Sapa - Latest Travel Guide
Posted By : Threeland Travel / Sapa-Travel Tips
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 terraced fields in the ripe rice season, Sa Pa also attracts tourists thanks to the beauty of many other destinations.
Which season is beautiful in Sa Pa?
Sa Pa has a cool climate so it is suitable for year-round travel. You just need to avoid the rainy season from June to early August, because extreme weather can cause floods, flash floods, landslides...
From February to May, Sa Pa spring is brilliant with hundreds of blooming flowers such as cherry apricot, peach, plum... Summer from June to August is the time when tourists come to Sa Pa to escape the heat.
Fall lasts from September to November, Sa Pa is charming in the shiny yellow color of ripe rice and the weather gradually becomes cold. Winter comes from December to February of the following year, if you are lucky you can "hunt" for snow and ice on the mountain tops.
You can book a limousine from Hanoi to Sa Pa or a bus from My Dinh station for 230,000 - 350,000 VND per person, depending on 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 of travel, you have to take a bus or take a taxi to Sa Pa center. Train ticket prices range from 160,000 to 800,000 VND depending on seat class and train type.
If you drive your own car, take the Noi Bai - Lao Cai highway, then turn to road 4D to get to Sa Pa. The road is easy to follow, but you need to pay attention to the signs and run at the right speed. On occasions when it's cold, rainy, foggy and slippery, you should carefully check your tires, brakes, lights... before departing. Driving time is about 5 - 6 hours. Please depart from Hanoi at around 12:30 at the latest, so that when you reach the pass to Sa Pa, it is not too dark.
Sa Pa has all types of accommodation for you to choose from, from motels, homestays in villages, hostels, cheap hotels, to 4-5 star hotels and luxury resorts located separately. Resorts in Sa Pa 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, Ta Van to enjoy the peaceful space of the Northwest mountains and forests. Dorm room prices start from 100,000 VND per person, double bungalow room prices start at 500,000 VND.
Some popular homestays are Eco Palms House, Heaven Sapa, Viettrekking, Phori's House, Sapa Heavenly, Rock Garden, Coong, Cloud Garden, Mong...
Where to go?
You can spend about 3 days and 2 nights to explore famous destinations in Sa Pa.
Ham Rong mountain
With its magical and misty landscape, Ham Rong Mountain is crowded with tourists. The lowest point of the mountain is 1,450m, and the highest peak is more than 1,800m. From the top of the mountain, you can 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 climbing 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 Ham Rong mountain tourist area is 70,000 VND for adults and 30,000 VND for children.
Sa Pa Stone Church
After going to Ham Rong Mountain, you return to the town center not far away to visit Sa Pa Stone Church. This is a symbolic project 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, arches...
Cat Cat village
Cat Cat village is located 2 km from Sa Pa center, so you can choose trekking or motorbike. This is a peaceful Mong village, still preserving many traditional customs and crafts such as weaving, silver carving, jewelry making...
The road to the village is quite beautiful, you will pass through winding roads, on both sides are terraced fields filled with ethnic houses. Crossing the Si bridge is the center of Cat Cat village, where three streams converge: Tien Sa stream, Vang stream and Silver stream. Visiting the village, in addition to learning about Mong people's life, you also have the opportunity to buy handmade products as gifts and enjoy local products. The ticket to visit Cat Cat village is 50,000 VND per person.
Lao Chai - Ta Van
From town, you follow the 10 km long road to Ta Van by motorbike, taxi or trekking. The road to Lao Chai - Ta Van is small and narrow, with both sides covered with cool green terraced fields of rice and corn. Although no longer wild and remote, Lao Chai - Ta Van is still a peaceful village with many ethnic groups residing such as Mong, Dao, Giay...
The most impressive thing here, in addition to the local ethnic life, is also the terraced fields spreading across the hillsides. Late summer is the time when ripe rice dyes the entire mountainous area golden. So if you have a lot of time, spend a day here to experience the local lifestyle. Entrance fee is 70,000 VND per person.
To reach the top of Fansipan without losing too much effort, take the cable car and mountain train. In the morning, you line up to buy tickets at the funicular train station opposite Sa Pa town square. Cable car ticket price is 715,000 VND per adult, 525,000 VND per child, mountain train ticket is 99,000 VND per person.
