Sapa Travel Guide: An All- Inclusive Guide To Northern Vietnam’s Hidden Gem

Rocky mountain ranges, soul-stirring landscapes, never-ending rice terraces, and smiling ethnic people are what you can think about the misty town of Northern Vietnam. Keep reading if you want to get an overview of things to do and see, what to eat or where to stay in this slice of paradise. We make a detail of everything for those getting from, to and around Sapa. Here you go.

Sapa Travel Guide 0Endless Terrace Rice Field

How to get to Sapa from Hanoi

Nestled at a remote location in the mountainous area, Sapa is quite challenging to get to. Still, there are several means of getting from Hanoi to Sapa: by train, by bus or by motorbike. Whatever your option is, it’s well worth your effort and of course full of unique experiences.

>> See our detailed guide of How to get to Sapa from Hanoi, you’ll get your own choice.

Sapa Travel Guide 1If you can drive, Motorbike is a perfect choice to explore Sapa

Things to do and see in Sapa

Sapa town is so charming for its quaint lovely streets, colorful markets, and stunning hill tribe villages, but it will be the best starting point for adventure seekers into the verdant valleys and the surrounding hills. Don’t miss out this to-do list while getting around the town.

Enjoy a cable-car ride up to the “Roof of Indochina”

Fansipan is known for the highest peak in Indochina imposingly standing at an altitude of 3143 meters. It’s definitely a beast to conquer which is just well worth your time and effort. However, if you’re not fit enough to enjoy this tough hike, fret not! You can totally soak up in the spectacular views of this majestic mountain with the incredible cable car ride.

Sapa Travel Guide 2Don't miss this incredible experience on Guinness World Records Cable Car if you plan to visit Sapa

Fansipan, apart from its impressive height, is also famous for its cable car system- recognized as the longest non-stop three rope cable car by Guinness World Records. It cost you around 41 USD but it’s definitely worth every buck. Once reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with the mind-blowing views over the town and Sapa rice terraces below!

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Get one-of-its-kind experience with a fabulous Muong Hoa Mountain Train

Muong Hoa Valley is one of the jewels in the misty town of Sapa famous for its undulating terraced rice, tribal villages and exotic landscapes. If you’re tired of walking around, you still bask in the idyllic view of the valley with a stunning Muong Hoa Mountain Train ride. Boasting 2 kilometers in length, Muong Hoa is one of the longest rail routes in Vietnam mountainous area. This round trip from Sapa Town to Fansipan Cable Car Station is a spectacular journey offering stunning natural beauty and surrounding villages.

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Delve into the tribal village of Cat Cat

Cat Cat village is a popular name when it comes to the best villages in Sapa. This charming village is home to H’mong ethnic people and famous for its traditional industries. When visiting this little village, you may come across women in colorful traditional costumes working in their loom or lovely children smiling at you and saying hello in the excitement. The sleepy village with a pristine atmosphere, poetic scenery, and warm-hearted locals makes it a stunning place for a truly authentic experience.

Sapa Travel Guide 5En-route view down to Cat Cat Village

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The young girls wear traditional custom play swing with mountain background

Explore intriguing culture in Ta Van Village

Lying peacefully in the beautiful valley of Muong Hoa, about 10 kilometers from Sa Pa Town, Ta Van village is another interesting village in Sapa- home to different ethnic minority groups including H’mong, Red Dao, Giay, Tay, Thai, Nung. The tribal villagers here gather and live in harmony with each other at the mountain bottom, in the valleys or along the streams. Their life is so simple yet authentic with the traditions passed down for several generations. Exploring the village is a great way to get a true insight into the intriguing culture and the noble humanistic values of the region.

Sapa Travel Guide 7Can you describe how beautiful is this?

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Family tribal mother and children girl smile in rice terraces

Feast your eyes on the plunging Silver Waterfall

Silver Waterfall, locally known as Thac bac is one of them. It’s one of the indispensable attractions in the journey of discovering Sapa. Falling down from the height of over 100 meters with white cascading water, the Silver Waterfall offers a stunning background of spectacular mountains from afar and the evergreen jungles. Standing at the foot of Silver Pagoda Sapa, you may get lost in wild nature and ever tranquil atmosphere. Discovering the wonders of nature at Silver Waterfall is one of the most mesmerizing experiences in Sapa.

