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Hiển thị các bài đăng có nhãn About Sapa Vietnam. Hiển thị tất cả bài đăng
Hiển thị các bài đăng có nhãn About Sapa Vietnam. Hiển thị tất cả bài đăng

Thứ Sáu, 3 tháng 6, 2016

Top 10 Local Markets in Sapa Tour Packages

VTMECO     20:16  1 comment
Sapa is not only famous with the stunning landscape, terraced rice fields, but alo famous with for local markets weekly which giving travellers an authentic experience of the local hill tribe culture about their customs, daily life and traditional habits. Here is list of local markets in sapa you may wish to consider visiting as part of your Sapa Trekking Tour.
Read more : About Sapa Vietnam - Sapa vietnam travel guide

#1 Bac Ha Market – Sunday

This is the biggest and most well-known market in Sapa. Just take three hours drive from Sapa town and the market occurs every Sunday. Bac Ha market is a place where everyone come to buy and sell a wide variety of goods, livestock and exchange news as well as friendships. The market opens at around 7.30am - closed mid-afternoon, Therefore the best way to see trading out there is to arrive early and leave before the crowds of tourists arrive on the buses between 10am and 11am. This is not really a place for shopping, just a great location to visit the ethnic minority group – Flower Hmong, Tay, Nung, Black Dao ….etc in exchange the culture and take photos
Top 10 Local Markets in Sapa Tour Packages
Bac Ha Market - Top 10 Local Markets in Sapa Tour Packages

#2 Coc Ly market – Tuesday

This is a colorful market in a mountainous area northern Vietnam, where the Flower H’mong mainly gathers to exchange their homemade products. It’s coming for every Tuesday, it starts around 7am and closed in the early afternoon.

#3 Can Cau market

If you are traveling to sapa on Saturday, you will get a chance to visit colourful market – Can Cau. Located only 7 kilometers from the Chinese border. A visit to this market is a fascinating and authentic experience

#4 Muong Khuong market

Muong Khuong market is far away 90 km from Sapa. It opens on every Sunday and considered as the biggest of the minority here. Local peoples from everywhere of Muong Khuong’s land coming here to get gather in selling and trade from cattle, vegetable, handicraft, traditional incense and local products.

#5 Lung Khau Nhin market

Lung Khau Nhin is small market, near Muong Khuong town and is habitant place of the Black Dao, Tay, Flower H’Mong (Red H’mong), Dzay minority group. This is alo a place that people selling brocade, dresses and blankets as well as dogs, cats, pigs and chickens. Lung Khau Nhin market held every Thursday starting around 7.30am – closes in the early afternoon.

#6 Cao Son market

Cao Son market has only meeting on Wednesday, this is the market of ethnic H’Mong, Phu La, Han and Black Dao, who living in 4 biggest villages of Muong Khuong. A Sapa Trekking Tour that including Cao Son market will have a great opportunity for you to interact as well as learn more about the daily life of ethnic where you also will easily be overwhelmed by some cuisines from flavors of buffalo meat, beef meat and horse of the H’Mong peoples.

#7 Xin cheng market - Wednesday

Like Cao Son market, Xin cheng market is held on every Wednesday. It offers the opportunity to explore a colorful gathering point of many local minorities – Tay, Flower H’Mong, Dzay. This market is a place where everyone meet up together to exchange clothes, fruits, tobacco, buffalo, horses and many other local products. Learn more:

#8 Simacai Market - Sunday

Simacai Market as well known as one of the remote tribal market of the region. It’s rarely have the visit of visitor as other market in Sapa, this is because this market often holds in the mountains and forest at the far end of a tough road.

#9 Pha long market – Morning Saturday

Just few kilometers away from Chinese border, coming to Pha Long market takes 3 hours from Sapa. This market is very rural and seldom visited by tourists.

#10 Muong Hum market – Sunday

Located next to a pretty little river, Muong Hum market offers a taste into what rural Vietnam is like for ethnic minority people, who living in the northern highlands. Most of them coming here to sell their homemade products such as: vegetables, fruits and animals

Thứ Năm, 19 tháng 2, 2015

Feeling about Hmong Voices at Sapa Culture

VTMECO     17:57  No comments

‘Hmong Voices’ is a project that ‘gives voice’ or a space for Hmong elders and craftspeople in Sa Pa District.
They talk about their understandings of local history and their lives, and explain different traditional crafts.
The project is also a way for younger Hmong men and women working as trekking guides at Sapa to learn more about their heritage, by being a core part of the project.

