A guide to trekking in sapa, vietnam


Sapage authority is located in the Tỉnh Lào Cai Province of Vietnam & is a region that draws visitors from across the world. The town is situated on the side of one of the many mountains in the massiveHoàng Liên Son mountain range and overlooks the valley below. The valley floor is filled with rice terraces that change from bright green khổng lồ yellow depending on the time of year that you visit.

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Most people visit Sapage authority khổng lồ immerse themselves in the gorgeous landscape through trekking expeditions as the roads aren’t great and there are well-maintained footpaths. Trekking is definitely the best way lớn explore the region of Sapa, Vietnam giới.

Read on to learn all about what khổng lồ vị, where lớn stay, và how to lớn book a trek during your trip to lớn Sapa!


Complete Guide lớn Trekking in Sapage authority, Vietnam

Things to lớn bởi in the Town of Sapa

As tourism in the area has increased, so has the infrastructure in the town of Sapage authority. It is now filled with hotels, shops, restaurants, & bars. It can be difficult to lớn walk around the town as sidewalks are few and far between but it’s likely that will change in the coming years.

Sapa town is lively but it is also incredibly touristy. It is filled with backpackers who are being followed by Hý muốn ladies dressed in traditional attire, trying lớn get them to purchase their handmade woven treasures. If you are looking for a more tranquil, authentic experience you may want lớn stay in one of the nearby villages lượt thích Lao Chai or Ta Van.

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Hồ Sa Pa Lake

Most foreigners come to Sapa for the sole purpose of trekking. But there are a few things you can do if you have extra time in the town. The first (and free) activity is to lớn have sầu a stroll around Hồ Sa Pa Lake around sunset for beautiful mountain views. It’s also a bustling area in the evenings và a great place lớn people watch.

There is no laông chồng of shopping in Sapage authority và you will be constantly bombarded by local’s on the street showing you their wares. For the best selection & prices you should head to the New Sapa Market (“Cho Sa Pa”) located ~1/2 mile east ofHồ Sa Pa Lake. On the second floor you’ll find rows of women selling both new & second-h& textiles from the local communities.

Bac Ha Market is the most popular market in the area as all of the minority groups in the area come together to lớn sell their wares here. It takes place on Sundays và is about a 2.5 hour drive outside of town. Many tourists add this market to their guided tour or you can rent a motorbike & kiểm tra it out on your own.

Sun World has constructed a cable car that runs lớn the very top of Fansipan Mountain which, at over 10,000 feet, is the highest mountain in the Indochinese Peninsula. The 15-minute cable car ride provides spectacular views of the lush rice terraces far below (this is probably not the best activity for those that are afraid of heights). When you exit the car you’ll enter a huge restaurant and gift siêu thị with a viewing area.

From the restaurant, you can choose lớn either climb the 600 or so stairs to lớn the summit or buy an additional ticket to lớn take the Fansipan funicular. It is generally quite cloudy at the top but if you wait a little while và get lucky, the clouds may open up to provide the most amazing views of the valley below.

Only buy a one-way funicular ticket & take the stairs bachồng down. There is a massive sầu Buddha statue as well as a temple & several other statues & walkways on the way down.

Cable oto ticket:700,000 VND/personFansipan Funicular Ticket:70,000 VND/person one-wayMuong Hoa Funicular Ticket (from Sapa to lớn the base of the cable car):50,000 VND/person (return)Taxi from downtown Sapage authority lớn the base of the cable car:~100,000 VND

The Sapage authority region is trang chính to lớn several ethnic minority grounds –Hước ao (pronounced “mung”),Dao (pronounced “zow”),Giáy (pronounced “zai”),Pho Lu, andTay people. They rely on farming và tourism lớn provide for their large families.

Each group has its own dialect and attire to lớn differentiate themselves. And they don’t just wear the traditional attire for tourism purposes – you’ll see many women doing mundane chores in the countryside while wearing the same thing.

The women and children that sell traditional souvenirs can be quite pushy. They will ask you where you’re from, what your name is, & how long you’ll be in Sapage authority before asking that you buy something. After a few “no thank yous” they’ll eventually move sầu on khổng lồ the next tourist.

Keep in mind that buying something won’t actually make them leave sầu you alone. In fact, it will likely have sầu the opposite effect. If you say “yes” to one, you’ll attract several others also hoping to lớn cash in.

