Nestled away in the mountainous region between Vietnam and China is the picturesque frontier town of Sapa. Home to Vietnam’s most colourful ethnic communities and its most rugged mountain scenery, Sapa is a favourite among both adventure travellers and those seeking unique cultural experiences. Whether you’re trekking among rice fields or mingling with the friendly minority locals in scenic villages, Sapa is one of Southeast Asia’s most unique and stunning destinations.
Resting between Sapa Town and Fansipan Mountain is the majestic Muong Hoa Valley. Home to Sapa’s famous tiered rice paddy fields and charming Hmong villages, this stunning area is a favourite area for trekking adventures and homestay experiences.
Day tours from Sapa Town centre visit some of the region’s famous mountain markets, including Bac Ha Sunday Market and Coc Ly Market. Both offer unique opportunities to meet Flower Hmong, Black Hmong and Giay people among other ethnic groups.
How to get there:
By Bus: Newly built Hanoi-Lao Cai Highway means that bus transfers are now about six hours from Hanoi (shorter than the original nine-hour journey). This bus journey arrives at Sapa Town, where you will find most hotels.
By Train: Coming from Hanoi, the train takes about 9 hours to arrive at Lao Cai Station. From Lao Cai Station, shuttle buses will be waiting to take you the rest of the distance to Sapa –a trip that takes about an hour. The main appeal of a train journey to Sapa is an overnight train service, a popular means of transfer from central Hanoi.