Here are all about Sapa Travel Guide – useful information from Bus ticket to food price, hotels and restaurants 2023.
About Sapa Vietnam
- Where is Sapa Vietnam
Located in the Southern West of Lao Cai province, dominates Hoang Lien Son range mountain, being 1560m high above the sea level.
In 1918 this area used to be a colony of France.1954 due to the decisiveness of Dien Bien Phu Battle, French Government had withdrawn military force from Sapa which brought the French colonist regime to an end. Currently, these remnants buildings and ancient villas are no longer in Sapa.
Visiting Sapa, don’t miss a chance to visit Fansipan/ Fan Si Peak – the highest mountain in Vietnam. It is far from Sapa around 9 Km in the West where many Ethnic group live surround.
Sapa tend to be crowded and more interested during weekends. Our suggestion is combining your trekking tour together a visit to one market. Also, please be noted that local market is organized only on weekends.
2.Sapa Ethnic Minorities’ traditional clothing introduction
Their cloth fiber is made from hemp, cuff and collar are so colorful of Batik painting. Black Hmong women usually wear skirt and socks in the rich blue which dye and derived from Indigo leaves. Also, they normally wear apron features hand-embroidered and cylindrical hat.
Their traditional clothing are special as their cultures, the blouse opens at the front with a bright colorful embroidery seam from the neck to the armpit. Hmong female normally comprise a blouse with a skirt as well as an apron to cover the skirt and the leggings. The blouse color is not decided, it is in various color. Also, their broidery skirt is so heavy up to nearly 1kg.
Phu La female wears black pants with indigo blue blouse, her blouse is embroidered with many colorful motifs. A vibrant color armband is Phu La’ feature.
A Tay woman often wear a black pants with a long bouse in the same color as well as a headscarf which covers her long hair. However, recently Tay female normally wear a black pants with her favorite color blouse, but Indigo is a popular choice.
Both woman and men wear dark pants. A Giay woman normally wear a bouse with buttons under the right arm and features a contrasting collar and cuffs in a pale color.
Red Dao people often wear a black blouse with a black pants which are embroidered in four main colors- red, yellow, blue and white. Especially, they women wear colorful headscarf which is folded to make it thicker and larger than many other ethnic headscarfs.
How to go to Sapa by bus
From Lao Cai to Sapa
Option1: From Lao Cai Station- there is a bus route no.1, this bus station is available from 5.20 AM to 17.00 PM and you can catch bus per 30 minutes. It takes 30 minutes to arrive in Sapa and you need to pay 30.000 VND for the bus fee.
Option2: take a train and a mini bus, it takes 50.000VND and 45 minutes to reach to there.
Option3: night bus, it takes from 5 hours to 6.5 hours, you need to pay around 310.000VND.
Sapa Original Trek
1 day 1 night tour
Depends on the tour that you can use car or not. It is better to stay overnight at local ethnic house. There are some recommended villages for your trekking trip are Muong Hoa, Cat Cat, Lao Chai, Y Linh Ho, Ta Van, Ban Giang and Giang Ta Chai, etc,.
Cat Cat – Sin Chai village
Visiting both Cat Cat and Sin Chai-Black Hmong’ villages and Cat Cat waterfall takes you around 4 to 5 hours.
Finding yourself a tour guide with a fair fee in order not to miss important and interested things. There is one more important thing, you need to pay around 25.000VND- around 1 USD for ticket center for Cat Cat. This amount goes towards local families who open their houses to show you their cultures.
Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai and Ta Van villages
Visiting Y Linh Ho, we are sure you will be taken aback by the incredible view of corn fields and terrace fields there. Surrounding there are Dao and Black Hmong villages.
Also, we really recommend you to hike and touch to landscape of stream, mountains and rice terraces down to the Muong Hoa Valley. It is easy, soft and suitable for almost everyone.
Ma Tra and Ta Phin villages
Trekking Ma Tra and Ta Phin villages to meet and get to know the culture of both Red Dao and Black Hmong.
You may choose to visit there by a bicycle tour and come back your hotel by car with a tour guide and have a lunch at the local people house.
Ban Khoang and Ta Giang Phinh villages
Choosing trekking in Ban Khoang villages and Ta Giang Phing is choosing to visit Red Dao and Black Hmong places. The hot pots here are Silver Waterfall and Muong Hum Market.
