Sapa is 370 km from Hanoi. The climate is often cool in the summer, not extremely hot and in the winter, low temperatures, even with snow and ice so that it can be seen as a very reasonable place for you to escape the heat of this summer. We would have a number of travelling Sapa experiences to share with you. Wish you an interesting summer trip.
From Hanoi, you have trains or buses to go to Sapa
Trains: There are 3 trains Hanoi - Lao Cai daily scheduling at 19h40, 20h35 and 21h50. It will take you 8 hours to arrrive at Lao Cai. In the peak season you should contact in advance with the booking agents to book return tickets, to avoid breaking your plan.
One-way fares Hanoi - Lao Cai range from 135,000 VND / person to 515,000 VND / person depending on your choice of bed or seat. You had better go straight to the Hanoi train station for tickets, preferably about 3-5 days prior to your departure. If buying a bed, you can choose the first floor for easy moving. If traveling with family, sign up for a room to easily manage your luggages.
Particular note: you must carefully read the information on the ticket of the car and the room to avoid confusion (the same room number but different car numbers) it's a pain when you return later. From Lao Cai Station, you ride bus to Sapa with about 50,000 VND / person.
Buses: You can select one of the two bus operators for your journey Hanoi - Lao Cai which are Vietbus and Hung Thanh. Cars with beds, Air conditioners and quite soft fares of from 150,000 VND to 180,000 VND / person, plus from Lao Cai to Sapa of 50,000 VND / person.
Our advice is that if you go with small children your choise should be train for the higher safety and not affacted like cars. The road to Sapa is very steep and winding.
In Sapa, if you wish to drive yourself to explore the interesting places, you can rent a motorcycle to travel for your initiative with the prices from 150,000 VND to 200,000 VND / day (fuel upto you).
In Sapa, there are many hotels with different prices. The most expensive are Victoria, Chau Long. The medium-class hotels are SapaView, Thien Ngan, Holiday, FansipanView.. The standard are Pinocchio, Sapa Star Light, Cong Doan.. Hotels have reasonable prices depending on your choice and are very professional.
Normally, any major hotel has also a restaurant and serves free buffet breakfast (included in room rate). Rates are of about 90,000 to 100,000 VND / person with the set menu. A la cart will be more expensive but the food more hygiene.
Breakfast: chicken noodle shop opposite to the bus station or stilt house noodle shop in Sapa market have very tasty and affordable meals.
Lunch - Dinner: There are two shops, introduced by many native named Dung and Hoa Dao with good food and affordable prices or a series shops on the Sapa church side are also good. Especially delicious vegetables in Sapa, in line with the chilly air in the evening, you can order hot pot chicken to eat and enjoy the sweetness of Sapa vegetables.
Night eating: baked eggs, skewered meat in a variety of sidewalk near the church (way up to Ham Rong Mountain) and the path besides Ho lake.
In the evening, you are spoiled for choices in Sapa snacks.
If you just tried to eat a little of everything, then you would also have to stand up with a full abdomen. If you pick out some kind to eat then you will be because everything is marinated with different flavor.
In Sapa, there is a series of cafe with great view. You can choose a luxurious cafĂ© with the calm atmosphere or a cafe located on the sidewalk of the church to be able to watch the Sapa streets.
In Sapa there are many good cafes with Western style.
Climb the Ham Rong mountain to watch the flowers carpet along the way. When you reach San May (Clouds Yard), you will have an opportunity to have the city panoramic from above. The mountain is nearly 2,000m high to sea level, located right into the city center.
Cat Cat village is about 12km from the city center, the major tourist village in Sapa. You can buy the small souvenirs as gifts to your loved ones and friends here.
Silver Falls is a waterfall pouring down with plain white foam so it's got its name. Silver Falls is over 200 meters high, the source of the Muong Hoa stream at the foot of the mountain pass O Quy Ho. This area is one of the most snowy in Sapa. In March 2011, snow fell to over 10cm thick. Standing on Ham Rong mountain, you can see the Silver Falls in a clear sky day.
Cau May (Cloud Bridge) is about 17 km from Sapa. This famous calamus rope bridge is over Muong Hoa river, now with an alternative a wooden bridge, more solid and safer. With luck, you pass Cau May on a fog rolling up from the Muong Hoa river, feel like you are floating on clouds.
Sapa ancient rock ruins is about 8 km2 from Muong Hoa valley. This area is of 8km2 with about 200 rocks as an evidence of the presence of prehistoric people here. There are patterns appearing on the rocks with strange shapes: the ladder, the people, the road and the written .. circles like sun symbols, draws featuring male and female mating - the birth symbol, and a lot of fancy painting.
Ta Van village (a major tourist village of Sapa) is with homestay services for tourists. In Ta Van you can enjoy the dances bearing much nationalistic of Giay ethnic and join in bamboo dance with villagers. From Ta Van, you can contact some native to enter the Ta Phin village to visit the daily lives of the villagers as well as participate in traditional games.
As the night falls, the tiny city becomes a magical beauty. Walking in the fog on the slopes, sitting by charcoal heating, eating baked chicken eggs with seasoning salt, will bring you the wonderful feeling.
A small notice: after a day of wandering, nothing compares to bathing services and foot massage of Dao people in dispeling all fatigue. The service costs about 200,000 VND/person.