Top 30 Amazing Things To Do In Sapa 2024
Coming to Sapa, you not only experience the fresh air, peaceful life but also experience a lot of great things here. The top 30 best things to do in Sapa below will definitely help you have a perfect trip.
- 1. Admire rice terraces
- 2. Visit hill tribe villages
- 3. Take selfies at Sapa Glass Bridge
- 4. Conquer Fansipan Mount
- 5. Go trekking
- 6. Take a cycling tour
- 7. Try a motorbike ride
- 8. Have a cup of coffee
- 9. Hunt clouds
- 10. Wander around the town
- 11. Eat barbecue dishes
- 12. Try Sapa Mountain Climbing Train
- 13. Shop at Sapa tribal markets
- 14. Explore the waterfalls
- 15. Taste 'Thang Co' Hot pot (Horse meat hot pot)
- 16. Check-in at Sapa Church
- 17. Drop by Sapa Love Market
- 18. Buy local handicrafts
- 19. Drink local wine
- 20. Join a cooking class
- 21. Get homestay experience
- 22. Visit night markets
- 23. Attend an H’ mong sewing class
- 24. Tour to O Quy Ho Pass
- 25. Savor Salmon Hot pot
- 26. Have fun at local bars
- 27. Visit Ham Rong flower garden
- 28. Relax with a foot massage
- 29. Get a yoga treatment
- 30. Enjoy Red Dao herbal bath
Sapa is one of the extremely famous places in Northern Vietnam. Tourists often come to Sapa in the fall and winter to relax and have more fun. In the past, Sapa had not been paid much attention by many tourist units, so it still has a wild beauty and there are few amusement parks as well as beautiful scenes to visit. However, in recent, from 2 to 3 years, Sapa has been loved and appreciated by many tourists. Among the famous tourist attraction in Northern Vietnam, undeniably Sapa is a great choice for travel. Coming to Sapa, you not only experience the fresh air, and peaceful life but also experience a lot of great things here. The top 30 best things to do in Sapa below will definitely help you have a perfect trip.
1. Admire rice terraces
Rice terraces in Sapa are among the best things to see here, it is the main reason why a lot of tourists come to Sapa. The terraced rice fields in Sapa were voted as one of the seven most beautiful and impressive ones in Asia and the world by Travel and Leisure magazine in the United States. Rice terraces in Sapa are slopes in hilly or mountainous areas, one after another, from the foot to nearly the top of the mountains. The terraced rice fields look like a picture and the color changes seasonally. It looks like a mirror in April and May when local people water the fields. The color changes into green in June and July when the paddy rice fully grows. In September and October, all the rice is ripe, the terraced fields have a golden color.
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Admiring rice terraces in Sapa
2. Visit hill tribe villages
Maybe you do not know? There are many hill tribe villages in Sapa that you can come to visit, such as Ta Van village, Cat Cat village, Ta Phin village, Lao Chai village, Sin Chai village, Y Linh Ho village, and Ho village... Each village has a unique life with varied cultures. These villages are located in different areas of Sapa and possess wild and unique beauty. Coming here, you can also see ethnic girls/boys locals working in some villages, and the beautiful scenery in each village. The people also in these hill tribe villages play a very important role in the culture and specialities of Sapa, making Sapa more and more popular and visited by tourists. Coming to visit Sapa's villages, staying overnight at their homestay, and experiencing the activities here as a local can be one of the most interesting things on your trip to Sapa.
Visit hill trible village in Sapa
3. Take selfies at Sapa Glass Bridge
Sapa Glass Bridge is another tourist attraction in Sapa. The bridge is located at O Quy Ho Pass which is only about 17km from Sapa town center. The bridge is only 60m long and 5m wide but at a height of more than 2000m above sea level. From the bridge, you can see the 360o panorama view of Sapa. A lot of people, especially young people, come here for taking selfies. It can be a little bit scary the first time you touch the bridge. However, when you get used to it, you will find it a lot of fun. October to December is the best time to visit this bridge if you want to hunt for the cloud. You will feel like diving in the cloud see on this bridge.
Take selfíe at Sapa Glass Bridge
4. Conquer Fansipan Mount
Conquering the roof of Indochina is something that many tourists wish to do when coming to Sapa. Fansipan Mount has a height of more than 3000m and is the highest peak in Indochina. There are 2 paths to conquer Fansipan, you can hike to Fansipan Peak in the traditional way or take a cable car. If you choose the traditional way, you must prepare mentally to overcome difficulties and obstacles on the whole path because you will become a real climber. The second way to conquer Fansipan Mount is to take the cable car from the foot of the mountain to the back of the mountain. After that, you can climb Fansipan Mountain through the road with more than 1,000 steps that have been built safely. This road is suitable for middle-aged people as well as families with young children. Sapa's scenery will be displayed in front of you when you stand at the top of the mountain. This is considered one of the most beautiful scenes in Vietnam.
