Sapa is a town in Lao Cai province, Vietnam and this is a famous tourist destination from the early 20th century to the present. Nature favors Sapa with a landscape that is both romantic and majestic, with the clouds rolling mountains ranges, terraced fields as far as the eye can see.

Sapa’s climate is cool all year round. The culture of two major minorities in Sa Pa, the Mong and the Dao, combined with the classical European architecture creates a unique Sapa. All of the above factors have made Sapa a special attraction for tourists who want to explore this land.

How to travel from Hanoi to Sapa

There are 4 main ways to travel the 315 km distance from Hanoi to Sapa: a 9-hour combined train and van; a 6-hour bus, or a 5.5-hour private transfer. Rates range from 264,000 VND (~US$ 10.50) to 3,112,000 VND (~US$ 125).

  • The journey from Hanoi to Sapa by train via Lao Cai takes 8 hours with rates starting from 330,000 VND (~US$ 13.50). From Lao Cai to Sapa takes only 45 minutes by van and costs 40,000 VND ($1.65).
  • Taking a direct bus from Hanoi to Sapa takes about 6 hours and ticket prices start from 264,000 VND (~US$ 10.50).
  • Taking a taxi from Hanoi to Sapa is slightly faster than the bus (about 5.5 hours) and costs around 3,112,000 VND (~US$ 125).
  • For those with an adventurous spirit, traveling by motorbikes is a great option. you can rent a motorbike and travel by yourself to Sapa. Motorbike rental ranges from 4 – 6 USD/day.

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Means of transportation in Sapa

Motorbikes: motorbike is the most popular way to travel in Viet Nam. Motorbike rental ranges from 4 – 6 USD/day.

Taxis: In Sapa, you can easily call a taxi. Taxi fare is about 0.5 – 0.7 USD/km.

Buses: Bus is a familiar form of public transport in Sapa. Bus fare is about 03. – 0.4 USD/route.

Tourist electric cars: This mean of transportation is often chosen by tourists in Sapa. The fare is about 0.5 USD/15 minutes.

Where to visit in Sapa?

Fansipan Mountain

Fansipan is located in Hoang Lien National Park. The Peak is a must-visit when traveling to Sapa. Fansipan has an altitude of 3143m. This is the highest mountain in Vietnam and also the highest of the three Indochina countries. Fansipan Peak is called the “roof of Indochina”. From October to December, Fansipan Peak is immersed in a sea of floating beautiful clouds.

For adventurous travelers, Fansipan is a favorite destination for mountain climbing. The feeling of conquering and discovering Hoang Lien old forest always brings joy to visitors.

Related information:

Location: about 9km southwest of Sapa town

Opening hours: 8:30 – 18:00 everyday

Fansipan cable car ticket price:

  • VND 750,000/adults/round-trip ticket (~US$ 32)
  • VND 550,000/kid/round-trip ticket (~US$ 25), only for children from 1 – 1.4m
  • FREE for children under 1m high

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Muong Hoa Valley

Terraced field in Muong Hoa valley

When referring to beautiful and romantic Sapa tourist destinations, it is impossible not to mention Muong Hoa valley. Located about 10 km southeast of Sapa town, the valley belongs to Hau Thao commune, a land hidden among the terraced fields. This valley is where Muong Hoa stream flows around, the sky is covered with clouds.

Muong Hoa Sapa is beautiful and dreamy, rustic but so ecstatic. With a fresh and cool climate, layers of green forests, this beautiful valley has left a mark on the hearts of many tourists who visit.

Related information:

Location: 10km southeast of Sapa town, in Hau Thao commune

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Sapa Markets

In addition to the beautiful scenery, one of the other unique features of Sapa tourism that attracts visitors is the fairs of ethnic minorities. Each market has its own unique, interesting and unique features that contribute to creating a special attraction for the trip to Sapa – Lao Cai.

A special thing is that most of the items traded at these markets are completely handmade, even some ethnic products can take a few hours to a few months or even a whole year for them to be made. According to Sapa travel experience, when you come to the market, you should not bargain too much with the goods because of their effort to make them.