Government Rules

In an effort to protect the Sapage authority region, the Vietnamese government asks that foreigners follow these rules:

Do not buy và use services of the street vendors and beggarsDo not give children money or presentsDo not litter on the streets or in the tourist sitesDo not take photos of the local people without asking

Of course, numbers 3 và 4 are a given. But I would argue that the first two are debatable. It is unclear how much of the money that you spend for entrance tickets actually goes lớn the local people and many of them are living in extreme poverty. We did choose lớn purchase some souvenirs from the street vendors but tried lớn spread the love sầu to multiple people rather than just buying from one.

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Where khổng lồ Stay in Sapa

Topas Ecolodge

If you really want to treat yourself during your trip to Sapage authority, consider booking a few nights in the Topas Ecolodge. This stunning và unique resort is outside of the town and offers absolutely breathtaking views of the rice terraces from your comfortable room & from the pristine outdoor pool. It’s a great way khổng lồ pamper yourself & an experience that you’ll never forget!

Chechồng Prices on Booking.com

Aria Boutique Sapa Hotel và Spa

If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, thenAira Boutique Sapage authority Hotel & Spais the perfect getaway during your vacation in Sapa! Featuring spectacular views of the valley, a gorgeous outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art thể hình, & beautifully decorated rooms – you’ll enjoy all of the comforts of home page here.

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Cheông xã Prices on Booking.com

Sapage authority Horizon Hotel

If you still crave luxury but want a more modest price point, consider booking a room at theSapa Horizon Hotel. You’ll love sầu the ultra-comfortable bed that you can sink inkhổng lồ after a long day of trekking. And the delicious breakfast is the perfect way khổng lồ start every day in Sapa!

Check Prices on Booking.com

Praha Hotel Sapa

An even more budget-friendly accommodation in town is thePraha Hotel Sapa. You can get really reasonably priced rooms or pay a bit more for a lovely private balcony overlooking the valley. Rooms are spacious & clean và the staff is so friendly!

Check Prices on Booking.com

Where to Eat in Sapa

We found the dining options in Sapa to be, well, pretty much all the same. Most of the restaurants offer similar cuisine options including typical Vietnamese classics, hamburgers, & pizza. None of them are necessarily bad, but you probably won’t be raving about the food scene in Sapa when you leave. These two were our favorites:

Where lớn Drink in Sapa

Hot wine is the classic alcoholic beverage in Sapage authority & you’ll find restaurants serving different variations of it all over town.

If the town of Sapage authority sounds too touristy for your liking, there are several other smaller villages nearby as well. They are just beginning lớn build their tourism infrastructure so roads aren’t as good, homestays can be lacking in luxuries, and restaurant options are a bit limited. But you’ll probably feel like you’re having a more “authentic” experience!

Lao Chải village is just about 4 miles east of Sapage authority town. The locals here are referred to as “black Hmong” as their traditional clothing are thiông chồng jackets that have been dyed blaông chồng from indigo. Many of the homestays in this village are not yet available to book online so you may want to lớn go without a reservation và check out your options when you get there. If that makes you nervous, Eteo Palms Houseis a good choice.

Tả Van village is about a 45-minute drive from Sapage authority town & is another more laid baông chồng area lớn stay. The Giáy people own most of the restaurants, shops, và homestays, but the Hmong people live sầu further up the mountain and hike down khổng lồ peddle their wares. We really enjoyed staying at the “Salem Homestay” but the owner doesn’t speak English & the property is not yet online (but they vày have sầu Facebook!). If you’d prefer to book in advance, Mountain River Homestay is a lovely choice.

The taxi ride toTả Van village will cost about 200,000 VND for 2 people or 250,000 VND for 4 but keep in mind that the road may be impassable if there have been heavy rains.

Giàng Tả Chải is the next village down the valley fromTả Van. If you are staying inTả Van it’s an easy 2.5-mile walk down lớn Cau May waterfall situated at the base of Giàng Tả Chải. There are also a few homestays in Giàng Tả Chải but very little else in terms of bars or restaurants.

Trekking in Sapage authority, Vietnam

Trekking is the number one activity to vày while visiting Sapa & there are several areas that you can visit. You can opt for self-guided tours but you risk getting hounded the whole way by Hmong mỏi women who will walk alongside you for what feels lượt thích forever in the hopes that you eventually relent & browse their goods. A guide will keep them at bay. Plus you’ll get lớn learn from a local!

