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Sapa is an attractive town located in Vietnam’s remote Northwest Mountains. Sapa is famous for both its rugged scenery and its rich cultural diversity. Sapa is also known as an incredibly picturesque town that lies in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in north-western Vietnam.
Arriving to Sapa, adventurous travelers should not miss the chance to challenge Fan Si Pang – the Mount Everest of Vietnam topping out at 3,143 meters. Also, they could trek various villages through paddy fields. For the less adventurous, some other villages such as Lao Chai could be accessible via van, zip or bicycle. Yet, they could leaning on the balcony of the hotel, overlooking the scenic valleys surrounded by layer and layer of clouds and serving themselves a cup of beer at sunset and enjoying peace in minds and joys in hearts.
Highlights of Sapa:
Ethnic Villages: Cat Cat – great chance to watch excellent view on the 5 km path away from Sapa. Some other as Lao Chai, Tavan, Ban Ho, Ta Phin villages, etc.
Pan Si Pan Mountain – Known as the Mount Everest of Vietnam, the roof of Indochina is tempting to all adventurous trekkers.
Silver Waterfall – 12 km from Sapa to the west, the fall looks its best with over 200 truly breathtaking meters water stream high.
Ethnic market day of Bac Ha, Coc Ly – trading colorful manmade commodities from various ethnic minorities in the town such as clothes, blankets, pillow cases
Sports & nature
Geographically, Sapa is exactly a mountainous area of Northwest Vietnam. The whole Sapa District is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range which is at the Eastern extremity of the Himalayas, being famous with the Vietnam’s highest mountain of Fa si pan at a height of 3,142 m above sea level. The town of Sa Pa lies at an altitude of about 1,600 m, bringing in a cool and foggy site of Sa Pa.
The best time to witness the scenic beauty of Sapa is in April and May. Before that period, the weather might be cold and foggy; after that period is the rainy season. In April and May, Sapa is blooming with flowers and green pastures. The clouds that settle in the valley in early morning quickly disappear into thin air.
Sapa has many natural sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave. Sapa is also the starting point for many climbers and scientists who want to reach the top of Fansipan Mountain, the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143m. Hoang Lien Mountain Range is also called the Alps of the North Sea area since Fansipan Mountain is not only the highest peak in Vietnam, but also in the Indochina Peninsula. The pyramid-shaped mountain is covered with clouds all year round and temperatures often drop below zero, especially at high elevations.
Culture and history info
Sapa was discovered by French in 1918 and after that, in 1932 they built the town as a wonderful health resort with a stone church, market, a complex of villas and hotels, aerodrome by Tram Ton Pass, the hydro-electric power station in Cat Cat village and the surrounding area, which have since been abandoned or destroyed. They also established road linking with Lao Cai and Lai Chau. Since 1945, Sapa has been governed by the Vietnamese political system. In early 1979, there was an armed assault in Sapa which destroyed most of the buildings. Due to Vietnamese resistance, this conflict lasted less than two weeks. Only a few of the original French buildings remained intact. Major population centers such as Lao Cai were razed to the ground. The ruins of the French villas are prominent on the route from Sapa to Sin Chai village.
Many ethnic minorities live in and around Sapa such as: H’mong, Dzao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa and Xa Pho. The most prominent in town are the Red Dzao, easily identified by the coin-dangling red headdresses and intricately embroidered waistcoats worn by the women and the Black H’mong, distinguished by their somewhat less elaborately embroidered royal blue attire.
One of distinctive culture when visiting Sapa is attending in Love Market which is normally held on Saturday nights. Youth of both sex gathering, performing traditional love songs and dances then arranging for their next date. However, this valuable ritual, seem to loose its true nature.
Unfortunately there are no hotels at this location at the moment.
Unfortunately there are no self-catering offers at this location at the moment.
Unfortunately there are no tour offers at this location at the moment.