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When is the best time to visit Sapa?

The best time to visit Sapa as well as the Northern mountainous area in Vietnam is from September to November or from March to May, when the weather is fairly settled with dry sunny days and clear cold nights. In April and May, Sapa is blooming with flowers and green pastures.

The climate of Sapa is highly seasonal, with a subtropical climate in the summer and a temperate climate during the winter. Average temperature for Sapa town is 15.4ºC, with a maximum of 29.4ºC and a minimum of 1ºC.

Sapa also experiences a marked wet season from May to September, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in July and August. The weather is also notorious for changing frequently and quickly. It is said that only in Sapa, one can experience many different seasons within only one day.

For the most pleasant weather, the best times to visit Sapa is March and May or mid-September to early December. While trips can be enjoyed year-round, the winters in Sapa get cold, with some fog and drizzle, and the summers have the hottest weather and higher chances of rain, with the rainy season starting in May through September.

If possible, it is recommended to go to Sapa during the week, since the weekend markets can be more crowded with tourists.

Where should our luggage be kept when we leave Hanoi to Sapa?

You can leave your bags at your hotel in Hanoi and bring some necessary stuff with you such as clothes, personal stuff, camera, visa, money…

Another option, you can leave all your luggage at the travel company’s office or travel agency’s office. Make sure the staff there agree to take care your luggage. Normally, travel company and travel agency feel free to keep them carefully. So don’t worry about that.

In case of you don’t tend to return Hanoi after Sapa trip, just bring your luggage to Sapa.

Is there a sleeper train to Sapa? What is it like?

There is a night train to Sapa. There are a range of seating types but we only use the air-conditioned soft sleepers for our guests. There are four berths in each cabin, two lower and two upper. The beds are soft, clean and come with a blanket and pillow. The beds are sometimes a bit small for some Westerners.

Each cabin locks on the inside for security and has a fair amount of room for luggage storage under the beds and above the door.

The train itself does not go fast and takes about 10 hours from Hanoi to Lao Cai (about 350 km). In comparison to other trains it is not too noisy, although some people bring earplugs, especially if they are in the hard –sleeper class. Toilets are available on each coach.

About half the time there is a dining car on the train. Just recently we have noticed that they have replaced the dining car with another passenger coach. Thus, it is advised to bring water, snacks, or anything else you may want to eat with you.

Any other means of travel to Sapa except train?

The best mean of transport to Lao Cai and Sapa is still the train, however, car or van can be also good to reach to this beautiful mountain town.

It will take about 10 hours (not including possible traffic jams) in a distance of 400 km from Hanoi. And there is plenty of sightseeing we can make on route.

We recommend to travel by train, but for some reasons, you would wish to travel there by car, please check with one of our travel consultants to see the road conditions since it sometimes has construction and will make your journey to Sapa even longer than 10 hours. Road travel should be at day time.

How far is that from Lao Cai to Sapa and means of transport?

It is 38 km from Lao Cai to Sapa, the road is constantly zigzag with steep up hills. As we approach will gain about 1000m in elevation and reach Sapa town at 1600m. The views are spectacular.

It is comfortable by AC can or car, our driver will bring you to Sapa in about one hour.
Your guide and/or driver will be waiting outside the train station to pick you up. Look for a sign with your name on it.

Is your local guide waiting for us at the train station of Lao Cai?

Yes, your guide will be waiting outside the train station with a sign board with your name. Together with your driver they will take you safely to Sapa. The guide that we use is a local guide from the Sapa area.

Tip: There are so many people outside at Lao Cai train station when you get out, please make sure you look for the right guide with the right signal of Sapa Green Travel.

Is there anywhere in Sapa or Lao Cai, that we can get changed, have a shower, and leave luggage before our trekking?

Yes, for your comfort, we have arranged a clean place at a Sapa hotel for you to shower (not for sleep). Breakfast is at the restaurant in the same place. For convenience, you may also leave your bags at the hotel.

There are a lot of restaurant, hotel accepted to keep your luggage in Sapa.

Tip: The place for shower and changed is not for sleeping the whole day, it’s just for a short rest and shower before you start your trek.

What is the different between easy trekking, intermediate & hard trekking?

Trekking: Is a category of adventure travel, typically involving visits to remote areas, with overnight lodging in tents or other minimal accommodation. It is less strenuous than hiking but more strenuous then walking.

In comparison to trekking in Nepal or India, the trekking in Sapa is easy. But, because of the rapid weather changes, and the severe ups and downs on some of the trails; we have to classify the trekking as moderate. Please be aware of the time it takes to reach each destination so that you can confirm that it will suit your abilities.

Easy trekking: Harder than walking, trekking trail is not steep, has some ups and downs, often in a short time.

Moderate trekking: Trekking trail has ups and downs, but not so steep. Trail will become more difficult in poor weather.

Intermediate to Hard trekking: Trekking route has a steep incline and often is off road in remote areas, very difficult during periods of rain.

What kind of shoes should we use for trekking Sapa?

There are different types of trekking in Sapa and its surrounding mountains, so when booking Sapa tours or Vietnam tours including Sapa, you will need to check with our travel consultants to see which kind of shoes will work best.

For the light or easy trek, we recommend using good sandals or walking shoes, but for intermediate and hard trekking trips, we have to use really good shoes or sport shoes which must have really strong grips for hiking up and down. Many of our past clients use their expert hiking boots which often become very muddy in rainy weather.

The best footwear during periods of rain are definitely the local rubber boots bought at the local market for about 60 000 VND or $4 USD. They grip in mud and do not cause blisters. Although, these boots do not breath at all.

Are there mosquito nets and sleeping bags provided at homestays?

The locals will make all the arrangements of bedding like: cushions, mattress, blankets, pillows, mosquito-net, with their own materials. Authentic and simple but clean and safe. Bring your own sleeping bags to the homestays in case of you have sensitive skin.

Tourists will stay with the family in the same house providing we are a group of less than 4. For the group more than 4, they will be divided into smaller groups and stay in another homestays nearby.

What kind of food will we eat at the homestay?

For dinner there will be a mix of traditional dishes such as pork, chicken meat, spring roll, vegetable…

For breakfast, pancakes and bananas have become very popular amongst the trekkers and homestays,

If you wish to have a traditional Dao breakfast that can be arranged. It is usually rice or noodle with egg and vegetables.

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