Self-Guided Sapage authority Treks

Trek khổng lồ Cat Cat Village from Sapa Town

If you would prefer lớn bởi vì a self-guided trek, Cat Cat Village is only 1.15 miles from Sapa town & is downhill for most of the way. Your walk will begin on the road but the road ends shortly after the ticket booth (you’ll need to lớn pay 70,000 VND/person) and you’ll begin walking on a well-maintained stone path.

You’ll pass several cute coffee shops & restaurants along the way, perfect khổng lồ take a break và enjoy the views. When you reach the bottom of the valley you’ll come across a row of water wheels, two picturesque bridges, and the impressive Cat Cat waterfall.

If you continue on up the stairs across the bridge you’ll have a steep climb but you can turn the trek inlớn a loop. Shops selling souvenirs line each side of the stone stairs. There are also several motorbikes waiting to lớn take you baông xã up to town if you’d prefer not to lớn walk. Expect to lớn pay around 30,000 VND for a motorxe đạp ride baông xã lớn Sapa.

Many people hire a guide lớn hike toTả Van village. You can take the main road all the way there (although it won’t be a very nice walk as there the road is heavily-trafficked) or you can cut off khổng lồ the pedestrian trail on the side of the mountain. The turnoff to the trail can be hard khổng lồ spot but dozens of Hao ước ladies lead groups that way every morning around 9:00am so you can just linger nearby and watch where they go.

You’ll have sầu gorgeous views of the valley & the river below for the entire length of the trek. And once you arrive sầu to the village at the bottom you can either walk back up or hire a motortaxi to take you baông xã to lớn Sapa.

Guided Treks Around Sapa

How khổng lồ Choose a Tour Guide

There is no need to lớn book a tour in Hanoi unless you specifically want to. You will be surrounded by Hhy vọng women offering you their tour guiding services as soon as you get off the bus. As well as daily when you’re wandering around town. Keep in mind that you’ll be spending several hours or days with your guide so choose someone that is easy lớn communicate with and not too pushy. Don’t feel pressure to choose a guide on the spot.

A Hang Thi grew up in a Hmong muốn village, speaks perfect English, & is hilariously entertaining!

Get Your Guide also offers tours of the Sapage authority Region, some including transfers directly from the thành phố of Hanoi. If you’d prefer lớn have sầu a tour agency take care of all of the logistics for you, it’s a simple và cost-effective way to visit Sapage authority, Vietnam giới.

Book a Guided Tour of Sapage authority on Get Your Guide

Choosing a Tour of the Sapa Region

Prior to lớn selecting a guide, consider the following:

How many days would you lượt thích lớn trek?How difficult và how long would you lượt thích the trek to lớn be?Would you like lớn see waterfalls? Or sweeping views from the top of a mountain? Or both?Do you only want to lớn trek or would you lượt thích to lớn take a motorbike tour as well?

Once you give your guide the details of the kind of trekking that you’d lượt thích to lớn vị, they will determine what villages you will visit và where you will stay.

Our Sapage authority Trekking Experience:

Our trekking tour was 2 days/1 night. The first day we trekked 12 miles và much of the beginning was uphill so it was quite difficult. We had stunning views from the top & didn’t see any other tourists until we reached a small town where we ate lunch. Then we trekked all the way baông xã down to lớn Giang Ta Cnhị village where our homestay was right near a beautiful waterfall.

On our second day, we were sore from so much walking the day before, so we took a motorxe đạp tour of the region that lasted about 3.5 hours. Everything was organized by our amazing guide, A Hang Thi.

Cost of a Trek in Sapa

If you book a tour ahead of time you’ll pay around $25-40 per person per day depending on the length and difficulty. If you go for only one day that price includes 2 meals. If you go for two or more days the price will include the cost of your homestay and meals.

If you book a tour from one of the Hmuốn ladies around Sapage authority town you can negotiate the price but you’ll likely over up paying around $20-30 per person per day. That should also include meals và homestay but you should confirm in advance.

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Tipping Your Sapage authority Tour Guide

Tip (or don’t tip) your guide, it’s up lớn you. They don’t necessarily expect it but appreciate it of course. The locals in Sapage authority receive sầu very little help from the government và rely heavily on tourism lớn survive sầu so if you can give them a few extra dollars, it goes a long way. A tip of 100,000 VND per person is pretty standard. If you are really happy with your guide you are always welcome khổng lồ give more.