Sa Pa, also: Sapa is the capital of the district of the same name in Vietnam’s border , in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in northwestern Vietnam, known as “the Tonkinese Alps” province of Lao Cai . It is an important market town in the area,
Sa Pa is located at approximately 1,600 meters above sea level in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains. Here is the Hoang Lien National Park set up. The Vietnamese capital Hanoi is 350 kilometers southeast, the nearest train station Lao Cai is an hour drive away. Near Sa Pa (less than 10 km away) is Vietnam’s highest mountain, the Fansipan. The climate is temperate, the summers (May to August) are rainy. In winter, the weather is quite cool, often foggy with occasional snowfall.
Ethnic minorities : Many ethnic minorities live around Sa Pa, excluding the Vietnamese ethnic people eight different ethnic minority groups are found in Sa Pa. H’mong ,Dao, Tay, Giay,Muong, Thai, Hoa (ethnic Chinese), and Xa Pho (a subset of the Phu La minority group).
Sa Pa was once an isolated place, but the French colonial authorities founded a military post and a Catholic mission at the turn of the twentieth century. A hill station was then active for nearly fifty years.
Around 1880, the French colonial rulers founded a hill station in this place called Chapa. This was built in 1922 to a village and used by the French as a resort.
Sa Pa is now a tourist attraction in the high region of northern Vietnam.Sapa tourist area has a lot of tourist attractions outside the natural attractions such as Muong Hoa valley, Ta Phin village, Silver waterfall, Fansifan mountain … Besides, Sapa also has many spiritual tourist sites and monuments. culture and history are very famous such as ancient stone church, Hang Pho temple, and Mau Son temple.
Access : Coordinates: 22.35, 103.866667 / Sapa is 380km from the Vietnamese capital Ha Noi / By car : the new highway from Hanoi airport 5 hours of beautiful landscapes.
By Train :
From Hanoi, take the Hanoi – Lao Cai fast train, depart at 21:15 at Hanoi station (available at 20:30) the next morning to Lao Cai city, the fare from 135,000 VND-person to VND 515,000-person, Then take the car to Sa Pa (about 30 km), the car of 16 seats is about 50,000 VND / person If you take a taxi from Ho Chi Minh City. Lao Cai to Sa Pa cost about VND 350,000./
By Coach :
From Hanoi, the bed is priced from 230,000 – 300,000 VND / ticket / way, departing from My Dinh, Luong Yen or Gia Lam bus stops (Hanoi) straight to Sapa after 8 – 9 hours. The earliest trips starts from 17:00.-From Ho Chi Minh City Vehicles departing from Eastern bus station, seats and the bed is priced from VND 550,000, including food and water. Car travel time is less than 60 hours because the car has to stop at meals so it will be longer than the train. /
/ personal vehicle-car :
A 2-day trip to Sa Pa from Hanoi, a rental fee of 12-16 seats is 6,600,000 VND , including driving, fuel and tolls. Vehicles follow the new highway Hanoi – Lao Cai so the travel time is shortened to 5.5-6 hours./
Get around : The city, relatively small, can be visited on foot. Motorcycle taxis are also present, guests can rent a motorbike for about 120,000 VND / car, not including gasoline to self-drive to visit places./Take a motorbike taxi, have to negotiate the price for about 100,000 VND for 4 – 5 locations close together./
- Sapa’s biggest attraction is its rice landscape, the Fansipan, and the ethnic minorities that inhabit these lands.One of the most beautiful landscapes is obtained from the top of Tram Ton Pass, about 1,900 meters. It is the route that links Sapa with Lai Chau. On the same route, you can also see Thac Bac waterfall.
- The rice terraces , The most beautiful rice terraces are found in the Lao Chai, Ta Van, Y Linh Ho, Cat Cat and Ta Phin valleys.
- Walking , Walking through these valleys, one can visit the villages inhabited by the Black Hmong and Red Dao, Sapa is a great trekking center and many agencies offer, overnight stays.
- Waterfalls , Among other magical places we find Love Waterfall, about 4 km from Sapa, a place to stop and enjoy a romantic setting,Love Waterfall Sapa entrance fee 70,000 VND / Silver Waterfall is alongside the road between Sa Pa and the entrance to Hoang Lien National Park, entrance fee 20,000 dong
- Villages , Villages such as Thanh Kim, Nam Sai or Nam Cang are corners of northern Vietnam where time still passes slowly, where the traveler can live the most local experience in a place full of peace and natural beauty.
- Fansipan peak , This peak attracts many mountaineers and trekking experts to Sapa.About 3,143 meters high The Fanispan stands as the highest mountain in Vietnam, located only about 20km From Sapa.You can reach the top with the new cable car
- Sun World Fansipan cable car (Fansipan Cable Car) “Indochina roof”. cable car ride , The Vietnam authorities inaugurated the world’s longest three-wire cable car in the north of the country, with an area of 3,143 meters. It’s a 20-minute ride to what is known as the “Indochina roof”.costs about $ 25 USD round trip. The funicular has a station in Sapa.
The service holds two Guinness World Records for the longest non-stop three-rope cable car in the world, spanning 6.3 km (3.9 mi), and the greatest elevation difference by a non-stop three-roped cable car for the 1,410 m (4,630 ft) difference in elevation between the termini
- traditional herbal bath of the mountains , Each bath includes 120 types of herbs, plants and barks. The herbs are boiled for 3-4 hours at 30-37oC to extract the essence.enjoy this traditional bath in a rustic barrel.
- Hoang Lien National Park ,- declared an ASEAN Heritage Park- Hoang Lien National Park is a Vietnam national park established in 2002, located at an altitude of 1,000-3000m above the sea surface in Hoang Lien Son range in the communes of San Sa Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van, Ban Ho (Sa Pa district, Lao Cai province) and part of Phuc Khoa and Trung Dong communes
- Sa Pa Lake Ngu Chi Son, Sapa 330000, Nice lake in the center of the town of Sapa, At night they rent boats and fishing rods.
- Sa Pa Culture Museum right at the back of the tourist information complex , free / Sa Pa Square, A cultural experience not to be missed /
– Traditional tobacco leaf bath of Red Dao people (VND 70,000 / person without massage, VND 150,000 / person with massage).
- Mau Son temple , Mau Son Temple is located in Group 4a, Thach Son Street. Sapa town , Inside Mau Son temple worship Princess Lieu Hanh, Mau Son Temple is over 200 years old so it is very sacred and is one of the extremely famous Sapa tourist destinations..
- Hang Pho temple and Mau Thuong temple. Both are located in Sapa town and have existed for over hundred years on this land.
- Church of Our Lady of the Rosary , Next to the central square, Located in the center of Sapa town, Sapa Stone Church, built in 1895, is considered the most complete ancient architectural mark of the French colonial era /
- Ancient rock engravings. Sa Pa is also home to more than 200 pieces of boulders with ancient engravings. The “Area of Old Carved Stone in Sapa” has been in the UNESCO tentative list since 1997.
Activities : Hiking along the villages of ethnic minorities in the valleys that surround Sapa / ethnic excursions / guided sightseeing / photo opportunities- photography trips / motorcycle adventure / Massage / Conquer Phan Si Pang summit.
Go next : Hanoi-the ancient village of Duong Lam-Nghia Lo / the superb “Route des Photographes” (route 32) between Nghia Lo and Mu Can hai / Bac Ha market,the largest minority market in northwestern Vietnam / Ta Van town / Hoang Lien Son town