Sapa is not only attractive to visitors with terraced fields of ripe rice color or quaint villages around the Northwest mountains, it is also an ideal destination for those who love to explore, especially while trekking. If this is your first time experiencing Sapa Trekking, please refer to the detailed instructions below for the best Sapa trekking tips!
Choosing the right time will make your trip more complete and perfect. Sapa has the nuances of a temperate country, with a humid subtropical climate. Summers are usually quite cool and winters are cold. Here are a few suggestions for the ideal time for you to choose for your upcoming journey:
- From September to November is the best time to go trekking in Sapa: ripe rice season, beautiful cloud hunting opportunities, moderate cold weather and no rain.
- From January to March: the season of wild flowers blooms, the weather is cold, there are many festivals taking place.
In addition, in the summer months (from May to August) is considered the rainy season in Sapa, so the road is often very slippery, making it difficult and dangerous during trekking.
From Hanoi, you can choose 2 popular ways to travel to Sapa town, which is the choice of taking a bus or traveling by train. To help you have a more objective view, in today’s article I will compare these two ways of moving:
- The price will be higher than traveling by bus
- Clean, quiet and good service
- You can choose from a comfortable chair or bed
- Comfortable space, spacious enough
- The sound of the tracks will sometimes wake you up at night.
- After arriving at Lao Cai station, you will have to travel by bus to reach Sapa town
- Travel time is about 7-9 hours
- Fares are much cheaper than train
- You can choose between a seat or a car with a bed
- However, you will not be able to lie down comfortably so it will be more difficult to sleep when traveling by bus
- No restrooms (cars will stop at rest stops along the way)
- Travel time only takes about 5-6 hours
5 Best Sapa trekking tips you should know
It is very important to prepare all the necessary items for the trip. Because in the process of moving, there are roads that will be very wild, so it will be difficult for you to find shops or services when needed. Here is a list of Sapa trekking items that you should prepare:
2. Necessary trekking things
- Hiking shoes
- Climbing stick
- Camping tents, pins and stakes
- Sleeping bag
- Stickers Thermostats
- Sleeping bag lining
- Travel backpack
- Maps, GPS navigation tools
Waterproof wind jacket
Sunscreen (if going in summer)
Nightwear (comfortable material, long-sleeve clothing is recommended)
Clothes to wear for trekking (soft, quick-drying material is preferred)
1 pair of sandals when at the campsite
Instant sausages, cakes, bread, pate, cold meats, dry food
Filtered water, mineral salt water or glucose water when you lose strength
Toiletries: towel, brush, toothpaste
Medicines: pain relievers, abdominal pain relievers, antiseptics…
First aid equipment: bandages, cotton, scissors, ego…
Insect spray, anti-squeeze
Sapa trekking tips for best routes
- Itinerary: Sapa town – Cat Cat village – Sin Chai village – Sapa town
- Time: during the day
- Trekking distance: 7km
- Level: easy
- Type: Sapa 1 day trek
The travel schedule is as follows:
From the center of Sapa town (ancient church) you move to Cat Cat village, about 2.2km from the church. After coming to Cat Cat village, you buy tickets to enter the resort and then walk (mainly the stairs) to go inside to visit as well as rest.
From Cat Cat village, move in the direction of Muong Hoa valley about 3km through terraced fields to reach Sin Chai village. Unlike Cat Cat village, Sin Chai village has not been developed in terms of tourism, so it is still quite wild and few people know about it. Here you will have the opportunity to admire the traditional wooden houses built with the wood of Po Mu.
After visiting Sin Chai village, continue the journey to the center of Sapa town. End of the day trekking in Sapa. This is considered the easiest trekking route and is very suitable for first-time trekkers.
If you are starting trekking, this is the best treks in Sapa for you.
- Itinerary: Tram Ton – Love Waterfall – Silver Waterfall – Cat Cat village – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Sapa town
- Time: 2 days 1 night
- Trekking distance: 20-30km
- Level: Moderate
The travel schedule is as follows:
Day 1: Sapa – Tram Ton – Love waterfall – Silver waterfall – Cat Cat village (Homestay)
Around 9:30, start moving to Tram Ton (should go by motorbike or taxi to save time. This journey will start from Tram Ton – the highest pass road in Vietnam with an altitude of 2047m. trekking about 1.1km along the Golden River to Love Waterfall. After visiting, we will move to Silver Waterfall (by car).