Conquer Fansipan Mount
If you are afraid of rough terrain and mountain height, conquering the Fansipan Mount becomes easier than ever by grabbing a Sapa Fansipan Legend Cable Car Ticket at BestPrice Travel.
5. Go trekking
One of the best ways to explore Sapa is by trekking. It is cheap but gives you the best experience with Sapa. On the trek, you can explore nature as well as the majestic beauty of the green fields, mountains, and waterfalls. You can either trek to Ham Rong mountain which is only about 3 km from the center of Sapa town or chooses Fansipan mount which is about 3,143m above the sea. However, the most popular trekking destinations are local villages, such as Y Linh Ho Village, Ta Van village, Sin Chai village. The distances for trekking vary from 10 to 20 km or more. Some people will stay overnight at homestay in these local villages to discover the unique culture of ethnic minorities here.
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Trekking in Sapa
6. Take a cycling tour
If you do not want to trek, but still love to see the hill tribe villages, take cycling tours to these local villages. Lao Chai village, Sin Chai village, and Ta Phin village are the most visited villages by cyclists in Sapa. The road here is not too hard to cycle and you can enjoy fresh air, and the simple tranquillity of Sapa. Cycling to these villages, tourists will pass the terraced fields, waterfalls, and majestic mountains, see the customs and cultural beauty of ethnic minorities in the mountains. It is best to avoid the rainy season from September to April next year as the road can be slippery and sometimes landslide happens.
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7. Try a motorbike ride
If you are short on time for Sapa and want to keep your energy for other beautiful places in Vietnam, try a motorbike ride. If you are confident with your riding ability, you can ride a bike yourself. However, the road in Sapa is not easy, you may need a driver, who has a lot of experience driving on difficult mountain roads. Seating back on the bike, you will be relaxing, and enjoy the beautiful landscape around Sapa. On the way, you can stop at some places for taking photos, chatting with local people, taking beautiful pictures of the minority villages. Something to note if you drive a motorbike by yourself, carefully check the brake, horn & gasoline carefully before driving.
8. Have a cup of coffee
A lot of trekking, motorbiking, or cycling in Sapa may make you tired, so why not stop at some of the coffee houses in Sapa and enjoy a cup of hot coffee? Coffee is a world-famous drink in Sapa, Sapa weather is lowest than in any other part of Vietnam. Drinking coffee in the cold weather in Sapa is something you should never miss. Café in the Clouds, Nature View, and Sapa O’Chau Café are among the best coffee shops in Sapa. Most of the coffee shops in Sapa overlook the beautiful mountains of terraced rice fields, where you may be able to get the best selfies pictures.
Have a cup of coffee in Sapa
9. Hunt clouds
What is the special activity which Sapa has, but other cities do not have? A lot of people come to Sapa for hunting clouds, which can not be done in any other city in Vietnam. The feeling that you stand on the top of the mountain, embracing clouds and heaven, enjoying among a sea of clouds is difficult to describe, it is a magical experience. Not only see the sea of the clouds, admiring the clouds fall but also you can touch them, and feel the clouds rolling through your hair. The best time to hunt the clouds is in spring when the weather is quite cool, the sunshine is gentle, and you can see more clouds than any other season. Fanxipan Peak, Y Ty Commune, and Ham Rong Mountain are the best places for hunting clouds in Sapa.
Cloud hunting in Ham Rong
10. Wander around the town
Many tourists come to Sapa for trek to the hidden villages or Fansipan Mount, and they forget about Sapa Town, which is a mistake. There is no need to go off the beaten track, you still can see a lot of beautiful natural spots in Sapa town like Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest, and Ta Phin Cave. Sapa has changed a lot since it was identified in 1901. The detached wooden mansions and villas along with old and new villas with red roofs bring Sapa a new look.
Wandering around this town, tourists can enjoy the various families of flowers of captivating colors. When being at the local market, you can find scarce and precious specialities of Sapa Town, such as forest’s products, handicrafts, smoked meat, “thang co”, “cai meo”, san lung wine, corn wine, or fresh temperate vegetables such as cabbage, chayote, precious medical herbs, fruit trees, and so on.
