Holiday Sapa – Guides for a memorable trip (P1)

If you are in Vietnam this time and wonder how to really enjoy the last two months of 2018? No need to find more. Let’s us share with you the ultimate guides to fulfill your trip in the land of spectacular terraced rice fields, the colorful locals markets with enticing ethnic cultures and the exclusive natural phenomenon – snowing in a tropical country. Now jot down the important things for your exciting holiday Sapa. But wait, what can you find in this article?

  1. Introduction about Sapa
  2. Best time to take your holiday Sapa?
  3. How to get to Sapa?
  4. Where to stay in Sapa?
  5. What to eat in Sapa?
  6. Top attractions for your fantastic holiday Sapa
  7. What to buy as souvenirs from your holiday Sapa?
golden terraced rice field
Golden terraced-rice field in Sapa


           1. Introduction about Sapa

Sapa is located in Lao Cai Province in the northern part of Vietnam. Nature rewards Sapa with spectacular natural beauty with stunning mountainous sceneries and an inducing climate. If you have heard about “snowing in a tropical country”, then Sapa is the true place where you can see such a unique natural phenomenon. Besides those natural charms, Sapa attracts visitors with other wonderful sights and values created by human. They are the breathtaking paddle-rice views, the colorful local markets and the interesting local culture. All these things can appeal and promise to satisfy any tourists.

            2. When to have your holiday Sapa?

Sapa expresses its own beauties in different seasons bringing out various and alluring experience for visitors. Let’s take a look when we should make our own holiday Sapa.

cherry blossom - holiday Sapa
Cherry blossom in Sapa

The best time for your holiday Sapa is from September – November or from March – May. This is when the weather here is stable with sunny and dry daytime and slightly cold at night.

2.1. From April – May:

This is the time when you can enjoy the spectacular view of the rice fields with the limitless green fields, the alluring red color of water rail and the pink cheery blossom.

Snowing in a tropical country

2.2. From September – October:

Lucky you, this is the most expecting time if you wish to admire the golden yellow color of the immense rice fields. Remember to come here at the end of September to enjoy the most wonderful views.

2.3. From December – February:

This is the coldest time of the year when you can enjoy the exclusive phenomenon “snowing in a tropical country”. Additionally, this is the blossom blooming of cherry and water-rail bringing the stunning views in a mountainous area.

While immersing yourselves into such gorgeous views of Sapa, remember to take photos to capture your marvellous moments in your holiday Sapa.

            3. How to get to Sapa – Holiday Sapa:

Sapa is about 38 km from Lao Cai City and 376 km from Hanoi City. In order to get here, you can take either a train or a coach.

3.1. By coach:

The price for sleeper coach is from 230.000 VND – 280.000 VND. The coach departs from My Dinh, Luong Yen or Gia Lam Bus Station (in Hanoi). It takes you about 8-9 hours to get to Sapa. Going by coach can help you save time but it can become uncomfortable in the rainy season due to the slippery roads and steep slopes.

train to enjoy holiday Sapa
Train to Sapa

3.1. By train:

Going to Sapa by train is another option. The train departs from Hanoi Railway Station, starting at around 9 or 10 PM and reaching Sapa at around 5 or 6 AM in the next morning. There are two types of seats including soft seats of 280.000 VND/person and hard seats of 150.000 VND/person. If you wish to choose the sleeper, then there are three kinds of that. 6-sleepers cost 480.000 VND/person, 4-sleepers costs 560.000 VND/person and the 2-sleepers cost 3.200.000 VND/person.

If you depart from Hanoi, this Sapa tour from Hanoi can help you out with a suitable itinerary and transportation.

How to move within Sapa?

For convenience, you should book an accommodation near Sapa Bus Station. You can choose either one of the three ways to move when in Sapa:

  • Option 1: you can rent a motorbike with the price of about 120.000 VND/day (not including gasoline). Then you can freely go to the destinations in Sapa on your own.
  • Option 2: You can try the motor-taxi (xe om) in Vietnam. To move from 4-5 places close to each other, the price is about 100.000 VND.
  • Option 3: If you wish to both discover Sapa gradually and improve your health, you can walk to different attractions here. That will be one of the most memorable experience in your holiday Sapa.
motorbike to head to sapa town
Moving around by motorbike – Photo from

            4. Where to stay when in Holiday Sapa?

Take a look at some of our top suggestions for accommodations in Sapa to well recharge your battery for a full-energy day.

