Sapa, Vietnam is not only famed for its mountains sceneries but also the hamlets of colorful ethnic minorities. In 2011, Sapa has been recommended ten best tourist sites for walkers by the reputed magazine Lonely Planet. Here are some useful notes for you before a Sapa tour.
|Sapa terraced field|
Best time to go:
The best time to visit Sapa is from April to September though; each season has its own special qualities and surprises. In this period, you may have a great opportunity to see plum flower and stunning terraced fields. It is dry with the temperature is ranging from 15 – 25 Degree Celsiu. During the winter months, the temperature is much cooler and it is advised to bring a some warm clothing. Also, during the winter months there are periods of light rain, which brings in the fog or snow. This puts Sapa in the clouds and allows for some fantastic photos. Perhaps more and more tourists travel to Sapa during the winter because of its special weather. If you want to escape from the touristy hassle, winter is not an ideal period for you.
A light suitcase is recommended during travelling to Sapa. Making sure that you have packed everything you need to make your stay more comfortable is most important. Bring a small bag with the clothes change of clothes. You should bring something warm, as the nights will cool off, sometimes dropping as much as ten degrees. Other things you might want to bring with you are a mirror, toilet paper, your favorite tea or snack, flashlight and raincoat.
|Train to Sapa|
It takes around 8 hours from Hanoi to Lao Cai. You may choose two ways: travelling by coach or train to Lao Cai then, take a bus to Sapa. It depends on your budget to choose the suitable way for you. By coach, the price is around US15. It is ranging from US$ 20 to US$ 30 for a soft berth on a night train SP. There is also available cheap price on LC train but it is quite slower.
Most of Sapa attractions are not far from Sapa Center. You should prepare a small map of destinations in there such as Hamrong Mountain, Ta Van village, Taphin village, Bac Ha market. You can eventually travel by yourself but I recommend you book a Sapa tour by a good travel agent who will trek with you to visit minority villages. Staying overnight at home stay with Hmong or Dao people will be a valued experience for anyone who first travels to Sapa. People here always warm welcome their guests. If you are a kind of adventure traveler, why do not choose a package tour to conquer of Fansipan Mountain which is considered as the roof of Indochina.
|At Bac Ha market|
Exotic food in Sapa is known as San Lung alcohol, wild life pork, stream fish and some special vegetables such as chayote, cauliflower. Although they can find these vegetables in other province of Vietnam but only Sapa serve you the best dishes with reasonable price. It is very exciting for walking with your partner in a romantic Sapa night and enjoy special food.