Wandering Sapa town
11. Eat barbecue dishes
You may not know that Sapa has the most delicious barbecue dishes in Vietnam as local people use many special local marinated spices & ingredients. Sapa people grill different kinds of food, from the simplest ones like potatoes, cassava, eggs, chicken wings… to other more complicated dishes like the rolled beef with Meo spinach, stream fish, or “com lam” … And the best BBQ dishes you should try in Sapa are pork rolled beef rolled, grilled bamboo pipe rice, grilled mountainous corn, grilled spiced pork, grilled chicken feet & wing, grilled egg.
Eating a hot barbecue dish with a local kind of drink called San Lung liquor in the cold weather of Sapa can become the best moment in your trip to Sapa. You can find a number of barbecue stalls on Cau May street, in front of the old stoned church, in the local markets, or the famous Bac waterfall.
Enjoying Barbecue food in Sapa
12. Try Sapa Mountain Climbing Train
Sapa Mountain Climbing Train was put in operation in March 2018. The train departs from MGallery Hotel in Sapa and ends at the Mount Fansipan cable car station and the Sapa mountain climbing railway line is the longest mountain-climbing railway line in the country. It helps to shorten the time from Sapa town to Mount Fansipan cable car station. With only four to six minutes on the train, you will be able to see amusing Sapa, the Muong Hoa Valley rolling out below, all forested mountains tiered rice paddies, and a blue sky buffered by a thick white cloud.
The train stops for a minute at some scenic points, where tourists have a chance to get pictures before moving on through tunnels and viaducts on their way to the cable car station. Trains run from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm daily and are capable of carrying 200 passengers, departing about every six minutes.
Sapa Mountain Climbing Train
13. Shop at Sapa tribal markets
Having fun and eating is not enough for a memorable trip. If you come to Sapa without exploring the Tribal Markets, you will really regret it. There are many tribal markets that you can refer to in Sapa. You can shop for everything at tribal markets. Not only shopping but you can also explore a lot of local cultures here. Tribal markets are truly one of the most amazing experiences for visitors. Typically, it will open from 6 p.m - 11 p.m. Therefore, please pay attention to coming to tribal markets early, feel free to explore the activities there.
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Shopping at the local market
14. Explore the waterfalls
Not only famous for the highest mountain in Indochina - Fansipan, Sapa also attracts tourists by the majestic natural waterfalls. Some waterfalls that you should not miss when traveling in Sapa must mention are Silver Falls and Love Waterfall. Two waterfalls are about 12km from the center of town and we can easily get there through the road from Sapa to Lai Chau. These natural waterfalls existed long ago. The water was clean and cool.
Coming here, you will also be told the legendary stories about Love Waterfall - Where the emperor's 17th fairy meets a woodcutter by local people. If you have the opportunity to travel to Sapa, be sure to visit the famous waterfalls of Sapa and save the best pictures!
Exploring the waterfalls in Sapa
15. Taste 'Thang Co' Hot pot (Horse meat hot pot)
Thang Co hot pot is the traditional dish of the H’Mong people in the mountains of Ha Giang. In the past, indigenous people processed this dish from an entire horse and didn’t throw anything. Then, they put beef into the dish making this a unique food. The way local people make the dish is very simple. They wash the meat and organs of animals clearly, marinate them with spices, then put in a pot of broth with horse bones, viscera, blood, etc.
To make this dish tastier, about 12 different traditional spices of the ethnic minority people such as ginger, cardamom, tangerine peel, the lemon leaf is also added. All the ingredients are simmered for hours to make a mouthwatering Thang Co. You can find the best dish of Thang Co in Bac Ha, Muong Khuong, Sa Pa - Lao Cai.
Thang Co Sapa
16. Check-in at Sapa Church
Sapa Church known as the Stone Church or the Holy Rosary Church is right in the center of Sapa town. It was built by the Frech in the early 20th century but is quite well maintained. Coming to the church, you can see Roman gothic architecture in roofs, arches, and bell towers, or lovely stained glass windows in a modern style that depicts the life of Christ inside the church. The church is the place where many traditional cultural activities of ethnic minorities are held. This is one of the best places to take pictures in Sapa, so do not miss it.
17. Drop by Sapa Love Market
Sapa love market takes place on Saturday evenings. It is the place where the young people in Sapa find a partner to get married. Every Saturday, the young Red Dzao hill tribe comes to Sapa to sing songs, attract other sex. The girls dress up in colorful costumes and silver ornaments, hang little bells on their outfits. They look for the guys dressing in traditional clothes of the same colors. They stand in groups, singing and dancing their traditional dances during day time. When the night comes, the girl sings the songs in the dark. Then the boy finds them and if they match, they would disappear into the forest for three days. Some of them got married after that. Interestingly, the market is not for buying or selling, it is for dating, expressing affection.
