Exploring Sapa Vietnam

Sapa Vietnam - Hanging with some local girls from Hmong tribe.

Hanging out with the coolest girls in Sapa.

Sapa, Where is it?

Sapa is located in the Lào Cai Province in Northwest Vietnam. It is situated up in the mountains about 1,500m above sea level, 380km Northwest of Hanoi, and about 30km away from the boarder to China.

Sapa Vietnam - Rice Fields

Rice fields in Sapa.

Sapa Vietnam - Locals working the rice fields

Locals working the fields in Sapa.

Sapa Vietnam - Overlooking the rice fields in Sapa

Overlooking the rice fields in Sapa.

Sapa Vietnam - Local boy

Cutie watching mum & dad.

When to visit Sapa Vietnam?

In general March to May and September to October are the two best times of the year to visit, and it is advised to avoid the winter which is from November to February where temperatures drop to freezing cold and its common for the city to be trapped in a haze of fog which leaves you nothing to see or to do.

I visited Sapa in mid-June, the weather was nice and warm but it literally went through four seasons in one day, in the morning it mostly rained, then midday it would be nice and sunny then at night it would get cool and sometimes rain again.

Sapa Vietnam - Mountains in Sapa

Looking out over Sapa Valley.

Sapa Vietnam - Local boy riding a water buffalo around

Riding a Water-Buffalo.

Sapa Vietnam - Life in Cat Ba Village

Life in Cat Ba Village.

Sapa Vietnam - Kids from Lao Cai Village

Kids from Lao Cai Village.

Sapa Vietnam - Lady from Cat Ba Village

Hanging out in Cat Ba Village.

What are the most popular things to do in Sapa? 

Sapa is most popular for its trekking, most people trek down to the various local villages where the minority ethnic groups live, many people also choose to do a homestay in the villages. Another popular trek is up to Fansipan mountain, which is the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143m above sea level. There are also some nice waterfalls to checkout, Love Waterfall and Thanc Bac Waterfall (Silver waterfall).

Sapa Vietnam - Chilling on a Water-Buffalo

Chilling on a Water-Buffalo.

Sapa Vietnam - The Tram Ton Pass in Sapa

The Tram Ton Pass in Sapa.

Sapa Vietnam - Love Waterfalls

Love Waterfalls.

Sapa Vietnam - Local girl doing the dishes in the river

Doing the dishes in Sapa.

My experience in Sapa Vietnam…

I loved Sapa I think it is such a picturesque city with a unique local ethnic culture, I stayed in Sapa for 4 nights and at 2 different hostels “Go Sapa Hostel” and “Mountain View Hostel” both of which i’d recommend to other solo travellers as they both had a great social atmosphere.

Instead of trekking I decided to explore Sapa on my motorbike, which meant I missed out on walking through the rice fields but it also meant I was able to see and do a lot more.

I checked out the Love Waterfalls as well as all the local villages that most tourist trek out too, these villages near Sapa are beautiful but tourism has kind of ruined them a little bit, they are all set up to make money from tourists with lots of souvenir shops selling handcraft bracelets, blankets, necklaces etc…

Having a motorbike I was able to drive out past the tourism area, so one day along with a two guys i’d been hanging out with (Sam and Mikael), we went driving about 2 hours out from Sapa Town up into the mountains on dirt and rock roads, we got to see all the villages that aren’t influenced by tourism which was a really good way to see how the traditional village people live.

Sapa Vietnam - Walking across the river in Cat Cat Village.

It rained every morning I was in Sapa, local Hmong ladies with their umbrellas ready for the rain.