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What to see in Sapa, much more than rice fields

Sapa is undoubtedly an essential stop for those who want to tour Vietnam discovering its wonders. It is popular for its impressive rice terraces, but few know the magical places that Sapa hides, such as the Fansipan temples or the Thac Bac (Silver Falls) waterfalls.

Here you will find that life follows a slow pace, full of traditions. If you have time, and you can add several days to the northern mountains, bordering China, I recommend you explore them on your own, renting a motorcycle or a car and enjoying their villages, waterfalls, valleys and rice terraces. There are many interesting places to visit in Sapa, and the main city is SaPa. In the blog you will find several articles and complete guides that will help you discover what to eat in the area, what to see, how many days are necessary, itineraries, how to get there...


Enjoy leisurely downtown Sapa

Depending on the time of year you travel to Vietnam, you can find a completely different Sapa. In high seasons, Sapa is a very touristy place where the locals go out of their way to sell handicrafts and to please you at all times. Honestly, I love visiting it more in low season. When there are barely a couple of travelers scattered around the place. It is then when you really know the place being one more.

There are several areas to stay in Sapa, but really everything is very close and you can walk to all the lakes in the city. To say that Sapa is a city, perhaps it is too much, it is rather a town of low houses and small buildings of 2 or 3 floors.

To get around Sapa I recommend walking or taking a taxi (the green ones, and with a meter). And although it is a safe area, it is preferable to avoid walking at night, since it is a fairly isolated area.

It could be said that the center of Sapa is divided in two. One part is where the center and the lake are located. Where in addition to various accommodation options, you will find cafes and bars, shops... and the bus stop.

The other part of the center is where the local market and the train station are located. Here there is usually more movement, and you will also find several accommodation options, shops and cafes.

It is from this area of ​​the market where all the treks depart to go through some of the most popular routes of the rice terraces. Although if you don't stay here don't worry, normally all the guides come to pick you up from your hotel or in some central area.

Take a trek through the rice fields of Sapa

The best way to get to know the rice fields is by hiring a trek with a guide. Going on your own is a real madness, perhaps you will see the first terraces, but the paths are not well marked, they are slippery and there comes a time when without a guide you will surely get lost.

Normal trekking is usually between 10 and 14 kilometers and it is necessary to wear hiking shoes, comfortable clothes and do not mind getting dirty. It is very likely that going down from one terrace to another you will end up with your ass on the ground, nothing happens, the path continues.

Usually along the way the guide makes some stops to take amazing pictures of the terraces and contact some anecdotes and curious facts about the crop. If you get a guide who speaks English more fluently, it is time to ask them about more destinations to see in Sapa, they know the area perfectly and will recommend little-known places.


In our case we did the route with a guide in a very small group of 5 people. All the way (the 17km of the route we chose) our 4-year-old son accompanied us at all times (we left the baby with the grandmother walking around Sapa). They are not easy routes, because despite not having a great difficulty in length or in effort itself, the road is practically muddy and slippery a lot. There are slopes and climbs all the time. If you travel with children, you must take into account the physical level and resistance of your little ones. Once the path begins, it is difficult to turn back, as it is easy to get lost. So you must continue with the guide until the end.

Find Thac Bac waterfalls (Silver Falls)

Sapa is one of the most unexplored places for travelers who usually come to the area to trek through the rice fields. There is an area of ​​Sapa (on the way to the Fansipan cable car) where making a small detour and walking about 2km you can enjoy some waterfalls and an amazing tour in the middle of the Sapa jungle.

It is not easy to see and if you go to the tourist office in Sapa, they do not even inform you about these waterfalls. You must arrive by car, since they are far from the center. You can hire a taxi or if you are visiting the north of Vietnam by rental car or motorcycle, you can get there on your own.

They are in the direction of the Fansipan Cable Car. Half way approx. there is a small sign that indicates Thac Bac Waterfalls. Taking the detour you will soon arrive at the car park. Once you start the path, it will not take you even 10 minutes to walk. It is spectacular.

Look closely at the landscape and above all at the small fauna. We found tons of stick bugs and leaf bugs! I've never seen them in person and it's amazing.

It is a place little known by tourists, all the way we only came across a Japanese. We were alone.

Visit the Fansipan

Fansipan is a complex of temples located on the summit of Fansipan, the highest mountain in Indochina, at 3,142 meters.

The Fansipan is one of the most incredible places to see in Vietnam. There are several ways to get to know the highest peak in Indochina; you can go trekking or go up the cable car.

There are many places to visit within the enclosure. I tell you everything here:

Relaxing foot and leg massage

If you do some of the trekking through the rice fields of Sapa, I recommend you end the day enjoying a leg and foot massage. In all Vietnam you have this option and very cheap. But after walking and walking all day, I assure you that you will love it. Even my little one enjoyed his massage. Take advantage of!



I hope you enjoy your trip to Sapa very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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