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Useful Sapa Tour InformationBy Expert Author: careca mongolana
We would like to provide some useful information to passengers planning a memorable trip to Sapa
Best time to visit Sapa is from September to November or March to May, this time is pretty, sunny in the day time and cool at night.
In April - May, Sapa is in full blossoming and green fields, the best time to see terraced paddy fields is the end of August and September, visitors can also go to Sapa after Lunar New Year (after February) to see Sapa peach flowers. In wintertime, from December to February it is very cold in Sapa, especially at night, however in return you will see the beautiful sunrise in the valley in the early morning. Especially in recent years there were snow sometimes, If you come here on this occasion you will definitely be seeing quite a romantic scene.
However, so that at this point, Sapa tours are crowded with tourists, so if you do not like noisy, crowded places, then you should not travel Sapa at this time.
Prepare your luggage
If you travel frequently, choose small suitcases with good quality, make sure your bag is big enough to put your clothes and small enough to put in the storage trunk, bring your clothes and personal belongings for 2 to 5 days. Going to Sapa, you should bring a brown or black shoes, as it is pretty cold in the evening you need to bring a light jacket if you visit Sapa in summer, you should also bring scarves, gloves, woolen hat to keep warm if you visit Sapa in winter. You need to have some small bottles of water, or you can buy on the way, you are recommended to bring umbrella and ponchos just in case it rains.
Transportation in Sapa:
From Hanoi to Sapa by train you can go with soft seat, ticket prices 200.000 VND (approx 10 usd) or you can choose to travel in soft sleeper cabins 40 usd, you can also keep the cost down by travel on cargo train which departs from Hanoi late in the evening
All Sapa trains arrive in Lao Cai station about 5.30 - 6.00 in the morning, you can catch a public bus (available outside the train station) at 3 usd/person. You can also arrange a taxi easily at 25-30 usd for a 1 hour trip from Lao Cai to Sapa (32 km). In Sapa you can hire a motorbike at 5-7 usd/day with petrol or 3-4 usd without petrol and travel to wherever you like.
Tourist sites in Sapa:
First of all you should ask to buy travel map of Sapa (in the office or at the ticket counter at the foot of Ham Rong mountain ) so that you can determine the specific route and schedule.
- Ham Rong, Silver waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Cat Cat village, Ta Van, Ta Phin villages, ancient rock fields
- Fansipan - The roof of Indochina.
- Bac Ha Market, cross the border into China Hekou
Eating and drinking in Sapa
Price of food in Sapa tours is not expensive but you should not ask the price before you eat. When the night falls you can take a walk out to try Shanlung wine and barbecue. There are many strange barbecues such as baked eggs, grilled chicken, roasted purple potatoes, eggs, grilled duck eggs, sticky rice cooked in the bamboo pipes.
Being a cold area, Specialities in Sapa is vegetables such as cauliflowers, broccoli, carrots, chayote... The most special vegetable in Sapa is Ngong, which is part of the body with flowers. There are many types of Ngong like garlic, kohlrabi, chayote geese... sauteed with garlic or meat. In addition, tourists say that Chayote is best boiled in Sapa.
Sapa is a mountainous district but has... fish specialties. Fish caught in the river is as big as 2 fingers, biggest ones are just same size as a child's arm, the fish is wonderfully served with beer. Salmon and sturgeon, 2 cold water fishes in the country so far has only been adopted in Sa Pa. This two cold-water fish farmed in Sapa has strong taste, not fat.
If you visit Bac Ha market, you should taste the famous Khau Nhuc - sliced pork bacon in large bowl to cover up for their vegetables, pickles and steamed herbs. Si Ma Cai market is famous for Thang Co, a kind of mixed meat, skin and bones of animals such as the horse, cow, goat.
Shopping in Sapa
You should not buy drugs or Linh Chi mushroom on the roadside or Tam That along the way up to Ham Rong mountain, most of them are bought from Chine, they are expensive and not as good as advertising, counterfeit silver wares sold by peddlers are not recommended.
You can buy souvenirs at the night market at the foot of the church however remember to bargain carefully, and most of the colourful brocade are made in China.
Water, beer, cigarettes are more expensive in Sapa. So you can use the local beer, the price and the taste is acceptable.
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