Listen to Hmong Oral Histories

Watch Videos of Hmong Traditional Crafts 2012

The people and funding behind the project

  • The funding for this came from the National Geographic US Legacy Fund (2013-2014), through a grant designed by Prof Sarah Turner, Department of Geography, McGill University, Canada. 
  • She had a wonderful research assistant, former graduate student Sarah Delisle working with the Sapa Hmong trekking guides in Sa Pa. Our thanks to the whole Sapa O’Chau gang, especially the guides, Sapa founder Ms Shu Tan, and administrative and logistics whiz Ms Dung Ha.
  • If you’d like to read some academic articles about Hmong and other ethnic minorities and their livelihoods in the region, borderland trade, and food security issues, please check out the ‘Minorities in the Southeast Asian Massif Research Lab’.

Itinerary about Bac Ha Market in Sapa Tour at Sunday

VTMECO     17:52  No comments

Description/Itinerary about Bac Ha Market in Sapa Tour at Sunday

Journey : Sapa or Lao Cai —> Bac Ha —> Ban Pho —> Sapa or Lao Cai

Bac Ha Market is held every Sunday and is the biggest minority peoples market in Northwest Vietnam. Alive with the bright colours and extravagant costumes of the local people, here you will meet Flower Hmong (Red Hmong), Black Dao, Tay, Nung, La Chi, Phu La and other minority groups who come from far and wide to buy and sell a wide variety of goods and livestock, to exchange news and to renew friendships.
  • In the past the market was a centre for trading horses but now that motorbikes have replaced them it is more common to see buffalo, cows, goats, fish and other livestock being traded. 
  • The market opens at around 7.30am and closes mid-afternoon, so an early start is advisable. A typical itinerary for a day at Bac Ha would include:
  • Drive to Bac Ha (110km / 2.5 hours from Sapa, or 72km / 1.5 hours from Lao Cai).
  • Take time to wander around the market, enjoy the atmosphere and have fun trying out your trading skills with the friendly local people.
  • Have lunch in a local restaurant where a variety of foods are available for your delectation and delight. You can even try the traditional local lunch of Thang Co (horse stew) and strong corn wine!
  • After lunch you will be driven to Ban Pho village where you can take a short walk around the village where Flower Hmong, Tay and Nung minorities live.

Drive back to Lao Cai or Sapa.

Of course we are more than happy to try and arrange an itinerary which is tailored specifically for your needs. For example, you may wish to visit Can Cau Market on Saturday, have a homestay with local people on Saturday night and then attend Bac Ha Market early on the Sunday morning? 

Thứ Hai, 2 tháng 2, 2015

Ms Thao Thi May talk about Sapa homestays

VTMECO     06:46  2 comments

sapa travel homestays
sapa travel homestays 
Sapa O'Chau homestays allow you to experience the local culture of Sapa and support the local community. Sapa O'Chau helped some of the ethnic minority families to convert their home into a homestay. 
  • Thus you will get an authentic experience of living with the ethnic minority families. To provide some creature comforts for our guests, our homestays are fitted with modern western toilets, hot showers and mattresses.
  • In winter, you will experience how the locals huddle around the stove fire to keep warm. 
  • Your hosts may offer you rice wine, if you are of legal age, to help you keep warm. To keep warm in bed at night, you may ask for more blankets. 
  • The locals do not have the luxury of an electric blanket or radiator to warm their house. The village electricity cannot support these high electricity demand items. 
  • When you trek for more than a day with Sapa O'Chau, homestays are included in the package. Learn more about our homestays below

Ms Thao Thi May talk about sapa tour homestay
Ms Thao Thi May

Hang Lao Chai hamlet - Lao Chai Village

Sapa O'Chau's first Homestay Initiative. Set up in 2009, Ms. Thao Thi May's homestay was the first example of a homestay run by the Black Hmong minority people in Vietnam.
  • Widowed at an early age and with three small children, Ms. Thao Thi May has been able to support herself and her family through the income she earns from this homestay.
  •  Ms. May is energetic, very friendly, speaks good English and will make sure your stay with her is memorable and comfortable.
  • Her homestay sleeps up to 10 people.

Thứ Năm, 22 tháng 1, 2015

Lush green rice field trekking in Sapa, Viet Nam

VTMECO     23:17  1 comment

Jumping onto our night train, we were all set for a hectic upcoming few days.

We were heading north, and planned to do some trekking in Sapa, Vietnam, a small town nestled deep within the rolling green highlands of Vietnam. We’d been compelled to go here aftertrekking in Laos and seeing some incredible sights along the way. The next few days would involve a mixture of elation and frustration, as torrential rainfall threatened to derail our trekking adventure, but not enough time to stop us from enjoying the incredible scenery that a trek in Vietnam offers.

First things first, if you’re short on time in Vietnam and you’re fitting a trek into a tight schedule, then you should book yourself onto the night train from Hanoi to Sapa, either independently or as part of a tour. It will save you two nights accommodation (return) and get you there as efficiently as possible.

