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What Needs To Know When Travelling To Sapa, Vietnam

By Expert Author: J Nguyen

Sapa is the mountainous holiday town in the north of Vietnam. Since I was discovered by the French about 100 years ago, Sapa is well-known for its rugged scenery and the rich cultural diversity of various ethnic minorities.

Sapa is the mountainous holiday town in the north of Vietnam. Since I was discovered by the French about 100 years ago, Sapa is well-known for its rugged scenery and the rich cultural diversity of various ethnic minorities. Located at 1,650 m above sea level, Sapa provides an incredible view over hill tribes, terrace rice fields in the Hoang Lien Son mountain - the “Tonkinese Alps" which has the Fansipan mount, the highest peak in Indochina region.

Sapa is also considered one of two “European mountainous towns” in Vietnam (the other one is DA Lat). Originally built by the French and for the French, the town has not changed so much over the last century.The French architecture, gardens and the cool weather make it totally different to other Asian towns.

What needs to know when travelling to Sapa :

The best time to travel Sapa is from September to April in the following year when the weather is dry and cool. From February to April, Sapa is blooming with flowers, making this region very colorful.

Stay at a Sapa hotel located around the church or on Muong Hoa, Cau May, Cat Cat or Fansipan streets.They are areas for the best boutique Sapahotelswith great views and many restaurants, shops nearby.

Find a small and friendly hotel and accommodation in Sapa is the right choice. Actually there is no big or famous hotel chain here. Mountain hiking, Homestay at hill tribes, Fansipan mount climbing are must-do activities. Every hotel in Sapa offers such activities.

Sapa is not a perfect place for local markets; extend a couple of days to Bac Ha (100km from Sapa or 70km from train station) to experience the authentic colorful local markets which are much better.

9-hour train journey is the best and safest way to Sapa from Hanoi.Travelling by car may be dangerous in rainy season.
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