Muong Hum Market is operated only on Sunday, where there are many ethnic groups also join beside Red Dao and Black Hmong ones.
Ban Ho and Thanh Phu villages
Around for 4 hours for trekking must 2 hours more for go around and have a lunch.
Trekking these places is a good chance of taking a view of life and home of Tay and Dao ethnic people.
Sun Word Fansipan Legend
Fansipan belongs to Hoang Lien Son Mountain range with the heigh of around 3147-now and it has another nick name “the Roof of Indochina”.
Sun World Fansipan Legend is situated in the South-West of Sapa Town, was registered by the Guinness Record as longest and tallest, most advanced three-line cable system installed for the first time in Asia.
How to get there? Taking the Muong Hoa monorail or a taxi from Sapa Town to Hoang Lien Son which departs from Sapa Station. After that, take a cable car to Fansipan Station and then walk around 10-15 minutes to reach to Fansipan peak.
Opening hours: 08:00–18:30 from Monday to Friday, 7.00-19.30 on weekends.
Monorail fee for 2 ways: 99.000VND
Ropeway fee-2 ways: 737.000VND
Rail car take you to the peak of Fansipan:99.000VND
Contact number: (0214) 3818888
Notifications: There are restaurants, coffee shops and small shops at each station. The temperature on the chop of Fansipan is a bit cold, you need to bring winter clothes. This heigh may negatively affect to heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes people.
Situated in the West of Sapa and far away about 15Km from the center of Sapa and near to Hoang Lien Son Mountain range.
The name of the Waterfall is derived from a love story by mouth of word. That is a romantic love story between a fairy and a young boy who usually play flute near the fall. That is why many Vietnamese couples also go there together.
Outstandingly, the heigh of 100 meters of the streams make Love waterfall looks extremely magnificent and majestic. The scenery is charming and cooling by the forest flowers and bamboo trees surround.
Opening hours: 09:00–17:00 every day.
Entrance fee: 70.000VND.
Notifications: From September to November is the best season. Don’t go to the waterfall in the afternoon or evening, don’t wear a high heel or a short skirt. Instead, wearing a sneaker and bring a hat, a jacket and snacks to you during the trip.
Silver waterfall is around 12Km away from Sapa center, on the way from Sapa to Love waterfall. Located in San Sa Ho commune, Sapa District, Lao Cai and being famous of the unique beauty which attracts both Vietnam residents and foreign residents visit here annually.
It is also known with another name as Thac Bac. Moreover, the waterfall heigh is 1800m above from the sea level, the flow come from upstream Muong Hoa at a heigh of 200m.
Silver Waterfall is an ideal place of clean atmosphere and quiet, a majestic appearance of white stunning water flow and jungle covers around. This place will help you to release stress and forget the suffocated and overwhelmed life in crowded city.
Opening hours: 08:00–17:30 every day.
Entrance fee: 20.000VND.
Ham Rong Hill
Situated in the center of Sapa city with the length of around 2Km. From a distance, especial from the East of the city and take a look in a direction of the mountain you will see a gray rocky mountain outcrops like a dragon jaw. That is why its name is Ham Rong.
Surrounded by pine park and romantic valley as well as minor ethnic museum and coffee shops established.
Don’t miss a chance to enjoy a panorama view of Sapa town by conquering the peak of Ham Rong Hill- San May.
If the weather in Sapa is beautiful, explore Fansipan peak by checking in Fansipan Cable Station then reach to the Indochina roof which is around 3145 meter above from the sea by a cable car.
Contact number: (0214) 3871289
Opening hours: 06:00–18:00 every day.
Entrance fee: 70.000VND-adult, 35.000VND-children with the heigh of under 130cm.
Notifications: Inside the park-ethnic village, they operate dance show 3-4 times a day.
Sapa church was built by French in 1920. In 1954, Dien Bien Phu victory had ended the domination of French colonialists. At the same time of Dien Bien Phu battle, a part of the Sapa church was destroyed. It has been restored 5 times until now.
The Stone church of Sapa still keeps its intact beauty even though many times of reparation and restoration. It is really a precious treasure of Sapa and remains a lot of historical evidence. Especially, Sapa church is extremely large with the area of nearly 6000m2 and remains an ancient 500kg-weighed bell which is more than 80 years old.