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18. Buy local handicrafts
When visiting Sapa, do not forget to bring home some handicrafts from local people. They can be hats, traditional jewelry, necklaces, bracelets…You can easily find them everywhere in Sapa. Children from the age of 5, to women with their kids, make their own products, trek a long distance to tourist attractions, and sell their products. It can be very cheap, only 1USD per product, but some will ask much more than you need to pay. Therefore, do not forget to reduce the price by about 20-50%. Silver jewelry such as necklaces, silver bangles, or brocade such as scarves, bags, quilts, embroidered jackets, and woven skirts are top things to buy in Sapa.
19. Drink local wine
You may not know that the men in Sapa are not as industrious as women and they seem to prefer spending most of their time drinking or sleeping. The reason is that the wine in Sapa is very attractive to them. Therefore, try drinking local wine when you are here. Only once, you will not get addicted to them. San Lung wine is the most popular wine in Sapa. It is made from the water stream, rice and herbs is a specialty of the Red Dao in Sapa.
This kind of wine is believed to relieve pain, prevent cold, flu, blood circulating, and help people remove the coolness, the sadness of poverty. Other delicious wines in Sapa are corn wine in Bac Ha or tao Meo in Sapa town.
20. Join a cooking class
A lot of people skip the cooking class in Sapa, which is a regret. Joining cooking class in Sapa, you will be able to taste the unique and well-preserved cuisine of the ethnic group of the area, learn the best dishes from local people here such as smoked buffalo with local pickled vegetables, traditional homemade tofu served, chicken with wild ginger, ash baked trout wrapped in banana leaf, traditional H’ mong style black pudding, and much more.
The way of cooking is simple, the seasonings are basic with garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and chile, but the dishes are tasty. Tofu is simply boiled but tastes really good. Buffalo is eaten on special occasions such as weddings or funerals or gatherings, but you can try on the cooking class. Blood sausage is something weird, but you feel it tasty if you can stand it.
21. Get homestay experience
Staying at a homestay run by a local family in Sapa is among the best things to do in Sapa for sure. This experience will bring you a refreshing change from a usual and boring hotel. You will be staying close to nature, immersing yourself fully in the local culture. While staying at a homestay in Sapa, you will be able to help local families with the farm work, learn how to cook their specialties and donate some money which is a small amount of money but means a lot to them.
Let's check out the best homestays in Sapa to choose from.
22. Visit night markets
A lot of people may think that Sapa at night is peaceful, quiet, and everything is deepened into their sleep. However, it is not true. Sapa is more beautiful, glamorous, and charming at night. The ethnic minorities come from every tribe of Sapa to the night market at the stone Catholic church to trade, exchange goods, and communicate with each other. Many things are sold in this market from souvenirs to, honey, rice wine, vegetables, bathroom medicine of the red Dao, candle wax, oil, cardamom.
The market is also the place where you can taste the best food of Sapa, most of which are grilled or roasted. Baked or grilled meat, beef, fish, and vegetables are great specialties to try at a night market in Sapa.
23. Attend an H’ mong sewing class
The Hmong group in Sapa is known for its sewing and weaving. Their weaving technique is so unique and famous, therefore, learning how to sew and make the products in H’mong sewing class is highly recommended. You can head to Indigo Cat where the class takes place. An experienced local H’Mong person will teach you how to sew step by step from picking the leaves, putting these leaves in the barrels, taking them out, adding the lime, to the final product.
The local people speak English very well, so it is easy to understand and follow their instructions. If you are looking for a place to buy sewing products, it is the ideal place to shop. Beautiful product and a reasonable price.
H’ mong sewing class in Sapa
24. Tour to O Quy Ho Pass
O Quy Ho Pass is something you should never miss if you love taking adventures on challenging routes of Vietnam. It is among the 5 most daunting passes in Vietnam’s northwestern region, besides Ma Pi Leng in Ha Giang province, Khau Pha in Yen Bai, and Pha Din between Son La, Dien Bien province, and Ngoan Muc Pass in Ninh Thuan. The pass is 50 km long, and the top is at an altitude of nearly 2.000 m. It is truly a challenge for long-distance drivers, as the road can be very dangerous with risky limitless hairpin curves.
