6 great things to do in sapa, vietnam

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Sapa is a remote town in northwestern Vietnam that’s known for its pristine rice terraces, cool mountain atmosphere, và community of ethnic minorities. It offers a wealth of trekking opportunities that take you through the region’s picturesque hillsides and smaller ethnic villages.

While trekking is the number one reason why travelers make the trip from Hanoi to Sapa, it isn’t the only thing you can vì chưng there.

From tasting indigenous horse meat stew khổng lồ riding a cable car to Vietnam’s highest peak, this guide will show you ten of the best things to vày in Sapa.


SAPA ATTRACTIONS QUICK LINKS

To facilitate your Sapa trip planning, I’ve compiled link to hotels, tours, and other services here.

HOTELS

Top-rated hotels in downtown Sapa. These hotels will put you in the heart of the city.

TOURS

OTHER SERVICES

SAPA TRAVEL GUIDE

Before you visit Sapa, be sure to kiểm tra out our detailed Sapa travel guide. It’ll tell you all you need lớn know – lượt thích best season khổng lồ go, which villages lớn visit, what & where to lớn eat, etc. – to help you plan your trip.


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THINGS TO vị IN SAPA, VIETNAM

1. Go Trekking

As described, trekking is the most popular thing to vì in Sapa and the main reason why most travelers visit this mountain town. I went on a self-guided trek but many people opt for multi-day guided treks with homestays in surrounding villages lượt thích Lao Chai, Ta Van, & Giang Ta Chai.

You can trek for as many days as you’d like but 1-3 day treks seem to be the most popular. Prices vary but you can expect lớn pay between USD 20-40 per person per day depending on the length và difficulty of the trek. Prices typically include meals and accommodations.

Travel agencies in Hanoi offer all-inclusive trekking packages to Sapa. You can also book one in advance through Get Your Guide.

For the best prices, it may be best to lớn arrange for a trek when you arrive in Sapa. People will approach you offering treks but you can ask your hotel or homestay for help as well. My khách sạn routinely arranged treks and other tours for its guests.


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Expect khổng lồ Pay: USD 20-40 per day


2. Try Horse or Salmon Hot Pot

If you travel for food like we do, then I think you’ll agree that trying thang teo or horse meat stew is one of the best things to vì chưng in Sapa. It’s a traditional H’mong hot pot dish made with different types of meat like beef, pork, buffalo, và goat, though the main ingredient is horse meat.

People from the H’mong ethnic group have been using horses for transport for generations. When the horse becomes too sick or too old to work, they butcher it for its meat which is how this dish came to lớn be. It’s definitely one of the more interesting dishes I’ve had not just in Sapa, but in all of Vietnam.

Simmered in a large pot or pan for hours with up to lớn twelve different spices, they use every part of the horse lượt thích its liver, lungs, intestines, and kidneys so nothing goes khổng lồ waste.

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If horse meat is a little extreme for you, then perhaps you’d like to try salmon hot pot instead.

Salmon in Sapa may sound out of place at first but rainbow trout has been successfully farmed in this region of Vietnam since 2005. So common is rainbow trout that salmon hot pot is now considered a local specialty in Sapa, one that’s particularly popular in winter.

I opted for the horse hot pot but any restaurant serving thang teo will typically offer salmon hot pot as well. Hot pot servings in Sapa are usually good for at least two people but the A Phu Restaurant was kind enough khổng lồ serve me a single portion of thang co.


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Photo by Chaitawat.P via Shutterstock

Expect lớn Spend: VND 350,000 (horse), VND 450,000 (salmon) for 2-3 people


3. Ride the Cable car to Fansipan

At 3,147 meters (10,326 ft), Fansipan Mountain is the highest mountain in the Indochine Peninsula and one of the highest in Southeast Asia. On clear days, it offers spectacular views of the valleys below. Riding a cable car to the đứng top of Fansipan Mountain is one of the most popular things to bởi vì in Sapa.

