Sapa

Located 38km from Lao Cai City, Sapa is a mountainous district of Lao Cai Province. Sapa District is very well-known with Sapa Townlet, a beautiful and romantic resort. At 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. Visitor to Sapa in summer can feel the climate of four seasons in one day. In the morning and afternoon, it is cool like the weather of spring and autumn. At noon, it is as sunny and cloudless as the weather of summer. And it is cold...

The best time to witness the scenic beauty of Sapa is in April and May. Before that period, the weather might be cold and foggy; after that period is the rainy season. In April and May, Sapa is blooming with flowers and green pastures. The clouds that settle in the valley in early morning quickly disappear into thin air.

Sapa

Sapa overview

Sapa has many natural sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave. Sapa is also the starting point for many climbers and scientists who want to reach the top of Fansipan Mountain, the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143m. Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range of Sapa is also called the Alps of the North Sea area since Fansipan Mountain is not only the highest peak in Vietnam, but also in the Indochina Peninsula. The pyramid-shaped mountain is covered with clouds all year round and temperatures often drop below zero, especially at high elevations.
The first thing you notice when approaching the resort town are some detached wooden mansions and villas perched on a hill top or hillside, behind thick pine forests and almost invisible on this foggy morning. Old and new villas with red roofs now appear and now disappear in the green rows of pomu trees, bringing the town the beauty of European towns.

Fresh and cool air in Sapa is an idea climate condition for growing temperate vegetables such as cabbage, chayote, precious medicinal herbs, and fruit trees such as plum, pear…

Sapa is home to various families of flowers of captivating colors, which can be found nowhere else in the country. When Tet, the Lunar New Year Festival, comes, the whole township of Sapa is filled with the pink color of peach blossom brought from the vast forests of peach just outside the town. Sapa is regarded as the kingdom of orchids. Here, orchid lovers are even amazed by the choice, when trekking in the forest filled with several hundred kinds of orchids of brilliant colors and fantastic shapes, such as Orchid Princess, Orchid of My Fair Lady’s Shoe. Some orchids are named after lovely singing birds such as the canary, salangane’s nest, and more.

Choice views of the Muong Hoa valley and Mount Fansipan are the prime commodity on sale in Lao Cai’s signature destination, Sapa, a hill station high in the mountains and a vestige of the French colonial era.

Sapa

Muong Hoa valley

Sapa ranks along Ha Long Bay and Hoi An in terms of attracting tourists solely on the merit of its natural beauty and surrounding attractions. It’s particularly rich in opportunities for treks, homestays and (on clear days) the kinds of panoramic views that leave travel writers searching for fresh adjectives and a larger camera memory card.

Mountaintop Sapa began life as a hilltop retreat for French colonialists desperate to escape the searing heat of the Vietnamese plains. They chose the lofty cool of Fansipan’s surrounds, and it’s easy to see why — the humidity of Hanoi peels away as you ascend the mountain peaks skirted with finely-sculptured, emerald-green rice terraces.

Around Sapa you may come across a multitude of ethnic minorities. Chief among them are the Black Hmong, so named partly because their dress is black, ornamented with colourful brocade and silver jewellery, but mostly because of their black, fez-like headgear. The Red Hmong dress in black as well, but the women wrap up their hair in a red scarf bedecked with silver-beaded tassels. The Dzao of Sapa also have distinctive headwear — a pile of coiled, braided hair, with an elaborate, rectangular ornament of silver metal sticking out of the top. They will often happily remove their headdress for tourists to show that it’s just a hat and not their real hair.

Sapa

Black Hmong Minority

Since the advent of tourism these tribes have reinvented themselves as hawkers of handmade trinkets and textile goods. They are the genuine ‘native’ inhabitants of the area, and they clearly regard all of the political nonsense that has been going on for the past 1,000 years as background noise. People invading and leaving. Governments coming and going. Many tribes straddle the border with China, which they ignore, circulating freely on both sides. As far as they are concerned, the lowland ethnic Vietnamese who have shown up in recent years to make a buck are simply arrivistes.

Sapa travel tips

There are many trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai Sapa. However almost all sleeper seats are controlled by travel agents. It is possible to buy sleeper tickets to catch to Sapa. The seat tickets are available and a few 2nd class sleeper may be available at the train station without makeup.

Sapa

Sapa Travel Guide

Sapa Tour

Vietnam Travel Tip

Sapa Article Tags :

, ,