The markets are also a place for young couples who are geographically far away. But every weekend, it seems that the young men and women become happier because they are about to meet their soul mates. At the same time, they can both trade goods and meet friends to express their love and affection.

Related information:


  • Sapa market: Luong Dinh Cua Street, Sapa town
  • Bac Ha market: Bac Ha town, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province
  • Coc Ly market: Coc Ly commune, Bac Ha district
  • Sapa Love Market: 01 Ngo Cau May, Sapa town

Opening hours:

Sapa love market: 18:00 – 22:00 every Saturday

Other markets: 6:00 – 18:00 every weekend

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Sapa waterfalls

Sapa is an attractive destination for tourists that come to the North of Vietnam. There are many reasons for its being so widely known. It is undeniable that there are many beautiful waterfalls here. The waterfall is one of the most marvelous terrains in the world, contributing so much to many beautiful landscapes. Immersing yourself in the tranquility of Sapa’s waterfalls is never a bad idea.

There are many famous waterfalls in Sapa such as Love waterfall, Silver waterfall, Tien Sa waterfall, Tac Tinh waterfall, etc. In addition, there are other beautiful waterfalls of some districts in Lao Cai province that many tourists come to admire and explore such as Ta Lam waterfall, Vang Leng waterfall, Na Pao waterfall; Ban Vuoc Waterfall; Xa waterfall; Dau Nhuan Waterfall, etc.

Related information:


  • Love waterfall: San Sa Ho commune, Sapa town, Lao Cai province
  • Silver waterfall: O Quy Ho commune, Sapa town, Lao Cai province
  • Tien Sa waterfall: San Sa Ho commune, Sapa town, Lao Cai province
  • Open hours: 05:30 to 18:30 everyday
  • Ticket price: 40.000 VND (~US$ 1.7)
  • Tac Tinh waterfall: Binh Lu commune, Tam Duong district, Lai Chau province

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Ham Rong Mountain

Ham Rong Mountain

Ham Rong Mountain – with the image of natural cliffs stacked to form a dragon’s head, has become an eco-tourism area that attracts young people in Sapa.

Ham Rong Mountain eco-tourism area was built including 3 main areas: Ham Rong Flower Garden, Thach Lam Stone Garden, Ham Rong Peak. You will have the opportunity to see the panoramic view of Sapa town from above. This place is also especially popular with photographers because it is possible to capture the frame of Sapa town hidden among the white clouds like a fairyland.

Related information:

Location: in the center of Sapa town

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And many other tourist attractions, such as: Tram Ton Pass, The Stone Church, Sapa Lake, Sapa Culture Museum, etc.

Foods and drinks

Seven-colour sticky rice

Seven-colour sticky rice

A traditional food of the Nung people of Muong Khuong district in Lao Cai province, this dish is comprised of rice coloured by different leaves and herbs found in local forests. Legend has it that eating this dish on significant dates, such as holidays and during celebrations, will bring good fortune.

Horse stew (Thang Co)

Horse stew (Thang Co)

Speaking of strange, Thang Co is a popular dish in Sapa, and is a traditional dish of the native Hmong people, with a history of at least 400 years. It’s a heavily spiced horsemeat soup, bones and all. The dish is prepared by adding the meat, broth and bones to a large pot over an open flame. Then, twelve spices are added, including cardamom, ginger, citronella, anise and cinnamon, and the soup is then slowly cooked over the course of a day.

And many more local foods and drinks to satisfy your hunger and curiosity such as: Com Lam (Bamboo Sticky Rice), Thit Trau Gac Bep (Dried Buffalo Meat), Tao Meo Wine – H’mong’s Whiskey (Wine from Assam Apple), Cốn Sủi (dry pho), Ga Den (Black Chicken), etc.

In short, the beautiful town of Sapa has a majestic natural landscape, considered as where the earth meets the sky. Sapa weather is very unique with four seasons in one day. Traveling to Sapa will bring you unforgettable special experiences about the scenery and culture of indigenous peoples.

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