The little mountain town sits in the North of Vietnam. Mist fills the sky and lush green rice fields spread for miles in all directions. This place is beyond magical!
From Phong Nha we took a cab to the Dong Hoi Airport, which was about 30-35 minutes, took an hour flight to Hanoi, then caught the overnight train to Sapa.No, not the Vietnam Railway train! We researched and found this gem. This train company is called Chapa Express and it was only an extra $10CAD/PP (compared to the other one we took). We got our own private cabin, which included FREE complimentary booze, tea, water, and snacks.
TIP: We got a bottle of wine for around $15CAD, we should have waited and got it free from the actual train company, so just wait for someone to knock at your door, instead of running to the first lady you see with wine.;) Kinda hard not to though, since travel days can be looongg.
Our cabin was so clean and beautiful for what you would expect. The bedding was so comfortable and warm, the blankets are thick and it felt like you were back home in your own bed! The bathrooms were also so clean and came with thick rolls of TP. They had two very nice sinks on one end to brush your teeth. They supposedly had good drinking water on board, but I didn’t want to take the risk.
The 8 hour train ride to Sapa went by too quickly, we could have definitely enjoyed a couple more hours on that train!
Where to Stay?
Our homestay was located in one of the ethnic minority villages, so we had to pay a one time fee to get in. 75,000 VDN / $4 CAD/PP. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE TICKET ON YOU when you drive around, when you head back they will ask you to show the ticket!
We stayed in a private room at beautiful place called King Kong House. The location was amazing, middle of nowhere, surrounded by rice fields and mountains. It was really cheap $18CAD/night. Breakfast is included, but the coffee was sooo sweet it was undrinkable.Homestays are different, but also very neat, it’s a great way to meet people. This place even had family dinner every night! They cook for you, and we all sit at the table together and enjoy everyone’s company. You do have to pay for dinner though, still cheap of course.
What to Do?
Sapa is a place rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, making it a wonderful place to explore. Stay here for a couple of days, so you can take in this magical place.
We rented a scooter, our homestay supplied us with one. Driving a scooter is a great way to get around, it’s actually pretty magical! The views when you drive to the top are insane! We had fun driving everywhere, however some parts were pretty rough, they were trying to fix most of the roads at the time, so the roads were filled with crazy potholes! Be Careful, drive slow, and if there are two of you, at times get off the bike so the person driving it, can get around the crazy part alone. Sometimes it’s easier that way, especially going downhill!
Jamie and I just drove around most of the time and explored that way, we didn’t do any crazy activities, we just wanted to take in the nature.
You see markets all around, where you can pick up local handicrafts and anything you need for your trek. I didn’t have room in my bag, or else I’d be looking around at these shops more.
Climb Mount Fan Si Pan
At 3,143 meters above sea level, Mount Fan Si Pan is the highest peak in Vietnam and even all of Indochina. I could only imagine the views from the top!
The Silver Waterfall
It’s about 12 kilometres outside of Sapa. There is a small entrance fee of 2,000VND /$1.14 CAD/PP Go for a little walk, relax and absorb the beauty of nature.
Explore Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village is nestled at the bottom of Muong Hoa Valley, about three kilometres from Sapa town. This village was formed in the middle of the 19th century, and it still preserves important traditional crafts such as planting flax, growing cotton, weaving cloth, casting copper, etc.
Mường Hoa Valley
A scenic valley known for its hiking paths through undulating rice terraces & traditional villages.The most beautiful rice fields here in Sapa. We didn’t go all the way down, since we forgot to pack water with us and we were wearing jeans… It was really cold that morning, clearly we weren’t thinking… We did however find the perfect location for the best spot to sit, relax and get those beautiful pictures!
Just EXPLORE! Sapa was absolutely amazing, it honestly feels like another planet. So much to see and it’s definitely a hiker’s paradise!
Check out some neat cafes. One I can recommend is called Cafe In The Clouds! We also went to another cute cafe that had the best views ever, but it didn’t have a name, that I could find. It’s close to Cat Cat Village and the building is purple!