For VND 800,000 roundtrip, a 15-20 minute cable oto ride takes you up to lớn the đứng đầu of the mountain. You can then climb up the 600+ steps to lớn Fansipan peak or pay an additional VND 70,000 (each way) to ride the funicular.

However, Sapa weather can be fickle. Clouds can make or break the view so my hotel’s owner would advise me every morning if it was a good idea to lớn head up khổng lồ Fansipan Mountain. It was misty everyday so I didn’t wind up going. Based on what I’ve read, March khổng lồ April are the clearest months in Sapa.

You can purchase cable car và funicular tickets on the spot or in advance through Klook. You can also book trekking tours on Get Your Guide that include visits to Fansipan Mountain.


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Photo by diy13 via Shutterstock

Cable car Fare: VND 800,000 roundtrip


4. Hike to Love Waterfall

Love Waterfall is a popular attraction in Sapa. It’s located in San Sa Ho Commune, about 15 km west of Sapa town. It’s one of three waterfalls I visited in Sapa and by far the most beautiful.

Part of what makes Love Waterfall so appealing is its remote location. You’ll need khổng lồ walk for about half an hour through a forested path to get khổng lồ the falls. When I went, there were just a few people there so I had the place pretty much to myself.

Flowing into a stream & with viewing decks on either side, what you’ll find at the site is actually just a small part of the falls. Love Waterfall is said to begin from the đứng top of Fansipan Mountain.

Love Waterfall gets its name from a Vietnamese local legend. According lớn the story, a fairy fell in love with a boy who’d play his flute by the waterfall. When her parents found out, they forbade her from going back to lớn the falls. She couldn’t hear or see him from where she was so she turned herself into a bird so she could get closer khổng lồ him.

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I enjoyed the trek to lớn Love Waterfall as much as the falls itself. From the ticketing booth, it’s about a 30-minutes walk on a scenic cobblestone path through dense forest and mở cửa plains lớn get lớn the falls.

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Love Waterfall is too far to get khổng lồ on your own so you’ll need khổng lồ arrange for transportation. I paid VND 250,000 khổng lồ be taken khổng lồ Love Waterfall and Silver Waterfall by motorbike, which I arranged through my hotel.


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Admission: VND 70,000


5. Climb Up Silver Waterfall

Located on the main road between Love Waterfall & Sapa town is Silver Waterfall. It’s less than 3 km before Love Waterfall so you can easily visit both on the same day.

Called Thac Bac in Vietnamese, Silver Waterfall looks bigger & more impressive than Love Waterfall but its location by the side of a busy road makes it a little less appealing. Because it’s easier to get to, you’ll find a lot more tourists there.

There are stairs on either side of Silver Waterfall that you can climb to lớn get lớn a steel viewing bridge. The bridge crosses over the front of the falls, from one side to lớn the other, giving you a terrific vantage point for pictures.


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Admission: VND 20,000


6. Enjoy Breakfast with a View

If you’re planning on exploring mèo Cat Village in the morning, then you may want lớn start with breakfast somewhere near the đứng top of Fansipan Street. It’s a twisty road that starts in Sapa town then takes you down a steep incline to cat Cat Village.

I had this terrific “big mountain breakfast” at Sapa Natureview khách sạn & Restaurant but there are several eateries you can choose from along this stretch of road. Built on the side of a hill, many offer spectacular views of the rice terraces và valley floor.

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7. Explore mèo Cat Village

After breakfast, continue walking down Fansipan Street to mèo Cat Village at the bottom of Muong Hoa Valley. It’s the nearest hill tribe village và one of the easiest day treks you can make from Sapa.

Cat cat Village was established in the 19th century by H’mong & Dzao families who settled in the region khổng lồ grow corn & cultivate rice. Today, their main source of income appears to come from tourism.

