Sapa Sunshine Travel

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Sapa Overview

Sapa is a mountainous district of Lao Cai province with an area of 678.3 km2, located in north – west Vietnam. Sapa is 38 km far away from Lao Cai city and 376 km from Hanoi city. The population density is 41.700 people with 6 different hill tribes as H’Mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Xa Pho, Kinh, Hoa. Sapa means “town of sand” (Sa (sand), Pa (town) in Chinese Character). Northern Vietnam was previously known as Tonkin and the Sapa area was named “Tonkinese Alps” by French.

Sapa was discovered by French in 1918 and after that, in 1932 they built the town as a wonderful health resort with a stone church, market, a complex of villas and hotels, aerodrome by Tram Ton pass, the hydro-electric power station in Cat Cat village and surrounding area which have since been abandonded or destroyed. They also established a road linking with Lao Cai and Lai Chau. Since 1945, Sapa armed assault in Sapa which destroyed most of the buildings. Due to Vietnamese resistance, this conflict lasted less than two weeks. Only a few of the original French buildings remained intact. Major population centers such as Lao Cai were razed to the ground. The ruins of the French villas are prominent on the route from Sapa to Sin Chai village.

At the height from 1.500 to 1.800m above sea level, Sapa is a beautiful resort town which hides itself in cloud. The average temperature of this area is 15 degree C – 18 degree C. It is cool in summer and cold in winter. Sometimes, there is snow falling in winter. This is a specific thing in Sapa. It attracts a lot of tourists coming here to experience Sapa’s climate. Tourists to Sapa in summer can feel the climate of four seasons in one day. In the morning and afternoon, it is cool like the weather in spring and autumn. At noon, it is sunny and cloudless like the weather of summer. And it is cold in the evening. Without advance forecast of a thunderstorm, short and heavy rain may come at noon in any summer days. Subsequently, a rainbow appears, turning Sapa into a majic land which has been a constant source of poetic inspiration for years, lights up the whole region.

Sapa is a kingdom of colorful flower species like rose, orchid flower, apricot flower, peach flower, especially Helichrysum bracteatum. Sapa is famous for many natural sightseeing spots like Silver Waterfall, Ham Rong Mountain, Fansipan Mountain, Bamboo forest, Rattan bridge, Taphin cave and so on that attract a lot of visitors.

Silver waterfall is about 200 meters tall with water source falling down impetuously that makes a sound of forest impressively. Rattan bridge is a historical relic of ethnic people. Gate Pass is the highest point which road can reach to. Here tourists can see Fansipan peak, the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3.143 meters. Fansipan Mountain has a specious fauna and flora.  It is very suitable for climbers who consider it to be their passion. Hoang Lien Mountain Range is also called the Alps of the North Sea area since Fansipan Mountain is not only the highest peak in Vietnam, but also in the Indochina Peninsula. The pyramid-shaped mountain is covered with cloud all year round and temperature often drops below zero. Driving on the way to Lao Cai, turning left from the main road, Ta Phin village appears right in front of your eyes after taking a small path to village. Tourists can discover life of Red Dzao people and visit Taphin cave and the remains of an ancient abbey.

Sapa ancient rock field is located in Muong Hoa valley. This field consists of 196 stones of various dimensions concentrated in the area, which was carved with many strange shapes by ancient people thousands of years ago. Until now this area is keeping secrets in itself that archaeologist and scientists have not deciphered it yet. Sapa ancient rock area is recognized as a national historical relic. Coming to Sapa town, it can’t help visiting Ham Rong Mountain located next to Sapa foggy town. Ham Rong is known as a center of flower. Many kinds of brilliant and colorful flower are grown here. Travelers seem to get lost in the fairy garden, cloud surrounds them and flower blooms the most beautifully in spring. Any travelers can see the whole Sapa town from here. Nowadays, with an enthusiastic care of local people, Ham Rong has become a sightseeing place with full of blossom in Sapa.

