Sapa tourism based on resources of cool climate and cultural factors, this is the land of many ethnic groups living together. Including two prominent ethnic minority groups are Mong and Dao. Staying in Sapa, you’ll be relaxed in the cool atmosphere of the land of half temperate climate, visiting ethnic villages and exploring the spectacular natural beauty.
The time for traveling to Sapa is year round. You can go all the time of the year, the summer is cool, the winter is cold but you can watch the sea of clouds and fog covers the town. Each season has a particular beauty, with my experience of Sapa travelling, you should spend at least two days and one night in Sapa to be enough time to visit the most beautiful spots.
How to go to Sapa
There are two ways going to Sapa, you can go by train with air-conditioned soft seats or sleeping seats. Personally, I recommend you buy sleeping seats, although it is slightly more expensive but more comfortable, in the next day you are healthy enough to visit some spots. You should book the train tickets by the train agents early, especially in the crowded holiday. Also you can take a bus to Sapa, sleeping bus depart at night, but the night bus service in the North is not as good as in the South, but it is not bad. The bus ticket is cheaper than train fare. Some bus companies are Hung Thanh, Hai Van, Sen Viet and Viet bus. If you go in the evening, in the next morning you arrive in Sapa. You should also book return ticket for the way back.
Attractions in Sapa
There are many tourist sites in Sapa for visiting. However there are some key points you should not skip as: Ta Van village, Lao Chai village, Ta Phin village, Cat Cat Village, Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall. These spots are not the same direction, they are scattered around Sapa. You should rent a motorbike to save your money; if you have a big group you should rent a car. The motorbike for rent has the price from 80 000 VND – 120 000 VND / one depending on kind of motorbike, no inclusion gasoline, renting easily. You can rent motorbike at your hotel.
Ham Rong Mountain
As going to Sapa, travelers often climb up Ham Rong mountain to enjoy a cool atmosphere and charming landscapes such as cloud ground and stone garden, gardens, garden of medicinal plants, especially the garden of various orchids and specific houses on stilts of ethnic minorities.A great deal of rocks in shape of dragon claws and fin appear to our eyes and we will think of being lost in a wonderland. Following cliff will lead us to the heaven gate I and II. Standing on the peak, you will enjoy particularly interesting landscapes around as much as you wish and throw your view farer to make the most of poetic beauty of Sapa town looming in clouds.
Sapa Catholic Church
Sapa Catholic Church has been renovating and preserving the image as it is indispensable in the context of the town of Sa Pa. Currently the buildings, ancient villa in Sa Pa is not much. The imprint of the French architecture remains the most perfect stone church that Sa Pa. The church building early 20th century. Before placing the first brick foundation for this work, the French architect has carefully chosen location to build. Sa Pa Church is located on a prime location next to the Ham Rong Mountain is a shield, the front is broad, flat, may develop more cultural facilities for social activities. In particular, the church in the center of the town of Sa Pa, standing at the four sides can be observed relic, along with two other buildings built by the French villa owner Bridge (now Hoang Lien Hotel is) and the former District Commissioner (now the headquarters of the Center for Lao Cai Tourist Information) form an isosceles triangles with distinct architectural style of France.
Ta Phin Village
In Ta Phin Village there are two ethnic minorities living in harmony. They are the Red Dao, who make up the majority, and the Black Mong. It is the best for the tourists to distinguish the difference in culture, way of living of ethnic minorities in Sapa. A common sight in the village is to see the woman and the girls sitting together, gossiping and laughing, head down focused on a piece of indigo colored cloth. They make their embroidery and brocade products that are sold and traded among the villages and visitors. The locals are friendly and will invite the tourists to go to their homes to show how they live and what they have.
Rice terrace field
Due to the steep feature, fertile soil thanks to it was created by weathered granite rock and mountain cliffs often stock water, local ethnic minority people can grow rice and establish terraced rice fields, one after another, from the foot to nearly top of mountains. Generations to generations of these people have made terraced rice fields as we see today. When being seen from afar, the terraced rice fields look like a picture of nature with heart – catching beauty keeping tourists to stay for admiration for a while. This picture however has its color changed seasonally, exhibiting its most alluring charm when the new crop begins, green rice grows and the field is lush with ripening rice.
Food Service in sapa
With your breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can get into the food market near the square, opposite to the Catholic Church, here is full of food and reasonable price. The restaurants in Sapa have public menu in front of the restaurant very convenient for your choice. All of sidewalk cafes are also available, for those who prefer junk food: barbecue, fermented pork etc.
Accommodations in Sapa
There are two areas with a lot of cheap motels and hotels in Sapa: Cau May street and Fansipan street, the average price is 200 000 VND – 300 000 VND / 1 night / 2 persons / 1 room. High season can be from 250 000 VND – 350 000 VND / room / night depending on each hotel. Some hotels with reasonable price I’ve ever stayed:
Quoc Thai guest house, 200 000 VND / night.
Hoang Phuong hotel, near Sapa market and Ham Rong Mountain, about 250 000 VND/ night
Mimosa Hotel is near market, 250 000 VND / room / night (with 2 single beds)
Spring hotel. 250 000 VND / room/ night. Rooms have the view of Hoang Lien Son mountain range and near Sapa market. Phone number: 0203871380
The hotel – restaurant Little Sapa II. Address: 38 Cau May – Phone: (020) 871 238