"Sa Pa - Insight into Ethnic Minorities of Vietnam" Top 5 Page for this destination Sapa by Brisvegaskid

Sapa Travel Guide: 194 reviews and 849 photos

Sa Pa & Trekking

Sa Pa is a fantastic place to visit if you are into being on the ground, amongst the local people. There are tours which will give you a number of options in approach - various types and degrees of trek, including or not, a homestay.

Sa Pa is about 380km from Hanoi and in the mountains where it is often wet with mist or rain, and can be cold. There are many many different ethnic minority groups who maintain their cultural integrity and independence in the villages around Sa Pa. Their diversity is remarkable.

Trekking, you will see the paddi fields, water buffalo and other farm animals, the village life as you walk through and lots of cheeky children in traditional dress. You will see women working with babies strapped to their backs, weaving, spinning, working in the fields, carrying baskets of goods..somewhere. You will see earthen floored bamboo homes, some with concrete floors.

Getting here, you take the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. This is not hard to do. A bus then takes you 38km from here up the mountain to Sa Pa. This is in itself an experience...much to see on the way. The bus has to travel this road with people on foot, on pushbikes, on motorbikes and occasional other vehicles, notably large trucks. So it's a slow journey and takes about an hour and a half. There are a lot of suicidal children and kamikaze motorbikes to avoid.

Once in Sa Pa, there are many shops, the colourful markets and street vendors selling fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, flowers, and all sorts of other goods, including clothing, local handcrafts and jewellery.

  • Last visit to Sapa: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (4)

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2009 at 6:11 PM

    Great tips Sal....Sa Pa is definitely on the list of "where to explore" this January/February...Cheers!

  • dancinbudgie's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2008 at 10:15 PM

    Great tips! You have really given some thoughtful advise. Thanks, Tracey

  • anoum's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2007 at 7:05 AM

    I really like your tips, practical and concise.

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2007 at 4:29 AM

    I'm planning to visit Vietnam in 2008, so i've read your tips with real interest. Being hosted by a local family must have been an experience.


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