This will be the start of a very busy couple of days for you! We decided on a three day trek from Sapa, which would eventually involve two overnight trains, two 7-hour treks, two local homestays (including lots of homemade rice wine!) and a nail-biting cliff edge mini-bus journey. Best get started then…
Trekking In Sapa, Vietnam

Our four day adventure began with an overnight train journey. Most cabins are for four people, and we were greeted with a shiny clean cabin with comfortable bunk beds for the night. Knowing we were going to be woken up around 5am on arrival to Sapa, we quickly settled down for an early night to try and get as much sleep as possible for our first day of trekking.

Into the highlands surrounding Sapa, Vietnam

The next morning, we didn’t look or feel as fresh as this picture! With just enough sleep, we dragged ourselves out of bed and set off to meet our tour guide to begin our Sapa trek! This began with a 1 hour mini-bus journey up the beautiful lush green mountains surrounding Sapa, brimming full with healthy rice paddies and gushing waterfalls. The scenery was incredible and really took our breath away, an exciting glimpse of what we had to look forward to exploring over the next two days!

After freshening up with a much needed shower and hearty breakfast at a local hostel, we started our trek with our local guide Zaza and fellow traveller friend Erik. We struck lucky with our small group which meant we were able to go at our own pace. This was especially good given how tough some of the terrain turned out to be.

The first 2 hours of the day were mainly a steep descent through muddy hills which curved and cut through many farm houses, rice paddies and villages. We welcomed our stops along the way to take in the stunning scenery of the many mountains, valleys and local villages. At our first village we observed a local woman dying clothes for local families. Having never witnessed clothes being dyed using natural flowers and techniques before, it was fascinating to learn the process they use and watch the weaving process using this old device. Despite being humble and shy about her skills, she was keen to highlight their local traditions.

We encountered numerous obstacles on our trek: boulders, fallen trees, muddy ditches, and quite a few (very large) water buffalo! You can imagine who had right of way…

In the afternoon, we passed through more villages and met many local people chopping bamboo to build homes and market stalls, making handicrafts such as incense sticks and sometimes negotiating the sale of a water buffalo to another village family. Water buffalo are very expensive animals due to the many roles they adopt on the farm including towing the rice plough, carrying supplies from one village to another, guarding the other farm yard animals and of course providing high protein meat to sell to markets.

After around 6 hours of trekking, the last hour was really tough (as it always seems to be!). With tired legs and steep terrain, we felt the intense heat of the sun beating down on us and struggled to avoid losing our footing and landing in many deep muddy ditches!

We later found out that many local people have to trek this tough terrain on a daily basis to make their way home from work or school, as there aren’t many paths or direct roads. As many can’t afford a car or motorbike, trekking by foot is the only option. With typically a 2 hour trek to most schools in the area, it’s no wonder that many children don’t go at all and would rather spend the day helping their family on the farm or selling handicrafts to passing tourists. After realising this, I decided not to complain about my tired legs and mud covered trainers! I’m not sure I could make this long journey on a daily basis, but this was normality for the strong and resilient village people we met.

After a long day we were relieved to arrive at our final destination. Our home for the night was set deep in a lush green valley next to a large gushing waterfall. After a warm welcome from our lovely host family and a much needed cup of herbal tea, we helped prepare our feast for dinner (well I rolled some spring rolls!) and relaxed our tired limbs with the help of the favourite local drink of choice – homemade rice wine! Some other friendly locals joined us and delighted in leading the consumption of shot after shot, getting progressively more merry. Thankfully for us though, there were no sore heads the next day due to the purity of the homemade liquor process – ideal for our new farmer friends too with a 4am start!

The next morning we woke to heavy rain and flooding in the valley. On came the waterproofs and we set off on another day of trekking. The heavy rain was incessant throughout the morning, and got progressively worse by the afternoon. It didn’t dampen our spirits, as we really enjoyed the coolness of the rain compared to the intense sun we’d experienced the previous day. After a couple of hours we were soaked through to our skin, and decided to embrace the mud! After trying to avoid every mud ditch the previous day, we found ourselves just getting stuck in and got as muddy as we liked as we knew the rain would wash it quickly away! Keen to get to our final destination towards the end of the day, we decided to take as many short cuts as possible and no longer cared about following paths or roads, sometimes finding ourselves almost knee deep in mud sliding down the side of hills and celebrating when we managed to avoid falling down head first!

Our second homestay was even nicer than our first and thankfully had the luxury of a much needed hot shower – result! So after a long soak to heat us up, we were treated to the best tasting hot garlic chips and homemade prawn crackers, followed by a beautiful meal of chicken and pork stir fry with rice and an ice cold Tiger beer – heaven.

