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Things to do in Sapa

Muong Hoa Valley

The Muong Hoa valley’s most defining feature is Hoa stream, stretching through the Tan Van, Lao Chai, and Hao Thao villages and where there are mysterious carved stones and curious graphics spread over several kilometers. Ban Pho features these carvings and stones that date back as far as 3,000 years and depict scenes captured artistically by several different regional cultures. The paddy rice fields and sweeping valleys are the perfect pictures and the most beautiful in Sapa. Visitors can see the dying and weaving arts of the Hmong tribe just across a narrow suspension bridge where panoramas show off awe-inspiring natural scenes. This route also takes you to the Red Zao and Zay villages where traditional life hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. This ripe farmland and valley scenery create an amazing backdrop, and along Muong Hoa Valley river hiking, create an unforgettable experience.


Muong Khuong Bird Market

Visiting any Southeast Asia market brings you a rich cultural experience—Muong Khuong bird market is no different. The market gives you a deep insight about a lively social scene; tribes gather to enjoy and fun outing (many villages are far-flung and secluded), laugh and talk with friends, and trade their wares. Most people arrive in special traditional clothing—this is where obvious distinctions between mountain tribes are highlighted. The brouhaha around the bird market is certainly unique: Normally, people arrive in the early morning to catch sight of the best birds—it’s a long-standing tradition to have bird cages hanging in front of homes for spiritual purposes. Nightingales are the top prize and are watched and listened to attentively before they are carefully selected for their auspicious twittering. The sights and sounds are unlike any other market, and if you’re attentive, you can watch this interesting tradition from start to finish.


Thac Bac Waterfall

A look at Sapa and around shows abundant fascinating terrain to explore—Sapa’s most intriguing features are surrounding landscapes and the many different activities available because of them. Less than 15 kilometers from the center of town is Silver Falls, locally called ‘Thac Bac’.

Lying in a range of mountains, beautiful, undulating landscapes area created—the falls are a product of

the Lo Sui Tong mountain top, where the waterfall’s original source lies. Many say the cascading falls appear as a mighty white dragon peering down onto the valley.

From Sapa town, the falls can easily be reached in about a half-hour by car or motorbike (motorbikes are easily rented inexpensively in town and are straightforward to ride). If you take the trip, you’ll be rewarded with stunning scenes of Silver Falls and the last surviving forests of Hoang Lien National Park.


Sapa Homestay

One of the greatest and most profound ways to experience Sapa’s interesting culture is through a homestay arranged ahead of time or upon arrival. This is the ultimate cultural experience where you’ll stay with a local family, live and eat alongside them, learn about the different ways of life in the rural, picturesque setting, and often have your own personal guide who will proudly introduce you to everyone in the vicinity! A homestay further out of Sapa town exemplifies the ancient ways of life and scenery is at its best. And nevertheless, the homestay will be not for anyone expecting modern condition because it will be furnished with private rooms, flush toilets, and mosquito-netted beds in basic tidy homes. Homestay families must pass strict government testing and receive food training to offer comfortable, hygienic lodging before accommodating the tourists.


Fansipan Mountain

There are 2 ways to reach the Hoang Lien Mountains including Fansipan Mountains which are connected to this chain, reaching thousands of feet and creating the tallest pinnacle in Vietnam. Alpine activities are just 20 kilometers from Sapa but the hike is by foot only and leads into a physical challenge ideal for fit trekkers. Visiting Sapa village between October and March and spend a three-day excursion through small hill tribe hamlets to the dense forest trails filled with scenic mountain passes. Without the need for any climbing gear, visitors carry just the bare essentials and can refuel and rest in rustic shelters along the way. For the travelers who have the limited time trekking to Fansipan on foot, the cable car to Fansipan peak is also recommended. This cable car has been recognized by the Guinness World Records Organization with two records “The longest non-stop three-rope cable car at 6292,5m” and “The greatest elevation difference by a non-stop three-roped cable car at 1410m”. It will take around 25 minutes each way from the Fansipan station to the Fansipan Legend and then you need to climb another 630 steps up to the top of the Fansipan summit. Not advisable for visitors who don’t have the stamina or physical strength to climb to the top as you will experience very strong wind and wet floor or steps while climbing up.


Sapa Main Market

Surrounding Sapa are several interesting hill tribe villages of the Red Dao and Hmong, where people sell the handicrafts and ethnic style clothing. The market opens every day of the week—Saturdays are most appealing—set up with indoor and outdoor stalls for the day; here you will find the outdoor stairs with fresh produce, medicinal herbs, and beautiful, fresh cut flowers. This is also a great opportunity for you to stock up on vibrant ethnic fabrics, the idea is to explore stalls along the second floor where have fine displays of tribal silverwork. One of the best things to do in the market is to try breakfast or lunch at one of those food stalls. The market is a good place to conquer and a great place to purchase things for your souvenirs.

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