Be home to Fansipan Mountain, the highest peak in Vietnam & Indochina, Sapa is one of top amazing places in Vietnam, which should not be missed in your Vietnam travel itinerary.Why & what can you do in Sapa? Let’s find out the details of 10 essential things to do in Sapa in this blog shared by a local insider

Sapa’s beautiful landscapes & its rich cultures of local ethnic groups

In spite of its far – away location from Hanoi capital, Sapa has drawn tourists from across the world so far and become a hot travel hub in Northwest Vietnam.With a cool climate around the year, Sapa can be visited at any time of the year : the place you can experience snowing, especially on really cold days in winters, blue sky with white clouds flying around you in summer, pristine beauty of flowers : peach & plum in spring, and fancinating curving of golden rice terraces down the valley in autumn.Furthermore, Sapa’s unrivaled beauties in natural landscapes with majestic mountainscapes, immense valleys, stunning rice terraces & poetic local villages worth your exploration for a few days. Moreover, travellers love Sapa for its richness in its indigenous tribal culture of the ethnic communities, which have been well preserved in this fast-changing world.Are you planning your trip to Sapa? Check the list of following 10 must – try things to do in Sapa and explore the best of Sapa’s beauty.

Sapa landscapes - things to do

Discover top 10 typical things to do in Sapa

1. Trek with a local tourguide to visit ethnic minority villages in the Sapa’s region.

Trekking is a popular activity in any Sapa tour intinerary and the top thing can’t be missed to do in Sapa.Most of these trekking routes are beautiful up & down the valley, viewing scenic stream, mountains, rice terraces & peaceful villages of local hill tribes – wonderful journeys to enjoy the landscapes, take photos & interact with friendly local ethnics. While in certain easy trekking routes, you can do it on your own but it will be more interesting to trek with a local tourguide of H’Mong, Dzao…who come from one of those villages.With him along, you can avoid getting lost in the middle of nowhere or facing with locals’ cultural shocks when entering to any ethnic villages.In addition, he  was born here and has grown up with this traditional culture, therefore can tell you more authentic stories of locals’ daily life & their native cultures. Also, trekking with a local tourguide, homestaying in a local village, shopping their handmade fabrics ….mean that you are contributing your small part in bettering local people’s income, preserving their culture & developing their village sustainably.

Thing to do in Sapa trekking with local guide

Suggested trekking routes in Sapa

  • Muong Hoa valley to explore Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai, Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai villages. You can do a half day trek to visit two villages or a full day to visit three villages or 2 day/ 1 nigh trek with homestay (a popular trekking route so it’s quite touristy)

  • Ta Phin valley to visit Black & Hmong village on a half day tour.If you would love experience Red Dzao bath & homestay, it will be great to spend a night here ( less touristy than the first one)

  • Cat Cat – Sin Chai village – a full day hike (touristy Cat Cat & less touristic Sin Chai)

  • Ban Ho – Thanh Phu – Nam Cang – Nam Nhieu : 2 – 3 day trekking with homestay (off – the beaten path route)

  • Ban Khoang – Ta Giang Phin village : a full day trek (off-the- beaten path)

>>>>> You may be interested in :  Sapa day trek to Ban Khoang – Ta Giang Phin villages and Love waterfall

2. Scenic hike to Ham Rong mountain’s summit for great view of Sapa town & Muong Hoa valley.

Being located right at the center of Sapa town,Ham Rong mountain has a shape like a dragon head with its yaws up towards the sky, that is the reason for its name : Dragon Jaws ( Ham Rong) mountain.A climb to this 1900m- high summit will be a great hangout for travellers in Sapa town.The path up is easy to climb on steps.At lower attitude, part of the mountain was made into a flower garden with hundreds of orchid kinds and other flowers….Further hike to conquer the summit ( Cloud Yard), you will be fanscinated by beautiful captivation of Sapa town with clouds flying around, Sapa lake, Fansipan Summit & Muong Hoa valley as well if nice weather.

  • Entrance fees : 70,000 vnd/ adult ; 35,000 vnd/ child

Ham Rong mountain Sapa

3. Homestay overnight in a local family’s cosy home

Homestaying in Sapa is a worth-to-try experience for any visitors doing trip to Sapa.You can easily order a Sapa trekking tour with a night homestaying with a local family of Dzay or H’Mong or Red Dzao.The service is basic with berth, blanket, mosquito net & home-cooked food – but this will bring you memorable experiences getting know more about their simple daily life & their rich cultures.These ethnics still live their lives away from the modern world, and preserve their traditional cultures well.By nature, they are hospitable and enthusiastic to show tourists their life, home, work, and nature. The typical villages offer homestay service are Ta Van ( Dzay ethnic), Giang Ta Chai ( Red Dzao), Ta Phin (Red Dzao & H’Mong), Ban Ho – Thanh Phu ( H’Mong)…..

