When you think of Vietnam, the first places that probably come to mind are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon. Only a number consider this quaint and quiet mountain town in the Lao Cai province called Sapa, also known as “the sandy place.” Let’s get to know this charming and mountainous bucolic town that’s creating quite a buzz nowadays:
Hanoi to Sapa
Going to Sapa from Hanoi is relatively easy and convenient. Sapa is 350 km northwest of Hanoi and a close neighbor of China.
You have two travel options when traveling to Sapa: by train or by bus.
If you plan to take the train, book your ticket in advance, especially if you’re visiting on a weekend or a public holiday, so you wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of waiting for a chance to score free slots.
The train to Sapa leaves at night so you’d be able to get some shut-eye during your trip. Upon waking up, you’ll be greeted by the beautiful mountain scenery that Sapa is known for. However, once you arrive at Lao Cai Railway Station, you’d have to take a bus ride going to Sapa proper.
Traveling by bus is actually faster and cheaper than traveling by train. This is because the bus travels directly all the way to Sapa. The trip usually takes about six to seven hours. But if you’ve rented a car, you’d reach Sapa in five hours’ time.
Book your Hanoi-Sapa roundtrip bus ticket here!
The Four Seasons in Sapa
Yes, it snows in Sapa! The town experiences four seasons as it is near the China border. So don’t be surprised when you see snow, falling leaves, sprouting greens, and feel extreme heat when you visit Sapa. Wear light clothing during the warmest months such as July and August.
Don your thick jackets as it can get chilly during December and January in Sapa. You might even see snow blanketing the mountain range and rice paddies surrounding Sapa.
Scale New Heights
Bring out the outdoor spirit in you and dare to climb the highest mountain in Vietnam – Fan Si Pan. While you might think it will be an easy climb, the rough terrain and unpredictable weather make the climb quite an arduous task. Another option is to take a cable car to get that stunning view of the mountain over the horizon.
Marvel at the Terraced Rice Fields in Sapa
A trip to Sapa will not be complete without checking out its iconic rice paddies. A view from a higher ground would fill you with awe, as you take in the sights of the alluring staircase-like paddies.
The best time to see all those verdant greenery of the rice field is in April and May. Come autumn season in September and October, the rice stalks are ready for harvest, so you will catch their beautiful golden hue.
A Walk in Hoang Lien National Park
For the low-key tourists, you might want to take a tour of Hoang Lien National Park where you can get a picturesque view of the entire mountain landscape and forest that is home to some animals endemic to Sapa. While there you might also want to take a tour of Cat Cat Village and the Ta Phin Village for some more natural wonders.
This is probably the closest you can ever get to see a slice of heaven from Heaven’s Gate in Sapa. Locally called as Tram Ton, this place offers the most stunning view of land communing with the sky.
Marvel at the spectacular view of Hoang Lien Forest and Silver Waterfalls. Enjoy gazing at the sea of clouds that blanket the entire place of Sapa during certain seasons.
Take In More Beautiful Sights
Head on over to the Cloud Dragon Glass Skywalk to catch a glimpse of Sapa’s breathtaking landscape from a glass viewing deck, then make your way to the 100-meter Silver Waterfall for some great clicks.
*Featured image from Shutterstock