Located in the breathtaking mountainous area of Northern Vietnam, Sapa is ideal for outdoor travel activities, especially trekking. Trekking in Sapa during the dry season (From October to April) brings you the best experience, when the weather in Sapa is not too wet and muddy, although in December and January it can be quite cold. Here are 5 recommended routes arranged in easy-to-hard order that you may opt for if interested in trekking in this picturesque Sapa.
This route is suitable for trekking beginners or families with young children who may find travelling in a long journey challenging. Situated 4 km to the North of Sapa, the Ma Tra valley is featured with beautiful oval-shaped terrain and green terraced fields. If you wish to escape stressful city’s atmosphere to enjoy the beauty of nature, this heavenly location is the right place. Following the trekking road to the Northeast, you will reach the village of Ta Phin. Ta Phin is a traditional village of the Red Dao people. Having the chance to walk to Ta Phin, you will be amazed by the Dao’s sophisticated handicrafts. These artistic handicrafts are characterized by their eye-catching vivid colors, decorating patterns and various forms including handbags, scarves, and purses.
Ma Tra - Ta Phin
Check out Ma Tra and Ta Phin day tour for more information
This route begins from Lao Chai, a village located 8 km to the Southeast of Sapa. The whole village is like a gorgeous calligraphy dotted with beautiful green rice paddy fields. During the months of autumn, the village is coated with lovely yellow rice crops and the amazing aroma of these incredible rice crops can be smelled from far away. Not too far from Lao Chai to the East is the village of Ta Van. This village is famous for sub-tropical fruits, especially peaches which are not only enormous in size but also delicious in taste. The last destination of this route is Y Linh Ho, another beautiful village of the Black Hmong tribe, located in the breathtaking valley of Muong Hoa. If you are more interested in culture, it is recommended to visit local beautiful wooden houses decorated with traditional patterns and enjoy the art of weaving, one of the many highlights of Black Hmong culture.
Lao Chai - Ta Van - Y Linh Ho
Check out Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van day tour for more information
This is the longest and perhaps the most challenging of all trekking routes in Sapa. Starting from Sa Seng, a village standing tottery on stilts on a mountain slope, 1600m above sea level, 15 Km away from the center of Sapa. Beside its natural aesthetic value, Sa Seng is also famous for its beautiful traditions. Despite the ups and downs of time, many rituals and festivals of the Red Dao living in this lovely village still stay intact, including “ bell dancing festival”, “ Bai Tram ritual” and “ turtle catching ritual”. Continuing walking along the long and stiff track, we will reach Hang Da, another challenging yet rewarding place. Year around covered in mist and clouds, this place is perfect for photos. However, as it is usually very cold in high mountains, it is advised to bring warm clothes and gloves before taking the trekking journey. The last destination is the village of Giang Ta Chai, it is a famous place for trekking lovers thanks to its incredibly diverse landscape, ranging from bamboo forests, rice paddy fields to waterfalls. But Giang Ta Chai isn’t just for trekking. People in Giang Ta Chai are granted with the art of medical sauna. Dated back to ancient times, medical sauna is made from herbs proven to cure illnesses and served in the traditional way.
Sa Seng - Hang Da -Giang A Chai
Check out Sa Seng - Hang Da - Giang Ta Chai day tour for more information
For those who love trekking but find it too challenging or those with health problems, opting for an easier choice like a car tour would be a better idea. Often associated with a local fairy tale, love waterfall is elegant as a massive silk scarf falling from the sky above. Love waterfall is a popular place for taking photos and serves as a witness for the love of many couples. The next destination is Silver waterfall. Lying 12 km East of the town’s center, the waterfall bears the resemblance of a silver dragon plummeting from the sky. That’s also the reason why the waterfall got that name. Silver waterfall is a great destination for people with a passion for dangerous sports like climbing or bungee jumping.
We have put up a map of all listed trekking destinations of the 4 above routes with this map. The pink route is Matra - Taphin, the yellow route is Lao Chai - Ta Van - Y Linh Ho, the orange route is Sa Seng - Hang Da - Giang Ta Chai and the purple route is Love waterfall – Silver Waterfall - Tram Ton.
Bac Ha, located 100 km to the north of Sapa, is a big market where the minorities ethnic living in Flower H'mong, Phu La and Dao Tuyen, come to buy and sell their handicraft products. You would need to travel by car from Sapa to Bac Ha, and you can start your hiking once you get to the Bac Ha market.
Bac Ha Market The market is divided into different quarters and each quarter is specialized in a different type of product. These include textile quarter,animal quarter, vegetable quarter, food quarter and souvenir quarter. At Bac Ha, you can also visit the H'mong King's house (King Hoang A Tuong), which is isolated in the center of the town. This used to be the most powerful house in the Northwest region. Hoang A Tuong Palace was built in the style of Asia - Europe with closed rectangular layouts. Its owners were father and son Hoang Yen Chao and Hoang A Tuong, Tay ethnic people who ruled a region with 70 percent of the population are H’mong people and were called "King." Nearly 100 years of existence with time, the moss covered houses still stands majestically amidst the town.
Hoang A Tuong Palace
Want to visit Bac Ha Market? Check out the Bac Ha Market tour with A21 Tours for more information.
Interested in visiting Sapa? Check out this Sapa's travel tips.