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Sapa weather in December: Climate & Things to Do

December 26, 2022 - 11376 views

Sapa is a marvelous mountainous place with incredible scenery, rural highlights, and its own beauty in each season of the year. While Sapa is a perfect escape from the heat in the summertime, as the winter comes, Sapa has the chilling but favorable European weather. That is why December is one of the most appealing months to visit Sapa. Keep reading this article to see what Sapa would offer you in the winter.

What is the Sapa Weather in December?

December is in the middle of the wintertime, so the Sapa weather in December can become extremely cold.

  • The average temperature: From 8oC to 10oC. At night, the temperature can drop below 0oC.
  • Rainfall: The amount of rain in December is normal with an average of 26mm. December is among the driest months in Sapa along with January.
  • Sunshine hours: You will see the sun occasionally during this month, it has 132 hours of sun.
  • Rainy Days: 7 days.
  • Humidity: The average relative humidity is 81%.

Sapa temperature in December


Keynotes about Sapa Weather in December

  • December is an off-peak season in Sapa.

Some tourists avoid traveling in December due to the freezing cold weather of Sapa in December. Hotels and tourist attractions are not crowded, and you will be well-taken care of. It gives you a chance to enjoy the peaceful vibe in Sapa. 

  • You can see snow in Sapa.

About the weather, does it snow in Sapa Vietnam? The answer is yes. Sapa is one of the very rare places in Vietnam which has snow in December. It would be a magical sight for tropical people to see the rolling hills and mountains covered in a blanket of fresh white snow.

Christmas is a special occasion in the year and being at Sapa in December will offer you a memorable chance to enjoy a snowy Christmas with your family and friends.

  • It might have rain and fog.

As there is some anticipation of light rain and heavy fog in this winter time, you might not have the chance to take many beautiful pictures and have lower chances of participating in meaningful activities.

  • You possibly encounter traffic jams and out-of-room booking.

Sapa is not very crowded in December, however, everything might be different if it snows. Many local people travel to Sapa to see the snowfall. The road can get stuck for a long distance, hotel rooms can be fully booked. 

You cannot know when it snows, so booking a package tour early in advance is highly recommended to avoid hotel or transportation being fully booked.


Things to Do in Sapa in December

Although you might be surprised about the chilly weather of Sapa in December, you can still enjoy many other specific winter activities here.

Trekking to Visit Ethnic Minority Villages

There are plenty of villages of minority groups in Sapa, which are always welcoming tourists. Trekking to these villages is a way to explore the life of Sapa, witness the stunning beauty of terraced fields, and learn about the life of ethnic people, their costumes, and their habits.

Trekking to visit ethnic minority villages

Trekking to visit ethnic minority villages

Moreover, by trekking in December time, tourists can avoid the extreme heat in the summer, and do not need to trek early in the morning or late afternoon. The interesting part of trekking to the remote area is to meet and talk to the children who are only 5-6 years old but have to walk long distances, carry their younger siblings on their backs and try to sell products to travelers. It is great if you can buy them something to help them get a meal.

Exploring The Majestic Fansipan Range

You may think that only in Western countries, there is snow, however, under the cold weather of December, some places in Sapa have ice and snow. Mount Fansipan is one of these places. Fansipan becomes attractive when it snows. Therefore, if you are adventurous, challenge yourself by climbing the mountains to explore the beauty of the highest peak in Vietnam. Alternatively, the cable car can bring you there.

Fansipan Peak

Fansipan Peak

A cable car journey on Fansipan Road would allow you to see some terraced rice fields and beautiful mountain scenery if you are unable to handle the pressure of hiking sideways on high terrain.

Join the Sapa Winter Festival

Sapa Winter Festival is often held in December and January to celebrate New Year and Christmas. During the festival, there are many parades and performance activities introducing the beauty of the unique cultural costumes of ethnic groups combining lion dance, and dragon dance. 

Sapa Winter Festival

Sapa Winter Festival

You will also have a chance to play games with snow, take many amazing pictures, and check in between the immense snow regions on the snow discovery program.

Enjoying the European Vibe

Sapa is known as the most attractive foggy town in Vietnam, especially in December, when the scenery is poetic, the fog hangs around and covers every corner that brings to this town an ethereal mysterious landscape. 

European Vibes

European Vibes in Sapa

Moreover, you may think that only Western countries have snow, however, under the cold weather of December, some places in Sapa have ice and snow. 

Walking around the streets this time of the year, you may contemplate the breathtaking view of fog, mist, and snow; that you can’t find elsewhere in Vietnam. If you have not been to Europe, Sapa gives you a chance to enjoy the cold like in European countries. It will be even more fascinating when you stop somewhere on the street, sipping a cup of warm tea.

Fire Dance Festival of the Red Dao Ethnic People

The festival, being held at the end of the year and early spring, is an extremely important festival for the Red Dao people. At this time, the Red Dao ethnic minority invites their families and friends to the ritual of the festival at the nave of the houses. The brilliant fire dance is held in the sideyard. 