The following morning, after another night of solid rain, almost every item of clothing we had with us was damp – yuk! We just couldn’t face putting on damp clothes again so decided on the only rational course of action left to us, to put on our only dry clothes left. Sadly for us, the only dry clothes we had left were our pyjamas! Imagine the sight, each of us walking with backpacks on through the mud to our mini van for a ride we’ll never forget.
The heavy rain of the previous 36 hours caused flash floods from the top of the mountains, crashing across many of the roads we needed to use to get back to Sapa. Our driver had to navigate us along roads that had become rivers, one of which was running so fast we had to drive as close to the cliff edge as possible to avoid the torrent. It was at this moment I closed my eyes and held my breath, too scared to look at Barry!

Relieved to be safely back in the town of Sapa, we wandered around for an hour or so (still in our pyjamas) before the rain returned and we sought refuge in a coffee shop to dry off, relax and reflect upon our amazing adventure of the last three days, an experience we’ll never forget.

For anyone thinking of visiting Vietnam, we’d highly recommend a trip to Sapa in the North if you’d like to experience rural life, awesome landscapes and savour a taste of the true culture and traditions of the Vietnamese countryside and its amazing people. We trekked with Ethnic Travel, who arranged our trains as well as the trek and homestays and made the whole experience simple for us. Not so sure about trekking? Check out our more relaxing experience of our Halong Bay cruise! Now that was a lot more comfortable…
Looking For Accommodation In Vietnam?

If you’re looking for some accommodation options in Sapa or elsewhere in Vietnam, we recommend you check out Agoda. Whenever we’re making plans for a new destination, we always research the accommodation options first to check what’s available. That’s just our travel style. If you want to get an idea for accommodation in Sapa, or anywhere else in Vietnam, check out the options below!

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means if you choose to book somewhere though our link, we receive a small commission. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything more! It just contributes to the running of this site, meaning we can continue to blog about our adventures around the world!

Thứ Năm, 13 tháng 3, 2014

Sleep at Sapa - Reviews List Sapa Hotel

VTMECO     12:49  1 comment

Sleep  at Sapa - Reviews Sapa List Hotel 

Keep in mind that in Sapa, as in many other provinces of Vietnam, it is the law that you must turn over your passport to your hotel/guesthouse/hostel. However, a photocopy of the main page and your visa should suffice, and if they refuse, simply tell them your real copy is in Hanoi getting a visa extension.
A near-endless supply of cheap rooms are available in the touristy area down the hill from the town centre, and generally a flock of young men and women will leap on you the moment you arrive with offers from US$3 on up (price quoted for a double).

