Home Travel Guide Sapa Town The best time to visit Sapa

The best time to visit Sapa

Sapa weather is a combination of a subtropical climate in the summer and a temperate climate during the winter. In general, it is mild and cooler than most parts of Vietnam. The average temperature in Sa Pa town is 15.4 °C (59.7 °F), with a maximum of 29.4 °C (84.9 °F) and a minimum of 1.0 °C (33.8 °F). The warmest months of the year are July and August, and the coldest months are December and January. Snow also comes in some years on the highest peaks. It has snowed in the town itself in 1983 and 2000, 16th March 2011, and 15th December 2013 and 19th February 2014. 


Rice terraces covered in snow in rare occasions in Sapa

Rice terraces covered in snow in Sapa on rare occasions

During the winter time, the four months from November to February, the weather in Sa Pa is so cold, wet and foggy (temperatures can drop to freezing and there was snow in 2011). Travelers have rolled into town on a gloriously clear day and then spent a week trapped in impenetrable fog. When the weather is like this, there really isn’t very much to do. The rice paddies are brown and empty (they are planted in spring) and the footpaths very muddy and slippery; the glorious vistas of summer are completely hidden in the mist. If you plan to visit Sapa in winter, warm clothes are highly recommended or prepare to be cold and miserable as many hotels do not have efficient heating in their rooms. During that time, more and more upmarket hotels do have heating fill up quickly, so make sure you make advance reservations if you can afford to avoid freezing. Notwithstanding, if you are on a lucky dry winter day, and perhaps snowy, you will still be able to witness the spectacular yet somber and romantic beauty of Sapa’s landscape which is totally different from what it is in the warmer season of the year. 

Sapa in May

Sapa in Summer, April to May

If you choose to visit in Summer, say from April to May, it could be sunny during the day with cooler temperatures at night. It is recommended to bring sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen when you out during the day. To accommodate those who are not familiar with the heat of Summer, almost all of hotels in Sapa now are equipped with air-conditioner. If you plan to see the green rice terraces this season, you might miss it as the local farmers would have just started to work on the field. However, you could expect to see the rice fields filled with water like layers of mirrors reflecting the crystal-clear sky. 


The rain season occurs often during the months of June to August when there might be typhoon and lots of showers, especially in the mornings. It is definitely not an ideal time to visit Sapa. If you cannot make another time to visit Sapa, be sure to bring a raincoat or umbrella so you could still walk around.

After the rain, the plants in the whole area will be freshened and the level of precipitation will drop significantly resulting in a clement weather. This is the period from September to October where you will see Sapa’s color dyed in yellow of ripe paddy fields. Considered the most beautiful and romantic time of Sapa during which you might feel as though the scenery is surreal, traveling to Sapa in the fall is perfect for trekking and photography. If you could make time for the trip from September to October, there is no reason to resist planning your Sapa trip now.

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