You may have read a lot of travel blogs about many places but there are only a few about this magnificent place called Sapa. Sapa is a memorable place that is simple yet very inviting. It has a homey like ambiance that tourists will truly love.
Where in the World is Sapa Valley?
You may be wondering where this piece of paradise is. Sapa Valley is a town nestled in Northern Vietnam. It is well known as Tonkinese Alps by locals. It is about 4,921 ft above sea level and lies in the mountain range of Hoang Lien Son in northwest Vietnam which is approximate the Chinese borders.
What’s not to love about Sapa Valley?
It is small but it has everything! What I love about are its breathtaking scenery with its rich rice fields, green mountain ranges and its colorful minorities and their culture. Although a rather small walkable town, the best way to explore it is by riding a motorbike. The place sells anything from souvenir stuffs, to clothes, tobaccos but one of the best thing I enjoyed the most is by having a really nice and relaxing massage.
What to See in Sapa Valley?
Aside from the natural beauty of Sapa, there are many places to visit like the Ham Rong Resort that is built for tourist attraction that features lots of orchids in its European styled garden, restaurants, viewpoints and it even has dance performances from its ethnic minority.
Another place to go to is the Sa Pa Cultural Museum which is located at the back of the Tourist office. In here you will learn the history of Sapa, the traditions and costumes of their ethnic minorities.
Aside from the 2 attractions, you should check the Town Hall building and Sapa Square where you will see old colonial buildings that marks the French colonial era like their church. During evenings, you will get to dances or local gatherings held at the square or you might get a chance to play da cau which is a foot badminton with the locals.
Things You Can Do in Sapa to get authentic Sapa travel experience
There are plenty of things to do in Sapa. I have listed down some of the best things to enjoy while you are in this beautiful rural area:
One thing I enjoyed the most is to just look at the beautiful sunset on my hotel balcony while enjoying a cup of delicious coffee or simply just drinking beer.
Trekking is one of my favorite thing to do when I am travelling. It is one way to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding and get to know the area more including meeting locals. To be able to do trekking, you need to sign up for a Sapa Vietnam tour which will let you have an overnight stay in one of the villages.
It is illegal to go on a trekking without permission that is why you need to sign up. Not all homestays are good but some are better than others like they may have hot water showers, but if you want to have a good herbal bath, try going to Red Dao homestays. There are no heater or even a fireplace in Sapa, so you might want to bring a sweater because it gets chilly at night but they will provide you with thick blankets. A homestay is roughly around $40 for a single night stay which included 4 meals, drinks, and village trek.
Sapa is known for its pristine natural beauty that includes breathtaking mountain views and waterfall nearby. So be sure to bring a good camera when you visit this place. One of the best way to explore is by renting a motorbike or simply enlist for a tour.
I have mentioned earlier that riding a motorbike is one of the best ways to go around. The paths to the village are very easy and accessible but if you aren’t sure just buy a tourist map at the tourist center.
If you want to do something else, just go to Sapa Lake. It is about 5 minutes walk from Sapa square. Here you can rent a pedal boat which will only cost you about 80 dong for an hour but you can just do half an hour for half the price. Just remember that the pedal boats are not always available which may also depend on the weather. But they are available during weekdays.
If you like to try to learn the way of the locals, why not enroll in a cooking class which can be arranged the day before. Here you will be hosted by an Hmong chef who speaks great English. Included in the cooking class is that you will get to see the market place because the chef will take you with him.
These are just some of the things that you may enjoy in this place but there are a lot more. So visit Sapa and you will never regret it.