  • SapaSky ,  ( 84 ) 0982 48 68 68 checkin: 12; checkout: 10A nice and relaxing hotel with boutique interiors. 12
  • Ly Tam May Quang's HomestayDoi 1 - Ta Phin village 01666924727[6]Altough not located in Sapa but rather 15 km from the town itself, in Ta Phin village. A nice and friendly little homestay run by english, french and vietnamese speaking owners. They can cook any food you like and propose REAL herbal baths at a decent price. US$5.  
  • Fansipan View HotelXuan Vien St (+84-203) 873 579[7]A nice and relaxing hotel with boutique interiors.  
  • Hoang Ha Sapa HotelThac Bac St + 84 203 872 535[8]Conveniently located in the center of Sapa Town in Lao Cai, Vietnam, overlooking the beautiful Muong Hoa Valley. All rooms are equipped with Large balcony with landscape view, Fireplace, Cable TV and Free Wi-Fi Internet access. Some of its facilities and services are Meeting room, Restaurant, Room service and Free high-speed Internet access.  edit They offer a bus to the hotel but you have to pay and if you arrive on the early train you sit in the station car park until later trains arrive. The scare stories about overcharging by minibus drivers seemed wrong- it is 50,000 dong everywhere. They also don't want to check you in until 1-2pm. Western breakfast poor.
  • Green Bamboo Sapa - a hotel with an old wing located near the entrance of the town. It serves a cheap and good breakfast at US$2.50. A night's stay at the main hotel will cost US$25. A room in the old wing will cost about US$10. Rooms in the main and old wing of the hotel, as long as not on the ground floors, will offer a breathtaking view of the Fan Xi Pan mountains.
  • Khach San Hoang Ha10 Thac Bac[9]. checkout: 10:00amstands like a haunted Chinese elementary school overlooking Baguette & Chocolate. free internet in the lobby. beds are a bit hard. US$15.  
  • Little Sapa - basically a restaurant located near the market, it also serves as a hotel for long-stay travellers, costing US$60/month. Big rooms with balconies, TV, hot water.
  • Lotus Hotel - located only a few meters from the Royal Hotel. Nice rooms, tea, tv, hot water, restaurant and for some rooms, a fireplace and a nice view. US$4-7. Week-ends are naturally more expensive. The staff is a little bit cold. Hotel closes at 11pm.
  • Pumpkin Hotel42 Cau May str 020.872.350Very friendly and helpful staff. Good sized rooms with desks and computers. Beware the hotel may attempt to charge extra for a space heater at a rate of 150.000vnd. (For the electricity, of course.) If you are staying here as a part of an ET Pumpkin tour make sure to get assurances that your space heater will be included in the price. Get it in writing if you can. $18
  • Red Dragon PubMuong Hoa street (Close to the Holiday Hotel). Now Unfortunately Closed. 
  • The Royal Hotel - located at the bottom of the main street. The rooms provide a nice view over the valley and many open onto a small balcony. It has an attached café offering standard traveller fare (banana or chocolate pancakes, as always in Vietnam, feature) and can help you out with travel arrangements. Rooms with a view over the valley start at $15US (double) while rooms looking back over the town are $12US.
  • Sapa Global HotelNo. 18 Pham Xuan Huan St., Sapa Town (across from church, near Central Park),  020 350 2242[10]. checkin: any time; checkout: 12pm.Located smack in the center of Sapa, this cozy hotel full of rustic, old world charm has 20 newly renovated rooms all with heating, hot water, satellite TV and wifi. Free internet access is available in the lobby. Breakfast included. Trekking and other tours can be arranged at reception. $15-40USD.  
  • Thai Binh Sapa HotelHam Rong Street, Sapa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam (From market, walk straight up from the left of the church. Turn left at the end of the street.),  +84 (020) 3871212[11]. checkout: 1200Located at quiet part of Sapa and within 5mins walk from market and restaurant street. Free internet in lobby and Wi-Fi in rooms. Electric heater, electric mattress available in the room. The hotel boss (a local teacher / education officer), and a lady receptionist is very friendly and speak good english. They are able to provide local tour, buy train tickets (Lao Cai train station), and transport to and from Lao Cai train station. US$22 - US$25
  • Topas Eco Lodge, (30 min drive south of Sapa),  0203871331[12]Perched on beautiful grounds on a hill with stunning views of the surrounding valley. Spacious, detached bungalows, each with their own balcony, making a comfortable double, or can probably even accommodate a small family. The eco part of the title comes partly through the lodge hiring local staff and using solar power and hot water in all of their bungalows. See You can catch a free shuttlebus from the Topas Travel office in Sapa (21 Muong Hoa Str. Sapa), where you can also get more information about the lodge. About US$99 per night for a detached bungalow
  • Mountain Bar & Pub02 Muong Hoa, Sapa, Lao Cai (Near Royal Hotel),  0983889798Good Bar in Sapa with many flavour Shisha. Good place to drink  
  • Family Guesthouse028 Muong Hoa, Sapa, Lao Cai (Near edge of Sapa town),  (+84 203) 872310, (+84)01662624308Clean but very spartan rooms at the very edge of town. Rooms have no heat, so gets very chilly at night. There are 2 great things about this hotel: a very helpful, honest receptionist who speaks good English, and the rooms have great views of the Fansipan mountains. 
  • Sapa Rooms18 Phan Xi Pang Street, Sapa, Lao Cai +84 (020) 650 5228[13]Great little boutique hotel with a ground floor restaurant that serves a wide range of good dishes and has free WiFi. They can arrange tours with local guides and optional home stays, with a percentage of the profits going directly to support local community projects and schools. Also rent motorbikes, offer cooking classes, opportunities to volunteer in local communities, accepts clothing donations, etc. 
  • sapa cozy hotel
  • Homely Villa in Sapa (Villa for Best Experience in Sa Pa), [14]. checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00pmLocated on a 6000sqm native plant garden, this villa has got an indoor fireplace to keep you warm and also Wi-Fi Internet. It also offers free transfer to and from their BnB to town which makes travelling convenient. More importantly, within walking distance to the villages of H'mong and Red Dao ethnic people, it is an excellent starting point to explore the charm of Sa Pa. USD$45.  
  • SaPa Backpackers06 Ham Rong St. Sa Pa (From market, walk straight up from the left of the church. Turn left at the end of the street, next door from Thai Binh), +8401644225438[15]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00Sapa Backpackers hasv a lovely athmosphere and problably the cheapest rooms you can find in town. You can also make a lot of local friends that may take you for some tasty food around town =D $3 - $6.  
  • Sapa Hostel01 Hoang Lien Street, Sapa (From the central square, walk uphill, turn left and then walk up the driveway of Cau May Hotel). Friendly hostel/hotel in a huge, mansion-like house. Staff is incredibly friendly and will help with tours, maps and questions. Rents out Motos $4//$5 for manual/automatic. dm from $5, privates from $10.  
  • Trip Advisor Tours (information tour sapa free), Ham Rong street, Sapa Town, Vietnam 84986926608[16]is a major supplier to the travel information places in sapa in Vietnam and the region. General Department of Vietnam tourism grant, with any questions they have resolved for you, providing any information to the tourists are complimentary  

