Top Things to do in Sapa

Top Things to do in Sapa

The hill station of Sapa is well known as one of the best trekking bases in northern Vietnam. While the town witnesses some French colonial heritages, its surrounding has abundance of spectacular formed by Hoang Lien mountain and Muong Hoa river. 
There are many ways to experience the beauty of Sapa and here are just some of the best that you should soak up

Epic Sapa Attractions

Within 2 days trip, you can easily explore all these must-sees of Sapa. These attractions reflects all the cultural character of the area :

fansipan mountain

Climb Fansipan Mountain

Lying on the elevation of 3.143m, Fansipan is the rooftop of Indochina countries. The peak is the highlight of any visit to Hoang Lien Son national Park as you will have chances to spot wide range of fauna and flora, especially the wild orchids. The adventure to the top of Fansipan is rewarded with stunning mountain views, cascading waterfalls and fresh mountain air. 
There are 2 options to reach the peak of Fansipan. The adventurous travelers can take a long trek with camping in the forest for 2 to 4 nights while the cable car takes half day for a 2 ways trip. 

More references : Best Sapa Trekking Tours


Silver Waterfall

The falls is about 200 meters high with different layers. Its paved walk way allows you to behold the bird eye view differently from each step you move uphill. This is one of the most popular tourist attraction which offers stunning photogenic chances. 
Silver Waterfall is about 15km from the town. 

cat cat waterfall

Cat Cat Waterfall & Village

Another fascinating hill side village which perches on the sloop of Sapa town. It is home to the friendly Black Hmong who are very family with foreign visitors. The locals expose authentic Hmong culture. 
Right after the village is the cascading waterfall of Cat Cat - a very nice spot to have some photo souvenirs of Sapa. 

love waterfall

Love Waterfall

This fall is more inspiring with its legend. It is located right at the foot of Hoang Lien Son national park. To reach the park, you need to drive about 14km from Sapa then take a walk crossing the dense forest along the stream. 

Muong Hoa Valley

This valley lasts for more than 25km, offering the typical, mesmerizing landscapes of Sapa where rice terraces curves along the mountain, fascinating villages scattering along the banks and hills where Muong Hoa river flows through. If Sapa is all about trekking then Muong Hoa valley is one of the must sees.
Though there are famous attractions, you still have chances to enjoy the unspoilt nature if you take some off tourist path trek in O Quy Ho or Seo Mi Ty routes. 

Recommended Tours : Vietnam Trekking Adventures

Ham Rong Mountain

For those who do not plan for a long trek, Ham Rong park is a perfect alternative. Apart from the panorama view of Sapa town, the park also provides grateful cultural performance. It is a very relaxing atmosphere as you walk through the dense forests then sit for a true Hmong music, dances. 

sapa baltik
Photo: Jason Wong

Traditional Workshop from Hmong, Dzao people

In many villages of Sapa, ethnic hill tribes reserve very well their tradition of making clothes from the jute. In weaving season, Black Hmong people unskin the jute, making the fabric then dye them with indio leaves before decorate it by their own technique.
The Dzao people on the other hand are specialized for herbal medicine, embroidery making. You will surely be tempted by their eye-catching customs. 

heaven gate

Heaven Gate

Those who fancy a distinctive bike ride will find Tram Ton pass a great descent in north Vietnam. Known as Heaven Gate, this pass is the border of Lao Cai and Lai Chau province boasting the magnificient vistas while it winds through cascading waterfalls, untouched forest, remote villages and verdant plantations. The ride is listed in most of the bike tours in north Vietnam. However, there are plenty of choices for mountain bikers such as Ban Khoang route, Ben Den route.

Unique Things to do in Sapa 

These distinctive experiences are either for those who seek for something different or active travelers who want to see other sides of Sapa which is less touristic. Some of them are self-do experiences, others should be organized by a dedicated local Vietnam Tour Operator :

sapa portrait
Photo : Luca Varisto

Hill Tribe Photography Travel

There are 5 ethnic groups living in Sapa including Hmong, Dzao, Giay, Tay, Xa Pho. They live in different topography along the mountain. A photography travel is a ideal for those who want to capture their colorful portraits as well the stunning landscapes of Sapa. 
You may have to travel on small path, crossing forest to reach their villages but all your effort will be rewarded by some life time shots. 

Conquer Nam Tay Mountain

While Fansipan is touristic, Nam Tay is a small but challenging mountain that worth exploring. The peak is not mentioned in the travel guide that means your trip is really unique. 
Nam Tay is located on the road to Ban Khoang village, about 25km from the town. It is surrounded by pristine forest overlooking a postcard like Hmong village. 

Participate in Hmong Sewing Class

Indio Cat opens a workshop which let all visitors trying to learn about Batik art. This is a very fun-packed activity as you will witness the experience teacher working on the silk, making pattern by the most traditional Hmong way. All the motifs are inspired from nature such as snail shells, cucumber, pumpkin seeds. 
Location & fee: Ta Van village. The workshop lasts for 3 hours from 1.30pm till 4.30pm without any reservation - just drop in

sapa people
Photographer:  Pet Licule ( for more his beautiful photos, please visit here

Doing Homestay in Remote area

While the main town is perfect for leisure and soaking up the fresh air, the true hospitality of the locals are more visible in the remote area. The best way to experience it is to embark on a trek to the further area like Thanh Phu, Sang Ma Sao commune which are out of tourist track. If you expect some fun, do not hesitate to ask your guide to let you try the farm work. 

Explore more: Vietnam Trekking Sites 

Sunrise from Hau Thao village

To mark one of the best points to shoot Muong Hoa valley in the morning, Hau Thao village should be in the list. There is no certain points that you should stop but the ascending road with many local plantation features incredible viewing points.
Do not miss the chance to witness the " forest of cloud" moving out of Hoang Lien mountain to release the magnificent rice terraces along Muong Hoa river. 


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Insider Travel Tips 

 Vietnam is diverse. For first time visit, the Best of Vietnam is luring enough with not only beautiful cultural exploration but also unique touches to local life. 
Dzung Nguyen - Vietnam Travel Expert

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