What to do in Sapa Vietnam?
Below is the list of the best things to do in Sapa that you cannot miss. Also, there are tips on how to get there, where to stay, and insider tips to make the best of your trip to Sapa.
Things to know before visiting Sapa
- Where to stay in Sapa: There is plenty of accommodation in Sapa town, or you can stay in local homestays in Ta Van village.
- Sapa trekking tour: If you’re interested in trekking and exploring the area but have a short time, I recommend signing up for a 2-day trekking tour from Hanoi. It includes transportation, a hotel, a local guide, and entrance tickets to some amazing sites.
- Travel insurance: Get travel insurance for support in case things go wrong. Check more details here.
1. View the beautiful Muong Hoa valley
Famous for its untouched natural landscape and ethnic tribes, Muong Hoa valley is an exciting Sapa attraction that deserves a visit.
When is the best time to visit Muong Hoa Valley?
The color of the valley changes throughout the year. From April to the end of May, the valley is lush green. Then the tone gradually changes to a bright yellow towards the harvest time in September.
It’s great to visit most months, except during the rainy season from July to August.
Ancient stone area
You shouldn’t miss exploring the ancient stone area when visiting Muong Hoa. The area is recognized as a national heritage with the relics of ancient Vietnamese people.
Approximately 200 stones of different sizes are scattered around the valley, each carved with mysterious motifs. No one can explain their origin or meaning.
Although I didn’t get the meaning of the stones when I saw them, it was still lovely to see some historical relics.
If you use a motorbike, the road to the ancient stone area is quite challenging, so be careful!
2. Stay at Topas Ecolodge
Located on a beautiful hilltop, Topas Ecolodge is one of the best places to stay in Sapa.
This hidden paradise provides an excellent getaway from your busy life while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings and excellent services.
3. Explore Lao Chai Ta Van villages
The terraced fields in Lao Chai – Ta Van have been around for hundreds of years and are maintained by the diligent hands of the local farmers.
Hundreds of hectares wide, the paddy fields with their curving lines are an impressive sight.
4. Ride along O Quy Ho Pass
Riding along this pass, you will be immersed in the majestic mountain scenery. Once at the highest point, you’ll be able to touch the clouds. The locals call this place Heaven’s Gate.
I stopped at a beautiful rose garden on my way to Heaven gate. Sipping a cup of hot tea while admiring the view was an unforgettable experience.
5. Visit Love Waterfalls
Located on the way to the peak of O Quy Ho Pass, Love Waterfalls is one of the highlights of Sapa. With a height of nearly 100 meters, Love waterfalls is an example of poetic scenery.
The waterfall is located deep in the area of Hoang Lien National Park. To reach it, you need to follow a 1.6km trail.
There are also other little waterfalls on the way to O Quy Ho Peak. I spotted this one not far away from the Love waterfalls.
6. Visit Cat Cat village
Cat Cat village is situated within a ten-minute drive of Sapa town.
This village has a large population of HH’Mongethnic people. There are nearly 80 households located on a steep series of cobbled steps.
I walked around and experienced some of the traditional activities of the local people. You can read more about things to do in Cat Cat village here.
The road that leads to Cat Cat village is gorgeous, and you can view terraced fields and ethnic houses while wandering along the winding road sections.
7. Try out ethnic clothes
One experience not to be missed when visiting Sapa is trying out the regional clothes.
Being the home of different ethnic groups, SSapa’sclothing is extremely lively and diverse. Featuring unique decorative patterns, each outfit has a particular meaning.
This is a part of Sapa culture that has existed for a long time and remains strong to this day.
You can find many clothes rental stalls along both sides of the road near Cat Cat village. The shopkeepers will gladly help you choose an outfit that will suit you best for sightseeing.
It costs around 50,000 VND – 100,000 VND per rental.
8. Eat local food
Trying some of the grilled dishes in the delicious local eateries is an excellent idea in the cool evenings in Sapa.
I loved the grilled chicken with bamboo-cooked rice.
The sturgeon and salmon farmed here are transported to all areas of Vietnam. So a dish that is particularly special in Sapa is the sturgeon and salmon hotpot.
Here, the hotpot is delicious with fresh ingredients, such as mushrooms, vegetables, tofu, sweet potatoes, and local fish.
The broth is cooked with freshly picked herbs, producing a sweet and fragrant taste.
9. Touch the cloud at Fansipan Mountain
A trip to Fansipan Mountain should definitely be on your list of things to do in Sapa. With a height of 3143 meters, Fansipan is known as the roof of Indochina.
To conquer this mountain, you can sign up with a professional tour operator or tour with the locals. The most popular route will take you three days.
The best time to hike is from September to March, especially when the mountain flowers begin to bloom at the end of February.
There’s a much easier way for those who don’t have enough time for hiking! Now you can buy a train ticket to the Fansipan peak.
10. Visit Ta Phin village
If you have an extra day in Sapa, I recommend visiting Ta Phin village.
The village still preserves its wild and rustic look and culture while providing exciting experiences like the Red Dao herbal bath.
Red Dao Herbal Bath
The herbal leaves are cooked in wooden jars and added to hot water baths. This unique bathing experience costs from 80,000 to 100,000 VND per session.
The Red Dao people living in Ta Phin village have many cultural secrets to explore. Their architecture, lifestyles, and jewelry are fascinating.
Places to visit in Ta Phin
Besides experiencing the Red Dao Herbal bath and visiting Ta Phin village, you can also see other tourist places like Ta Phin ancient monastery and Ta Phin cave.