Located at the foot of the majestic Hoang Lien Son range and only 5-6 hours away from Hanoi by highway, Sa Pa is an ideal destination all year round. In addition to the terraced fields in the ripe rice season, Sapa also attracts tourists thanks to the beauty of many other destinations.
What season is beautiful in Sapa?
Sapa has a cool climate, so it is suitable for year-round travel. You just need to avoid the stormy season from June to early August, because extreme weather can cause floods, flash floods, landslides…
From February to May, Sapa spring is brilliant with hundreds of blooming flowers such as cherry apricots, peaches, plums… Summer from June to August is the time when tourists come to Sapa to escape the heat. See the green terraced fields.
Autumn lasts from September to November, Sapa is charming in the golden color of ripe rice and it gradually turns cold. Winter comes from December to February next year, if you’re lucky you can “hunt” snow and ice on the tops of the mountains.
You can book a limousine Hanoi – Sa Pa or a bus from My Dinh wharf for 230,000 – 350,000 VND per person, depending on the seat class. Travel time is about 5-6 hours.
If you go by train, you choose the Hanoi – Lao Cai route, after about 7-9 hours, you have to take a bus or take a taxi to the center of Sapa. Train ticket price is from 160,000 to 800,000 VND depending on seat class and train type.
If you drive your own car, you go to Noi Bai – Lao Cai highway, then turn to 4D road to go to Sa Pa. The road is easy to go, but you need to pay attention to the signs, and run at the right speed. On occasions of cold rain, fog, and slippery roads, you should carefully check your tires, brakes, lights… before you depart. Driving time is about 5-6 hours. Depart from Hanoi at the latest around 12:30, so that when you reach the pass to Sa Pa, it is not too dark.
In Sapa, you can rent a motorbike to move more freely. However, Sa Pa road has many steep passes, remember to check your car carefully and limit renting a scooter. Car rental price is 100,000 – 200,000 VND a day.
Sapa has a variety of accommodation options for you to choose from, from motels, homestays in villages, hostels, and cheap hotels, to 4-5 star hotels, and isolated luxury resorts. Resorts in Sapa have notable places such as Topas Ecolodge, Sapa Jade Hill, Hôtel de la Coupole – MGallery, Silk Path Grand…
If you choose a homestay or hostel, go to villages like Cat Cat, Lao Chai, and Ta Van to enjoy the peaceful space of the Northwest mountains. Dorm room price from 100,000 VND per person, bungalow double room price from 500,000 VND.
Some favorite homestays are Eco Palms House, Heaven Sapa, Viettrekking, Phori’s House, Sapa Heavenly, Rock Garden, Coong, Cloud Garden, Mong…
Sea of clouds seen from homestay in Muong Hoa valley. Photo: Vuong Loan
Where to play?
You can spend about 3 days and 2 nights exploring the famous destinations in Sapa.
Ham Rong mountain
With a magical and blurred landscape, Ham Rong mountain is crowded with tourists. The lowest point of the mountain is 1,450m, and the highest point is more than 1,800m. From the top of the mountain, you can zoom in to see most of the famous tourist attractions of Sa Pa town such as Muong Hoa valley, Ta Van village, Cat Cat village…
Ham Rong Mountain is suitable for organizing a picnic, combining eating, shopping, and sightseeing because on the way up the mountain there are countless shops and beautiful flower gardens. The price to visit the Ham Rong mountain tourist area is 70,000 VND for adults and 30,000 VND for children.
Sapa Stone Church
After going to Ham Rong mountain, you return to the town center not far away to visit Sapa Stone Church. This is a symbolic work of the mountain town that was started in 1895. The church was built in the shape of a cross in Gothic style, shown in the roof, bell tower, arch, etc., all of which are pyramids that create flying features. stipend for the project.
cat Cat village
Cat Cat village is located 2 km from the center of Sa Pa, so you can choose to go trekking or motorbike. This is a peaceful Hmong village, which still preserves many customs and traditional crafts such as weaving, silver carving, jewelry making…
The road to the village is quite beautiful, you will go through the winding roads, the two sides are terraced fields with ethnic roofs. Crossing the Si bridge is to the center of Cat Cat village, where three streams converge: Tien Sa stream, Vang stream and Bac stream. Visiting the village, in addition to learning about the life of the Mong people, you also have the opportunity to buy handmade products as gifts, and enjoy local products. Tickets to visit Cat Cat village are 50,000 VND per person.
Lao Chai – Ta Van
From the town, you follow the 10 km long road to Ta Van by motorbike, taxi or trekking. The road to Lao Chai – Ta Van is narrow, the two sides are covered with a cool green color of rice and corn terraces. Although no longer wild and remote, Lao Chai – Ta Van is still a peaceful village with many ethnic groups such as Mong, Dao, Giay…
The most impressive here besides the local ethnic life is the terraced fields spread across the hillsides. The end of summer is the time when ripe rice dyes the whole mountain area yellow. So if you have a lot of time, spend a day here to experience the local way of life. Tickets to the version are 70,000 VND per person.