Sapa is the land with 6 settled – down ethnic minority groups. Each group has a different culture with festivals as “Roong Poc” of the Giay in Ta Van village. Every year, on the Dragon day of lunar first month of the year, Giay people open the Roong Poc festival to pray fruitful crops, peace for people, growth of animals and favorable weather. Besides, there are also “Sai San” festival of H’mong and “Dancing Tet” of Dzao people. At the end of Dragon time and at the beginning of Snake time on the first day and second day of january in lunar calendar, the Dancing Tet of Red Dzao people will be held only at the patriarch’s house in Ta Phin village. Sapa is a small market town that has been a gathering spot for many local hilltribes for nearly 200 years. Sapa market always opens on every Sunday. H’mong and Dzao people, among others, still come here to conduct trade and socialize. Specially on Saturday evening, ethnic minority people attend love market, where young men and women choose one another for marriage.

Sapa town is a land, where trade villages still exist and keep on developing. Cat Cat village is an age – old village of H’mong which keeps a lot of traditional handicrafts as cotton and rattan growing, fabric weaving, jewelry producing. Ta Phin brocade village is in Sapa district, Lao Cai province, about 17km far from Sapa town to the east. Products of Ta Phin brocade village are diversified and colorful. There are main products such as scarf, handbags, wallets, backpacks….These products are completely made by skillful hands of Dzao women and patterned by grass, flower, bird figures… Ban Pho is a mountainous commune in Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province. Coming here, tourists can see not only beautiful landscape but also enjoy Ban Pho’s specialities as Ban Pho’s corn alcohol.

Sapa, with it mercifully cool climate, become a land of many kinds of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, red beet……Tourists will have chance to taste traditional dishes and specialities as salmon hot pot, grilled pork on live coal that bring forest flavor in it. It likely seems to be too long if talking about Sapa, land with many wonders. Make a trip to discover this wonderful land that you have ever never known.

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  • star rating  Well organised and great Guide..... Overnight train was an experience and glad I paid the extra money for the VIP cabin. Unfortunately when we arrived at the hotel there was... read more

    Jamieplp007
    Tháng Ba 7, 2016
  • star rating  We had a great service from John at Sunshine Sapa Travel. Everything was organised and our trip to Sapa ran like clockwork. John even took us to our cabin on... read more

    363connor
    Tháng Mười 22, 2014
  • star rating  We spent 3 days exploring beauty of Sapa in November.
    Sapa is a lovely and fascinating place to visit. We had an amazing time on our Sapa trek... read more

    nqh_CZ
    Tháng Mười Hai 28, 2018
  • star rating  Everything was organized and timely. From the pick up at the airport, to the time we were dropped off a week later, our trip was excellent. I highly... read more

    Robert W
    Tháng Một 27, 2018
  • star rating  Nice place to eat, the restaurant is located on open balcony/terrace a nové the street. Food was very good - especially sprint rolls with sweet&your sauce. Very reasonable prices (noodles... read more

    Martina H
    Tháng Năm 14, 2019
  • star rating  We are a family with two kids ( 10 years old twins) and decided to explore Vietnam a little bit. Since we prefer to visit more places and to see... read more

    Pavel K
    Tháng Tư 17, 2017
  • star rating  Thanks thanks thanks to Sapa sunshine. As a solo traveler it was damn near impossible to book a tour especially under the short time constraints. But thanks to... read more

    Noelmin1978
    Tháng Chín 5, 2016
  • star rating  The trip started with pick ip from our hotel - on time, comfortable van. The overnight train ride was OK (expected to be bumpy and noisy - probably an issue... read more

    WahidahWB
    Tháng Chín 27, 2018
  • star rating  good weather and nice view of rice field ladder which you can enjoying walking along the village all day. you have to be there

    Arnech K
    Tháng Tư 19, 2015
  • star rating  I usually research things myself and have a DIY trip. This time, I found Sapa Sunshine Tours here on Trip Advisor and let them handle it all for me. I... read more

    Rhondahirst
    Tháng Hai 18, 2015
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