Arriving in Sapa
I travelled through Vietnam from north to south. After a couple of days in Hà Nội, I took a bus to Sapa with the Sapa Express. I heard so much about the homestays in this area so that was REALLY on my bucket list! I wanted to book a hiking trip as well and Seek Sophie is offering amazing packages to explore the area!
Hiking in Sapa
The nature in the hills of Sapa is absolutely amazing! I got a few foggy and rainy mornings though in December as I was travelling here outside of the season. Make sure you bring some warm clothes! Up in the mountains at Phan-xi-păng it snowed overnight and my sleeping bag wasn’t warm enough. Luckily, I bought some warm clothes in Hanoi before travelling to Sapa. During the hike, we walked through a beautiful bamboo forest! What a dreamy landscape! As it had rained during the night, the paths were slippery from time to time. On the way, we walked through indigo fields and we passed many villages. It was a great place to pause and grab a drink and some food. When we arrived at the homestay we were welcomed with open arms. At night I helped to make homemade spring rolls and Vietnamese food. Nothing beats a tasty meal after an active day!
A thing to remember is, that if you don’t have a tour booked and you want to enter the area of Lao Chai, you’ll have to pay 75.000 Dong as an entrance fee. The village of Lao Chai is around 6 kilometres away from Sapa and you can easily hike here as well, so you don’t have to book a guided tour. Keep in mind, there are not many taxi’s around and Grab was not available when I travelled in Sapa.
Sapa itself is also great to stay for a night or 2. There are a lot of nice restaurants and cafes here! I took some time out before I continued the journey so I could get some work done. The views over the valleys are amazing and there are some nice day trips to do as well. You can visit the Silver Waterfall for example. Or hike up the Phan-xi-păng, the highest mountain in Indochina, which is 3,143 meters high. When I was in Sapa, there was snow on the top! So dress accordingly depending on the season! You can also visit Cat Cat village and discover the H’mong ethnic people and handicrafts.
I did like my stay in Sapa, and the nature was beautiful! At times I found the locals a bit rude and they kept begging to buy handicrafts from them. I understand their situation and I don’t blame them for trying, but it was to such an extend that is was fairly annoying. Once, I offered some money without buying a product and that wasn’t appreciated either. I saw this behaviour unfortunately in other parts of Vietnam also. As a privileged person, I really try to understand it, but it made me escape heavily touristic site, which are actually not a bad thing 😉
From Sapa, I continued my travels and took a night bus to Halong Bay!
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