Vietnam Travel Guide

Tips For Travelling To Sapa

Tips for traveling to Sapa

Sapa located nearly 400 km to the northwest of Hanoi. This cloud-covered town is at 1550 m above the sea level and has cool weather all year round. Here, there are a number of fabulous mountains including the peak of Indochina – Fansipan with the 3143m elevation.



This area is the home of 7 ethnic groups with unique cultures, lifestyles, and languages. Most of them are wearing their traditional attires and working on evergreen terraces. Hill tribes often gather at the weekend market to trade and meet their lovers. Sapa is also a good place for relaxing, for cultural discovery touring, or for trekking. It can be said that Sapa is a must-see destination for any tourist who would like to explore the beauty of the Vietnamese Northern. The area was built into a hill station for the French colonialists to get away from the heat of Ha Noi in the summer. There used to be many French-styled villas in the town but most of them were destroyed during the border clash with China in 1979.

Nowadays, Sapa becomes an attractive touristic destination for thousands of tourists from all of Vietnam and abroad thanks to the cool and fresh climate, the sublime nature beauty and the colorful hill tribe cultures

sapa journeyvietnam


How to get there?
There are two main ways to travel to Sapa from Hanoi: by overnight trains or sleeper buses. And depending on your time and budget, you can choose the suitable one to get there.
By train: It often takes you for 9 hours to travel from Hanoi to Lao Cai and return on the overnight trains. The train runs slowly and serves you a very good sleep while enjoying the stunning scenery outside. There are daily overnight trains heading in each direction for tourists can choose. To get the train ticket, you can book with Journey Vietnam here to get the best price.
From Lao Cai, you are going to take a minibus to Sapa Valley. During the transportation, you will feel that the road is cut into the hillside and bumpy and windy, but the views of the terraced rice farms of the valley are beautiful as you ascend (ride on the left side).

train to sapa

Train to Sapa

By bus: If you would like to travel straightly from Hanoi to Sapa without any stop, sleep bus will be a good option for you. Currently, traveling to Sapa on the Hanoi – Laocai highway could help you to save time and be more saving and safety. The buses run daily and take guests from 5 to 6 hours to reach up Sapa Town. However, the view out of the windows will not beautiful and vivid as the one you travel by train.

sleeping Bus

Sleeping Bus

When to Go?
Sapa in each season has its own special beauties. However, the best time to travel there maybe from January to June or March to May. It is really cold in Sapa during the period of time January to February with the temperature possibly fall down 0 ºC. The rain season is from June to August. September marks the end of the rainy season and will be a good time to visit Sapa then by mid-December temperatures start to fall significantly making this September to mid-December period become the best time to visit Sapa.

winter in sapa

Winter in Sapa

Things to Do & See?
Sapa is such a colorful culture town thanks to the H’mong and Dzao people from the local hill tribes. There is a main market every Saturday of the week when the place is packed but there’s a lower key one every other day during the week. The youngsters there can communicate in English basically, sometimes very well. They sell clothing and handicrafts or souvenir which are popular with tourists.
Visiting Sapa, you should not miss trekking experience to enjoy the beautiful nature and discover the local culture there. Cat Cat and Ta Phin are the two most attractive villages for you to get there. It takes haft of a day with 3 km trekking from Sapa to Cat Cat while one full day with 10 km to Ta Phin. Spectacular scenery abounds on all treks in the area. There are two main options for you to stay overnight in hotels in the town or the local homestay. To save time and make sure your trip will be most convenient and smooth, you can book Tours in Sapa with Journey cat village

Cat Cat Village

For stunning sceneries, you must get out to the Tram Ton Pass which is about 15km from Sapa. At 1900m of the height, it is the highest in Vietnam and connects Sapa to Lai Chau. Get there, you are surrounded by the vertical rice terraces and stunning mountain peaks. Thac Bac Waterfall with the height of 100 meters is also a very spectacular destination on the same route. 

thac bac

Thac Bac Waterfall

• It can be too much of an adventure trying to get there as an individual traveler. Arrange the trip with a reputable tour operator to ensure smooth, risk-free travel.
• Traveling on weekdays is both easier and cheaper than weekends (lower hotel costs, more relaxed travel schemes)
• Get to Hanoi and Lao Cai at least 30 minutes before departure – but be ready for a sudden or late departure without any explanation.
• Say “no” very firmly when someone offers you something you do not want to buy. If you show the slightest interest, they may well follow you all the way up the road, until they find anther likely target.
• Expect to bargain everything down to about half the original price asked. And expect most products to be Chinese instead of being authentically local.

Join Sapa tours with Journey Vietnam to take a chance visiting Sapa.

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