Sa Pa Travel And Tourist Guide

Like Da Lat in the central highlands, Sa Pa was developed by the French as a hill station where their colonial officials could find some respite for the tropical heat. The town sits on a ridge among rugged hills known as the Tonkinese Alps, and has become one of the most popular destinations in the country for foreign visitors.

For these modern visitors, the attraction of Sa Pa is not simply the refreshing climate but also the gaily-dressed ethnic minority groups who inhabit the area. Camera-toting tourists throng to the market to record some images of the flamboyant clothes of the Black Hmong and Red Dao, and the more adventurous set off on treks of several days into the nearby hills.


Attractions & Activities

Go trekking to local villages of ethnic minorities or take a bus trip to Bac Ha market, or the truly fearless can try to climb the country’s highest peak nearby with stunning views...more


Look for a room with heating rather than air-con and preferably with a stunning view across the valley. There are budget digs and high-end resorts with spas facilities...more

Restaurants & Bars

Enjoy breakfast on a terrace in the mist and dinner at one of the town’s stylish restaurants that uses all local ingredients in the varied indigenous fare served up to guests...more


Take a luxury train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, then spiral up to Sa Pa in a minibus or motorbike, offering glorious views of the striking mountainous landscape...more

Note: To find more the best rate Hotels in Vietnam. We recommend you look online at They seem to be the most competitively priced of the hotels sites.

Brief guide to Sa Pa - Home of Diverse Minority Tribes

These days the town has become a victim of its own popularity, and the weekend market has been so widely touted that it’s lost its feel of authenticity. One way to avoid this is to visit midweek, when the ethnic groups are still around but most of the tour groups have gone.

Be warned that at any time of the year, Sa Pa gets cold after dark, so you’ll need some warm clothing.

The main activity for visitors to Sa Pa, apart from visiting the over-hyped market, is to go trekking in the hills, and several companies offer treks of differing difficulty and duration. Many visitors are tempted to climb to the top of Mt Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak at 3,143 metres, but this challenging hike of around five days is only for dedicated trekkers.

In response to the town’s popularity, the number of hotels in Sa Pa has risen sharply, and there are several cosy restaurants where you can exchange travellers tales over a hot cup of cocoa.

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