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Sapa – Touching the Clouds in Vietnam

Sapa is famous for its landscapes of verdant rice paddies, rolling hills, Vietnam’s highest mountain, and trails in overgrown valleys. While coming here for a trek far off from the noise and pollution of the big cities inspires wanderlust, organizing it can be daunting, especially for first-time visitors. Come with us and your trip to Vietnam’s green North will be a success full of amazing memories and unforgettable experiences!
 
Sapa is famous for its landscapes of verdant rice paddies, rolling hills, Vietnam’s highest mountain, and trails in overgrown valleys. While coming here for a trek far off from the noise and pollution of the big cities inspires wanderlust, organizing it can be daunting, especially for first-time visitors. Come with us and your trip to Vietnam’s green North will be a success full of amazing memories and unforgettable experiences!
 
 
Sapa – Touching the Clouds in Vietnam
 
Located in north-western Vietnam about 350 kilometers from Hanoi, Sapa is one of the most scenic places in the country. At 1,650 meters in height, the town of Sapa is nestled in a valley surrounded by the Hoang Lien Son mountains. The city also looks up at the country’s highest peak, the imposing Mount Fansipan. If you’re up for it, you can get a local guide to take you the top. It’s not the easiest trek but the view from the summit (3,143 meters/10,312 feet) is absolutely worth it.Apart from the rocky mountain ranges, the verdant fields and never-ending rice paddies will make you fall in love with Sapa. Home to countless local species of birds, animals, and plants, this is every nature lover’s paradise.Get up early in the morning to witness the sun rising from the clouds and watch small villages appear from the mist as if by magic. Wander through dense forests and hear only the sounds of the flora and fauna, and travel through small villages where kids will come to greet you with a high-five and a huge smile.Whatever else you plan your trip to Vietnam, this should absolutely be part of it!
 
 
 
 
Sapa’s History and Background
 
Originally, the town we know as Sapa today was founded by the French in the very beginning of the 20th century. They used it as a hill station in the summer to escape the heat of Hanoi and enjoy the clean air and beautiful views of surrounding mountains.Due to the independence movement in the 1940s, the city was heavily bombed and nothing was left but ruins. Only in the 1990s did Sapa st/art to see new infrastructure with the goal of attracting visitors again.

Ethnic Minorities in Sapa

The mountains, valleys, and hills around Sapa are home to over twenty groups of ethnic minorities. The Hmong, Dao, and Giay are the largest and most well-known groups and make up about 50% of the local population. Some of the smaller groups such as the Phula, Hani, and Latis are often only represented by one or two small villages with a few hundred individuals.The fact that every tribe has their own language, clothing style, and set of traditions and customs makes Sapa one of the most culturally diverse areas in the country, if not in the region.Traditionally, these groups are known for farming, growing rice as well as other crops, and raising livestock such as cows, pigs, chickens, and horses. While many hill tribes still do this kind of labor, others have started to work in the tourism sector. This includes guiding treks for visitors, hosting guests for homestays, or making and selling traditional style clothes and accessories to tourists.
 
 
 
 

What to See and Do in Sapa

Saps is a place rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, making it a wonderful place to explore. Take a few days here so you have time to get to know this unique place in order to appreciate its diversity.
 
 
 

Sapa’s Markets – Shopping for Local Handicrafts and Trekking Gear

Sapa and the surrounding towns have a number of markets where you can get both local handicrafts and anything you might need for your trek. In the city center, close to most hostels and hotels you will find the main market offering a bit of everything including traditional clothing items, souvenirs and hiking gear.Spread around the city, you will find many more little shops offering handmade items such as bags, musical instruments, or other locally designed items. Be aware that many of these places will charge higher prices than markets outside of the city.While you can find many nice things in the city, the better place to get them is at truly local markets in the small towns outside of Sapa. If you want to be sure you’re getting the most beautiful and original products at fair prices, and that the money goes to the artisans rather than re-sellers at the tourist market, read our guide to shopping in Sapa. That way you know you made a good deal and supported local craftsmen at the same time!
 
 
 

Trekking in Sapa – an Absolute Must

If you’ve made your way to Sapa, chances are you want to go for at least a one-day trek. Since there are so many routes varying greatly in terms of difficulty, length, and beauty, it’s best to get a local guide. That way you can be sure to explore the best areas all while staying safe. The added bonus is that you will spend a lot of time with your guide, giving you the chance to learn more about the local culture, customs, and way of life.
 
 
How to Get a Guide in Sapa
 
There are two options: you can pre-book a guide (either just for you or with a group) through an agency in Hanoi or Sapa, or you can meet a guide directly when you arrive in the city. When you get off the bus at the main station, you will see many of them offering their services.Usually, you don’t have to approach them as they will come up to you if it’s clear that nobody has come to pick you up. Since their English is generally quite good, it will be easy for you to find out what they offer (one-day treks, homestays, etc.) and negotiate a price with them.While this is a great way to get a better deal than at an agency and be sure that the money goes to the family directly rather than to a middleman, it can also be slightly risky. Although these guides will certainly take you for a trek, some of them may lead you to trails that are so overrun by tourists that they feel more like a conveyor belt rather than the calm, picturesque paths you were hoping for.Since there are so many different ways to find a guide and organize your treks as well as many things to be aware of, we will create a detailed article about how to get a good guide, where to go, and what to watch out for.
 

Climbing Mount Fan Si Pan

At 3143 meters above sea level, Mount Fan Si Pan is the highest peak in Vietnam and even all of Indochina. This makes it a highly attractive destination for many trekkers as it provides some of the most amazing views of the surrounding valleys, mountains and rice fields. 
 
 
 
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ANHFLY TRAVEL COMPANY LIMITED
178 Hiep Binh Street, Hiep Binh Chanh Ward , Thu Duc District , HCMC, Vietnam
Email: info@anhflytravel.com
Hotline: 0909 155 300 - 0903 155 300
 

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