Are you planning to visit Sa Pa? You should definitely go and see the beautiful nature of Lào Cai Province and unusual Vietnamese culture. I know that it’s true because I’ve been there (9th-12th of February) and I managed to capture it all. So keep reading and watching!
Video of a Walking tour in Sapa village with view on nature
How to get from Hanoi to Sapa town
So we spent a couple of days in Hanoi, and it was fun. Then we planned to get to the final destination Sapa. We took the train from Hanoi train station (the address: 2 Văn Miếu, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam). Check all the prices to Sapa.
It was a comfortable train where you could easily sleepover. It wasn’t even expensive. You pay $66 in return ticket to Hanoi (You can also pay $145 for Victoria Express Train, a very luxury VIP train). I think the train is the only way to get there.
By the way, the conductor is very friendly, so you do not have to worry about anything.
What is the final location of Sapa town
Let’s make it clear. It’s good to know the town’s exact location where you can stay and see a little bit of modern Vietnamese civilization. When you arrive at the train station from Hanoi, there will be minibus (a driver will be shouting at you when you leave the train) waiting for you (you saw it in the video) at the final destination. It will take you to the Sapa town, the final destination from where you can go hiking, shopping, dining etc.
When you arrive at the Sapa town, there will be plenty of Vietnamese older women shouting at you, to sell you something. It’s funny because they are fighting for the customer for you. It’s good to escape and find your accommodation.
How long to stay in Sapa
We were there only for three days, and I would say that it wasn’t enough. We missed the highest mountain of Sapa, Fan Si Pan (3,147.3 metres) because we were tired of three days walking and 8 hours trip in the train from Hanoi.
If you would like to enjoy Sapa the most, I highly recommend staying there four days at least. You will have plenty of time for the pleasure of Sapa nature and entertainment.
What to do in Sapa (Fansipan, Hiking)
What did I mean by the entertainment of Sapa? From the beginning, I mentioned Fan Si Pan, which you must see it; then you can go hiking or buy some local handicrafts. You will find many handicrafts in Sapa town, or Vietnamese vendors will find you.
You can go hiking with your host. For example, I stayed in Homestay of Mama Z (Gia), and they took us for the tour every day.
You can also visit the oldest village in Sapa, Cat Cat village. You can learn about the local culture and learn traditional techniques. You can also shop in the local Sapa Market which can be also an interesting experience.
A Cooking class of Vietnamese tradition food
If you have more time and the Vietnamese kitchen seems tasty for you, you can go to a cooking class. You go to Hill Station Signature Restaurant to book your lesson one day ahead. You will go shopping in the local market with a chef, and then you will cook it together.
Have romantic boating in Sapa lake
If you are travelling with your partner, you might want to have a romantic time. In that case, you go to the Sapa lake and rent a pedal boat. It’s not even expensive, and you can also take typical Vietnamese coffee with you.
Silver Waterfalls or swim in Fairy cave-like from fairy-tale
If you would like to see something magical, you can go to Silver Waterfalls. Locals might tell you some stories about this place, so be ready to experience fresh water and 200-meter long waterfall.
Then there is a Fairy cave which is something incredible to see and swim in. You can go for a little hike and enjoy the freshwater with babbling streams. Ask the local people or the hotel’s reception; they will provide you with a group of guiders.
Where to stay in Sapa to have the best experience of real Sapa
I am sure you might want to book your accommodation ahead, right? So, I give you a friendly tip. If you want to have a great experience of real Sapa, book it outside of the Sapa town, in nature.
We arrived there, and there was no electricity because of the storm which was previews night. Sometimes you can catch a vast storm which can damage the source of electricity and also hot water. It was kind of funny. But if you are not an adventure person, check Booking.com or Airbnb.com.
When is the best time to go to Sapa
That’s a good question because we have been there in the coldest period of the year. But it has also an advantage, it’s not the touristic period, so we were almost alone at the bars. Hotels weren’t full and easily available with more discounts.
- The warmest months are July and August, and the coldest months are December and January.
- Mean annual temperature for Sa Pa town is 15.3 °C (59.5 °F), with a maximum of 29.6 °C (85.3 °F) and a minimum of −6.1 °C (21.0 °F).
It does not matter when you decide to visit Sapa for a great cultural experience. The sun shines goodly during the day even when the weather is cold, and you can get tanned (Check the video). So the cold temperature comes handy while you are tracking up the Sapa mountains.
Where to eat in Sapa town
Maybe you prefer advises from people who have been eating in the restaurants before you. So I have chosen few restaurants where I had been eating in Sapa Town:
- Aira Sapa Restaurant & Bar
- Mega View Restaurant
- Sapa sky view restaurant and bar
- Good Morning Vietnam
I don’t want to give you so many options because if you are travelling for three days, the options will be enough for you. The restaurants which I have written have an amazing view of nature with delicious Vietnamese food. Have a good food 🙂