Top things to do in Sapa
One of the most famous sightseeing in the north of Vietnam is Sapa, with the height around 1500-1650m above sea level. Sapa is a charming land, quiet but varies wonderful of natural scenes. Sapa is also a nest of hill tribe as: Black H'Mong, Red Dzao, Xa Pho, Tay, Zay...etc. Travel to Sapa, leave all your daily life behind and enjoy the fresh air, clouds, sky, romantic scenery of the majestic attraction. With an average temperature of 14-17°C will be more convenience for the tour to the local villages as well as explore the Fansipan mountain peak. However, how to visit and which attraction to visit is the big question to all visitors who tend to come to Sapa. Hereafter, these are most popular things to do in Sapa:
1. Muong Hoa Valley
Muong Hoa Valley - Sapa Vietnam
Muong Hoa is one of the most famous destination for breathtaking scenery and is the largest farmland for rice growing in SaPa. It is far from town about 14 kilometers. Going to visit Muong Hoa, you can trek along Muong Hoa River sneaking through the valley nearby SaPa town. This valley lies between two high ranges of mountains running in parallel south-east of SaPa town. On the way, you can learn more about how is the rice cultivating.
From the highest elevation of the mountain range covered by endless forest, rain water follows dozens of streams downhill to the floor forming the Muong Hoa, which follows across the small town and rice fields of the ethnic minority people of H’Mong, Dao and many others. They has been working on the slopping land and living their own ways for hundereds years.
Visiting Muong Hoa Valley, you will enjoy an easy walk downhill and along Muong Hoa River, through terraced fields passing some hamlets of the H’Mong people as Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai..., watching locals at work. The night you spend in Ta Van village. The unique village in SaPa area where Giay minority live, will be an excellent and remarkable experience.
2. Love WaterFall
Love WaterFall - Sapa Vietnam
Located in San Sa Ho Commune with 4km to the Northwest of Sapa Town, Love Waterfall deserves to be a must-see in this allured town. The name of this waterfall, Love, originates from a legendary love story that has been told to generations in this land. The story tells that long time ago, this waterfall was the bathing place of fairies from heaven. One day, a fairy was mesmerized by flute sound of a young boy near the fall, so she spent every night listening to his melodies. Not long time after, her parentscame to know the secret, and forbade her from coming back to the fall. The passionate fairy transformed herself to a bird so that she could live with her love forever. From then on, the name Love is born.
Travelling on a soil road offragrantflower on the two sides of it to the fall, tourists might be more and more curious about how beautiful the waterfall is. From far sight, Love Waterfall looks like a sparkling stream of light.
It has a height of about 100m, and starts from the peak of Fansipan Mountain and rush noisily into the Gold Stream like a never-ending song. Under the waterfall, the Gold Stream runs along with green grass plots and bamboo clusters, forming a poetic image.The stream flows to the forest endlessly, to some places that only passionate people dare to venture into.
3. Tram Ton Pass
Tram Ton Pass - Sapa Vietnam
Tram Ton Pass locates on the road from Sapa to Lai Chau Province on the northern side of Fansipan and around 15km from Sapa. At 1900m height, this is Vietnam’s highest mountain pass, and described as a line between two weather fronts. Even if you’re not tend to travel to Lai Chau, just spend few hours to come up here to experience the often ferocious winds and the breathtaking views.
4. Ta Phin Village
Ta Phin Village - Sapa Vietnam
Travel to Sapa, visiting its villages is the must do thing as without seeing the local life, you are considered as have not been here. One of the villages is Ta Phin. Ta Phin Village is located in Ta Phin Commune, Sa Pa District, about 12km northeast of Sa Pa Town. The village is surrounded by mountains and owns spectacular rice terraces. The best time to visit Ta Phin is in late afternoon when tourists can enjoy amazing view of sunset over the village and the whole surrounding areas. Set within a valley with a towering mountain peak at one end, this village is alive with the daily life of the Kinh, Red Dao and Black Hmong people. The valley floor is layered with rice paddies and dotted with 20 small home communes. Above them are some smaller communes and a patchwork of corn and vegetable fields.
"We women are so active - not only do we grow vegetables and pigs and get wood for the fire, we also try to learn English so we can talk to tourists. Before there were tourists we were very poor. But now we can make more handicrafts and make some money and meet people." - said Ly May Chan (a local woman)
A common sight in the village is to see the woman and the girls sitting together, gossiping and laughing, head down focused on a piece of indigo coloured cloth. They make their embroidery and brocade products that are sold and traded amongst the villages and visitors. The locals are friendly and will invite the tourists to go to their homes to show how they live and what they have.
Ta Phin Village now is also a famous destination for trekking tours. Whether the tourists choose to stay overnight in the village or just visit for a day, the locals will be happy to organise a tour for them through the village. The tourists may meet locals working the field, see traditional housing, visit caves and medicine bath complex or go for a long walk through the rice paddies and mountain views.
