Sapa is a small peaceful town in the North of Vietnam. It is the home for amazing trekking and adventure trips. Below is the short list from thousands of Sapa travel advice and Sapa travel review for you. Check it before you go!
- How to get to Sapa?
- Night train ( totally 8 hour ): Hanoi station (9h30Pm ) to Lao Cai station( 6:00 Am). When you get to Lao Cai station, take a shuttle bus or taxi to Sapa town about 1 hour
- Day/Night bus: takes around 6 hours, you can book tickets in Hanoi, there are 3 departure time at 7:00, 13:00 and 21:30. If you want to save more time, night bus is a better option.
Departure From Hanoi Distance & Duration Arrival Sapa Price For any question ? 7h00 AM 350 Km – 06 hours 13h00 PM sleeping bus firstname.lastname@example.org 13h00 PM 350 Km – 06 hours 18h30 PM sleeping bus 21h30 PM 350 Km – 06 hours 4h00 AM sleeping bus
( With night bus, you will arrive in the center of Sapa town at 4:00 in the morning and can sleep until 6:00 )
- Sapa has a problem with touts
- If you’re spending a few days in Sapa, you’ll notice that for the women of the Hmong tribe touting is serious business. Despite making it clear that we had no intention of purchasing any more souvenirs, we had women walk alongside us for hours. Things started off friendly enough with them asking questions and practicing their English, but there was always a pitch at the end and their sales tactics were a bit aggressive. To deal with it, say “ no”, not “maybe” to the local people when they offer something that you do not want to buy.
– Bargain anything down to about half the original price asked. Also, there may have the Chinese products instead of being authentically local.
- Gifting children
- Giving money is a indirect way to make children drop out of school.
- Avoid candies and sweets, giving children with cloth, pencils, notes and other necessary things
- Hire a trekking guide
- Sapa Valley is known for its hilltribes and trekking. But it can be too dangerous to trek Sapa on your own, try to arrange the trip with a local tour guide who is familiar with the terrain, the changes in weather, and the best lookout spots, and they can speak English well.
- There are tours from half day, full day to several days to choose depends on you heath, such as:
+ Cat Cat village – Ham Rong
+ Lao Chai – Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai
You can book at the agency in Hanoi, hotel or tour operators found in town.
- The guide is not a porter and carry your bag for you, only bring what you deem absolutely necessary.
- The hiking path sometime becomes a huge challenge because of having“buffalo chocolate”everywhere as well as muddy and step when it rain.
- You will meet some ethnic women follow your group all the way, they willing to help you go through difficult trail and ask you to buy souvernir, fabrics in the end.
- What should you bring to Sapa ?
- Wear sturdy shoes or rent boots in town
- Anti-bugs spray, raincoat, coat (because weather in Sapa seems to change quickly )
- No trekking clothes for Sapa, forget personal items, no problem. You can find grocery and store everywhere.
- There are various options of hotel, guest house and hostel in Sapa for you to book base on your financial status.
- If I can give you a advice, that must be staying in homestay which is worthy to try. The nearest place you can find nice homestays is Cat Cat village. Besides, there stay Ta Van village with stunning scenery of terrace, Muong Hoa stream . . .where you definitely gain a spectacular experience. Local people have both dorm and private rooms in reasonable price or more luxury residing in bungalow .
- Variety of food
- Sapa has a good selection of international restaurant, cafes and street food to choose from. Cau may road houses many international food joint, while the street perpendicular and aligning with Sapa Square strings a walk way of Vietnamese food, where you can sit in the open on plastic chairs on the sidewalk to savour them.
The food in Sapa bats eye – to – eye with Hanoi, it is fresh, made with care and well –flavored
- However, you must ask the price before trying in any restaurant if it isn’t showed on the menu.
- Massages are cheap
Thailand isn’t th only country to hold copyright on cheap massages. You can find them in Vietnam too and Sapa has a few salon and parlors for you to try. Foot and body massages can be gotten for around 6$/hour. Vietnamese are experts at making feet and body feel like it has wings. It’s easy to get addicted.
Most of us have a habit of buying souvenir whenever we go on trip. And the crafts of Hmong as well as Red Dzao tribes in Sapa are interesting things to bring back.
The Hmong has a certain flair for fashion while the Dzao lends better to jewelry . So where can you buy them?
- Local market: Sapa market ( located in the center of town), Bac Ha market, Coc Leu market.
- Sapa square: the walking area opens there every weekend,ethnic women stay around, selling crafts ranging from bags, wallet, bracelet to pillow covers
- Moreover, you will find hill tribe vendors around the town for all day, from young to elderly, even children.
- You should beware because colour on fabric runs easily. Almost crafts has blue – stained from the indigo that Hmong women use to dye. Therefore, you should keep it separate from clothes and wash with vinegar and salt.