Sapa is a picturesque little town in the northwest of Vietnam, which is famous for beautiful landscapes and even more beautiful people. While trekking is the number one activity, you should not miss out on the other little adventures on offer. Here is a list of our favorite things to see and do in Sapa.
Explore the town on foot
Walking around the Sapa town is an absolute must. Even though it is a little touristy, this shouldn’t put you off exploring the many things that make Sapa what it is. You can tick the Sapa Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Cat Cat Village and Ham Rong Mountain off your list quite easily as these are located within walking distance of each other. Don’t be afraid to wander off the path as you will come across intriguing alleys and hidden gems.
Shop for handicrafts
It is very likely that every hilltribe woman you bump into will try to sell you something – be it handicrafts, food, tours or a place to crash at night. There are tons of items you can buy, from bracelets, anklets and headbands to scarves, jewelry, handbags, shoes and carpets – each with embroidery intricately sown with love and care. The colors and patterns on the items represent the different tribes of people, and it is interesting to figure out which is which. Don’t be afraid to let your curiosity get the best of you. Talk to the women and find out. Not only do these items make for great souvenirs for yourself, but your loved ones at home will adore them too. Sapa Market is full of stalls with colorful displays, and we are sure you will not come out empty handed.
Rent a motorbike and drive around
While tours to every popular location are available, it is almost always better to do it by yourself at your own pace. Renting a bike for the day will allow you to do just that. A favorite route among travelers to drive through is Dinh Deo Pass that leads to Heaven’s Gate. If the dangerously serpentine roads don’t make you hold your breath, the stunning views on both sides of valleys and mountains will surely do. If you have never ridden a bike before, this is not the place to learn. Hop on the back of the bike of an experienced rider and let them take you around. Make sure to stop frequently so you can get as many photos as possible! The town is also a great place to explore on a motorcycle, by the way.
Northern Vietnam is home to the highest peak in Indochina, Mount Fansipan. At an elevation of 10,312 feet (3,143 meters), this is a beast to conquer and is definitely worth your time and effort. Do not attempt to do this by yourself, as there have been cases where things have gone wrong. There are many tour agencies in Sapa and Hanoi offering various types of guided tours up the mountain, and you can choose one that appeals to you. The best ones span over two days and offer all-inclusive packages, so you do not have to go through the hassle of finding homestays yourself. Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the city and the terraced rice fields below. If it is cloudy though, your view might be obstructed.
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