Catch an overnight train from Hanoi or take the new bus than runs through the glorious countryside and head out to one of Vietnam’s prettiest areas. Sapa in the Northwest of the country is rapidly developing as Vietnam’s trekking and mountaineering headquarters. It is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the country, many of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities and the famous hospitality. People here will certainly make you feel welcome.
Sapa, is a frontier township and also the name of the District in Lào Cai Province, of which it is the capital. It is a market town of which there are several in the area. The whole area is home to many of Vietnam’s famous ethnic minority people such as Hmong, Giay, Dao, Pho Lu, and Tay.
Sapa Town’s location is such that it benefits from spectacular views on clear days. It overlooks a deep valley, with towering mountains rising above on all sides. This is epic scenery and even when subdued by mists rolling across its peaks, it retains its glorious splendor.
It was built by the French who used it as a sanctuary to escape the stresses of the city. Sadly much of the splendid architecture that they brought here has disappeared altogether or fallen into disrepair.
The hillsides of Sapa have been terraced over the years to facilitate the growing of rice. These wonderful geographical features have become one of the most recognizable images in Vietnam. From brown in the early part of the season, they turn to a shimmering silver as they are flooded prior to planting and finally, after the crop matures, the most vibrant green imaginable. This is a very pretty area.
Sapa lies at what is the southern most foothills of the Himalayas, and indeed the nearby Mount Fansipan, at 3,143 meters, is the highest peak in the whole of Indochina. People come in numbers to climb it, but if you prefer a more sedate experience, there is a cable car ride to the top. It is only 9 km, from Sapa town but to climb it is a three day excursion.
The Sapa region is home to amazing villages in which the ethnic minority people live and work. Visiting these people is a very rewarding experience. The friendliness is legendary and homestay visits are going in popularity. Whilst in Sapa town itself, hotels are being built to cope with the increased demand that the trekking business is generating.
The scenery and air quality here are what make Sapa Is Awesome. You don’t have to be super fit to get out into the countryside and enjoy the jaw-dropping views from Devil’s Gate or one of the other fabulous vantage points. A large part of the area here makes up the Hoang Lien National Park. This ensures the protection of the scenic beauty here for future generations. The greenery rolling through the valleys and over the hillsides is spectacular. Sapa truly is one of the most awesome places to visit in the whole of Southeast Asia.
In case you needed another reason to love Sapa. Take a look at the video below:
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