best things to do in Sapa Vietnam

10 Best Things To Do In Sapa Vietnam You Should Not Miss

Sapa Travel Guide

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Located in the northwest of Vietnam, Sapa attracts tourists with its majestic mountain views and unique experiences, including exploring the lives of ethnic minorities.

What to do in Sapa Vietnam?

Below is the list of the 10 best things to do in Sapa that you cannot miss. Also included is how to get there, where to stay and insider tips to make the best of your trip to Sapa.

best things to do in Sapa Vietnam

 

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 definitely 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 in most months, except during the rainy season from July to August.

Muong Hoa Valley Sapa Vietnam travel guide
I visited the valley when the paddy fields were green, and the view was breathtaking.

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.

There are approximately 200 stones of different sizes 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 nice to see some historical relics.

If you are using a motorbike, the road to the ancient stone area is quite challenging, so be careful!

 

2. Explore Lao Chai Ta Van villages

Similar to Cat Cat village, the villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van are inhabited by ethnic tribes. The area is located in the base of the valley, with the majestic ranges of Hoang Lien Son on each side.

Lao Chai Ta Van village Sapa Vietnam

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.

An area hundreds of hectares wide, the paddy fields with their curving lines are an impressive sight.

best things to see in Lao Chai Ta Van village
We stopped at a beautiful cafe in Ta Van village and chill there. The view was amazing!

 

3. Ride along O Quy Ho Pass

O Quy Ho Pass is known as one of the most beautiful locations in Northern Vietnam.

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.

things to do in O Quy Ho Pass Sapa Vietnam

On my way to Heaven gate, I stopped at a beautiful rose garden. Sipping a cup of hot tea while admiring the view was an unforgettable experience.

>> Read more about O Quy Ho Pass

 

4. 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 really is an example of poetic scenery.

The waterfall is located deep in the area of Hoang Lien National Park, and 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.

waterfalls in Sapa Lao Cai Vietnam
The waterfall that I saw on the way to O Quy Ho Peak.

 

5. Visit Cat Cat village

Cat Cat village is situated within a ten-minute drive of Sapa town.

This village has a large population of H’Mong ethnic 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.

Cat Cat village Sapa Vietnam

 

6. 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, Sapa’s clothing 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.

 

7. 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.

what to eat in Sapa food

The sturgeon and salmon farmed here is transported to all areas of Vietnam. So a dish that is particularly special in Sapa is the sturgeon and salmon hotpot.

The hotpot here is delicious with all fresh ingredients, such as mushroom, vegetables, tofu, sweet potatoes, and the local fish.

The broth is cooked with freshly-picked herbs, producing a sweet and fragrant taste.

 

8. 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 take a tour with the locals. The most popular route will take you three days.

The best time to hike is from September to March, especially at the end of February, when the mountain flowers begin to bloom.

For those who don’t have enough time for hiking, there’s a much easier way! Now you can buy a train ticket to Fansipan peak.

things to do in Fansipan Sapa Vietnam
A view of Fansipan train station.

 

9. 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 such as the Red Dao herbal bath.

Red Dao Herbal Bath

The herbal leaves are cooked in wooden jars and added to baths of hot water. This unique bathing experience costs from 80,000 to 100,000 VND per session.

Cultural experience

The Red Dao people living in Ta Phin village have many cultural secrets to explore. Their architecture, lifestyles, and jewelry are particularity interesting.

Places to visit in Ta Phin

Besides experiencing Red Dao Herbal bath and visiting Ta Phin village, you can also take a look at other tourist places such as Ta Phin ancient monastery and Ta Phin cave.

 

10. 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.

best places to stay in Sapa - Topas Ecolodge

 

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