The 10 Best Things to Do in Sapa, Vietnam

August 28, 2017 Janette Largent

The northwest market town of Sapa is colorful and charming, providing the perfect oasis in the midst of a strenuous mountain trek or rice-paddy tour. The Gothic stone church at the center of town is a bull’s-eye in the center of shops and stalls, serving as a reminder of the town’s French missionary influence. Dine on Vietnamese or European-inspired cuisine downtown, and don’t miss the Saturday night "love market," one of the most potent—and strictest—single’s nights imaginable.
Restaurants in Sapa

1. Muong Hoa Valley

Sapa 333108, Vietnam
Excellent
75%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 892 reviews

Muong Hoa Valley

Reviewed By Maureen P - Northumberland National Park, United Kingdom

We were brought here by our guide for a trek as part of a private tour. We were very lucky with the weather which can be varied in SaPa as it was hot and sunny. The Hmong hamlets are so interesting, there are children everywhere as well as animals belonging to the families there. The rice terraces are beautiful. Highly reccomended if you stay in SaPa. By the way, pleas do not take sweets to give to the children, they much prefer pencils, pens, toothbrushes and so on,

2. Fansipan Mountain

Sapa 330000, Vietnam
Excellent
65%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 690 reviews

Fansipan Mountain

Fansipan is one of the most beautiful attractions in Sapa, It is the peak of Indochina with the elevation of 3143m

Reviewed By needlehill - Hong Kong, China

There are unfortunately 2 categories of people who reach the summit of Fansipan now: those who climb it in trekking gear, and those who take the cable car in urban clothes.
We luckily avoided the latter by reaching the summit around 8am, after having spent the night in the camp at 2,800m. The weather was execrable that morning (rain & wind), which made the final push a bit more epic, and which guaranteed us to have the summit just for ourselves, at least ... Zero view, but peace.
The trek isn't difficult, provided that you have a certain level of fitness. The most difficult part was definitely the freezing night in the camp, but it was also an interesting experience.
About the end of the trek, even though you're aware of the cable car and the ugly staircases that now lead to the top, it's shocking when you arrive there, after having walked on slippery terrains, climbed ladders, etc for 1.5 days ...
My personal opinion: people who don't climb have nothing to do at the top of a 3,000m+ mountain. But the greed of a few people didn't care.
It was so foggy that morning that, on the way up, we didn't even see the huge building where the cable car arrives, with restaurants & shops inside. But on the way down, yes. And what a disaster. With the shameful funicular above also, for even lazier tourists. So what's the next step? Hire Porters to carry people to the top?
There was only one Fansipan, and it's spoiled now.
Yet, we still recommend the 2-day trek, if you can leave the camp early enough on the 2nd day to have the summit just for yourselves.

3. Terraced Rice Fields in Shin Chai Village

Cau May street, Sapa 330000, Vietnam +84 98 958 74 00
Excellent
72%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 158 reviews

Terraced Rice Fields in Shin Chai Village

Sapa Landscapes is an international destination and the spirit is in between landscapes and local culture. The team is composed by youngsters of several families from the villages around. The difference is that it is possible for the visitors to communicate directly with the villagers, travel with ethnic people who will become local guides, because they are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment, learn English and French from tourists. However the spirit remains the same; we favorise the cultural exchanges by sharing all the natural moments of a day, meals, discovery activities, cooking, drinks, sometimes ceremonies, and even some everyday work like handcart. If there is a request, we can hire local artists for some simple representations, but most of the time, we interact with the local culture more than “watch it”.

Reviewed By Denysls - Gatineau, Canada

We trek the area in February 2017. We had a great time even if it was 15 degrees with very light rain. The visibility was not perfect either but still, it was well worth it to walk the little trails. While walking the little roads, you share the lane with scooters. Sometimes a car comes by. The rice fields were not cultivated in February so they were muddy a little. Still the scenery was very nice and from time to time, between mists, we could see the Mountains. Some local ladies followed us for 4 or 5 kilometres. We ended up buying from them. You need a guide to be sure to walk the best places. For those who like to walk, this is paradise. And for us, this 15 degrees with light rains still beats by far the minus 20 we have back home in Canada

4. Sun World Fansipan Legend

Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Sapa, Vietnam +84 20 3818 888
Excellent
67%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 418 reviews

