Note : You are on Page 2 of Sapa. Start with Page 1.
- Page 1- Useful Info (Hotels, Transport…)
- Page 2- What to Visit
Sapa – Orientation – Maps
Map – The Center of Sapa :
And the “out of town” attractions :
Interactive Map : Tourist attractions + Transport + Center
- Points in Green : Train Station (in Lao Cai) + Transport to Mountain Fansipan
- Points in Red : Sapa City Center
- Points in Blue : Tourist Attractions
What to Visit in Sapa ?
The City Center
Let’s look again at the Sapa Map :
Make a tour in the main roads (marked in yellow on the Map).
Make a tour around the lake. It is a small lake, a tour takes 20 minutes (if you don’t stop every second for a photo).
Take a look at the little church, near the main square. It is nicely illuminated at night.
Walk on the road in the direction of Cat Cat village (bottom left) . There are coffees with terraces with amazing view over Fansipan mountain.
There is also a market, on the right side of the lake (see on the interactive map above)
Cat Cat village
It is an artificial place. It was built so that people will make photos beside artificial structures.
Still, it is nice on the week-ends when there are a lot of Vietnamese.
The place with the wooden wheels, is interesting.
I found a real Cappuccino coffee here + amazing view
There are waterfalls
There are some cultural shows, in a hut
You need to buy a ticket, to enter the area. Price : 70,000 Dong.
You can walk inside the reserve, no need to use a vehicle.
A typical tour in the “reserve” takes 3 hours (including the time to take photos).
How to get there ?
It is close to Sapa, less than 2 Km on the road. See location on the interactive map, above.
- By foot
You can walk till there (I did it). The vehicles are a little bit annoying when you walk because there is not a sidewalk.
- By Taxi or Taxi-moto
There are freelancers with motorbikes who will address you on the streets of Sapa
- By rented motorbike or bike
- By organised tour
Fansipan Mountain – Funicular + Cable car
The peak of the mountain is at 3143 meters. It is the highest mountain in the region (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam).
You arrive there by a cable car + 2 funiculars as explained later (there are professionals who are climbing the mountain, but they know what they are doing, it is a risky environment):
The view is amazing at the top.
There are pagodas and temples
and statues, on the way to the top
There is a coffee place at the top, with high prices (you know, they don’t have competition at that altitude).
A word about the Weather :
- It is cold at the top, so bring something to cover yourself.
- How can you know if it is clear at the top ? It could be foggy in the town of Sapa but clear at the top of Fansipan. Inform yourself at the ticket office of the Funicular station. They have a webcam at the top of the mountain and they can show you how it looks up there, if it foggy or not (on a smartphone that they have) .
How to get there ?
It is very easy to visit this site because the Funicular station is in the center of Sapa, on the main square. You can buy a combined ticket for Funiculars + Cable car.
1. Take the Funicular from the funicular station at the main square of Sapa (see location on the maps above)
It costs 50,000 Dong.
You arrive to an intermediate station.
2. Switch to a cable car. It costs 700,000 Dong. This cable car is very long
and holds several world records.
You get down from the cable car near this position :
3. Once you get down from the cable car, you can continue to the top by foot or take another funicular that costs 70,000 Dong.
It seems that most people choose the walking option (like me), but there are a lot of stairs and it is not that fun to make sports at an altitude of 3000 meters (you know, oxygen and all that). Maybe it is wise to take the funicular for going up and the stairs to return to the cable car (you will see statues and wonderful panoramic view)
The all complex is managed by “Sun World”. They are making attractions parks with cable cars in several cities in Vietnam (Ba-Na hills in Danang, Nha-Trang, Halong city).
Villages zone 1 – Y Linh Ho+Lao Chai+Ta Van – (trekking)
This is the most interesting region for trekking, the view is amazing.
You can arrive here on your own or with an organised tour (see later, how to arrive)
To enter the zone, you need to pay a fee of 75,000 Dong (there is a barrier with ticket sale on the road). If you are with an organised tour, so it is probably included.
You will see on the way, a lot of agriculture terraces :
In different shades of colours :
Very beautiful terraces:
And a lot of mountains
You will meet Buffalos :
And more buffalos
And pigs, dogs, cats, chicken:
You will see some “Home Stay” in which you can stay to sleep, if you really want.