To reach the top of Fansipan without losing too much energy, take the cable car and mountain train. In the morning, you queue to buy tickets at the mountain railway station opposite Sa Pa town square. Cable car ticket price is 715,000 VND per adult, 525,000 VND per child, and a mountain train ticket is 99,000 VND per person.
To reach the top of Fansipan, you follow the mountain train route, then the cable car, then another train ride or walk up 600 steps. Each turn of the train lasts about 6-7 minutes, and each turn of the cable car is about 30 minutes. Those who like to walk can leisurely climb the stairs, and visit the spiritual complex on Fansipan with Kim Son Bao Thang Tu, an 11-story tower, a bronze statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the largest bronze statue of Amitabha Buddha. Vietnam…
In addition, at the top of the cable car and the mountain train, there are stalls selling souvenirs, and restaurants… serving the shopping and dining needs of visitors. Note: Should wear low-heeled shoes, bring a jacket, raincoat, or umbrella in case the weather on the top of the mountain is suddenly cold and cloudy.
Photo: To Ba Hieu
Swing Sa Pa
This check-in complex is located at 87 Nguyen Chi Thanh, near the town center, about 2 km from the Stone Church towards the cable car.
With many works such as statue of man and woman, giant stone hand, Buddha statue, “stairway to heaven”, swing… this place becomes a place with countless shooting angles to create unique photos. .
Note, before you go, you should prepare a photoshoot, or you have to rent it on the spot for 50,000 VND a set, so fully charge the camera and phone batteries. If traveling in a group, you can organize a camping or small picnic right here. The entrance ticket price is 80,000 VND per person.
Ho Seo My Ty
To reach Seo My Ty lake, in Ta Van commune, you have to cross a 20 km long road with many large and small stones, so it is quite challenging with weak drivers. The lake was created by blocking the Seo My Ty hydropower dam and is also the highest artificial lake in Vietnam. Seen from above, the lake looks like a silk stripe on the side of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Here, you can ask permission from fishermen to sit with boats and rafts to admire the lake and learn about the salmon farming of the people here.
From the center of Sa Pa, run along with Highway 4D for about 15 km, to the highest part of O Quy Ho pass, you will come to Heaven’s Gate. Standing from here, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the vast valley below, the terraced fields interspersed with winding roads. Currently, there are quite a few newly built buildings such as restaurants, cafes, hotels… Heaven Gate collects tickets at 80,000 VND per person, with a drink.
O Quy Ho Pass
O Quy Ho is known as the “King of the Passes” with a deep valley on one side, and craggy cliffs on the other. O Quy Ho stretches for about 50 km, connecting the two provinces of Lao Cai – Lai Chau. Suggestions for those who want to take good photos on this pass is to come at sunset, around 17 – 17:30. When the sun gradually hides behind the mountains, the entire pass is covered with dreamy golden color. However, Sapa’s weather changes very quickly, maybe only 10 minutes after the sun and sunset, dark clouds have covered.
Along the pass road to Silver waterfall, Love waterfall has many stalls selling local specialties, food and drinks, providing seating for guests to rest. Going to O Quy Ho pass, you should bring a raincoat and thick coat, ride a motorbike, remember to wear a helmet and pay attention to every corner.
Silver Waterfall – Love Waterfall
Located on O Quy Ho pass road, 3 km from the top of the pass, Silver waterfall and Love waterfall are also destinations not to be missed by many young people. Silver Waterfall has steps to the top of the waterfall, but the higher you go, the colder it will be and the water will flow strongly, so pay attention to avoid slipping. Love Waterfall, although the road from the entrance to the waterfall is 1.5 km and you have to walk, the road goes to the forest. Tickets to Silver Falls are 20,000 VND per person, Love waterfall tickets are 75,000 VND per person.
Coming to Sapa, you must eat grilled food, because this is a dish that is ubiquitous and has many varieties from skewers of pork, chicken, and vegetable rolls to eggs, corn, potatoes, and lam rice. The price of baked goods is only from 20,000 to 100,000 VND each. In addition, salmon, sturgeon cooked in hot pot or eaten raw are also very popular. A hot pot costs 300,000 – 600,000 VND, suitable for 3 – 6 people to eat.
Barbecue in Sapa. Photo: Sapa Sky
The specialty restaurants that visitors can refer to are Thang Co A Quynh (Thach Son Street), fish hotpot dishes at Hotpot Center (Xuan Vien Street), and Ong Ha’s effervescent noodle soup (468 Dien Bien Phu). For young travelers who love food and a youthful atmosphere, they should come to Mi Grill (Dien Bien Phu Street) specializing in charcoal-grilled dishes or Tuk Tuk Chicken Shop with grilled spicy ribs, cheese shake… and H’Mong Pizza at Pi’s Boutique.
In the town center, there are also many cafes for visitors to choose from. However, if you want to find a quiet space with a view of the valley or mountains, you can go to Coong Cafe (in the Coong homestay on the way to Cat Cat village), Vietrekking (Hoang Lien street), Gem Valley Cafe (the village). Sand Sand).
Keyword: TRAVEL GUIDE Sa Pa