Because of its proximity, cát Cat Village is one of the busiest attractions in Sapa. It’s always packed with domestic & international tourists dressed up in traditional H’mong costumes. They take selfies at the village’s many picture-taking spots which were obviously mix up for the sole purpose of taking souvenir photos.

Cat mèo Village is quite pretty but also very touristy, so temper your expectations when you visit. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, food stalls, and souvenir shops khổng lồ be found there.

If you keep walking & continue past mèo Cat Village, then you’ll find hiking trails that I believe will take you to the local villages of Lao Chai, Ta Van, and Giang Ta Chai. I walked for about an hour just lớn take in the scenery before turning around and heading back khổng lồ Sapa Town.

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Cat cat Village gets its name from mèo Cat Waterfall. Known as Tien Sa Waterfall in Vietnamese, it’s one of the village’s main attractions.

It’s important khổng lồ mention that it’s a steep but easy downhill walk to mèo Cat Village from Sapa. But it isn’t so easy going back up.

It’s an exhausting climb so you may want to hire a motorbike lớn take you back up khổng lồ Sapa. Many locals will be offering their services và if I remember correctly, I paid VND 50,000 to be taken up that steep road that looks so much better going down than going up.


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Admission: VND 70,000


8. Visit Sapa Museum

Sapa Museum is a small museum near Sapa Station. Located on the second floor of a local handicrafts shop, it offers a few exhibits on the history and ethnology of the Sapa region. It’s a good place to go if you’d lượt thích to learn more about the various ethnic groups living in Sapa.

There isn’t much to lớn see at the museum but admission is không lấy phí so it’s worth a quick stop during your stay in Sapa.


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Admission: FREE


9. Enjoy a Meal at The Hill Station – CLOSED

The Hill Station is the most refined restaurant in Sapa. They have two outlets in town – their signature restaurant located in the same building as their boutique khách sạn and their deli about 5 minutes away.

The Hill Station serves traditional Sapa food but prepared & presented in a more elegant way. I went to their signature restaurant & had this fantastic lunch of smoked buffalo with pickled local vegetables và three-colored Dzay sticky rice. It was the best meal I had in Sapa.

I didn’t go khổng lồ The Hill Station Deli & Boutique but I read they serve craft beer & wine along with cheese và charcuterie boards.


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Address: 37 Fansipan, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, VietnamOperating Hours: 7AM-11PMWhat khổng lồ Order: Pork, buffalo, rainbow trout dishesExpect khổng lồ Spend: About VND 125,000 per entree


10. Have Coffee on the Roofdeck of Dao Coffee

I wasn’t expecting this but the area around Sapa Park gets pretty lively at night. It’s a great place to have a beer or coffee và go people watching in Sapa Town.

There are a few restaurants and cafes around Sapa Park but I suggest checking out Dao Coffee. They have a lovely roof deck with counter seating that gives you great views of downtown Sapa.

Sitting up here và sipping my hot Vietnamese coffee while enjoying the town’s cool evening air was one of my favorite moments in Sapa.


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Address: 6 Thạch Sơn, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, VietnamWhat to Order: Vietnamese coffeeExpect to Spend: About VND 40,000 per cup


FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST THINGS TO bởi vì IN SAPA, VIETNAM

Sapa is one of the more interesting destinations you can visit in Vietnam. It offers a welcome change of pace from larger & busier cities in Vietnam lượt thích Hanoi và Ho bỏ ra Minh City.

Scenic treks are the main draw but there’s more to enjoy in Sapa. For me, one of the biggest draws was the food. Because of its remote location & hill tribe makeup, there are Vietnamese dishes that you can find only in this part of the country, which is a big reason why I went.

In fact, I wasn’t even planning on visiting this town at all until a google search for the “most interesting food in vietnam” opened my eyes khổng lồ Sapa.

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Whatever your reasons for visiting this cool mountain retreat, I hope this article on the best things to vì chưng in Sapa helps you make the most of your time there.

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