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Posted by DH Travel at 3:08 am April 29, 2014

Sapa overview

Sapa is a mountainous town belong to in the northern Vietnam, travel to Sapa you will have a chance to take the most beautiful photos of the mighty mountainous landscapes or with the ethnic local so that bring your cameras on most of your time at here, you also have a chance to cheer over a community wine pot, learn to appreciate indigenous culture or just to escape Hanoi with the heat and noise all time. Being one of the most attractive tourism destinations in the north of Vietnam, Sapa is a precious gift that Mother Nature dedicates to Vietnam.

villages must visit in Sapa

Sapa is really impressive in the rice harvest

Sapa has first appeared in Vietnam national map in the late 1880s when French disembarked in the highland Tonkin. The first permanent French civilian resident arrived in Sapa since 1909, and by 1920, there were a number of villas to be built in this area by many prosperous professionals.

How to go to Sapa?

There are two ways to head to Sapa from Hanoi, it is by a night train or highway. If you catch a night train, then you will sleep one night on the train, all trains are departed around 8-10pm from Hanoi Railway Station, arrival to Lao Cai around 6 am of the next day. It takes around 350km from Hanoi to Sapa by highway, and it is around 35km by bus from Lao Cai Railway Station to Sapa town, Sapa is a mountainous district of Lao Cai Province. Sapa District in Lao Cai is really famous with Sapa town because this is a beautiful and romantic area with the weather is always very cool and comfortable base on the height of 1,600m above sea level, the average temperature of the area is 15-18°C. It is cool in summer and cold in winter. Sapa has many invaluable resources with cool and fresh air, the climate at here is moderate and rainy in summer around from May to August and having the foggy with occasional snowfalls in the winter at here. The weather in Sapa town still appears four seasons on a day such as a morning likes spring, the afternoon likes as summer with sunny, the evening has the fog like as the autumn and the cold of winter. So that the natural beauty of Sapa is combined with the human creativity, the topography of the mountains, the green forests which create many romantic spots. The weather in Sapa is always cool and very comfortable, so this is also a good condition to make Sapa as a kingdom of fresh air and fruit such as purple, plum, peach…..

Sapa has a great diversity of ethnic minorities with the total population is 36,000 people that consist mostly of the minority groups. Each ethnic group has a difference in their dress, lifestyle, customs, and methods of cultivation together with their distinct cultural identity. With six ethnic groups reside, each ethnic at here has its own culture with the different festivals such as “Roong Poc” of Giay, “Sai San” of H’Mong, “Tet jump” of Red Dao (Dao Do) which holds annually in every May.

Things to do in Sapa

Sapa has Fansipan mountain with the height is 3142m to the sea level, and this is also the highest mountain in Vietnam. Arrival to Sapa, you should visit Ham Rong mountain because from here you can see the whole Sapa town, besides that you also must see the major of Sapa such as Muong Hoa valley, Sapa Market, Cat Cat Village, Sin Chai Village, Lao Chai Village, Ta Van village, Ta Phin that hidden in the mist, Silver Waterfall, an old church is located right center of Sapa town where you should also visit on the weekends.

things to do in Sapa

The daily life of the ethnic locals in Sapa is still very simple and poor

In fact, there is nowhere in Vietnam where tourists can easily meet the local ethnic minorities like as in Sapa. The district is the home of a great diversity of ethnic people, including five main groups at here such as Hmong, Dao, Tay, Zay and Xa Pho. They do not live in the central area of Sapa but it is scattered many areas on the valleys throughout Sapa District. And, the town of Sapa is the place where a lot of the different ethnic minority people gather, trade or sell their farming products such as rice, fruits, corn, clothes, souvenirs as well as handicrafts for tourists from everywhere come here. There is one interesting fact about the ethnic minority people in Sapa is beside their dialects, many of them, especially small children, can speak English very well with clear pronunciation, perhaps English pronunciation is little similar with their mother language so this is one of the reasons the children at here learn and speak English very fast and well.

best of Sapa Vietnam

The simple houses of the locals at here are located scattered along their fields

You should take your trip to the ethnic minorities’ villages, observing their daily’s local activities or even living homestay in their villages in order to understand more about their culture, customs, and habits. Your trip to Sapa is more meaningful if you have a chance to take part in the local participatory activities of the locals such as learning to make handicrafts or helping the local with their farm work or there are also many tourists who want to volunteer in this area.

Sapa is voted as the best trekking spot in Vietnam, by both of natives and foreign tourists. This whole district is dominated by The Hoang Lien Son mountain range which also includes Fan Si Pan mountain the highest peak in Vietnam and the entire Indochina peninsula with the height is 3143m. This mountain is not only a tough challenge to trek enthusiasts but also it is an opportunity to witness the splendid mountainous vista.

how to get to Sapa

The ethnic villages in Sapa are located scattered along the valleys

Sapa area is combined between with the minorities and nature where you can be seen perceptibly a lot of the paddy fields carpeting along rolling lower slopes of the Hoang Lien Mountains. It was also the elements wearing away the underlying rock over the thousands of years that created this impressive physical landscape. The geographical location of this area made it a really truly unique place for a rich variety of different plants, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects, among some of them can only be found in the northwestern Vietnam.

What is the special local food of Sapa?

The special local food at here is one of the another season make a lot of foreigners want to visit Sapa, a wide range of sub-tropical vegetables such as the white cauliflower, the red beet, or the chayote are planted a lot of at here. There are many special dishes you must try once travel Sapa such as “thang co”, “lon cap nach”a pig is carried under armpit which is home pigs but is raised in the field or forests free.

special food must try in Sapa

Thang Co is one of the special dish in Sapa

The cool weather of Sapa is the reason to make barbecued meat and fish with mushroom and vegetables the most preferred street foods in Sapa. People grill corn, sweet potatoes, dumpling, bamboo-tube rice, or even many eggs as well. Nevertheless, tourists also have a chance to try many other local foods like purple sticky rice in Sapa market.

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