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Around Sapa

Around Sapa
Even major highways are little more than single-truck, many roads are under repair and things gradually improve.


  • The most popular routes to get to Sapa is sign up for train ticket depart at night time between 7.00 to 10.30pm from Hanoi station to Lao Cai station. We highly recommend Victoria Express train with soft sleeper and air conditioning. The journey is about 8.5 hours then by car or mini van to Sapa, it takes about 50 minutes up and down the beautiful rice terraces of local people.
  • Getting there by local buses is possible, though very uncomfortable, bumpy roads and many buses charge Westerners double or treble the regular fare.
  • Renting a vehicle gives you more freedom to stop at villages or jaunt off along side tracks. Either a four-wheel-drive jeep or landcruiser or a motorbike is recommended.


If you have more time, highly recommend to do the excursion to Bac Ha market on Sunday, Can Cau market on Saturday or Coc Ly market on Tuesday. You can go there by local transportation(uncomfortable) or rent a private vehicle easily in Sapa or included in the itinerary if you book the tour through the travel agent. Some other destination is adviced for tourists are Ban Ho village, Ta Van village, Ta Phin village, Lao Chai village...



Ban Ho village

This vilalge is populated by the Tay minority. They were very welcoming and friendly towards people. Ban Ho Village, home to the Tay minorities and perhaps the most picturesque of the whole challenge. 


Situated alongside a turquoise fast flowing stream, it will be possible to take a little rest from a trek on one of the large boulders at the streams edge. You can also take a little time to explore this village before pushing on over the suspension bridge and trekking through ride fields to the Red Dao village of Nam Toong. 


Lao Chai village

 About 8 – 9 Km southeast of Sapa town on the west bank of Muong Hoa River, Lao Chai is a commune composed by three large villages with over 100 families of the Black H’mong ethnic. From a high point of the main road 8 Km from Sapa town, great view of the whole village open wide to offer the marvelous panorama of the village, backed by high mountains and facing the river.


The H’mong people in this village experience rice intensive farming on the lower land near the bottom of the valley as main source of earning while growing corn on the mountain slopes at the back of the village.


 Taphin village

 Ta Phin village of the H'Mong and Red Dao minority people, a remote village around 12 kilometers from Sapa which still retains traditional customs and lifestyles of ethnic minority groups. Something special awaits visitors at Ta Phin. The villagers will invite visitors to visit their homes to show how they live and what they have, and tell about their families. 


When heading off to Ta Phin village from Sapa, hiking up and down the 12 kilometers of hilly terrain is a good choice as travelers will see local people working in terraced paddy fields, or traveling back and forth from the market to their homes or tourist can stop to see an old French monastery. Especilly after a long day of walking on the windy roads and hills around Sapa town tourist can soak your bones and muscles in a traditional Red Dao herbal bath at Ta Phin.


Cat Cat village

Location: Cat Cat Village is 2km from Sapa Townlet, Sapa District. 
Characteristics: This is an age-old village of H'Mong ethnic group remaining unique customs and practices that are lots in other villages. 


Visitors to Cat Cat have an opportunity to admire a lively and colorful picture. That is the image of young women sitting by looms with colorful pieces of brocade decorated with designs of flowers and birds. When these pieces of brocade are finished, they are dyed and embroidered with beautiful designs. A noteworthy is that H’Mong women use plants and leaves to dye these brocade fabrics. And then they roll a round and smooth section of wood covered with wax on fabrics to polish them, making their colors durable.


In addition to the brocade weaving craft, many residents in Cat Cat are good at manipulating gold and silver jewelry. Their products are fairly sophisticated, especially jewelry for women.

Written by: Source: VNA.

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