Cat Cat Village Sapa
Cat Cat Village is the nearest ethnic minority village to Sapa Town located at the bottom of the Muong Hoa Valley. This village is considered a great place for trekking, sightseeing, and experiencing the way of life in the mountainous area. Spending your time in Cat Cat village to enjoy mighty mountains, immense forests, amazing terraced fields, beautiful valleys, and dazzling waterfalls is a must when visiting Sapa. Therefore, do not miss your chance to travel to Cat Cat village. Find more information about this village by reading this article
Cat Cat Village is located in northwest Vietnam, only 2.5 km away from the town of Sapa, close to the border with China. The village is situated about 380 km northwest of Hanoi.
Nestled at the bottom of Muong Hoa Valley; this is the village of the H’Mong hill tribe. It takes you 45 minutes to walk here from Sapa town. The village is on the slope of the hill where rice fields and corn are grown. It is near Mountain Fansipan (Phan-Xi-Pang), the highest mountain in Vietnam which stands 3,143 meters tall.
Cat Cat village was formed in the 19th century after various ethnic H’Mong and Dzao families came together from other mountainous areas in northern Vietnam. They started cultivating rice and corn in the region, as well as weaving fabric and creating handicrafts such as purses and various textiles.
Cat Cat village
Best time to visit Cat Cat
The best time to visit Sapa is from March to May and from September to November when the weather is stable with dry sunny days, cold nights. Under this kind of weather, tourists can enjoy activities such as trekking, picnics, and homestay.
From March to May is summertime in the north of Vietnam. While other attractions in the region like Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay are hot, Sapa experiences warm weather. This is also the time when the ethnic people grow rice in terraced fields. Spending time visiting Cat Cat, you will have the chance to see the wonderful terraced rice fields, scenes of many colorful flowers, and green fields.
From September to November is the end of autumn, and the view of Sapa’s terraces is at its best. The cool and dry weather with a stable temperature makes it the perfect time for trekking and photos. Tourists can feel prosperity all over the area as rice in all terraced fields is ripe and turn to yellow color. During the time, the terraced rice fields look like golden silk scarves flying over in the wind above green mountain slopes, making the mountainous landscape amazingly beautiful.
From December to February: it is very cold, ice can be found and sometimes it snows. This is also the bloom season of peach blossoms.
How to get there
Walking to Cat Cat village
Cat Cat village is a short trek from Sapa, only about 2.5 km. It’s a downhill walk through the rice fields with quite a few steps. From Sapa town center you need to follow the Fansipan Road out of town to start the walk to Cat Cat Village. The walkout of Sapa Town to the checkpoint to start the walk itself is 1.7 km, but it's downhill all the way with fantastic views of the mountains and the surrounding valleys.
Taking taxi or motorbike to Cat Cat village
If you are not fit enough for 20 minutes walking down to the villages, you can save your energy by taking a taxi to a motorbike to get to Cat Cat checkpoint, and to Cat Cat village. Taxi to Cat Cat village is about 100.000 VND while the motorbike ride is about 20.000 VND.
Walking around Cat Cat village
The walk to Cat Cat Village starts at the checkpoint. You need to buy the entrance fee at the checkpoint. When purchasing a ticket, you will also receive the map of Cat Cat Village which includes important information about attractions and walking routes as well as the time of local performances.
Walking around Cat Cat village
• Adults: 70,000 VND per person
• Children: 30,000 VND per person
The best way to do the walk to Cat Cat Village is to go anti-clockwise around the looping walking trail. Walking this way, you will get to the village at the end of the walk and not the start. After walking over a bridge and then a fairly short distance along a path, you will see the village with some farmhouses, a few small shops, and restaurants, a fish pond in the center with a wooden bridge over it.
=>It’s best to get a Sapa package tour which includes a visit to Cat Cat village. A package is not expensive and convenient. The tour guide will bring you to other villages besides Cat Cat. Trekking in Sapa is quite challenging, but it is only a short trek from Sapa town to Cat Cat village.
Things to do at Cat Cat Village
Enjoy Cat Cat waterfall: At the beginning of the village is Cat Cat waterfall which is large and powerful, and you can hear the sound from a long distance. The waterfall flows from the top of Hoang Lien Son Range, making the air in the village fresher and chiller during summertime. The waterfall is the place where you can stop to cool off your feet and take beautiful pictures.
Admire giant water wheels: Not far away from the waterfall is the giant water wheels made from bamboo. The wheels were built by local people to pound the rice in the field.
Visit the H’ mong house: Arriving in the village, you have the chance to come inside the house of local people, which are all made from wood. The architect of the house is something unfamiliar to many tourists: three rooms in the house. The main door is only open at big events like weddings, funerals…In each house, there are many members living together.
Meet local people: Interesting part of visiting the village is to talk to local people, who speak English better than Vietnamese as they have their own language. Talking to the local people, you can learn more about their culture and practices.
Try local food: Cat Cat village has many delicious foods which are uniquely processed such as smoked meat, chicken soup, clone bamboo shoots, corn tortillas… Do not miss your chance to taste these dishes when you are in the village
Shop at Cat Cat shops: When you walk down the village, you will see a lot of stalls with ladies selling handicrafts on both sides of the village main road. These shops sell a range of items, from packaged and fresh food to handicrafts and clothes. You some souvenirs to bring home, it is a great way to support local people
Shopping at local shops in Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat is an ideal place to learn about the life and culture of ethnic minorities. If you are looking for a few hours of easy trekking, indulging in wildlife, and escape from busy moments of modern life, Cat Cat should be on the list of must-see places in Vietnam.