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Sapa Travel Guide: From A to Z

When to visit Sapa

Coming back from Northern Vietnam, we write this Sapa Travel Guide to show you a true and vivid picture of a place that is no longer new to travelers. There are stunning landscapes and smiley people. There are unpleasant things of a touristy Sapa we never want to encounter. Anyway, just be well-prepared 🙂

Be sure to check the weather before you plan to visit Sapa. Best time to go there is from March to May and from September to November. During this time, it is dry, clear, warm and sunny which is very comfortable for trekking and photographing.

Sapa and its eye-catching terraced rice fields are at its best in between September and November. Be prepared for a yellow romance that will melt your heart. We visited Sapa in February following the Tet holiday. It was cold and foggy, but we were warmly welcomed by the gorgeous and effulgent cherry blossoms.

Sapa Travel Guide: From A to Z
Muong Hoa Valley shrouded in mist. Captured on the way back from Sapa.
Sapa Travel Guide: From A to Z
This baby boy didn’t want to stay still in his mommy’s arms. A tranquil afternoon at Ta Van village.
Sapa Travel Guide: From A to Z
Peacock and chicken. Captured at Cat Cat village.

How to get to Sapa

Many transport companies offer bus to Sapa such as Inter Bus Lines, Queen Cafe, and we somehow ended up using Inter Bus Lines. Departing at 10pm, it drops you off at the city center at 6am the next day. Along the journey (same as the way back), there are 2 stopovers. “Bed” is really small and short. I am only 1m60 tall, but still couldn’t stretch my legs out. Most people, esp Westerners gotta bend their knees for almost 6 hours. There are in total of 3 rows, upper and lower bed.

Inside Inter Bus Lines – Sleeping busSleeping bus - Inter Bus LinesUpper bed in the middle row: space above your head to sit straight.

Upper bed in the right and left side: head will hit the light and AC system.

All the lower bed: limited space above head and only can lie down, not sit.

Price: ~270,000 dong/pax/way, including Blanket + Water + Slippers + Wifi + USB Port

Note: Book directly from the company to avoid Third party fee. Book early so your name gets called first.

Useful link: Bus from Hanoi to Sapa

Getting around Sapa

From Sapa to Ta Van, you can take taxi (200,000 dong/way), motorcycle (100,000 dong/pax), or shuttle bus (50,000 dong/pax). You should contact your host first as they know where the pick-up + drop-off location of shuttle bus is OR if it operates the day you arrive or not.

Renting a motorbike is necessary to explore Sapa like a local. Though the road looks horrible, it brought a brand-new experience to all of us who rode on that damn bumpy road. It was also hilarious to see other travelers showing the same facial expression, “Wtf are we riding on? Would this road ever be fixed?” 

Riding around villages and to Sapa, you will see a number of serene landscapes as well as the tribe’s daily activity which sure will make your trip unforgettable.

Most hotels and homestays provide this rental service. In peak season, reserve one in advance.

Price: ` 120,000 dong/ bike/ day (*A day is calculated by one whole day from morning til night, not 24h from the time you rent it til same time next day)

AnhThy(Tea) started to travel at a very young age, but things get serious during her years living abroad where she was exposed to majestic nature and wonderful people from all walks of life. Apart from photography, writing becomes part of her life in which she relives all of the memories built up along the way, and in which she can become as many different characters as she always wants to be. Following her journey to discover more of the personality that comes across in her work.

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