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Sapa Travel Guide
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- Discovering Waterfalls Love
- Silver Falls Discovery Sapa
- Discovering Stone Church in Sapa
- Cat Cat Sapa
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Sapa lies in the very north west of Vietnam near the Chinese border. Along with Halong Bay it is the “other” major excursion from Hanoi. Time permitting you can do a circuit around the northwest highlands which takes in Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Lai Chau and finally Sapa before heading back to Hanoi. This would take at least a week by private vehicle and longer on local buses. During the wet season roads can be treacherous with landslides common. The best time to visit is from March to May and from September to mid-December.
In reality the vast majority of visitors arrive in Sapa from Hanoi via Mai Chau and don’t go on to discover the spectacular scenery of the Tonkinese Alps where Montagnard hill tribes have lived for centuries.
In Sapa these local people have quickly adapted to the incursion of tourism and it’s a common sight to see local women from the hill tribes pursuing foreigners down the main street bartering over colourful clothing and souvenirs. You might find this over the top in Sapa and would benefit from a trip out into the more remote villages where tourism hasn’t had such a nasty social impact. The Montagnards aren’t complaining though as many of them have grown relatively wealthy on the back of the new found cash economy.
Things to Do and See in Sapa
Sapa is such a colourful town thanks to the H’mong and Dzao
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the local hill tribes who head into the town’s market every day to trade their produce. There’s a main market every Saturday when the place is packed but there’s a lower key one every other day during the week. These people will have undergone no formal education but the arrival of foreigners has made them well aware of the value of money and many of the youngsters have picked up a basic level of English. They sell clothing and handicrafts which are popular with tourists.
Read the exciting story of some Dutch travellers who visited the Sapa Valley which they describe at Adventure Travel Tales & Tips. Many visitors sign up for trekking expeditions out to local villages and beyond. All hotels and travel agencies in town offer half day visits to Cat Cat just 3km outside of Sapa and full day hikes to Ta Phin village which lies 10km outside town. Spectacular scenery abounds on all treks in the area. Overnight stays in minority villages such as Sin Chai are also popular options.
For stunning scenery you must get out to the Tram Ton Pass 15km from Sapa. At 1900m is the highest in Vietnam and connects Sapa to Lai Chau. All around you are surrounded by almost vertical rice terraces and stunning mountain peaks with regular mists hovering on them. The 100m high Thac Bac waterfall on the same route is spectacular.
For the seriously fit there is a hike to the top of Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak at 3143m. This isn’t a climb to be taken lightly with potentially treacherous conditions when the weather turns bad. From Sapa to the peak is only about 20km yet experienced hikers take three or four days to complete it carrying all their own equipment as there is no accommodation en route. Taking a local guide and even porters is highly recommended. If you are up to such a challenge the rewards are breathtaking.
When to Go to Sapa
The dry season is from January to June with March to May the best time to visit. Temperatures in January and February are regularly around 0ºC. The rainy season falls in June and August. September marks the end of the rainy season which is a good time to visit then by mid-December temperatures start to fall significantly making this September to mid-December period the best time to be there.
Getting to Sapa
Sapa is 380km from Hanoi and various options exist to get there. The most popular is to sign up for one of the overnight trips which includes a train journey to Lao Cai followed by minibus transfer up to Sapa. Many such trips are on offer in the travel agencies and hotels of Hanoi but from personal experience we have no hesitation in recommending Handspan Adventure Travel.
Sapa is a mountainous town in Northen Vietnam where you write poem, have your cameras on for most of your time, cheer over a community wine pot, learn to appreciate indigenous culture or just to escape Hanoi heat and city noise.
Being one of the most attractive tourism destinations of the country, Sapa is a precious gift that Mother Nature dedicates to Vietnam.
Location and history
350km far north-west from Hanoi, Sapa, the capital of Sapa District in Lao Cai Province, lies at the altitude of 1600m. With the temperature ranging from the lowest of -1oC to the highest of 29oC, Sapa’s climate is moderate and drizzly in summer while chill and foggy in winter.
