Sa Pa Travel Guide

Sapa child

Sa Pa located in Lao Cai province, 350 km from Hanoi, close to the border with China and lies at the altitude of about 1,600m which is a home to a great diversity of ethnic minority people. It is likely that Sapa was first inhabited by highland minorities of H’mong and Yao group and later came the Tay, Zay

Sa Pa's climate is moderate. You can feel four seasons in one day in this small city (Chilly winter in the early morning, spring time after sunrise, summer in afternoon and cold winter at night)

The best time to visit Sapa

Travelers should visit Sa Pa during the dry season is from January to June with March to May.

How to get to Sa Pa

There are two ways to go from Hanoi to Sa Pa and vice versa: 

By train is the safeties way to go to Sapa which is night train from Hanoi Station to Lao Cai Station. You can click here for more detail about train and time Sa Pa Train

Another choice is travel by sleeper bus from Hanoi. It takes only 4 hours on bus and about VND 250,000- 300,000/ Per ticket.

Things to do and sightseeing in Sa Pa

Ham Rong Mountain

  • Sapa is also an ideal place for trekking with spectacular scenery, surrounded by picturesque mountains and rice terraces. If you are adventurous travellers, don't miss this destination in your plan.
  • Visit Sapa market: When visiting here, you can buy handicrafts and ethnic-style clothing in here. If having a chance, let’s join Bac Ha Market on every Sunday since it is the most outstanding ethnic market in Sapa
  • Travel to local villages and mountainous sites like Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave

What to eat in Sa Pa

Sapa food

Sapa is quite famous with barbecue: yam, egg, and pork. If you have a chance to visit here, don’t forget to try to taste some special foods in fabulous destination:

  • Lơn Cắp Nách- type of pigs but it’s quite small whose weight is less than 20kg
  • Chinese black mushrooms
  • Round sticky rice cake
  • "Thang co" is one of the most famous dishes of the H'Mong in the northwest of Vietnam. It usually is used for the festival or special day.
  • Fructus Crataegi wine : unique wine in Sapa
  • Khang Gai Dried Meat in Sapa: The meat of horses, pigs are usually hung up in order to store. When eating meat, they will clean dust and cook with tomatoes, bamboo shoot

Further reading: The best dishes in Sa Pa 

Travel tips

  • Asking ethnic minority permission before taking photos
  • If you want to buy real Sapa souvenir with the best price, you should go directly to Sapa market
  • Money exchange: You can exchange currency at the hotel or bank in Sapa. 

For further information about other spots in Vietnam, please click  Vietnam Travel Guide and  Vietnam visa requirement 

Further readings