Sapa is known as home to spectacular verdant rice terraces and mountain landscapes, unique tribe villageá and Hoang Lien mountain range which set a challenging backdrop for a lifetime trekking journey. Below is the list of 6 things you should do when travelling to Sapa.
1. Fansipan Trekking
Fansipan is called as “the Roof of Indochina” with the height of 3143m, the highest peak of the Indochina Peninsula. Although the summit of Fansipan is less than half of Mount Everest, this place is a good choice for those who are eager to conquer high peaks and test their muscular power. It would be proud when you conquer a mountain at the tail end of Himalayas.
Photo by On.My.BigfOot
It’s definitely not an easy trek but it promises marvelous views of the Hoang Lien mountain range and pristine natural beauty. Climbers have chance to explore the diverse flora, enjoy beautiful orchids and wild flowers along the way or listen to the musical concert of insects.
What a great experience!
The ideal time to start your trekking is from mid October to mid November and in March, again. Where to refer: Vietnam Nomad Trails - 13 Tue Tinh Str., Sapa, Lao Cai, Vietnam
You need to do exercise intensively at least 1 or 2 weeks before the trip
- Bring warm clothes!
- Bring as few things in your backpack as possible
- Bring rainwear with separate coat and trousers
- Wear sports shoes that can stick
2. Ride a bike to Muong Hoa Valley
Muong Hoa Valley is a stunningly beautiful stretch of land lying at the bottom of Fansipan’snorthern flank. There are many green paddy fields stretching to the horizon and dotted with different minority group’s villages.
Photo by Nguyen Xuan Nam
a. Cat Cat village
Cat Cat village is a typical village of ethnic minority. The old H’Mong hill tribe village attracts tourists from all over the world for its distinctive culture and unique practices which have been lost recently.
Tourists will be impressed by the peacefully picturesque sceneries of pristine nature, the traditional cultural and unique original architecture. You can admire a big waterfall on the stream and an old Hydro Electric Power Station built by the French. Moreover, the image of young women in traditional costumes, sitting by looms and making colorful pieces of brocade with designs of flowers, patterns, birds has been a symbol of this mountainous land.
Photo by gordon stubbs
Traditional wood house style is also a featured beauty that should be mentioned. Apart from that, you can try to do weaving fabric, purchase some traditional souvenirs and handicrafts as gifts. The trip to Cat Cat Village will definitely delight you.
The best time to visit Cat Cat Village is early October when the weather is not too hot or too cold. The village is about 3km from Sapa town and located on the slope of the hill. It’s quite easy to walk here.
b.Terraced rice fields
If you already make a trip to Muong Hoa Valley, you cannot miss the chance to experience the beauty of terraced rice fields voted as one of seven most beautiful and impressive ones of Asia and the world by readers of the UC’s magazine Travel and Leisure.
Photo by Y Nakanishi
The slopes claimed from nature for cultivation in hilly or mountainous areas create the spectacular terraced rice fields. Local ethnic people here often grow rice and establish next terrace rice fields, one after another, from the foot to nearly top mountains. Being observed from a far distance, the terraced rice fields look like a picture with a beauty which absolutely melts your hear. Especially, the color of this picture will be changed seasonally depending on the time of new crops, which displays its most attractive charm
3. Try steamed glutinous rice with seven colors of Nung Dinh people
Nung people are always proud of their steamed glutinous rice with seven colors here. This dish is very special and splendid with natural colors. It is also called “xoi bay mau” in Vietnam- a traditional dish served in festivals of Nung Dinh ethnic in Muong Khuong province.
To make delicious Xoingu sac, it is necessary to select the best glutinous rice and fresh water from Muong Lo Stream because it helps make the food more delicious and fragrant. In addition to its tastiness, it also implies a historical meaning. In accordance with Nung people’s stories, each color of this dish represents each month in the struggle of Nung Din people lasting from January to July here. Green from banana leaf represents the spring, scarlet is the color of blood from people who died for the struggle, yellow is for the agonies, vermilions for the magnanimous victory. Etc.
Photo by Andries3
On market day in Lao Cai, visitors will not only see colorful costumes and try the steamed glutinous rice containing the essence of mountain and forest. Come here once, there is no doubt you will come back again because you already fall for the typical and amazingly delicious cuisine and atmosphere in Sapa.
4. Explore the Silver waterfall
Lying beside National Highway No 4D, Silver water fall is about 12km from Sapa Town’s centre. Thanks to water source from the Lo Sui Tong mountain peak, this beautiful waterfall is formed.Being watchedfrom afar, the waterfall is like a white dragon looking down from the sky. You can travel the Silver Waterfall by motor bike or by car for half an hour. It would worth a stopping by with the award of a stunning view of spectacular mountains and theforests in Hoang Lien National Park.
Photo by Peter Garnhum
5. Visit Muong Khuong market
Muong Khuongis a district of Lao Caiprovince, it’s far from Lao cai 50km and 90 km from Sapa. The Muong Khuong Sunday market is the biggest one of the area. Visiting the market is a great chance to experience fully traditional culture and lifestyles of ethnic minorities.
Photo by Andries3
Every Sundays, the locals hold a special market wheregathers many local products for sell and trade such as: handicraft, cattle, vegetable,traditional incense and local products, embroidered brocade pieces. Your trip will be highlighted by new discoveries, and be full of colors and excitement of new experience.
6. Visiting Sapa food court
There is a Sapa food court right next to Sapa central square, in front of Sapa church. The area is particularly lively at night with many grilled dishes such as: grilled egg, grilled heart and stomach, grilled chicken, chestnut , etc.
In particular, visitors to Sapa cannot ignore the other attractive food such as Lam rice cooked in bamboo pipes, Tao Meo liquor, Ban Pho corn liquor, grilled stream fish, salmon, boiled corn, etc. Before buying, make sure you ask the price first.
Photo by laiyieng
Sapa is still a destination with many stunning landscapes, beautiful villages, friendly people which are not so hard to explain why tourists fall in love with this land once stepping on here. It’s easier said than done. Why don’t you start your own journey to Sapato understand how much love we give for this amazing land?
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