Fire dance festival of the Red Dao ethnic people

Fire Dance Festival of the Red Dao Ethnic People

The fire dance is only for men who are strong, skillful, and agile. Each person usually dances for about 3-4 minutes before coming back to hopscotch around the altar and be ordinary. The fire dance festival is not only a unique cultural activity but also a wild and mysterious identity, which needs to be researched and conserved.


Tips for Traveling to Sapa in December

As Sapa in December can become very cold, to have a wonderful trip in this weather, here are the important tips that you should note down.

What to Wear with Sapa Weather in December 

You need to bring a lot of coats, mittens, hands, socks, scarves, and heating bags to keep the body warm. Do not forget to prepare more waterproof shoes so you can enjoy playing in the snow.

There are some necessary types of clothes that you should have when visiting Sapa in December.

  • Jackets

The winters in Sapa are extremely chilly, therefore you should pack a heavy jacket to protect your body. You should consider some kinds like life jackets, overcoats, windbreakers, etc.

A waterproof coat is more recommended because of the seasonal weather fluctuations in Sapa winter, which occasionally look to shower. Choose durable, neutral-colored coats if you enjoy seeing new places, and colored jackets with fur hats are the best option if you want to capture these stunning surroundings in photographs.

  • Shoes/Boots

On slippery or snowy surfaces, it will be simple to move around in warm and waterproof shoes. Sports shoes, professional hiking shoes, flats, and felt boots are some of the most popular styles of footwear. 

If you don't have the means to “buy” a new pair of shoes, stop at Sapa market right away and purchase a pair of tall boots. This will make your journey much more convenient.

  • Scarves, Hats, and Gloves

The accessories will be absolutely necessary objects in the freezing weather of Sapa. Select a scarf to wrap your neck and a beanie to keep your head and ears warm. Consider the leather material, particularly with gloves, as it keeps your hands from going numb while still being quite attractive, adding to the whole look's “appropriateness” and beauty.

  • Heating Bags

Also known as thermal patches, these heating bags provide a quick way to keep your body warm. 

The thermal patches will be an exceptionally effective warming device if you did not pack enough warm clothing. Simply place them on the innermost layer of clothing and then put on a jacket to stay warm enough to walk outside and capture some snow. 

Thermal stickers may be purchased for as little as $1-$2 per piece at retail establishments or online marketplaces like Tiki or Shopee.

What to Bring to Enjoy Sapa Weather in December 

  • Cosmetics

Sapa in December can become dry, so you should bring a tube of moisturizer and lipstick to protect your skin.

  • Medications 

You should prepare more medicines for cough, cold, hot oil, high heat, and ginger tea to ensure health in the cold weather.

  • Camera, phone

These are essentials for any journey for travel enthusiasts. What could be more entertaining than photographing the first snowfall in Sapa and immediately sharing your winter moment at Sapa with your friends? Keep in mind that the cold can cause your battery to discharge more quickly.

Check out this detailed post to have careful preparation for your Sapa’s winter trip or this post about Sapa weather in January if you want to extend your December trip.


In general, despite the cold weather, December remains one of the best months to visit Sapa. Visiting this town in December, during the Sapa winter festival, you can warm up your body by joining a lot of outdoor activities. Surely, traveling to Sapa in December will bring visitors a wonderful & unique experience. Do not hesitate to plan your trip to Sapa.

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Questions & Answers (12)

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Sapa in early December is advisable or it will be cold n foggy and does not make much sense.which other place next to Hanoi is off beat scenic and worth doing.

@Renu ladhani:

Sapa in early December will have less sunshine day. However, cold and foggy usually only happens from the late afternoon until early morning. Most of our guests recommended that Sapa is more beautiful in the winter and it's a good time for cloud hunting too. However, if you don't like cold temperature in Sapa, you can visit some other places nearby Hanoi like ancient or handicraft villages in surroundings, Ninh Binh, and Halong. 

1 Reply

Is there any trekking tour that is suitable for my 10-year-old kid?

@Adrian Rollie:

Hi! There are some option for easy trekking route that might be suitable with your kid:

If you want to book or customize a tour that more interesting with your kid, please contact us through email: or Whatsapp: +84904699428

1 Reply

Is it recommended to visit Fansipan Peak when it’s winter? I heard that it can get quite cloudy and misty when it’s December


If you want to enjoy a clear view from Fansipan Peak, winter isn't a good time, early summer (May and June) maybe better. However, if you want to try cloud hunting, November and December are usually a good time.

1 Reply

I plan to have a hiking tour in Sapa in December this year. Is the Sapa weather in December suitable for hiking?


Hi! Except for some day that are frozen which makes roads and paths are quite slippery, the weather in December is still quite nice for hiking. 

1 Reply

How much do I need to pay to take the cable car to Mount Fansipan from Sapa?


Hi! Please check the price for cable car to Mount Fansipan

1 Reply