When looking for a beautiful and unique locale to visit in Vietnam, Sapa offers some of the best variety of picturesque mountain scenery, beach front luxury, and local charm. Few other destinations offer such a variety of attractions and beautiful landscapes.
Sapa sits 1,600m above sea level in the mountainous NW region of Vietnam and is a mere 38km from Lao Cai City. Sapa is also 376km from the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi.
If you’ve seen photos of Sapa, you know how picturesque it can be, but no photograph can do justice to seeing the glow of a terraced rice field in the setting sun against the majestic backdrop of mountain tops that adorn the area in person. Sapa is a place that must be visited to understand its beauty.
When visiting and staying in Sapa, there are daily night trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai and vice versa. It’s easy to make the 8-hour ride through the mountains while you sleep soundly in your own bed. From the train station, it’s a short hour-long ride by bus to reach Sapa.
Once you’re in town, there are plenty of long-standing hotels to choose from as Sapa has been a tourist destination for over 100 years now. If you’ve arrived on the morning bus, it’s the perfect moment to stroll through town just before the rush hits – while the freshness of the morning dew still perfumes the air.
While staying in Sapa, it’s best to travel on foot. There are trekking tours you can book if you feel inclined to a more vigorous experience, but it’s also so pleasant just to wander around town and the countryside leisurely that many tourists opt to do just that instead.
Sapa is as famous for its local population as it is its scenery. The locals are made up of the ethnic groups that are quite different from the low-land groups including Hmong, Dzao, and others. While they locals have grown accustomed to visitors, they retain several distinct traits and customs. Make sure to always ask permission before attempting to photograph of any locals.
Sapa is crowded with visitors year round. No matter when you plan your visit, a unique, charming, and picturesque experience awaits you in this treasure of a mountain town nestled in northwest Vietnam.