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Some Sapa Travel Tips

Banks & Communication
The post office is in the town center, but most hotels can send postcards and letters and have stamps for sale. There are a few storefront Internet cafes, but service is slow and unreliable. All hotels provide exchange service for traveler’s checks and even credit card cash advances. There is a local bank on Cau May where you can cash traveler’s checks for the same 2% fee as at your hotel, but there are also some ATMs here.

Small Tips:

  • It can be too much of an adventure trying to get there as individual traveller. Arrange the trip with a reputable tour operator to ensure smooth, risk free travel.

  • Traveling on week days is both easier and cheaper than weekends (lower hotel costs, more relaxed travel schemes)

  • Always make sure you have return tickets in hand.

  • Get to Hanoi and Lao Cai at least 30 minutes before departure – but be ready for a sudden or late departure without any explaination.

  • Make sure there is something to define the person who picks you up (i.e, his name, cell number and so on)

  • Say “no” very firmly when someone offers you something you do not want to buy. If you show the slightest interest, they may well follow you all the way up the road, until they find anther likely target.

  • Expect to bargain everything down to about half the original price asked. And expect most products to be Chinese instead of being authentically local.

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