Sapa is a perfect destination for almost foreign tourists when traveling in Vietnam. This destination not only possesses spectacular beauty of majestic mountains, romantic Muong Hoa Stream, lush forests and colorful rice terraces but also rich in culture and customs of ethnic minority groups. A trip in Sapa will bring you great opportunities to contemplate stunning giant landscape painting and discover unique culture and the way of living of ethnic groups living here. If you are planning to travel Sapa in the next time, this article will offer you many useful information to enjoy a perfect Sapa tour in Vietnam.
Best time to visit
The Nature blesses Sapa with cool climate all year round, even in summer. The four seasons are distinctly felt in Sapa when the Nature changes her costume: spring is filled with white color of pear, peach, apricot and plum flowers; summer is colorful with pancies, dahlias, sun-flowers and numerous temperate fruits; autumn is time for perfume mushroom, , woodears and plenty of specious medicinal plants; and in the winter, every landscapes become mystery and attractive when the fog fills the space. No matter when you visit Sapa, you can find the distinctive charms during four seasons.
Ripen rice season in Sapa from September to October
However, Sapa also experiences a wet season from may to September with the heaviest rains in July and August. The wet weather can make some difficulties for you to travel. So for the most pleasant, the best time to visit Sapa is mid-September to next May:
From mid-September to October: At this time, Sapa is dyed a yellow color by giant ripen rice fields. The terraced rice fields look like golden silk scarves flying over in the wind above green mountain slopes, making the whole area amazingly beautiful.
From late December to February: Sapa has a cold winter with temperature sometimes drops to below zero degree and tree branches and grass are covered with ice. Traveling Sapa at this time, visitors have chance to contemplate beauty-spot as breath-taking as in picture described in the Snow Queen fairy tale of Andersen and take a lot ff photographs on icy days.
From March to May: The weather is very pleasant, good to hike and visit ethnic villages. During this time, you can also contemplate a colorful Sapa with full of flowers.
The most important thing to have a perfect trip is a good health which helps you enjoy fully your journey without feeling exhausted. Especially, all Sapa trips include trekking tours around ethnic villages or tours to conquer Fansipan, the roof of Indochina. Therefore, you need to prepare a good health to contemplate breathtaking scenery and discover unique culture and customs of ethnic groups during your Sapa trip.
Trekking is a popular activity in all Sapa tours
Besides, you can take some necessary items such as hat, sun glasses, sun cream and don’t forget prepare long clothes because Sapa is very cold at night and a good pair of shoes to join a trekking tour in Sapa.
How to get there
Sapa is located nearly 400 kilometers from Hanoi to the southwest. To reach this destination, you can travel by a night train from Hanoi and stop in Lao Cai station after 9 hours and then take a minibus transferring up to Sapa. Or another way is to take a coach running from Hanoi to right in Sapa. However, the best option for you is to book a Sapa tour through tourist company. They will provide you full of services, from transportation to get to Sapa, destinations and activities in Sapa to meals and accommodations in this small town. The only thing you need to do is enjoying fully your trip in Sapa.
What to eat
In addition to untouched and wild natural beauty, Sapa is also the heaven of special dishes. All these dishes make identity of ethnic groups living in this mountainous region. “Thắng cố”, a type of soup made of horse meat, horse’s viscera and horse’s bone is the traditional food of H’mong people living Sapa. Enjoying the aroma of cardamom, nuts and lemongrass, mingled with the fat of the meat in a bowl of Thang Co soup along with some cups of corn wine is a wonderful culinary in Sapa. Besides, you can also enjoy Sapa “cắp nách” pork, salmon sour hotpot or grilled skewers (Sapa BBQ), all is wonderful specialties of this mountainous region.
Grilled skewers in Sapa
Sapa is full of accommodations for tourists, from luxury 5-star hotels, budget guesthouses to cheap homestays. However, you should spend time staying overnight at a homestay in an ethnic village. This is the best way to discover culture, customs as well as the way of living of ethnic minorities living in Sapa. Staying at homestay, you have chance to witness daily life of the locals, experience daily works and enjoy local dishes – all makes your Sapa tour more meaningful.
Experience daily life of ethnic groups at homestay
Being home to a large number of ethnic minority groups, Sapa brings unique shopping experiences in an area picturesque hilly nature and rich ethnic cultures. Walking around small Sapa town, you can easily find many souvenir shops along street sides with a vast diversity of brocade products such as backpacks, travel bags, scarves, handbags, purses and coats.
There are many local street vendors along street sides
More interestingly, you can discover traditional market of local ethnic minorities, such as Bac Ha market, Sapa market, Coc Ly market. These are great places to buy souvenirs from the local hilltribes themselves. They have to walk surprisingly long distances to gather here and sell you their handicrafts– nice items, most impressive of which are colorful clothes made of local fabrics.