Sapa is famous both for its fine, rugged scenery and for its rich cultural diversity. French used to consider Sapa as Summer Capital of Northern Vietnam. Its naturally gifted beauty keeps attracting more and more people to spend their vacation there since then.
Tourists who wish to have the best Sapa tour can take a night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, and then 45 minutes more from Lao Cai City by bus, and don’t worry that you can get bored just because of a couple hours on train or on bus! The amazing sceneries along the route will also be able to make you surprised too. And after a long way traveling from Hanoi, Sapa will appear in fanciful fog right in front of your eyesight.
And you know what? Thanks to the height of 1,600 m above the sea level, the average temperature of the area is always 15-18°C, cool in summer, but a bit cold in winter, Sapa takes its pride in its unique climate in Vietnam. It is highly seasonal, with a subtropical climate in the summer and a temperate climate during the winter. The warmest months are July and August, and the coldest months are December and January. Snow falls in some years on the highest peaks. In the morning and afternoon, it is as cool as in spring and autumn. Yet, at noon, it is as sunny and cloudless as in summer. In the evening, it drastically changes into coldness just as in winter. This is actually a unique advantage, making Sapa different from anywhere else in the nation. Sometimes, after an unexpected rain, a rainbow may appear turning Sapa into a beautifully magic land with seven colors! So, remember to bring your best camera so as not to miss this magnificent view!
April and May are the best time for tourists to watch the most scenic beauties of Sapa, or else it might be cold and foggy before that and rainy after that. During these two peak months, the town is blossoming with pink and white flowers, and green pastures in valleys. The clouds that settle in the valley in early morning would quickly disappear.
1. Some beautiful destinations
The scenery of the Sapa region reflects the relationship between the ethnic minority people and nature. This is seen especially in the paddy fields carpeting the rolling lower slopes of the Hoang Lien Mountains. The impressive physical landscape, which underlies this, has resulted from the work of the elements over thousands of years, wearing away the underlying rock.
Silver waterfall in Sapa
Everyone who used to come here have no agree that if traveling to Sapa but ignore the magnificent spots such as Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave,… will definitely leave you a big regret. Can you imagine that Hoang Lien Mountain Range is called “the Alps of the North Sea area” since Fansipan Mount also marks its greatest height among others in the Indochina Peninsula as well. The pyramid-shaped mountain is covered with clouds all the year round. On top of the mountain is filled with frequent below zero temperature, especially at high altitudes.
On the way to approach the town, the very first thing tourists may find is the detached wooden mansions and villas perched on top or side of the hills, behind thick pine forests, hided by fog in the morning. Old and new villas with red roofs now appear and then disappear in the green rows of pomu trees, bringing in the beauty of European towns.
2. Floral system
Sapa is home to various families of flowers of beautiful and unique colours, unique in the vast country. When Tet, the Lunar New Year Festival, comes, the whole township of Sapa is filled with the pink colour of peach blossom brought from the vast forests of peach just outside the town. Sapa is regarded as the kingdom of orchids. Here, orchid lovers are even amazed by the choice, when trekking in the forest filled with several hundred kinds of orchids of brilliant colours and fantastic shapes, such as Orchid Princess, Orchid of My Fair Lady’s Shoe. Some orchids are named after lovely singing birds such as the canary, salangane’s nest, and more.
The floral system of Sapa is also an element that helps this place attract a lot of visitors each year.
3. Unique specialties
Not only foreign tourists, but also Vietnamese tourists are actually fond of scarce and precious specialties of Sapa, such as forest’s product, handicrafts, delicacies (smoked meat, “thang co”, “caimeo”, san lung wine, corn wine, fructus crataegi wine, etc.), typical of ethnic minority people.
Sapa’s Fructus Crataegi Wine
Most travellers do like to bring some of the local fresh vegetables back home for presents. Thanks to the fresh and cool air, Sapa is the ideal land for fresh temperate vegetables such as cabbage, chayote, precious medical herbs, fruit trees (plum, pear), and so on.
4. Cultural diversity
Famous for its colorful culture, visitors who choose Sapa to start their journey will have opportunities to discover the unique customs of the local residents. Local markets are the town’s typically cultural element, which are always crowded and joyful, attracting hundreds of visitors. This is the common place for minority groups to gather and exchange goods. Market sessions are also a chance for local people to promenade. No foreign visitor could help joining such a market session, a typical cultural element of Sapa.
When there’s a market here, almost every ethnic minority people will gather and exchange what they have together.
To really discover this amazing destination, you have a great amount of selections to choose the type that can suit you the most, and I have written an article aboutsome typical selections that you can get right HERE!
So what are you still waiting for? Let’s go for it, adventurers!