Quick link to your answer
General Info SaPa
Sapa, or also Sa Pa, is a small town surrounded by stunning rice fields in North Vietnam, just about 25km from the Chinese border. The town was established by the French in 1922 as a Hill station and lies on an altitude of 1500 meter. Because of its high elevation the climate is colder than the rest of Vietnam and in the winter period (around January) it gets even close to 0 degrees Celsius! Don’t worry you will find (fake) North Face winter clothing in every store:).
Sa Pa became very popular with tourists in the last decades and hotels are build everywhere in this small town. Luckily the environment around the center is very stretched out so you can still find some less touristic spots and tracks. From SaPa you can do great trekkings trough the beautiful rice terraces, visit traditional towns and meet hill tribe people with their beautiful tradition clothing along the way. For the more adventurous travelers, you can also climb mountain Fansipan (3.1km high).
SaPa is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Vietnam and therefore worth the 6-8 hour journey from Hanoi. Thanks to the convenient sleeper train you can easily travel to Sa Pa by night so you won’t loose a day on travelling. September is the best month to visit Sapa thanks to the glorious gold colored ricefields and fairly good weather. In other months you won’t have the perfect view, but it is still a great experience. You can choose to stay in the center of Sapa (most accommodations are located 5-10min walk from the main street), or choose for a more unique experience and wake up in a guesthouse or bungalow in the middle of the rice fields in Lao Chai.
In Sapa you can book many different tours from companies/hotels, take a tour with one of the many locals who will approach you or simply do it yourself (and maybe some help of Google maps). A great example of an itinerary is to do a tour from Sapa to Ta Van village via Lao Chai on the first day and on the second day, go the other direction and walk from Sapa to Tha Phin village, where you can take a magical herbal bath at the end of the 15km track.
For delicious food and a great atmosphere, we recommend to try out the food at Good Morning Vietnam.
How to get there
- Train and (mini)bus – costs: 455.000 VND (€17), duration: 9 hrs
- Bus – costs: 300.000 VND (€11), duration: 5,5 hrs
- Train and (mini)bus – costs: 520.000 VND (€18,50), duration: 11,5 hr
- Bus – costs: 280.000 VND (€10,50), duration: 10,5 hr
- Bus and ferry – costs: 500.000 VND (€18,50), duration: 12 hrs
- Train, bus and ferry – costs: 735.000 VND (€27), duration: 13 hours
My favourite accommodations in SaPa
- €15 or less Olympia Sapa Hotel
- €15 to €30 Little View Homestay
- €30 to €50 Eco Palms House – Mountain Retreat
Was this post useful to you?