Sapa located in Lào Cai Province, Northwest Vietnam, is the misty highland town where there are several ethnic minority groups living such as Hmong, Dao (Yao), and Giáy. Tourists visiting Sapa will have a very new look about Vietnam, as they will not only have experiences of local people there, but also be blow-minded by miraculous wonders of nature.
Getting to Sapa:
Take a flight to Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam: Spending 1 – 2 day(s) in Hanoi is enough for sightseeing and learning typical features of Vietnam tradition and culture. From Hanoi, take a bus or a train to Sapa (it takes 5 – 8 hours.): People can get on the public transportations at night, so as to reach Sapa by early morning of the following day.
Hotel in Sapa: It is not difficult to find a hotel located in the center with a cheap price along with nice service (250,000 – 300,000 VND/ double-bed room/ night – with kettle, mineral water, hot water in bath room, electric blanket)
Must-visit places in Sapa:
Tourists are recommended to pay a visit to Love Waterfall (Thác Tình yêu), Silver Waterfall (Thác Bạc), Sky Gate (Cổng trời) and Hàm Rồng Mountain. If people have enough time and health, they are encouraged to conquer Fanxipan peak – the roof of Indochina. Mountain villages including Tả Phìn, and Cát Cát has long been familiar with tourists. People can hire a motorbike to drive themselves to those interesting places, or join trekking tours. Sapa market is also another must-visit place; it is usually organized every Sunday at Main Square where ancient Stone Church located nearby.
Ancient Stone Church built in 1895, located in the center of Sapa where it usually has market every Sunday, and organizes festivals in Sapa.
Dried apple-cat (Táo mèo) sold in front of the gate to Hàm Rồng Mountain. It is a kind of fruit originally from Mù Cang Chải, in Yên Bái province.
Night life in Sapa:
At night, many youth gather at Main Square for chatting, kicking shuttle cocks; tourists sitting on stairs or standing around watch other people and take photograph.
It is a good idea to have some kind of “Sapa-style” barbecue at night in the cold weather.
“Cơm lam”, aka “cơm nếp ông tre” can be found everywhere in Sapa. Sticky rice is cooked inside bamboo cylinder, and kept warm till somebody buys to eat. It could be eaten with sesame and salt or roast meat.
In short, trip to Sapa promises a unique and memorable experience in a lifetime. Tourists will be in love with Sapa by not only beautiful and peaceful landscape, but also kind friendly local village people as well as get impressed by delectable local cuisine.
/// Written by Phạm Huỳnh Hồng Ngọc, Vietnam.