Do at Sapa Tour ,Sapa Homestay and more

VTMECO     12:18  1 comment

  • Do at Sapa Tour ,Sapa Homestay and more

  • Sit and Drink
    Sit on the balcony of a hotel overlooking the valleys drinking a beer at sunset - sublime
  • Sapa Hmong Sewing ClassesIndigo Cat provide Hmong Sewing Classes but you also will find a huge selection of local products such as genuine handicrafts, different teas or cardamom. You can find it at 046 Fansipan Str.  edit
  • Sapa Trekking103 Nguyen Truong To +8437153977, . *Sign-up for a trekking trip that enables you to stay overnight at one of the villages. The homestay experience is not uncomfortable (some homestays have hot water showers, while some don't. Red Dao homestays may have herbal baths. Ask in advance if this is important to you) and an enriching one. Bring a sweater, as the villages can be very chilly at night and there are no heat sources of any kind except for the cooking fire in the kitchen. Thick blankets will be provided when you sleep. These treks can be purchased in Hanoi as part of a package, or you can ask for private treks for your party, at USD25-35 per day.. Be aware, however, that most trekkings organized by Vietnam people do not really respect the guides (who will mostly be members of the ethnic minorities). Some local organizations guarantee a good income for the local people, not only for the Hanoi-based tour organizations. 147.  edit
  • Sapa Homestay. At the time of writing a typicial "classic" tour will costs you around 35/40$ for one night including the trek to the village, including 4 cooked meals and as much rich wine as you can drink. Some of the more remote villages have very few foreign visitors and do not deal with the large volumes of tourists from the 'homestays' on the guided tours. (!)Just a little reminder : Sleeping in houses not officially recognised as homestays can lead to problems for both the host and you if you get caught. You have been warned.(!). If you want to go off the beaten track and still sleep in a comfortable bed check out the new accommodation We had a really amazing time here.  edit
  • Heaven's GateThe mountains will take your breath away. Join a tour or go by rented motorbike. Get directions and a map from the very friendly girls at the tourist centre right in the middle of the town's square. If you go on tour it will be a half day thing with a waterfall nearby thrown in. This waterfall has its own charm. Viewing the mountains is free, though there is a small charge to enter the waterfall. Make sure you bring along wide-angled cameras for the mountains.
  • Go Solo TrekkingHire a motorbike and head for one of the villages outside of Sapa. When you pay at the pay stations, they give you a pretty good map or you can buy a great 'Tourist Map' for about 20k at the tourist information center. All of the trekking routes are marked (the one you get at the pay station even gives you distances and difficulty). Paths are generally easy to follow and there are a lot of people around to help if you are unsure. Great adventures!  edit
  • Sapa LakeA 5-minute walk from the church will bring you to Sa Pa lake where you can rent a pedal boat for 40,000 dond/30 min or 80,000 dond/hour. Note that the pedal boats are available only on weekends& good weather days.  edit
  • Remote Sapa valleyCatch a free shuttle bus from the Topas Travel Office at 9:30 AM (21 Muong Hoa Street, Sapa) and drive 18 km to the Topas Ecolodge in the remote Moung Hoa valley. From here there is excellent access to various hikes to areas with no tourism (in contrast to busy Sapa). The ecolodge has an excellent restaurant with great views of the mountains.

Best View in Sapa

VTMECO     11:10  1 comment

Best View in Sapa Tour

  • Sapa is a charming mountain town, surrounded by picturesque mountains and rice terraces. Great views of the area can be had (weather permitting) from the nearby hills. 
  • One of these has been built up into a tourist attraction ("Ham Rong Resort") with various gardens (orchid, European), ethnic minority dance performance areas, viewpoints, and restaurants. 
  • It's a short walk south from the central square and then up some stairs. Entrance is 70,000 dong.

If you got time then it's worth going to the "Sa Pa Culture Museum" (Open daily 7:30AM-11:30AM,1:30PM-5:00PM.~Admission free,but donations accepted~) where you can learn about the history of Sa Pa and the custumes & traditions of the Etnic groups of Sa Pa.The museum is located behind the Tourist Office.

Best View in Sapa

It's also worth to check some of the colonial buildings left by the French colonialists such as the church,the square and townhall building. While walking in the mountains you will encounter many hill tribes such as the Red Zao tribe.

