Sapa located in the north - west of Vietnam. It belongs to Lao Cai province, which a modest land but hides many wonders of the natural scene. The natural beauty of Sapa is combined with human creativity, the topography of the mountains, green forests, which creates romantic spot.
Located in the north-west of Vietnam, Sapa, is far 350 km north-west from Hanoi that near to the border of China; it belongs to Lao Cai province, which a modest land but hides many wonders of the natural scene. The natural beauty of Sapa is combined with human creativity, the topography of the mountains, green forests, which creates romantic spot.
Sapa lies at altitude of 1500-1650m, it has invaluable resources with cool and fresh air, the climate is moderate and rainy in summer (May-August) and foggy with occasional snowfalls in winter. Sapa has temperate climate; weather in town has four seasons: the morning likes spring; the afternoon likes summer with sunny; the evening has fog as the autumn and the cold of winter. It is highly seasonal, with a subtropical climate in the summer and a temperate climate during the winter. Mean annual temperature for Sapa town is 15.4°C, with a maximum of 29.4°C and a minimum of 1°C.
Sapa has a great diversity of ethnic minorities; the total population is 36,000 people that consist mostly of minority groups. Each ethnic group has a difference in dress, lifestyle, customs, and methods of cultivation together with the distinct cultural identity. With 6 ethnic groups reside, each ethnic has its own culture with a festival such as "Roong Poc" of Giay, "Sai San" of H'Mong, "Tet jump" of Dao Do, which holds annually in May.
Sapa has Fan Si Pan at a height of 3142m above sea level that is the highest mountain in Vietnam. Tourists can visit Ham Rong mountain, any visitors can also see the whole town from here along with Muong Hoa valley, Sa Pa, Cat Cat, Lao Chai, Ta Van, Ta Phin that hidden in the mist. Sapa tour also has old church in town and goes from to the northeast on the road to Ta Phin. From Sapa town to the west about 12 kilometers on the road to Lai Chau, we will see Silver Waterfall with water rushing down from a height of 200m. In addition, SaPa is the "kingdom" of fruit such as purple plum, peach, peach blossom with small and big yellow size. Sapa's fair starts on Sunday at the district capital. People must go to fair on Saturday. On Saturday evening, everyone can enjoy the folk songs of the Mong, Dao.
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.
From Sapa town center fo Cat Cat is only 2 kilometers. It is the oldest of the Mong which preserves traditional handicrafts such as growing cotton, linen and textile and crafted jewelry. Especially, this place remains its unique traditions that other regions have no or no original existence.
Through the looms, the Mong create colorful brocades and patterns that simulate trees, leaves, flowers, animals… In the Cat Cat, crafted silver jewelry has longstanding that creates sophisticated products with several stages. Carving silver products in Cat Cat are plentiful such as: necklaces, bracelets, ring…
The thing attracts tourists to Cat Cat is the unique tradition such as: “Keo vo”. When the man love one women, he will invite friends and sets plan to “pull” her to his home in an unexpected way. He will keep her within 3 days. After that, if she agrees to get married with him, they will hold weding. If the woman disagrees, they will drink wine together and all things return to normal without anything happening. The Mong weddings in Cat Cat are usully held from 2 to 7 days.
Architecture of Cat Cat village has many features with po-mu wood roof. The frame of house has three columns horizontal truss. The columns are listed on the round or square stones. Walls are roofed with timber with three doors: the main door in the nave, two doors on either sides of the house. The main door is always closed, it opens only when having wedding, holidays. The house has the worship space, reserved food floor, sleeping, kitchen and a reception desk. Cat Cat village is formed from the mid-19 century, the residence of households based on slopes and gathered together. They grow rice on terraced fields; grow corn on the mountain by crafted cultivation methods. Most houses are simple with a desk, bed and cooking stove…
Ticket prices: 40.000vnd/adult
Hoa stream flows along the Muong Hoa valley, extends throughout the Lao Chai, Ta Van, Hau Thao,... It is a place, along through the mountains is a strange carved stones. Spread over 4 kilometers length, 2 kilometers width with at least 159 stones, Muong Hoa have mysterious graphics. This place was researched by scientists of Vietnam, Russia, France, Australia, etc.
Both populations of ancient stones with beautiful carving are located in Ban Pho. With the big stones, it has many different sculptures on the surface. Especially, there have various postures and 11 motifs strange shape. Most scientists evaluated that it is the great heritage of mankind.
