Despite owning a beautiful coastal line, with lots of pristine beaches, islands, islets and bays,…who knows, Vietnam also owns one of the most magnificent mountainous landscapes like Sapa, a real heaven to any adventure-seekers, trekkers and backpackers. Sapa is a small, tranquil town lying a mile high on the Hoang Lien Son mountain range along the Chinese border in northwest Vietnam, the area features vaulting rice terraces, lush vegetation and the highest peak in Vietnam, Fansipan, which towers over the village, swirled in fog from across a deep valley. A look off towards China provides breathtaking views of no less than seven mountain ranges.
The breath-taking landscapes of Sapa
The town has a cool and temperate climate, so, in French colonial period, western arrivals soon transformed Sapa into a pleasant hill station. Along with a stone church, they constructed hotels, tennis courts, an airport, hydro-electric station and summer villas. Most were abandoned or destroyed during the subsequent war for independence with the French and a border skirmish with the Chinese, but some of these historical spots still remain.
French architectural hotels in your Sapa
Sapa is home to a wealth of colorful, diverse hill tribes who have steadfastly resisted integration into Vietnamese society and modern life. In fact, the hill tribes, including the H’mong, the Dao, and the Giay, comprise the majority of inhabitants in the area, outnumbering the Vietnamese who have traditionally preferred the warmer climate of the low lands. Indeed, Sapa has been known to get a light sprinkling of snow in the winter.
H’mong ethnic minority in Sapa
The hill tribes are the real attraction of the area, wearing traditional dress of hand woven and dyed clothes and silver jewelry. They are shy and are wary of foreigners. Usually, only the H’mong will socialize or let you take a picture. Sapa’s most notable site is its central market – a main gathering place for hill tribes from the surrounding villages. Hill tribes congregate there not only to sell handicrafts, jewelry, orchids, mushrooms, and honey, but to also cultivate relations with other groups, play games, and perhaps find a sweetheart.
The poetic scenery of O Quy Ho pass of Sapa
There are various selections that you can choose to have memorable Sapa trekking tours, such as hiking to nearby villages where it is possible to stay overnight, discovering Silver Falls several kilometers north and a difficult, conquering Fansipan mountain.
Taking Sapa tours, you will feel like coming to another world with Vietnam’s highest paved pass, a diversity of hill tribe villages, a lot of Sapa’s mountain wonders and tranquil surroundings. Cold weather and early morning fog blowing off O Quy Ho Pass high above Sapa can be expected between December and February. Preferable weather in Sapa is in March and April when the coastal areas are sweltering. Accommodations are at a charming colonial style hotel overlooking the breadth of Sapa’s mountain range, terraced rice fields, and deep valley.