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Enjoy an impressive walk around Y Linh Ho Village

This tranquil village lying between mountain ranges is an interesting place to see when getting around Sapa. The idyllic scenery dotted with tribal villages, fresh atmosphere, and lovely mountain paths makes it a perfect base for an impressive trek. As the home to H’mong ethnic people living in their traditional bamboo houses, you can get into the local style and tradition which is more local than other famous villages in Sapa.

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Get lost in the mysterious Heaven gate of O Quy Ho

Conquering O Quy Ho Mountain Pass is on the must-do list of many adventure lovers in Sapa. Known for its longest and most beautiful mountain pass in Vietnam, O Quy Ho is one of the most daunting passes in Northwest region along with other exotic names: Ma Pi Leng, Khau Pha, Pha Din, Ngoan Muc. Its wild beauty and magnificence can enchant any adventure enthusiasts from the first sight

Sapa Travel Guide 11The morning sun makes a stunning painting

The journey to conquer the pass is a real challenge itself: dangerous roads, risky curves with one side a deep abyss and the other side: steep mountains. Still, once at the summit, it’s just gorgeous, there’s just you and nature which make you feel like you’re standing between the face of earth and sky.

>> If adventuring the northwest of Vietnam is a part of your journey, let it be in your heart with our perfectly designed Sapa tours offering the ultimate adventurous experience in Vietnam’s mountainous area.

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Love Market - A Dating Place of Ethnic People

Love Market is the most iconic market which is held nowhere else but Sapa. It is one of the most interesting spots for locals and travelers alike. This market is so special as it’s not only for trading but also for finding love. Traditionally, the single Dao people come to the market on Saturday evenings and find their lover. Since then, the weekend nights have become a special occasion of this little charming town with the village boys, beautiful dances of ethnic girls wearing colorful embroidered costumes.

This is also a place for people to exchange goods and join some cultural activities including playing traditional games, dancing or singing. You should pay a visit to this incredible market at least once to revel in the one-of-a-kind culture which can’t be found anywhere else on earth.

  • Location: In the center of Sapa
  • Opening hours: 12 am- 12 pm Every Saturday

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Where to stay in Sapa

From luxurious resorts, boutique hotels to budget and simple homestays or eco-lodges, you could find almost everything which caters to all your needs and budget.

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Immerse yourself with the infinitive pool surrounded by a mountainous area

Hotels and resorts

As a non-stop growing tourist destination, Sapa offers a plethora of top-class hotels and resorts varying in style and design. Depending on your preference and need, the prices could be varied. While mid-range hotels start at about 30 USD, upscale resorts could charge 100 USD per night. From the long list of hotels and resorts in Sapa, we got some most recommended by the trustful review websites.

>> To save your time, check it out Here <<

Sapa Travel Guide 15Hôtel de la Coupole - MGallery by Sofitel

Homestays in Sapa

If you’re finding a place to stay on a budget, still wishing rich play and stay, then homestays in Sapa should be on your shortlist. Simple but worth a stay, you may expect to share the accommodation with the host. That’s great to stay close to the unique culture and traditional ethnic lifestyle.

>> Choose the best that fits your style, preference, and budget in our detailed list of Sapa homestays- the most favorite picks amongst travelers. <<

Sapa Travel Guide 16Topas Ecolodge - The most luxurious homestay in Sapa

What and Where to Eat in Sapa

Thanks to the mild weather all year round, Sapa is the heaven of food with an abundance of specialties and delicacies famous throughout the country. From every corner of the town, you may bump into some food or local dishes you have never seen before.

Sapa Travel Guide 17BBQ is a must when you taste the cuisine in here

>> Eat to your heart’s content with our comprehensive guide of Must-try Sapa Foods - Where and what to eat in Sapa <<

Sapa Travel Guide 18Salmon Sour Hotpot - Best dish during the cold of Sapa

Shopping in Sapa

Sapa is not all about adventure, landscape or unique cuisine. The diversity of ethnic minorities with their own culture and traditions makes Sapa an enticing place for shopping some incredible tribal products from textiles, costumes, handicrafts to food, everything you may think of.

While discovering Sapa, make sure to check out all of the incredible places for lovely items. Look no further as it’s right here in our guide of Shopping in Sapa.

Sapa Travel Guide 19HandCraft Souvenir that carefully made by ethnic group in Northern Vietnam

Did anything miss in this little town? Let VNIN know if there are any interesting things that take your fancy. Or, create your own journey with a Sapa tour, put any activities and places you want to explore in your itinerary.

anthony ngo

Anthony Ngo

Hi, I'm a Travel Expert of With me, traveling is an intense passion and promoting the charming beauty of Vietnam to international friends is a glory mission.

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