However, the feeling when you stand on the top of the pass after a lot of challenges is great. On the top, you can see the sight over the horizon, the endless sky and limitless mountains, the looming green fields, and endless tracks around the mountains. Feeling like wild birds in the sky!
O Quy Ho pass
25. Savor Salmon Hot pot
You may eat salad, soup, porridge, smoked, grilled, or steamed fish eggs from salmon, but have you tried salmon hot pot? It is one of the best dishes in Sapa. Salmon in Sapa is different from what it is in other countries, it is strong, not too fat. It is great when you enjoy salmon hot pot in the cold weather of Sapa. This dish is often served with special wild vegetables in Sapa like watercress or pumpkin buds. Skyview Restaurant and Bar, Song Nhi Sa Pa restaurant, Thac Bac restaurant are among the best restaurants to enjoy the delicious salmon hot pot in Sapa.
26. Have fun at local bars
Surely, when heading to Sapa, the mountainous area in northern Vietnam, tourists will not expect too much about bars or clubs. However, there are still some for you to join. Local Sapa bars are mostly for backpackers who look for a chill-out place at night after a long trekking day or a place to release stress, have fun with friends. Most of the Sapa bar has live music, a good ambiance, and a fine menu of food and drinks.
You can find both local or international food and drinks in these bars. Drinks like Margarita, Mai Tai, Piña colada, Vietnamese beers are delicious, but at a reasonable price. Some best bars in Sapa are The H' mong Sisters, Táu Bar, Sapa Sky View Restaurant & Bar, Bamboo Bar
Have fun at local bars
27. Visit Ham Rong flower garden
Ham Rong flower garden is a mini-Sapa where you can see an overview of natural beauty, culture, and local people in Sapa. Ham Rong flower garden is the first place in your journey to conquer Ham Rong’s peak, and you will need to go through hundreds of stone steps to get there. Along the way to the garden, you can see a multitude of different flowers of Sapa. It is the sprawling colors of azaleas, orchids, roses…
The garden is designed according to the natural terrain of the mountain, and there are a lot of strange flower species that you have never seen before. Reaching the garden, you will be impressed by the different types of flowers blooming here. Coming to the garden in spring, you can enjoy the fairy beauty of the old peach garden. This place is a perfect destination for young people and photographers to have the most beautiful photos.
28. Relax with a foot massage
Sapa attracts tourists with a beautiful trekking trail where you can find golden rice fields, ethnic people, however, trekking in Sapa can hurt your foot. After a long day of trekking, there is no better place for you to relax than a spa. Foot massage in Sapa is at a very reasonable price, starting from 4USD for about 15 minutes massage. Foot massage is believed to have many benefits to your health, treating osteoarthritis pain, increasing blood circulation, removing toxins in the body through the pores. It is also good for digestion, helps your body sleep well. Dao’s Center, Sapa Green Hotel – Green Spa, Eden Massage & Spa are among the best Spa for a foot massage.
29. Get a yoga treatment
Another interesting thing to do in Sapa is getting a yoga treatment. Sapa is a peaceful place, making it a perfect place for yoga. Not only you can enjoy the cozy atmosphere here in Sapa, but also the scenery is breathtaking, the local people are friendly. Doing Sapa yoga in a place overlooking the mountains, the green field terraces, and the small villages is really great. If you are looking for a center for yoga treatment, try Sapa Clay House – Mountain Retreat, or The Sacred Healing Center. They are among very rare yoga centers, but get positive reviews from customers.
Get a yoga treatment in Sapa
30. Enjoy Red Dao herbal bath
Your trip to Sapa is incomplete without at least once time enjoying the Red Dao herbal bath. Herbal bathing is believed to be good for your skin, bones, and joints. The herbal is stored and passed on from generation to generation among Red Dao women in each family. They are honeysuckle, star fruit, fennel, fig leaf, camphor, royal hacienda, apple bar, and tan quy.
Now, you can easily find a spa center providing this kind of service. Dao’s Center Sapa, New Day, Huong Ly Spa are among the best spas in Sapa providing Red Dao herbal bath. There is a small bathroom in these centers, with a pus wooden tub. The herbal water is poured into the tub, and you can dip in the bath. An interesting to do in Sapa which you can not find elsewhere.
Enjoy red dao berbal bath in Sapa
Sapa is truly a great destination. Every people who have ever visited Sapa wishes to return again. Sapa from time to time will have different characteristics that are worth experiencing. Therefore, don't wait to pick Sapa Tours and reward yourself for the most comfortable holiday!
(Image source: Internet)