Sapa has long occupied a position as one of the premier trekking destinations in all of Vietnam. As you set out from town, the incredible mountain scenery will unfold around you, and as you continue along the buffalo trails even the most jaded traveller is sure to be filled with awe.
This is the best way to explore the valleys of Sapa, walking past rice fields and visiting remote and authentic villages.
There are more trekking paths and routes in Sapa than one can mention, and our guides are experts in picking the right ones for your or your group’s needs. Treks can take place over a single day, or turn into multi-day expeditions.
Known as the “Roof of Indochina”, Fansipan is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia and represents the ultimate trekking experience in Sapa. Rising to a staggering 3143 meters tall, the peak is part of the Hoang Son Lien mountain range, and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
As you make your way up the mountain, the wildlife and plants will change according to the altitude, with vines and jungle slowly transforming into cotton plantations, then pine trees and finally bamboo which grows near the peak.
Most tours are done over two or more days, with one or two nights spent at the campsite, located 2800 meters up the mountain. Here you can enjoy a hot dinner and a well earned sleep, before completing the trek the following day. The best months to do this are April and May, as the weather is warmer and the sky is likely to be clear, ideal conditions for the great views here.
For those without the physical capabilities to trek the mountain, or those wishing to take an easier route on the way down, there is also a newly-installed cable-car running up and down the mountain. Installed in 2016, it holds the world record for longest non-stop cable car at 6292.5 meters, as well as the greatest elevation difference at 1410 meters.
The cable-car runs from right behind town, and carries you all the way up to the peak, through the clouds. The whole journey takes just 20 minutes, a fraction of the time it takes to conquer the peak on foot.
Besides trekking, homestays are the main reason travellers come to Sapa. These family-run businesses provides perfect cultural experiences where you live and eat with a local family, observing their traditions and way of life, and enjoying the warm hospitality that Sapa is famous for.
Markets and Textiles
Due to the ethnic diversity of Sapa, it’s a great place to shop for unique garments and fabrics. The different ethnic groups produce many different kinds of traditional clothing which serve as the perfect souvenir to take home with you.
These markets also feel almost like festivals, serving as important cultural gatherings where people from different tribes and villages meet and socialize. This means that aside from a homestay, they’re probably the best cultural experiences to be found in the region.