See moreTrekking And Market Tour - Best Sapa Trekking Travel
Best View in Sapa

How to get around in SAPA Tour

VTMECO     11:02  No comments

Guide to get around IN SAPA
Anywhere in the main village of Sapa can be reached on foot, and the town is small enough that you're not likely to get lost. A basic map will be good enough for most travellers.

The way to CatCat is taxed 40,000 dong,while the way to Ban Ho & Lao Chai villages are taxed 40,000 dong in one ticket. The way to Ta phin village is taxed 20,000 dong as well.

  • Tourists intending to trek to the various villages through the paddy fields should be prepared with good trekking shoes or rubber boots, a walking stick and extra clothing kept in a waterproof bag. 
  • Depending on the season, the rice fields, which are build in terraces, can be very muddy and slippery. If one does not wear shoes which enables a good grip in mud, one is likely to keep slipping and falling or even sliding down the slopes!
  •  As the paths are also taken by water buffalos, excrement can be found everywhere. 
  • Walking sticks can be bought from children from the ethnic minority groups at about 5,000 dong. These enterprising children cut sturdy bamboo and sharpen one end to turn them into sturdy sticks.
For the less adventurous, some of the villages, such as Sin Chai Village, is accessible via jeep, motorcycle and van.

  • Renting motorcycle (MC) in Sapa is real challenge. The operator (18-20 yrs old boy) wants your passport as the gaurantee, or $250 deposit. However, be careful about handing out your passport.

  • Price of renting is around $4 - $7 depend on gear/automatic, engine size, new/old model. One day rental time is from morning until evening of the same day. 
  • You must return MC around 6 pm, though 7pm can be agreed in advance. 
  • Sapa is the mountain town. So the sun comes down pretty fast. When the sun goes below the mountain line, the temperature drops pretty fast, as well as light. So if you take MC, better go as-far-as-possible places, then bike-back-and-stop-for-sightseeing tempo.

Don't rely on your expertise of MC control. Use common sense and drive safe.

Mountain Dirt is not delicious. Doctor is none. Emergency support is none. And if accident occurs while you're in nowhere, no one'll know where you're. Drive slowly. Downhill at 15-20 km/hr is the safest bet. Horning every corner.

By train to Sapa

VTMECO     10:40  No comments

By train

From Hanoi it is a 9-hour train journey to Sapa.

Vietnam Rail operates some of the cars, but other cars in the train are operated by private companies (Tulico, Ratraco, Fansipan, Orient Express, Friendly and Victoria Hotels, and many others). Some of these cars are significantly nicer than the standard cars. They cost approximately US$45 (July 2013) for a soft sleeper berth. You may need to arrange with a travel agency to get tickets on these tourist cars, but any traveller can purchase tickets for the VNR cars at the Hanoi train station.

 Warning: several of these cars are not significantly better than standard Vietnamese sleeping cars though, and still substantially more expensive. Pumpkin second class is actually a VNR car booked via this company. Even Pumpkin first class only has a squat toilet (although a sign above the toilet door says: "western style toilet"!).
Trains between Hanoi and Lao Cai are designated by SE-single-digit-suffix. SE-1 and SE-3 are from Hanoi to Lao Cai while SE-2 and SE-4 are back. Each car belongs to each company, joined by single dragging engine head. So whether you book Tulico or OE or else, you depart and arrive at the same time as the other.
From Hanoi it is a 9-hour train journey to Sapa.

From Hanoi it is a 9-hour train journey to Sapa.

