|Sapa Travel Guide|
Sapa is located in the Lao Cai province in the mountainous region in the far northwest of the Vietnam, almost near the border of China. Sapa was originally a hill station built by the French in 1922 for summer retreats from Hanoi.
Sapa is the home to diverse mountain tribe communities including the H’mong, Tay, Dao and Thai ethnic groups, and visits to the markets and nearby villages of the ethnic tribes are one of the highlights of most trips.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Sapa is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views. The town of Sapa itself is small and compact and easy to explore by foot, with a visit to the market in the town center a frequent stop.
For the most pleasant weather, the best times to visit Sapa is March and May or mid-September to early December. While trips can be enjoyed year-round, the winters in Sapa get cold, with some fog and drizzle, and the summers have the hottest weather and higher chances of rain, with the rainy season starting in May through September.
The most popular way to reach Sapa is by overnight train from Hanoi. The train takes 10 hours, departing Hanoi in the evening and arriving in Lao Cai early in the morning. From Lao Cai, the drive by minibus or car to Sapa is around 1 hour and can be arranged in advance by your hotel. It is recommended to book train seats in advance, especially for the more comfortable soft-sleepers. For those travelers who will stay at the Victoria Resort in Sapa, there is also the option of the more luxurious Victoria train carriages.
The ethnic tribe women and girls in Sapa are getting increasingly aggressive in their selling, in some cases following people and even yelling at those that don’t buy. It is fine to buy, but if you are not interested in buying, you might want to take care to show lack of interest.