Sapa (or Chapa- the “sandy place”) first appeared in Vietnam national map in the late 1880s when the French disembarked in highland Tonkin. The first permanent French civilian resident arrived in Sapa in 1909, and by 1920, there were a number of villas being built in this area by prosperous professionals. Going through many ups and downs, nowadays, Sapa is the prominent holiday destination, favored by both locals and foreign tourists.
Sapa - fairy home of ethnic minorities
There is nowhere in Vietnam can tourists easily meet the local ethnic minorities like in Sapa. The district is the home of a great diversity of ethnic people, including five main groups of Hmong, Yao, Tay, Zay and Xa Pho. They do not live in center area but in hamlets scattering on the valleys throughout Sapa District. Actually, not until the 20th
Waterfalls of Love is a scenic resort in Sapa, Lao Cai province. Waterfall located in the commune of San Sa Ho, from the center of Sapa town about 4 km to the southwest and from O Quy Ho Pass about 3 km in a straight line. Waterfalls Love is also the starting point of the journey Traveling climbers conquered Mount Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam.
Love falls relatively close to 100m height and absolute altitude near 1800m over sea level. Gold Falls located on streams, derived from Fansipan Peak, flows through high terrain background, slope. Seen from afar, cascade-like a hat, two on the edge of the waterfall is a lush forest vegetation. Waterfalls of Love is located in the core area of Hoang Lien National Park and a new location was put into operation in tourism.
The name "waterfall of Love" comes from a legend about the love story between him woodcutter O Qui them- eldest son of god mountain ranges dominate over Laos and fairies Saturday. Cascade down forming a natural bath and in legend, the fairies have chosen this place as a bath and immersed station playing until the sun went down the mountain flew to heaven.
Tourist paths to the waterfall Love is a red dirt road running through the lush bamboo forest, immense that flickers somewhere, shining gentle beauty of azalea flowers with shades of red, white, yellow quite fresh; Air in the beautiful scenery here, guests will find their time occasionally ear sound of forest trees rustling in the wind dangling ... When did this go all the way, visitors will encounter a stream, continue yeast according to the hotel's streams to operators love.
Love Falls is nearly 100m. Waterfall originates from Mount Fan Si Pan and bring cold air flowing through the background of mountains higher terrain, steep; pour torrential, rushing down the stream Gold white foam. From a distance, visitors will find a waterfall-shaped hat; Flickers after each thin layer of water flowing on either side edge of the falls is a lush forest vegetation; at the foot of waterfalls, streams Gold Iridescent winding leaning to either side are velvety green lawn stretching beneath the bamboo thickets of thorns ...
Called Love falls because according to legend that the old days, the Sun Fairy house frequented cool down here. Every time down the bath and she are very passionate, beautiful and interesting sight space here. Once, Fairy Saturday discovered a woodcutter guy is cooking the stream Gold, while waiting for it to cook, he took out trees blown bamboo flute. His flute downs, while scholarships; echoed in the mountain. Once, too absorbed in listening to his flute, she forgot about God is right, and do not tolerate cold night jungle where she had to fire his side through heating. That night, the flickering firelight, he used the woodcutter his flute blows her bewitching hear love songs, he blew or so that the deer, tigers, leopards and wild birds ... and dance Air dances and melodious tunes of flute, ... vibrant space that lasts until the sun peeks through the trees, she flew to heaven new rush. Then someday, too, until she was home and not God discovered her under the waterfall Love bathing her down again. She remembered him woodcutter to kill skin, afternoon, she looked down the sky, all the port operators love to look forward to hear his flute woodcutter but did not see him anywhere; she was so depressed and eventually turns into a golden bird flying around the mountain and kept crying for 3 hours O Qui Ho skin away inconsolable.
In the vastness of space and beautiful scenery here, waterfall Love really great attractions for its guests. To the extraction site, the travelers find the source of a romantic love story.