Getting to Know Sapa

Sapa Town is located in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. This is a famous tourist destination for domestic and international tourists around the year. Nature gives Sapa a picture of a romantic and majestic landscape, vast with mountains hiding in the clouds. Sapa’s climate is cool for around a year. Moreover, there are 2 ethnic minorities in Sapa, the Mong and the Dao. All of the things above have created a unique attraction for explorers.

sapa travel guide - sapa in fog

Sapa town hides in the fog

How to get to Sapa

There are 2 main means to travel to Sapa from Hanoi. You can choose a coach and a train.


  • Price: 230.000 VND (~ 9.76 USD) - 350.000 VND (~ 14.85 USD) per ticket.

  • Start from: My Dinh Station.

  • Time: 5 - 6 hours.


  • Price: 160.000 VND (~ 6.79 USD) - 800.000 VND (~ 33.95 USD) per ticket.

  • Start from Hanoi Station.

  • Time: 7-9 hours.

For your convenience, you can choose one of 4 ways in our Sapa travel guide to explore and get around Sapa:

  • Option 1: Renting a motorbike for about 100.000 VND (~ 4.24 USD) - 150.000 VND (~ 6.37 USD) per day, you can drive yourself to visit attractions in Sapa.

  • Option 2: Hire a motorbike driver to take you to destinations, the price is 100.000 VND (~ 4.24 USD) for 4 -5 places.

  • Option 3: Book a package tour in Hanoi or the center of Sapa town. 

  • Option 4: Self-discovery by trekking.

 trekking tour in Sapa

International explorer prefer trekking tour in Sapa

When to Visit Sapa

You can travel to Sapa at any time of the year because every season, Sapa puts on different colors of shirts that cannot be compared.

  • From March to May if you want to sightsee hundreds of blooming flowers such as apricots, peach blossoms and plums.

  • From September to November. It is the season of ripe rice so Sapa likes wearing a yellow shirt.

  • From December to February it is cold, ice and snow. This is the blooming season of peach blossoms and rhododendrons.

Sapa in Spring - best time to visit sapa

The picture of Sapa in Spring season

Exploring Sapa’s Top Attractions 

Sapa is the “meeting place between heaven and earth” with the most majestic natural scenery in the North. This is also the hometown of ethnic groups living for generations. If you’re looking for the best tourist spots, pay attention to our Sapa travel guide.


  • Ticket price:


Ticket categories 

Ticket price

Aerial tramway 


700.000 VND (~ 29.73 USD)

Children between 1 and 1.4 meters

500.000 VND (~ 21.23 USD) 

Fansipan funicular 


70,000 VND (~ 2.97 USD) - 100.000VND (~ 4.24 USD) per ticket.

Children between 1 and 1.4 meters


Fanipan is a tourist symbol of Sapa and a special attractive destination for anyone traveling to Sapa. Nothing is more wonderful than standing at a height of 3143m stretching out to breathe the atmosphere, enjoying the feeling of touching the clouds and looking down at the panoramic view. There are 3 ways to reach Fansipan Peak: trekking, train and aerial tramway. 

fasipan peak view

A couple of international tourist reach Fansipan peak

Cat Cat Village 

  • Price: 50.000 VND (~ 2.12 USD) per entrance ticket. 

Cat Cat Village is located 2 km from Sapa’s center, so you can choose trekking or motorbike. In front of the village gate, there are many ethnic clothing rental shops, you can buy or rent for 50.000 VND (~ 2.12 USD) - 100.000 VND (~ 4.24 USD) per set. This peaceful Mong Village still preserves many customs and traditional crafts such as weaving, silver carving and jewelry.

You should prepare candy in a bag because on the way to visit the village, ethnic children will follow you. Those kids sell crafts and invite you to buy goods, if you don’t want to buy, give them candy and they won’t follow you anymore.

 Cat Cat Village - sapa travel guide

Tourists take a photo in Cat Cat Village, Sapa

Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall 

  • Address: Suoi Vang tourist area, Hoang Lien Son National Park.

  • Ticket price:

Entrance ticket 

Ticket price

Silver Waterfall  

10.000 VND (~ 0.42 USD) - 20.000 VND (~ 0.85 USD)

Love Waterfall 

30.000 VND (~ 1.27 USD) - 70.000 VND (~ 2.97 USD)


Silver Waterfall with a height of 200m has white cloud-like foam. In particular, when you stand from the top of Ham Rong Mountain, you can see the wild beauty of Silver Waterfall in the clearest way, the natural scenery of clouds and sky blending together to create a fanciful space like being lost in a fairyland.

Silver Waterfall - sapa travel guide

Foreign explorers visit Silver Waterfall, Sapa

Love Waterfall is also attractive when visiting Hoang Lien Son National Park. You can discover the beauty of the primeval forest, surrounded by thousands of old bamboo canopies. The scenery is as beautiful as a painting of water, sometimes you can hear the rustling and whispering sound of the old forest. It allows visitors to drop their souls to nature.

Love Waterfall in Sapa, Vietnam

Love Waterfall in Sapa, Vietnam

Sin Chai Village 

  • Address: Hoang Lien Commune.

  • Price: free entrance.

Sin Chai is also one of the ideal spots to feel the peace and wideness of the Northwest. This place is a living area of the Hmong ethnic group with many unique customs. Along the road leading to Sin Chai Village, visitors will be able to see the small, rustic folds roofed with Po-mu wood and simple farm tools in front of the house. This is a great destination for you if you want to learn about the lifestyle of the Hmong ethnic group.