People found many similarities with the Dong Son culture, which has date from2300 to 3000 years. The mysterious graphics of the Sapa’s ancient stones can be of many ethnic groups living in different ages. They draw a primitive picture or sophisticated picture to express many different cultures. They can be either Dao or Mong.
On the main road leading to Muong Hoa valley, tourist will have opportunities take photos and sight Sapa’s views. This valley has terraced fields which is the most beautiful terraced fields of Sapa. Cross the suspension bridge, you will be visiting the village of weaving and dyeing cloth of the Hmong and exploring Muong Hoa valley. Exploring the magnificent Muong Hoa valley to enjoy its breathtaking landscapes, you will also paying visit to small and isolated hamlets and villages meet the Black H’mong, Zay and Red Zao at home and at work.
Every year on Dragon’s first lunar month, Ta Van commune, Sapa district, they open the festival to welcome a new year for bumper harvest. The Giay, H’mong, Dao ethnic… and a large number of tourists come here, which makes Muong Hoa valley becomes more vibrant and colorful. Previously, Ta Van Giay was called Roong Pooc festival. Although it is the traditional festival of Ta Van ethnic, many years it has spread to become the festival of the whole valley of Muong Hoa. Tourists from Sapa attend and festival ambience spreads throughout the valley of Muong Hoa.
Ticket prices: 40.000vnd/ticket/adult
Located far from Sapa less than 10 kilometers, Ta Van - a village of Lao Cai province is lying peacefully in the valley of Muong Hoa. Residents are mainly the H'Mong ethnic, Giay, and Red Dao... with approximately 1000 people. From Ta Van, we can travel very convenient to other popular destinations of Lao Cai such as: Lao Chai, Cau, Ta Phin, Cat Cat...
The road leads to Ta Van village that is small and narrow. Along two sides has a fertile terraced field which adorns by the green of corn and rice. When visitors come to Ta Van village, they will not be amazed at the simple beauty of the houses in the village. Previously, Ta Van based on the customs and characteristic of the Giay in Lao Cai. They live together at the bottom, mountains, the valleys, along streams. They rarely live in the mountain or the top. Because living in a same local, according to historical process, the Giay is influenced by the culture of the Tay, Thai, Nung about language, home, dress and some cultural activities…
Growing rice is the major profession of the Giay. Besides, they also produce instruments and engraved silver. They live in both stilted houses and common houses with a solemn central part which is served as a place for ancestor altar and guest reception. The Giay have quite various cultures with fairy-tale, poetry, proverbs and riddles. Costumes of the Giay are simple: women with short eczema, wearing cloth bag with embroidered flowers; man also wears pants and shirt.
If having the opportunity to come here, visitors can enjoy some special dishes of ethnic Giay such as: roast fish of Muong Hum, horse meat of Muong Khuong, sticky rice of Van Ban… and enjoy festivals, folk games of the Giay: Nao Cong, Roong Pooc… and participate in tours of the village.
Come to Sapa, tourists can climb Ham Rong Mountain, Cat Cat or Lao Chai- Ta Van of The H'Mong, Ta Phin village where The Dao live and go to Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge or ancient reef, the roof of Indochina-Fan Si Pan mountain. Sapa has one place that you should come and stay with home stay style. No foreign tourists before leaving Ban Ho village without leaving the emotional entries beacause the natural scenery is very fascinating and people is very friendly and hospitable.
Ban Ho is far from Sapa town about 20 kilometers. It is divided into three areas: Ta Trung Ho, Xeo Trung Ho and Hoang Lien, which is place of the Mong, Dao, Tay. Have no specific price but guides usually pay 20.000vnd/people/day for accommodation. The owner doesn’t appreciate it as important; they bring foods and wine for tourists. Come to Ban Ho, you will be alive and living in the cozy ambiance and friendly family. Because the climate in Ban Ho is warmer than Sapa (between 18-250C), in the afternoon, tourists can enjoy yourself in the stream Lave, sight Da Nhay waterfall.
After lunch, the hospitable owner will take guests to the Red Dao village on the mountain so as to bath with herbs. The herbs will be poured into wood tank. Tourists will dip into the tank and after 15 minutes the water has been drawn to refill new water. After that, tourists can feel well being, euphoria extremely.