Opening hours: 05:30–18:30,19.00 from Monday to Saturday.
8.30, 9.00-19.00 Sunday.
Situated near to the bus station and Sapa lake, away from the center of Sapa around 1Km. It is better to wake up soon in the morning especially on Sunday morning to enjoy favorite breakfast like Thang Co, mèn mén. The food price here is so cheap.
The 1st floor consists stalls of souvenir, clothe and traditional Chinese medicine,
2nd floor is full of fresh food stands.
The must visiting place in Sapa – Bac Ha Market
Bac Ha Market is a must-to-go place once you have a trip to Sapa. This a place which gathers colorful costumes of various Sapa minor ethnic women and men.
The product in the market is diverse from the hand-made self-grown one to machine items such as brocade crafts.
Besides, there are many interesting activities for you like dancing or eating and drinking as ethnic people. Among all dishes of the food corner inside Bac Ha Market, we highly recommend you taste Thang Co – a unique dish made from horse meat, pork and beef. This food is a typically traditional food of Hmong ethnic in general.
Notifications: best time to visit Bac Ha Market is around the New Year.
How to get there? From Hanoi, you can go by train, bus or bike and it takes about 5-6 hours to straight to Lao Cai. After that, you need to take a bus or private vehicles to Bac Ha market.
Lao Cai Bus Terminal: opens from 6:30AM-17:00PM, choose the bus no.10 and it takes 2 and half hours to arrive at Bac Ha market, the ticket fee is 60.000VND.
From Bac Ha Bus Terminal: opens from 5.30AM-16.00PM, choose the bus no.6, the ticket fare is 60.000VND.
Best Restaurants in Sapa – Food Price in Sapa Vietnam
Kham Pha Viet
15 Thach Son
(0214) 3871555, 091-2032430
This public bar and dinning room is also loved and recommended by local people as delicious and cheap. Lẩu thắng cố is stemmed originally from China and it is Hmong traditional food, the price is from 40.000VND. Also, another choice is lẩu cá hồi with the price of around 50.000VND, rau cải mèo and rượu táo mèo are also famous with about of 50.000VND and 20.000VND respectively.
1 Hoang Lien
From 7.00AM to 19.00PM from Monday to Thursday
From 9.00AM to 18.00PM from Friday to Sunday.
If you are an afternoon tea lover, don’t miss this place the taste is so special and famous inside Sapa.
The price is around 620.000 for a couple/2 people.
5 Dong Loi
Open from 10.00AM to 15.00PM, 17.00PM-22.00PM.
Serve Vietnamese and Western cuisines, popular and loved by Western passengers. Stir-fry meals are typical and famous such as “Little Sapa style stir-fry vegetable”,.etc.
The most delicious one is pork with lemon grass stir-fry, the price is around 125.000VND. Besides, rice in bamboo, spring rolls are also highly recommended. Staff can speak English, atmosphere is so relaxing, don’t miss it!.
17 Xuan Vien
Open from 7.30AM to 23.00PM every day.
Offers Vietnamese and Western cuisines, designed as classical Tapas style. The restaurant undertakes to use organic vegetables, home-made tofu, avoiding food contains chemistry.
Especially, Home-made Tofu and tomato stir-fry (75.000VND) is special cuisine here. Also, eggplant grill (85.000VND) is also famous.
Red Dao House
4B Thac Bac
Open from 8.00AM to 21.00PM every day.
This restaurant is also considered as top ten of the famous restaurant list of the town. Western cuisine is more popular here.
Fry-potatoes with Sapa Salmon salad (140.00VND) is extremely recommended. Also, deer meat grill together with lemon grass and chili is also mouth-watering cuisine.
The H mong Sisters
31 Muong Hoa
Open from 14.00 PM till mid-night.
This is a kind of restaurant-bar in Sapa. There is not so many bars and pubs in Sapa, The Hmong Sisters is one of the best bar here.
Beer is around 35.000VND, shisha pipe is about 250.000VND.
Tips that you need to remember when visiting Sapa
Please distinctly refuse and say No if locals try to follow you to sell something that you really don’t want to buy.
Do not give children there candies or money of you don’t want them follow you during your trip. Just say hello and it is enough.
Note: Do not forget to apply Vietnam visa before arriving in Vietnam. You can apply online here.