To reach Fansipan peak, you follow the mountain train route, then cable car, then another train ride or walk up 600 steps. Each train ride lasts about 6-7 minutes, each cable car ride lasts about 30 minutes. Those who like to walk can leisurely climb the stairs and visit the spiritual complex on Fansipan including Kim Son Bao Thang Tu, 11-storey tower, bronze statue of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, and the largest bronze statue of Amitabha Buddha.
In addition, at the cable car and mountain train stops, there are souvenir shops, restaurants... to serve the shopping and dining needs of tourists. Note: you should wear low-soled shoes, bring a jacket, raincoat, or umbrella in case the weather on the mountain top is suddenly cold and cloudy.
Seo My Ty Lake
To get to Seo My Ty Lake, in Ta Van commune, you have to cross a 20 km long road with many large and small rocks, so it is quite challenging for weak drivers. The lake was created by damming the Seo My Ty hydroelectric plant and is also the highest artificial lake in Vietnam. Viewed from above, the lake looks like a silk strip on the side of the Hoang Lien Son range. Coming here, you can ask the fishermen for permission to sit with boats and rafts to admire the lake and learn about the salmon farming profession of the people here.
From the center of Sa Pa, run along Highway 4D for about 15 km, to the highest part of O Quy Ho pass, you will reach the Heaven Gate. Standing from here, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the vast valley below, terraced fields mixed with winding roads. Currently, there are many new projects being built here such as restaurants, cafes, hotels... Heaven's Gate charges 80,000 VND per person, including a drink.
O Quy Ho Pass
O Quy Ho is known as the "King of the passes" with deep valleys on one side and steep cliffs on the other. O Quy Ho stretches about 50 km connecting the two provinces of Lao Cai - Lai Chau. Suggestion for those who want to take beautiful photos on this pass is to come at sunset, around 5 - 5:30 p.m. When the sun gradually hides behind the mountains, the entire pass is covered with a dreamy, beautiful golden color. However, Sa Pa's weather changes very quickly, maybe just 10 minutes after the sun and sunset, dark clouds will cover it.
Along the pass to Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall, there are many stalls selling local specialties, food, drinks, and providing seats for guests to rest. Going to O Quy Ho Pass, you should bring a raincoat and a thick coat, ride a motorbike, remember to wear a helmet and pay attention to each turn.
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 must-see stops for many young people. Silver Waterfall has steps to the top of the waterfall, but the higher you go, the colder it becomes and the water flows more strongly. You need to be careful to avoid slipping. Although the road from the entrance to the waterfall is 1.5 km and you have to walk, the forest path is romantic. Tickets to Silver Waterfall are 20,000 VND per person, tickets to Love Waterfall are 75,000 VND per person.
What to eat ?
When you come to Sa Pa, you must eat grilled food, because this is a dish that is everywhere and has many types from pork skewers, chicken, rolled vegetables to eggs, corn, potatoes, and bamboo-tube rice. The price of grilled food is only from 20,000 - 100,000 VND each type. In addition, salmon and 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.
Specialty restaurants that tourists can refer to are Thang Co A Quynh (Thach Son Street), fish hot pot dishes at Hotpot Center (Xuan Vien Street), Ong Ha's noodle soup (468 Dien Bien Phu). For young tourists who love food and a youthful atmosphere, they should come to Mi Grill (Dien Bien Phu Street) specializing in charcoal grilled dishes or Tuk Túk Chicken Shop with grilled spicy ribs, cheese shaking chicken... 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 Coong homestay on the road to Cat Cat village), Vietrekking (Hoang Lien street), Gem Valley Cafe (Cat Cat village).
We hope you found this Sapa tourism post informative and useful for your travel planning in 2023. Sapa is a fantastic destination to learn about Vietnamese culture and history, and it will undoubtedly provide you with an amazing experience. Allow Threeland Travel to assist you in planning your trip to Sapa if you are seeking for a reliable and competent travel service. We can tailor your schedule to your preferences and budget, and we can handle everything from ticket purchases to accommodation and transportation. Please visit our website or contact us right away to learn more about our unique deals and packages. Don't pass up this chance to see Sapa with Threeland Travel!