From Silver Waterfall, go down Muong Hoa valley towards Sin Chai village – where the Black H’mong live. Here you will rest and have lunch then move to the Homestay. This is also where you will spend the night in a homestay.
Day 2: Cat Cat village – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Sapa town center
Wake up at 6 am, have breakfast and prepare things to go to the center of Sapa town. On the way to trekking, I will stop by Y Linh Ho in Lao Chai and Ta Van village. The road at this time will have a bit of a zigzag road, but it’s not too difficult!
The porter will show you the way down the valley to the beautiful suspension bridge. Here you will see the Golden River and the waterfall from afar. Continue trekking up the hill and visit the ripe rice fields of Y Linh Ho village, Lao Chai. Find yourself a flat, airy place to rest and have lunch!
In the afternoon, continue trekking to Ta Van village – the village of the Mong, Red Dao and Giay ethnic groups. After sightseeing and learning, you start moving to Sapa town with a distance of about 5 km. With this Sapa trekking map suggestion, you will be able to explore more destinations in this foggy town.
- Itinerary: Sapa – Suoi Ho – Ma Tra village – Ta Phin – Phin Ho – Lu Khau – Suoi Thau – Kim Ngan – Ta Giang Phin – Sapa
- Time: 3 days 2 nights
- Trekking distance: 43km
- Level: Hard
The travel schedule is as follows:
Day 1: Sapa – Ma Tra – Ta Phin (14 km)
Around 9:30, start moving from Sapa church to Ma Tra village. On the way, you will see picturesque terraced fields. After coming to Ma Tra village, you can stop to rest and have lunch before moving on to Ta Phin village.
Day 2: Ta Phin – Phin Ho – Lu Khau – Suoi Ho – Suoi Thau (17km)
Around 7am wake up, have breakfast, rest and clean up luggage to continue the journey on the 2nd day with the first destination is Phin Ho village located at the border between Ta Phin and Khoang villages. This journey will take about 2.5 hours and passes through hills, valleys, forests and rice terraces.
After coming to Phin Ho village, you will rest and have lunch here. Then continue downhill through the rice fields to come to Lu Khau village – this is where the Red Dao and Hmong live. Don’t miss the chance to visit the salmon farm here!
Then continue to go through the asphalt road to reach Suoi Thau village in the late afternoon. Here you will stay overnight in a homestay, have dinner and rest.
Day 3: Suoi Thau – Kim Ngan – Ta Giang Phinh – Sapa (12 km)
In the morning, you will take a tour around Suoi Thau area – where you will witness the daily life of the Red Dao people. After this village, you will come to Gia Thau village to admire the terraced fields. Then come to Kim Ngan village for lunch.
After lunch, you will follow a short uphill path to Ta Giang Phin village, which takes about 1 hour. Here, you will visit the house of a blue Hmong to learn about the difference of their customs and traditional costumes from the Red Dao and the Black Hmong.
Then move to Sapa town center. Because this Sapa trekking trip often has to travel a lot with time, if you are too tired, you can choose to go by motorbike taxi to the town center!
The guide is the one who will show you the way and introduce you to the trekking routes. Porter is the porter of your belongings during the journey. Most Porter are usually locals so they will be very knowledgeable about the terrain. In some places, the Porter will also act as a guide as well as a cook for the whole group if your trip lasts for a day. Trekking in Sapa without a guide may be very difficult and dangerous for you.
If you choose to go on a Sapa Trekking tour, you do not need to worry too much about this because the Sapa tour companies will provide a Porter (3 guests/porter) and a guide.
However, if you plan to go trekking in Sapa on your own, hire local porters so that they can pay for the travel routes and assist in carrying things.
Click here for more information about some best Sapa trekking routes
With treks in Sapa for many days, you can choose to stay overnight at the trekking sites by sleeping in a camping tent. However, some places will not allow overnight camping, that’s why you will have to stay at Sapa homestay trekking.
Most of them are in famous trekking places in Sapa such as Ta Phin, Lao Chai, Ta Van or Y Linh Ho villages. There are Sapa trekking homestays with affordable prices for you to stay overnight. Of course, staying in a homestay will not be as beautiful and comfortable as staying at a hotel. However, this is an opportunity for you to learn about the culture, customs and mingle with the lives of the people here and there!
If you want to have interesting experiences in Sapa, try once to go trekking in Sapa! Hope the above information will bring you useful information. Follow us to learn more Sapa trekking tour from Hanoi and Sapa trekking tour review.