4. Conquer the summit of Fansipan – the highest peak in Vietnam & Indochina

At the height of 3143m above sea level, Fansipan is the highest mount in Vietnam & Indochina ( be likened as the Roof of Indochina).Fansipan Peak Conqueration is really an inspiring challenge for any adventure trekkers who desire to test their strength and endurance.Scenery along the way to the top is worth your effort with thick forest, magnificent landscape of Hoang Lien Son range, idyll tribal villages and panoramic views down the region.You can take part in a full day trek or 2-3 day treks ( different routes) along Hoang Lien national park with experienced tourguide & local tour operators for Fansipan Peak Adventure Trek.

Sapa - Fansipan trek- things to do

The ideal time for a Fansipan trek would be between mid-November and March, the time of winter in Sapa with dry & cold weather which will make your trek much more easier than it is in summer.

If you are not good trekkers, you can easily get access to the summit of Fansipan now by Cable Car Systems which was put into operation in early 2016 and brings chances for anyone who dreams of standing on top of ‘Roof of Indochina’.

Note: The cable car will take you to the mountaintop, not the peak. You’ll have to walk up the stairs then take the funicular to near the Fansipan’s peak.

Entrance Fees, Cable Car Tickets

There are different trekking routes to conquer Fansipan Summit, you need an experienced tourguide & book tour service with a local tour operator.

Fansipan Entrance Ticket  (Trekking Routes): 150,000vnd/ person

If you are not good at trekking, you can easily conquer Fansipan Summit now by Cable Car Systems which was put into operation in early 2016, which have brought chances to touch Fansipan Summit to any travellers travelling to Sapa.

Cable car tickets for any travellers (not from Lao Cai province)

+ Adults & children of 1.4 m tall : 750,000 vnd.

+ Children of between 1m – 1.4 m tall : 550,000 vnd.

+ Children of under 1m tall : Free of charge

Cable tickets for any travellers from Lao Cai province

+ Adults & children of 1.4 m tall : 550,000 vnd.

+ Children of between 1m – 1.4 m tall : 350,000 vnd.

+ Children of under 1m tall : Free of charge

Ticket price for rail train to climb Fansipan Mount one way : 70,000 VNĐ/ 1 person 

Ticket price of rail train to climb Muong Hoa valley ( from Plaza staition to Cable Car Sun World Fansipan Legend): 100,000 vnd/ person

Buffee ticket at Hai Cang restaurant from Cable Car Station :

+ Adults & children of 1.4 m tall : 170,000 vnd.

+ Children of between 1m – 1.4 m tall : 135,000 vnd.

+ Children of under 1m tall : Free of charge

5. Mind blowing with Tram Ton Heaven Gate’s beauty at sunset.

Known as the Heaven Gate,Tram Ton is the highest point in O Qui Ho Pass- one of the most imposing & challenging pass in Vietnam.At the height of 1900m, Tram Ton is the border point between Sapa and Lai Chau, offering a great viewpoint to outstanding mountainscapes of Hoang Lien mountain range & Snaking Roads down O Qui Ho Pass.From there,especially on clear days, you can freely admire the “Roof of Indochina” – Mount Fansipan with a lush green forest.Recently, Tram Ton Pass has been developed with safe fences, nice view point, pagoda, roads to go down Ancient Stone Site & Suoi Vang waterfall- all those which make Tram Ton Heaven Gate a can’t-be-missed thing to do in Sapa.Come when the sun is setting, visitors will be mind – blown by the beautiful landscape just like a water colored painting before the eyes.

Tram Ton Pass - Sapa thing to do

Just 18 km far from Sapa town, you can make a day trip exploring Tran Ton Pass, Love Waterfall, Rong May Glass bridge, Silver waterfall – the route for your best exploration of O Quy Ho Pass’s magnificent mountainscapes.

  • Entrance ticket of Tram Ton Pass : 80,000vnd/adult; 40,000vnd/child

6. Admire wonderful waterfalls in Sapa.

Together with stunning scenery of mountains, valleys & forest in Sapa, you will be overwhelmed with the beauty of waterfalls in Sapa.If you have a chance to be in Sapa, make sure you visit some of these following waterfalls:

Cat Cat waterfall, a small waterfall down Cat Cat valley. You can make a visit to Cat Cat village, all the way down to the valley, you will encouter the waterfall.

Love waterfall is a beautiful one nested in the forest of Hoang Lien national park. In order to admire the Love Waterfall, you need to hike down on stepped roads running through the lush & vast bamboo forest and gentle beauty of rhododendron flowers.Journey of hiking is also beautiful to admire Hoang Lien mountain range.You can connect your visit to Love Waterfall with Silver waterfall & Tram Ton Heaven Gates because they are all nearby on NR 4A – 15km far from Sapa town.