4.1. Eco Palms House:

This is an ideal place for those who wish to stay away from the bustling and hustling of city life to enjoy a truly peaceful trip. Eco Palms House has a perfect location in Lao Chai Village overlooking to the spectacular Hoang Lien Son Mountain and the picturesque Muong Hoa Valley.

eco palms house
Eco Palms House

From here, you can easily get to some of the must-see attractions like Sapa Cathedral, Sapa Square, Sapa Lake. If you wish to rent a bike to discover your own holiday Sapa, let’s ask the friendly staff in the hotel.

4.2. Sapa Capsule Hotel:

Sapa Capsule Hotel is located ideally on So Than Street in the heart of Sapa Town overlooking to Fansipan Mountain and is just about few minutes from Sapa Cathedral. The hotel has a unique design of a capsule decorated with colorful and beautiful flowers.

sapa capsule hotel
Sapa Capsule Hotel

You can expect a quiet and peaceful atmosphere when staying in Sapa Capsule Hotel. The hotel has 48 rooms in total including single and double rooms. The price depends on the direction of your room and varies from 220.000 VND – 400.000 VND.

4.3. Sapa Stunning View Hotel:

Another great option your holiday Sapa accommodation is Sapa Stunning View Hotel. As in its name, the hotel offers a perfect location right next to Sapa Cathedral. You can easily get to the shopping center or the local restaurants in just some stone’s throws. More interestingly, this ideal place allows you to visit Y Linh Ho Village, Ta Van Village in such a convenient way. Sapa Stunning View Hotel provides a fresh, clean and great view to Fansifan Mountain and Muong Hoa Valley.

view from sapa stunning view hotel - holiday Sapa
Sapa Stunning View Hotel – Photo from Internet

The hotel has 19 rooms fully equipped with modern facilities bringing the most favorable experience for your holiday Sapa. Another good news is that, you can ask for motor-bike or car rental here.

            5. What to eat in your holiday Sapa?

While wallowing yourselves into the spectacular natural sceneries of Sapa or enjoy your wonderful moments in its hotels, don’t forget to fill up your energy with scrumptious local foods. Let’s see what we should try out here:

5.1. Thang co – A traditional dish of Mong ethnic people:

The English name for thang co is horse meat. The recipe of this dish is quite simple. After the horse is killed and washed, all of its internal parts are removed and cut into smaller pieces. These parts are then put in a big pan and fried in their own grease. After a few minutes, people add some water into the pan and cook the mixture for hours.

thang co - food in holiday sapa
Thang co

To boost the flavor, people use the local spicy like thao qua, dia dien, peppers, salt to create attractive aroma and taste. Local people often enjoy thang co with wine (for men), com nam (rice balls) of men men (ground maize) for women.

5.2. Salmon and sturgeon:

The salmon and sturgeon here have better flavor than the imported ones with firmer meat fiber and less grease. People use these fish to make various delectable dishes. For example, they can slice salmon or sturgeon into small pieces to make salad or grill.

Sturgeon hotpot - holiday Sapa
Sturgeon hotpot – Photo from Internet

If you visit Sapa in such cold days, enjoying a hotpot with salmon, sturgeon and the fresh vegetables in Sapa will totally warm your day.

5.3. Grilled milky pigs and other typical grill dishes:

Grilled milky pig meat - holiday Sapa
Grilled milky pig meat

Milky pigs are those small and short pigs raised in Mong’s villages. They are about 4-5 kg each. People use them to make grilled or fried dishes. Enjoying grilled milky pigs with wine of the local apple (tao meo) is a perfect fit for a cool or cold night in Sapa.

5.4. Grilled “suoi” fish cooked with special mushroom in Sapa:

Grilled suoi fish - holiday Sapa
Grilled “suoi” fish

5.5. Fresh vegetables:

To balance your taste, remember to try out some dishes from fresh vegetables grown in Sapa. Sapa is the land of vegetables in the temperate zone. The vegetables here have their own uniquely sweet and soft taste. With the simple recipe like boiling or frying, these fresh vegetables become much more delicious.

holiday Sapa

Now that we’ve shared with you some tips to create your own fantastic holiday Sapa. Stay tuned for the rest of this article. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of our related articles below:

  1. Things to do in Sapa
  2. Sapa in winter – What to wear
  3. Where to go in Vietnam in autumn


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