Sapa Homestay and Trek
North Vietnam, Vietnam
Less than 1 day to 3 days
Effortless to Average
Best time to go: March, April, May, September, October, November
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Some examples of what you can expect to see or do
Visit serene local villages and bustling markets
Sapa Rice Terraces
Trek among rice paddies, Sapa's most iconic view
Visit one of Sapa's many beautiful waterfalls
Red Dao Tribe
Learn about the rich Red Dao culture & medicine
Meet the incredibly hospitable H'mong people
See the highest point in Vietnam @ 3143m
Start time: At any time
End time: At any time
Start time: At any time
End time: At any time
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What you should know
How do I get there?
The closest international airport to Sapa is Hanoi. There are a few ways to get to Sapa from Hanoi: by bus, by train or by car. If you need any help booking a bus, train or private car, please let us know and we'll be glad to help! 🚌 If you're going by bus, take the bus to Sapa town directly. You can either take the public bus from Hanoi's Gia Lam station, or get an express bus which will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi. The bus takes about 6 hours. 🚂 If you're going by train, take the train to Lao Cai, followed by a minibus to Sapa town. The train goes during the night only, and takes about 8 hours. When you reach the train station, there are lots of minbuses you can choose to take you to Sapa, or take a local bus just outside the station. The bus journey from Lao Cai to Sapa will take approximately an hour. This is our preferred choice as it is more comfortable - you can sleep completely flat in a 4 person cabin and arrive in Sapa by 7am, refreshed to start your hike! 🚕 Finally, you can take a private taxi to Sapa, but this is pretty costly (from US$185 for a 7-seater). Driving time would be about 6 hours.
Do I need to go with a guide?
The options included here all include both a trekking guide and a homestay. If you prefer wandering about on your own, you don't necessarily need to get a guide to walk around some of the rice terraces near Sapa town. You don't even really need to get one if you wander off a bit further afield if you are not afraid of getting lost. But if you do go with one of the options here which includes a guide, you'll find out more about the region, get to spend some time with a local H'mong family and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Do I need to train up?
Most of the hike options are not very strenuous. You don't need any special preparation, just be able to walk 3-4 hours at a time at a brisk pace.
What's the best time to go?
The best months to visit are March, April, May, September, October, November
We recommend the above period because you would have good weather.
How much time do I need?
You'll need at least 3 days, including transport time from Hanoi to do a trip to Sapa. This will give you 1 day of travel time, and 2 days to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of Sapa.
What's the difference between the options?
The options range from 1 to 3 days - so it all depends on how long you would like to spend in Sapa! Also, if you would like to go away from the beaten path, you may want to check out the Sapa O'Chau or the Sin Soui Ho Village homestay options. The Sapa O'Chau option takes a more remote route through the villages and takes you through some lesser-known areas in Sapa. Sin Suoi Ho Village is a much lesser known village adjacent to Sapa, and there you can enjoy the same views with a fraction of the number of travellers. As more and more travellers descend on Sapa each year, Sin Soui Ho Village feels like how we would imagine Sapa was like ten years ago.
Any tips for what to do in the area?
Before you head out for a trek stop by Sapa O'Chau's café, a local social enterprise which provides Sapa treks, as well as trains youth from across the region in the hospitality trade. Or, if you are looking for a good dinner - head to A QUYNH - NHÀ HÀNG KHÁM PHÁ VIỆT for great local seafood and delicious regional hot pot. This place is also a favourite karaoke hotspot for locals. Don't be shy - jump right in!
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