Things to do in Sapa - waterfall

Silver waterfall is located right at NR4A – 15km from Sapa. You can easy view the fall while standing on the road but for its best beauty, it is suggested to climb up 300 steps to the brigde which offers you a majestic captivation of full waterfall & surrounding mountains.

Entrance fees :

  • Cat Cat village & its fall : 90,000vnd/ adult; 50,000vnd/ child
  • Love waterfall : 75,000vnd/ adult ; 30,000vnd/ child
  • Silver Waterfall : 20,000 vnd/ adult, 10,000vnd/child

7. Try Thang Co ( horse meat stew) & Salman Hot Pot – top local dishes in Sapa

Thang Co, a renowned specialty in the mountainous Sapa, Lao Cai province, is not an easy dish to swallow for many tourists at first. However, no trip to Sapa would be completed without knowing or tasting the flavor of this very special dish.

In Thang Co, the main ingredient is horsemeat, but in fact, Sapa local people cooks “Thang Co” by using cow, buffalo, or pork, all made into a soup with 12 spices from cardamon, ginger, citronella, anise to cinnamon twig. When local people cook this dish, they often stew for couple of hours. The dish is served with fresh vegetable and local red hot pepper.

  • Recommended restaurant to try Thang Co :  Quan Anh Quynh – 15 Thach Son street, Sapa

Thang Co local dish to taste in Sapa

If horse meat is a little extreme for you, then perhaps you’d like to try salmon hot pot instead.Thanks to its cold weather in Sapa, Salmon is popularly raised here & is a specialty of Sapa as well. Among salmon dishes, salmon hot pot is always the most prefered by almost every travelers as it is steaming and served with special Sapa-grown wild vegetables including watercress pumpkin buds, etc.If you have a chance to visit Sapa on a cold winter day, do not forget to try an amazing salmon hot pot and you will, with no doubt, have one of the best meals in Sapa, Vietnam

  • Recommended restaurant to try Salmon Hotpot : Sapa King Salmon Restaurant – 15 Le Van Tam – Sapa

Sapa Salmon Hotpot - thing to do

8. Discover Sapa’s love market – the unique & interesting culture in Sapa

For a long time, Sapa has been known for its cultural love market,celebrating the humane values in the local way of life. H’Mong & Dzao in Sapa hold their weekly love market on Saturday evening, right at Sapa Church area where young girls & boys meet and show their affection.They talk, sing and play different games according to their ethnic groups’ tradition until late. After the night, many couples become intimate and promise to see each other again.Many of them become husbands and wives soon after.

The love market of Sapa used to be the place to find a partner to get married. With the tourism, the real love market does not take place anymore. Currently you can only see a representation of the love market. Do not miss it anyway if you are staying here a Saturday night

10. Sapa market – the meeting place of different ethnic minority groups in Sapa region

Most of ethnic minority groups live in remote villages down the valley & out of the town.Weekly markets are not only a trading place for them to exchange their farming products,but also a meeting point of H’Mong, Tay, Red Dzao…. .There is a big market in Sapa town, daily operated but you can expect to meet more ethnic groups of their colorful & unique dresses on Sunday.It is also the place where you can buy cheap local hand-made products, medical plants, farming goods….

Market visit - things to do in Sapa

Beside Sapa market, if you would love to visit more authentic ones, there are some other option for you as well : Can Cau market, Coc Ly market, Muong Hum marketBac Ha market, which are far from Sapa town & can be done on a day trip from Sapa town.What wonderful experiences you will exclaim when attend those markets !

>>>>>>> You may love this experience : Sapa day trip to Muong Hum market & Ta Giang Phin village

Sapa exploration with Golden Holiday Travel.

Hope that you find the share of top 10 things to do in Sapa helpful to plan your coming trip to Sapa. As a local tour operator, we try our best to give as much information as possible & provide our clients with memorable travel experiences when travelling with us to Sapa.Plan your trip to Sapa, in need of local support, travel service of car rental, tour service, feel free to contact us +84.988451530 (whatsapp) or email us to

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave your comments

Ban Vu Dinh

Start working in travel industry in Vietnam from 2003, I had the great chance to learn and see the change as well as the development of tourism in our country. After a few years working in different positions in some well-known international travel companies, together with some co-founders, we found Golden Holiday Travel in 2012 basing on our passion and knowledge with the dream to show tourists around the globe more about Vietnam’s beautiful attractions and to be the travellers’ best local partner for their enjoyable Vietnam holidays of unforgetable memory.

Hope this personsal blog do some help for your Vietnam trip plans ! Any questions or support you need, feel free to let me know.....

See you soon in Vietnam !

Ban Vu Dinh

You may also like...

Recent Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !! Please, not copy