5. Sin Chai Village
Sin Chai Village - Sapa Vietnam
Located at the foot of Fansipan Mountain - the roof of Vietnam and Indochina countries is Sin Chai village, about 30 kilometers trekking from Sapa town. From here you can enjoy huge stunning landscapes before climbing up on the way a jeep to return to Sapa. Sin Chai is a village of the Red Dao ethnic people, whose women wear beautifully embroidered clothes with distinctive silver jewellery and an enormous red turban. This short trek to Sin Chai allows visitors for cultural acclimatization. Sin Chai is a community village. Here the locals will take the time to teach textile weaving and dying, will take the group on a locally built trail to explain the names and function of the local flora. There will be the opportunity to participate in the village community, there will be a traditional sporting activity and tree planting. But before staying in Sin Chai Village, the visitors shall have a chance to stop over Cat Cat Village, just 2 km trekking from Sapa Townlet and on the way to Sin Chai Village, to learn about the life of Black H’mong people.
6. Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Falls)
Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Falls) - Sapa Vietnam
Travel to Silver Waterfall by Jeep or a 4 seat car (even by bus or motorbike), Silver Falls is about 15 kilometers from Sapa toward Lai Chau Province; tourists take approximately 30 minutes by motorbike or bus to visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam. The scenery along the way, the pine forest, and the 'su su' spread over the hills. With more than 100 meters high, white water pouring down the stream.
Standing on Ham Rong Mountain, visitors will see the water flows down as silver so that people in here called the waterfall with the romantic name "Silver Waterfall"
7. Holy Rosary Church Or the Stone Church
Holy Rosary Church Or the Stone Church - Sapa Vietnam
The ancient church is known as stone church or the Holy Rosary church which is located in the heart of Sapa town built by the French from the early 20th century. Before starting to build this structure, the French architect selected carefully about the terrain. The shape and architecture of the church was built by cross. This architecture presented in the roof, bell tower… which created the elegant church.
The whole church was built by stone (walls, floors, bell towers) that are linked by a mixture of sand, lime and molasses. With total area over 6000m2, Sapa church has enough rooms for the arrangement of the area.
The church of Sapa is always a place where holds many traditional cultural activities of ethnic minorities. In the front of the church is tennis area which has unique cultural activities of local people on Saturday. With flute, trumpet leaves, “xòe” dance... created sparkling, magical atmosphere in Sapa.
Additionally, because the structure was designed early, the church of Sapa experienced many events of history. Since its establishment, the church always has priests in order to offer parishioners. However, many years later, due to the presence of Japanese troops, the activities of the Church have stalled. In later years, the war makes almost activities to suspend. After that, the church became the repository of rice.
8. Ham Rong Mountain
Ham Rong Mountain - Sapa Vietnam
Via Muong Tien to get to Sapa, in vaporous clouds travelers will see a mountain peak rising as dragon-head. It is Ham Rong mountain with 100 ha in area.
The name of Ham Rong was derived from the legend that, in primitive age there were a couple of dragons which became attached to each other while the deluge was rising high. Walking up, they hurrily separated from each other but failed. They were drifted to different places After a long time, the female dragon was petrified but still tried to raise its eyes to the male dragon on the Hoang Lien mountain in the west because its instinct for survival remained.
As going to Sapa, travelers often climb up Ham Rong mountain to enjoy a cool atmosphere and charming landscapes such as cloud ground and stone garden, gardens, garden of medicinal plants, especially the garden of various orchids and specific houses on stilts of ethnic minorities. A great deal of rocks in shape of dragon claws and fin appear to our eyes and we will think of being lost in a wonderland. Following cliff will lead us to the heaven gate I and II.
Standing on the peak, you will enjoy particularly interesting landscapes around as much as you wish and throw your view farer to make the most of poetic beauty of Sapa town looming in clouds.
9. Sapa Love Market
Sapa Love Market - Sapa Vietnam
Sapa is also famous for its love market, which takes place on saturday evenings. The love market of Sapa used to be the place to find a partner to get married. With the tourism, the real love market does not take place anymore. Currently you can only see a representation of the love market. Do not miss it anyway if you are staying here a saturday night.
Young Red Dzao hill tribe used to come to Sapa to sing songs to the opposite sex. Girls sang the songs hidden in the dark, when a boy found them, and if they matched together, they disappeared into the forest for three days. Some of them got married after that.
A night of song and dance, the performances expressing fervent wishes for eternal love. Romantic melodies fill the night air.The dancing and singing continue into the early hours, often persuading men and women into each other’s arms. That first magical night, some are lucky enough to leave the market with their new partners and walk hand in hand through the forest. But others are simply nervous: tomorrow is the big day, after all. Many have waited months for the chance to find their soul mate.
The day of the Market of Prosperity is alive with different moods: happiness at meeting old friends, anxiety as others wait to meet someone new. Whether they find a partner or not, the happy memories of the day linger in the minds of many of these mountain people. And anyway, there is always next year. Because at this market, the goods are always ripe./.