Sapa is home to stunning mountain landscapes, verdant rice terraces, unique stilt villages and Indochina peak, the Fansipan. The most prominent attraction in the town of Sapa is Fansipan, which is the highest mountain in Vietnam and it is only 19km from town. It may seem like a short distance, but the trek is not easy; the rough terrain and unpredictable weather present some difficulties. Tourists who are fit and have mountain climbing experience will enjoy this attraction the most, as the peak is accessible all year round. Technical climbing skills are not necessary, but endurance is a must.
1. Mount Fansipan – The roof of Indochina
Fansipan is the highest mountain of the Indochina (3,143 m), located in the center of Hoang Lien Son. Although it is only 9km from Sapa downtown in the southwest, but if walking and hiking, you may take 6 to 7 days to conquer this mountain.
On the way up the mountain, visitors can explore the flora and fauna, especially precious and rare species in mountains such as monkeys, antelope, birds, and the natural wonder of the Hoang Lien Son.
2. Ham Rong Mountain
Ham Rong Mountain is near the downtown of Sapa, just 3km away, so visitors can walk to it. Standing on top of Ham Rong Mountain, you can take a panoramic view of Sapa, Muong Hoa valley, Sapa, Ta Phin hidden in smog. Hiking the Ham Rong Mountain, visitors are like to be lost in the wonderful land with fog, brilliant flowers and sweet fruits.
3. Sapa Cathedral stock
Located in the heart of Sapa town, Sapa stone church built in 1895 is considered a remaining ancient architectural imprint of colonial –French style. Sapa Cathedral stock embellished and preserved for decades has become an indispensable image referring to the town of Sapa.
4. Cat Cat village
This is one of the oldest of the Mong in Sapa. It retains many traditional crafts such as cotton, flax, weaving. Visiting this small village, tourists can explore timeless and unique cultural and traditional values of the ethnic group in.
5. Ta Phin village
Ta Phin village is in Sapa district, far from the Sapa downtown about 17km in the east. It offers a beautiful natural landscape, the specific-cultural values of the Red Dao with its famous brocade. If you have chances to go to Ta Phin, you can visit Ta Phin Cave nearby, which has many stalactites creating interesting shapes like fairies dancing, meadows, and so on.
6. Muong Hoa Valley
Muong Hoa Valley is located in Hau Thao commune. The most impressive feature in this valley may be the ancient stone engraved with different shapes, situated in between the grass and the terraced rice fields of ethnic minorities. Hundreds of sandstones were carved pictures and strange characters have not to determine the origin as well as meaning yet. This is regarded as one of the unique heritages of the ancient Vietnamese.
7. Silver Waterfalls & Love Waterfalls
From Sapa town, go to the west about 12km on the road to Lai Chau, we will meet Silver waterfalls rushing flowing down from 200m creating futuristic sound of jungle. Passing Silver Waterfall, Love Waterfall deserves to be a must-see in this allured town. The name of this waterfall, Love, originates from a legendary love story that has been told to generations in this land. Long time ago, this waterfall was the bathing place of fairies from heaven. One day, a fairy was mesmerized by flute sound of a young boy near the fall, so she spent every night listening to his melodies. Her parents know the secret, and forbade her from coming back to the fall. The passionate fairy transformed herself to a bird so that she could live with her love forever. From then on, the name Love is born. From far sight, Love Waterfall looks like a sparkling stream of light.
8. Sky Gate
The winding road to the Sky Gate is named Tram Ton, weaving between the majestic Hoang Lien Son. And portal is the apex of this pass. Standing in the port of heaven, you can take a panoramic view with the green rice fields, the roads and the Silver Falls. Also in this portal, you can have chances to feel the glorious and charming beauty of Sapa.
9. Fairy Cave
Upstream Chay river about 6 km from the centre of Bao Nhai (Bac Ha), the boat will take you through the ancient citadel with many legends. Fairy Cave is considered the little Halong Bay in Sapa. Visiting Fairy Cave, tourists can sightsee, bath in the Tien stream and soak in the sunshine on the island of flowers. Traditionally, that people do these activities is the way to pray for the blessed beauty, health and wealth.
10. Coc San
Located in Coc San, Bat Xat district, Coc San is the home of many spectacular waterfalls and caves in different sizes. The beauty of Coc San is purely natural and unspoiled. The way to Coc San is winding and dark, which is suitable for people being interested in adventure and discovery. However, the most impressive feature in Coc San is that caves are hidden in magnificent waterfalls. This makes this area more mysterious and worth-exploring.
11. Terraced rice fields in Sapa
Terraced rice fields in Sapa were voted as one of seven most beautiful and impressive ones of Asia and the world by readers of the US’s magazine Travel and Leisure.
Rice terraces in Sapa are slopes claimed from nature for cultivation in hilly or mountainous areas. Due to the steep feature, fertile soil thanks to it was created by weathered granite rock and mountain cliffs often stock water, local ethnic minority people can grow rice and establish terraced rice fields, one after another, from the foot to nearly top of mountains.
When being seen from afar, the terraced rice fields look like a picture of nature with heart-catching beauty keeping tourists to stay for admiration for a while. This picture however has its color changed seasonally, exhibiting its most alluring charm when the new crop begins, green rice grows and the field is lush with ripening rice.
As usual in April and May when the local people water their fields at full to prepare for a new crop, the surface of terraced fields shines like a mirror reflecting the contrast of the reddish brown of soil, the deep blue of the sky high above and the green of surrounding forests. Embankments surrounding these terraces look like threads softly lined by the painter.
In June and July, the terraced rice fields with fully-grown paddy rice and forest trees spread the green out to the entire area, from the foot to top of mountains, before disappearing in mist. The green of paddy rice grown on the terraced field makes tourists think of it as a hand-made creation of uniqueness which cannot be found anywhere else.
In September and October when autumn ends, tourists can feel prosperity all over the area as rice in all terraced fields is ripe, giving the gold 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 astonishingly beautiful.