Sin Chai Village ethnic

Hmong ethnic group in Sin Chai Village

Bac Ha Village

  • Address: Bac Ha town.

  • Price: free entrance.

For many international visitors, spring is the most beautiful season of Bac Ha because every spring, the plum blossom season makes everyone fascinated. Coming to Bac Ha, you can not only visit the beautiful landscape but also experience homestays hosted by indigenous people and discover the traditional cultural activities of the Mong and Tay here.

Bac Ha Village

Lifestyle of minority group in Bac Ha Village

Heaven Gate Sapa 

  • Address: on National Highway 4D, Lao Cai Province.

  • Price: 120.000 VND (~ 5.09 USD) per adult, including a drink.

Heaven Gate is located right on the top of the pass with a panorama view of the mountain scenery, it is a favorite spot for many international visitors. You will probably have impressive photos to keep memories of this land.

Heaven Gate Sapa - sapa trevel guide

Visitor takes a picture in Heaven Gate Sapa

Ready for more? Read our Vietnam complete travel guide.

Dive in local cuisine of Sapa

Besides admiring the natural scenery of Sapa, don’t forget to try the unique local dishes of this town. We would like to share some traditional dishes in our Sapa travel guide.

  • Grilled food

Coming to Sapa, you must eat grilled food because this is a dish that is ubiquitous and has varieties from skewers of pork, chicken, eggs and lam rice. Barbecue prices range from 20.000 VND (~ 0.85 USD) to 100.000 VND (~ 4.24 USD) per skewer. A hot pot costs 300.000 VND (~ 12.73 USD) - 600.000 VND (~ 25.46 USD), suitable for 3-6 people to eat.

grilled food in sapa - local cuisine of Sapa

Tasty skewers of pork, chicken and vegetable

  • Thắng cố - a unique dish 

Traditional Thang Co will have horse meat as the main ingredient. The special point here is that we will process all the components of a horse. However, through the process of changing to better suit the taste of domestic and foreign visitors, today’s Thang Co can also be made from pork, beef or buffalo meat.

Thang Co - sapa food

Thang Co is a familiar dish in the northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam

  • Seven Colors Sticky Rice

This delicious dish in Sapa is a traditional dish of the Nung people living here. It is called seven colors because sticky rice has 7 distinct colors such as pink, red, blue, yellow, orange, purple and black.

Seven Sticky Rice

Seven Sticky Rice dish is better when eaten hot

  • Buffalo meat

The way to prepare this delicious dish in Sapa is also very special, buffalo meat is marinated with spices then hung up in the attic and smoked for dry faster. After about 8 to 11 months, people start to take it down and eat it gradually. When eating, you can tear it up and dip it with chili sauce or spices, ensuring that the spicy flavor of the dishes makes everyone feel amazed. 

Buffalo meat yarn - what to eat in sapa

Buffalo meat yarn dish

  • Lam rice - rice banana

In the list of what to eat in Sapa, it is definitely indispensable for the famous Lam rice dish. Unlike other places, Lam rice in Sapa is cooked from upland sticky rice, which is cooked from bamboo tubes, so when you eat it, you will feel a very special aroma.

banana rice in sapa - sapa travel guide

Lam rice is eaten with peanut salt

Where to stay in Sapa

To experience more paces in Sapa, you should stay at the homestay near the town. There are top 4 Sapa homestays we suggest.

Valley View Homestay 

  • Address: Violet Street, Sapa town.

  • Price: 400.000 VND (~ 16.98 USD) - 500.000 VND (~ 21.22 USD) per night.

  • Phone: 096 873 3688.

Mega View homestay Sapa

  • Address: No.24, Cau May Alley.

  • Price: 450.000 VND (~19.10 USD) per night.

  • Phone: 0924 551 552.

Sapa Friendly Inn & Travel

  • Address: No.01B, So Than Street.

  • Price: 135.000 VND (~ 5.73 USD) per night.

  • Phone: 097 192 0288.

The Coong Homestay and Cafe Sapa

  • Address: Cat Cat Village.

  • Price: 100.000 VND (~ 4.24 USD) per night.

  • Phone: 091 271 4286.

sapa homestay

A group of foreign tourists stay at Sapa Friendly Inn Homestay

Sapa travel tips to remind 

There are some Sapa travel guide tips for you to have the best trip.

  • Shouldn’t travel in from June to early August to avoid floods and landslides.

  • You can rent a motorbike to move freely-price: 100.000 VND (~ 4.24 USD) - 200.000 VND (~ 8.49 USD) a day. However, Sapa roads are zigzagging and rough. 

  • Should book aerial tramway tickets in Fanipan spot in advance to avoid crowds and sold-off.

  • If you want to explore the life of ethnic groups, you can stay at some homestays in the village. The price: over 50.000 VND ( ~ 2.12 USD) per night.

  • You should ask and note the customs and beliefs of minority groups from a native guide.

  • Remember to bring a jacket because in the afternoon, it is often cold even in the middle of summer.

Glad to see that you keep reading and discovering with us the overview of Sapa town, Lao Cai Province. In the post, we share with you the Sapa travel guide: the time and attractions to visit here. In addition, there are some Sapa cuisine dishes you must try. Make sure you keep in mind our Sapa travel guide tips to plan a perfect trip on the next vacation. And if you are looking for good Vietnam package tour options, feel free to contact us!