Sun World Fansipan Legend

Reviewed By mijello - Vancouver, Canada

We went to Fansipan Mountain on the 25th of February, 2018. Thousands and thousands of other people also visited on that same day. We spent a great deal of time struggling to keep queue jumpers from cutting in front of us. Many people succeed in cutting in front of us before we sharpened our elbows, linked arms to prevent them from doing that. They should hire staff to monitor the lineups. Throw these rude people out of the lineup or publicly shame them. There were also many safety issues. The building where we all used to enter the cable car had shoulder to shoulder people; if there was a fire, we would all be trampled. They really should limit the number of people allowed in the building. Took us two hours in the lineup. Once we got to the top cable car station, we struggled to stay upright. The station had smooth tile flooring and it was extremely slippery due to the damp fog being blown into the building. One man slipped and felled backward hitting his head on the brick wall. A big piece of the brick came off from the impact. I saw no first aid station nor first aid attendant nearby. His friends carried him off and I don’t know what happened to him after that.
Other safety issues were outside the station. There are not enough railings on the stairs. It was an extremely windy and wet day, and it was necessary to hold on to the railing while going up and down the stairs. Some of the people were short of breath, resting, and they all sat by the railings forcing us walkers to walk in the middle where we had no railings to hold on to. Either install more railings (in the middle of the staircases) or put up signs telling people not to rest beside the railings. The stairs all had different heights, so one must be vigilant in watching where one goes. Unless management address these issues, I do not want to go back nor would I recommend this to anyone.

5. Ta Phin Village

Ta Phin, Sapa, Vietnam
Excellent
54%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 299 reviews

Ta Phin Village

Reviewed By David B L - Los Angeles, California

The little Red Dao tribal village & environs is the real Why that you came to Sapa. It’s outside of Sapa town about 20 mins taxi / $8.00 USD & is a world away from hectic overbuilt Sapa town. Hike there, Motorbike there or take a taxi.
- stay at the Ta May Homestay for a day or two, take a relaxing mineral bath at the facility next door, hike the countryside & enjoy this special gem!

6. Love Waterfall

Highway 4D, Sapa 330000, Vietnam +84 98 526 42 67
Excellent
49%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 631 reviews

Love Waterfall

Reviewed By Kathryn B - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The live waterfall is very pretty and in a beautiful mountain setting. Like many of the natural attractions in Vietnam it has not been left in its natural state - there are paths, steps, Bridges all around the waterfall. But this does make it accessible to more people and it’s a lovely walk to and from the waterfall. As long as you don’t mind stairs!

7. Ham Rong Mountain

Sapa 100000, Vietnam +84 869 299 959
Excellent
32%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
5%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 252 reviews

Ham Rong Mountain

Highest sceneric view in Sapa

Reviewed By DianneJM

Small entry fee to 'tourist area' common to Sapa. Walk is not particularly difficult but reasonable fitness required for any uphill/step walk. Great views back over Sapa town. We arrived mid afternoon in Sapa so perfect activity in fill in late afternoon. 1-2 hour activity.

8. Tram Ton Pass

Highway 4D, Sapa, Vietnam
Excellent
50%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 102 reviews

Tram Ton Pass

Reviewed By Glammaa - Canberra, Australia

This is the highest point in Vietnam 2000 meters above sea level.
The scenery is just amazing and it is deliciously cool.
There are plenty of road side stores just waiting to take advantage of you. They all seem to be run by incredibly old women who hove over little fires cooking us pieces of dried and smoked buffalo which is really very tasty.
I got taken to the cleaners big time :) A bag of nuts, 2 cups of instant coffee and a taste of the buffalo jerky and she charged me 150,000VND. We never spent that much on dinner for two including beers in all our travels of Vietnam. Ah the art of the con by an ancient civilisation. Still it was worth it, I had fun.

9. Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Falls)

Sapa, Vietnam +84 4 3926 2730
Excellent
25%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
29%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 397 reviews

Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Falls)

Reviewed By jazsacher - Bangkok, Thailand

I was here for less than 30 min since our tour group had limited time. However, for the time I was here I was impressed. The falls at Thac Bac were amazing and the stairs leading up the falls were equally impressive and offered fantastic photo shots. I loved climbing to the bridge overlooking the falls and taking many shots there. In the end I wished we had much more than 30 min there. I could have easily spent 2 hours there with the trails there. This is a place not to be missed !!

10. Holy Rosary Church Or the Stone Church

Thi Tran SaPa, Sapa, Vietnam +84 20 3873 014
Excellent
22%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 216 reviews

Holy Rosary Church Or the Stone Church

Reviewed By David B L - Los Angeles, California

Nice French Colonial period church adjacent to the central square in town. Closed most of the time, but open on the weekend. Saw locals there, so there must be a presence. One of few older buildings in this bustling town. Worth a quick visit when at the square.

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