Prices vary according to both the type of seat purchased and the season during which you are travelling. The times around Vietnamese holidays are particularly expensive and tickets cannot be assumed available for same day travel, so book ahead if possible. Travellers are highly recommended to purchase a berth in a soft or hard sleeper car, though the trip in soft seat class is not intolerable. For a bed, expect to pay in the area of 430,000-525,000 dong (one-way). For a soft seat, expect to pay 220,000 dong for one-way (May 2012). There is usually a dining car serving good, surprisingly affordable noodles (10,000 dong) and rice porridge (10,000 dong), but it's always wise to bring your own snacks and drinks as well.Cheaper tickets, especially in hard sleeper class, can be hard to come by at times, as tour companies and travel agents[1] will snap up these to first on their own customers (too frequently a promised soft sleeper berth will turn into a hard sleeper when it comes time to board). To avoid rip offs better go to the train station by yourself and get the ticket from the ticket office. This is the only way to make sure that you will get what you have paid for. Travel Agencies in Vietnam are known for their bad business practice. Although one cannot be assured of finding a place, it is often possible to arrive at the station a short while before boarding time, as there are usually young men hanging around trying to hawk unfilled berths at the last minute. The price of these tickets will fall dramatically as departure time draws near.
If you are backpacker, buy instant noodle cup ($1) with you. There's free hot (boiling!) and cold water at the entrance gate of each car. Left value is usally hot, right cold. "BEWARE" if you are first user. On the hot value, the cold water will come for 20-30 seconds before the boiling flows out and cooks your hand!
If you have very rigid travel dates, are travelling on a public holiday, or can't be bothered to head down to the train station before your train you can book tickets online before you come to Vietnam. Tickets to LaoCai/Sapa can be booked at the fansipan website[2]. booking tickets online usually costs up to 25% extra, but they will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi for free.
NOTE: If you have a prebooked ticket from Lao Cai to Hanoi with Fansipan, you have to pick up your ticket from the small and hard to find Fansipan travel office. To find the office stand directly in front of the Lao Cai station, then head directly left. You should see a small sign just past the end of the station building.
The train ends at Lao Cai. From there, dozens of shuttle buses will be waiting outside the station to take you the remaining distance to Sapa, usually at a 'fixed' rate of 50-60,000 dong or US$2.50-$3 (July 2013) or US$25 for a private case. It's often possible to bargain down to a lower price, depending on demand. The ride is about an hour of beautiful views (if the weather is good, it may be an hour of fog at other times) more than 1000 meters up into the mountains.
Note (Sept 2012) this road is prone to landslides, one of which recently caused a delay of a few hours. Note (Dec 2013) Problem gone.
You may want to book a return ticket when you buy your outward journey, as picking up tickets in Lao Cai is harder than in Hanoi. Ticket counter at the train station is open 8 to 10 am and from 2 pm. The staff do not speak as much English, and they possibly only sell tickets for travel on the same day so sleepers may already be sold out unless you go first thing in the morning. Pay attention to the time of your return train. Trains leaving Lao Cai around 20h00 will arrive in Hanoi at around 5h00 early in the morning.
However, the train "always" late for 1-2 hours. So it's better to have some instant noodle cup in your personal sack.
If you go back to Hanoi by Sunday night, be prepared. The train is usally full. So, "some" company's operator who guard the entrance of it company's car may allow illegal people to board your car. They will sleep along the passage, in front of the restroom or else.
For lonely lady traveller : be warned. Each sleeping car has room (cabin) which accomodates 4 or 6 people per cabin. The cabin heavy door has a lock "from inside". When locked, the door reduces noise markedly. If you're not sure, better ask for upper bunk. Eventhough less comfort than the lower, it gives you more secure on top of your personal defensive gear. Plus, there's less smell from the feet of the your cabin's partner(s).

If you don't make prior arrangements to return at an early hour, you may find yourself sitting outside of your hotel, waiting for the desk to open. If this happened, ask your taxi to bring you to Hoan Kiem Lake instead of your hotel and use the spare time to watch early morining activity. The south-west bank of the Lake will give you the stunning Sunrise view over the lake's Pagoda. BTW, the famous Den Ngoc Son temple is at North East bank. The coffee shop will open around 06:00am. Have your breakfast there while looking and the warm and lovely sunrise.
If you don't like morning walk-around, ask your taxi to land at the north-west around City View cafe. Walk across the road to the north bank with your luggages. Then you can walk along Hang Dao road (west) or Hang Be road (east) until Hang Bac to see activities of vendors-on-bicycle.

Have fun to travel at Sapa Viet Nam

Local and Street Food - Sapa Travel Tips

VTMECO     10:19  1 comment

Sapa Travel Tips 

Bear in mind that some of the minorities do not wish to have photos taken of them. Ask permission beforehand. Smile, lower your head down and raise your camera up to show them is the good manner sign for asking the permission. After that, show them their pictures is the very good manner too. If they allow, their allowance is free and expect no money back at all.

Sapa Travel Tips
Sapa Travel Tips

Bring along a poncho. You can also buy a cheap one in the many shops around at sapa
Rubber boots and trekking shoes can be rented from some shops or perhaps at the hotel you are staying in. However, do bear in mind that they have limited sizes.

Do buy some hand made items direct from the ethnic minorities, especially if you have enjoyed a good conversation or received help from them. Though they do charge slightly more than the shops, bear in mind that the majority of them are very poor and depend on tourist money to survive.

If you want to support the ethnic minorities, try to hire a guide directly instead of doing it through your hotel. This way all your money goes directly to the minorities instead of the 50% they get if booked through a hotel or agency. Some hotel asks for $30/people for private trekking of group of 2-4, but pay $10 to a guide. If you want to save money you can bargain with minorities a 4h hike to their village (including a lunch) for 600 000 VND (30$) for a 4 people group but keep in mind that this very cheap price does not includes return and you will have to come back by your own or ask a lift to a motorbike (around 50 000VND or 3$)

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