapa.
Sapa is also the center where a few ethnic minorities groups such as Yao and Hmong trade, as they live in tribal villages in surrounding mountainous regions. Tourists can integrate their trekking tour with cultural traveling to discover the natural and historical wonders at the same time. You can also choose to stay a night or a few days at local home, living with ethnic people to understand more about their daily life, customs, gastronomy and even handicrafts and architecture as well.
Yao Herbal Bath
The Yao people in Sapa have been famous for their secret herbal bath therapy. After long days of sleeping on the train and bus, trekking through forest and mountains, you can totally relax and enjoy Sapa’s experience with a couple of hours soaking in the Jacuzzi. Medicinal herbs that can only be found in mountainous areas are carefully selected, mixed in unique way for specific kind of illness, typically about 12-14 herbs for each herbal remedy and then boiled in 3 or 4 hours to extract essence. Herbal bath will help reducing stress, tiredness, bringing peace of mind, releasing muscles, and total relaxation all over the body.
If you are seeking for special food, Sapa will not let you down. Both Vietnamese and western dishes are served widely in every restaurant and hotel in town. Moreover, there are great local foods sold in Sapa’s wet market and along every street. Nothing is better than some hot barbecued chicken, pork, fish, mushroom and grilled eggs in the cool weather of Sapa. Besides, there are some specialties such as “thang co”- horse meat, five-color sticky rice, local wine that also attract tourists.