You will see a lot of other groups of tourists, walking.
And hill tribes, trying to sell you stuff :
Or guiding groups of tourists :
The village of Ta-Van is interesting :
There is a school, which is the “center of gravity” of the village.
Vendors who are selling strange vegetables :
And there is a nearby coffee place (also food) with amazing view, called Dao Spa :
There is a river that flows in the valley :
The organised tours are usually for a whole day with a stop for lunch. It is a tiring day but feasible for all the family.
How to get there ?
The area (what I call zone 1) is about 7 Km from the town of Sapa (line distance, but much more on the trails). See location on the following map or on the interactive map, above.
- You can do a trip between the villages on your own with a motorbike, a bike or even by foot.
- Most of the people choose to join an organised tour which is sold at the hotels and in the travel agencies.
- You can also negotiate a price for a private guided tour with the Hmong women. They will address you everywhere in town.
I did it on a rented motorbike, provided by the hotel :
If you plan to arrive by motorbike : The roads are in bad conditions in some parts and there are some steep climbs.
And wet roads :
Automatic motorbike or manual ?
Most of the motorbikes running on the roads of Sapa are manual but the tourists are usually asking for an automatic motorbike. The problem is that the hotel (or motorbike agency) usually give tourists an old motorbike with several problems like weak brakes, weak engine etc. It can get dangerous once you are on an unpaved road in the mountains. My motorbike could not climb some hills and the engine was shutting down when going downhill. It seems that a manual motorbike is more suitable for the mountains, compared to the old automatic scooters, that hotels are providing.
Filling gasoline, on the start of the day, was weird (I mean the waiting queue) :
Villages zone 2 – Ta Phin+Ma Tra (trekking)
The view is similar to the zone 1, there are a lot of agriculture terraces and mountains but if you have to choose between zone 1 or here, choose zone 1 (indeed, there are much more groups of tourists in zone 1).
Also here, there is an entry fee to the zone : 40,000 Dong.
Also here you will meet farm animals :
You will see much less humans here, compared to zone 1 :
There is a cave near Ta-Phin village.
It is not lighted inside, you can pay a tribe woman waiting at the entrance and she will guide you inside with a torch.
How to get there ?
The area (what I call zone 2) is about 7 Km from the town of Sapa (line distance, but much more on the trails). See location on the interactive map, above.
Like for zone 1, you can arrive by yourself on a rented motorbike or by foot or take an organised tour from your hotel or travel agency.
“Love waterfall”+ “Silver waterfall” (Thac Bac)
The 2 waterfalls are close to each other, so you can visit both of them, the same day (see how to arrive later on).
On the way to the waterfalls, I met Buffalos (I like them) :
And saw nice scenery :
There is an entrance fee to the Love waterfall – 70,000 Dong :
At the entrance, there are traditional clothes that you can rent, for the photos. Young Vietnamese adore to do that :
You walk about 30 minutes, in order to arrive to the waterfall :
On the way, you see adolescents who takes photos with traditional clothes :
And some who take photos dressed normally :
Finally you arrive to a nice waterfall :
A waterfall not too high and not too low :
On the way back to the entrance, I met Buffalos :
And outside the reserve, in the cafés, I saw Buffalos in less good shape :
Silver Waterfall – Thac Bac
It is less interesting than the Love waterfall. You just climb some stairs, arrive to a bridge and get down.
It is a short visit, maybe 30 minutes :
There is a small entry fee to the site :20,000 Dong.
How to get there ?
The waterfalls are about 10 km (by road) from the town of Sapa. See location on the interactive map, above. The distance between the 2 waterfalls is less than 2 Km. The Silver waterfall is first on the road.
You can arrive :
- On your own with a rented motorbike.
- Organised trip (bought from your hotel, or a travel agency)
If you arrive by motorbike, the condition of the road is good, it is a normal road.
Organised Excursions from Sapa or Hanoi
There are a lot of organised excursions at Sapa.
- You can book a tour here with Viator
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If you find incorrect data on this page, like a restaurant that has closed or a big river that has moved or you want to tell me something, please write me to contact.