When the sun sets, you can walk around Ban Ho to see people weave brocade and can buy a plate with only 20.000 vnd that is wide enough to wrap around a skirt. At the weekend, tourists can sing with local people. Each region will bring the different games, dances and unique dishes to invites its visitors. Ticket prices: 40.000vnd/adult
Hoang Lien Son is a mountain range in the northwest of Vietnam. The Hoang Lien Son has many celandine. The mountain is the kingdom of flowers: azalea, orchids, Hoang Anh, Bgonha, Estacola... Additionally, it has many wood species like pine oil, birds, partridges, bears, monkeys, chamois and the thousands of medicinal herbs.
Hoang Lien Son range includes Vietnam's highest mountain: Fan Si Pan at a height of 3142m. It is considered as the roof of Viet Nam and Indochina. Fan Si Pan is the highest mountain in Hoang Lien Son range, the largest width of about 75km. It is concluded 3 blocks: Bach Moc Luong Tu, Fan Si Pang and Pu Luong. Tourists, who are adventurous come to Fan Si Pan, want to explore and experience the spectacular natural. On the holiday, people go there is huge. This place has natural conservation areas which includes temperate forests with bright yellow flowers and sub-tropical forest. Fan Si Pang is the place for 2024 plants, 327 species of animals including many species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Come here, you can see some animals. On the high point at 2963m has a milestone marking the conquering of the French in 1905. Climbing up a little bit more, tourists can see a huge stone blocks, located by a small stone.
In order to climb Fan Si Pan, travelers need a license provided by Hoang Lien Son National Park Management. This license can be obtained in the morning when you start to climb Fan Si Pan. The fee tourists should pay that includes:
- Cleaning fees: 5.000vnd/day
- Forestfees: 150.000vnd/day
- Climbing fees: 30.000vnd/day
- Insurance: 5.000vnd/day
Tourists need a sleeping bag that can be hired in Sapa about 120.000vnd at the tourist office. Sleeping on Fan Si Pan is always a problem when mountain lodging is very basic. Small groups (4-5 people) can sleep in the tents; the large group should be prepared camp. There are many different sizes and different prices. Camp for 2, 4 or 10 people, price is about 120-200.000 camp/day. You are permitted bringing camera.
Silver Waterfall is far about 15 kilometers from Sapa toward Lai Chau; 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 poured 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”. Go over about 2 kilometers, tourists will come to Tram Ton where the mountain Fan Si Pan conquest begins to conquer the roof of Indochina.
Continue the trip to Heaven Gate, visitors will find spectacular natural paintings with dense forest, far away is the little crooked path. And they will see the difference between the two provinces of Lao Cai and Lai chau. Sapa has the cool and pleasant air, in contrast, Lai Chau has climate as the summer. Guests can soak in the cool stream, throw away all worries and relax under the shade of forest in order to all sorrows go with Silver flows.
Tourists can go to Silver Waterfall by Jeep or Car 4-seats.
Ticket prices: 10.000vnd/ticket/adult
When tourists come to Sapa, they can not miss the opportunities to explore Ta Phin - one of the most attractive spot of many tourists. From Sapa town to the northwest is about 12km; guests will be attracted by Ta Phin's natural pristine landscape.
Ta Phin reputes with the terraced rice fields, streams, etc. It has Red Dao ethnic minority and Mong… Come to Ta Phin, visitors will know more about their customs, traditions and lifestyle of people. The traditional cultural activities of the Red Dao have been staging of performances for tourists such as: wedding ceremonies, “Bai Tram”, “Mua chuong”, etc. The Mong have vowed festival, rituals solutions and Gau Tao festival. The festival has the participation of the community, starting with the set up plants from 20-25 December and the main festival is the third and 4th January in order to blesses and prays for crops. The natural beauty and ethnic identity are the factors which attract tourists to Ta Phin.
Guest will be sight and directly joined in the folk games such as: crossbow competition, stilt walking, and push rod, etc and have opportunities to enjoy the traditional food of the Red Dao, the Mong such as: corn bread, “mèn mén”, etc. In addition, Ta Phin have maintained and promoted the handicraft in order to attract tourists: indigo dyeing, embroidered brocade, silver inlay and casting forging.
Ta Phin cave is place which has many valuable research, archeology and sightseeing. In the mountain, it has a small mountain; a height of gate is about 5 meters, it’s wide about 3 meters, which open a passage through the ground. From here, this cave splits into many ways which suit for only one people. Following the large wall, we feel like crossing a cliff. Especially, the widest spot on the roof is about 8 meters height, which has the drooping stalactites creating illusion space.
Ticket prices to visit Ta Phin: 40.000 vnd/people
Remember to visit stone monasteries on the northeast of the hill.
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