Fri, 19 Sep 2014. Last updated Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:48
About 370 km from Hanoi, Sapa, a mountainous district in Lao Cai province, has long been one of the most appealing rendezvous in Vietnam tourism. It has long been well-known as the convergence of beautiful nature, unspoilt villages and moderate climate. Located at altitude of 1,600m above sea level, Sapa is considered a romantic Dalat in the northwest of Vietnam. Right from the 30s of the last century, Sapa has been selected as attractive tourist destination with luxury villas, romantic stone-paved paths, and colorful gardens of peach and plum. Sapa strongly allures tourists not only for the beautiful scenery, the floating white clouds, the evergreen trees, the colorful flower gardens, magnificent waterfalls... but also for the diversity of the ethnic communities. Sapa currently retains nearly 40,000 people with 6 ethnic groups (Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Xa Po and Kinh). Each ethnic has maintained their costumes, lifestyles, customs and habits..., along with the distinct, diverse and mysterious cultural identity. All turns Sapa into one of the most attractive destinations in Vietnam.
The first impression of the Sapa winter is fog. Sapa town appears with the houses looming in the fog. The ancient castle is situated beside the modern Western architectural villas, along the winding roads or protrudes on the slopes or hillsides. Both sides of the road are home to the green Truc bamboo forests thoughtfully in the gray mist. The apricot trees and peaches are immersed in drizzling. The weather gets quite cold in the winter. Yet in return tourists will have a chance to admire the sunrise over the high valley in the early morning. Especially, in recent years, Sapa often appears snow and sometimes snowfalls in the winter. Participating in Sapa tours on this occasion, tourists will definitely contemplate the romantic scenery.
The roads in the town are picturesque. Despite the fog and frost, rows of ancient “sa mu” (a typical tree in the upland) along roadsides are still green; the Truc bamboo tree and pine forests are immense. On the red brick-paved sidewalks are "shops" selling brocade products. Traditional crafts including hat, towel, pillow, or purse are presented on the nylon sheets and shielded with an umbrella. Looming in the fog, the women of the upland walk together after their marketplace. The showy scarves on their head and the colorful dresses create lively brilliant touches on the street. In spite of the wet and cold weather together with the fog covering, the market in Sapa is still much vibrant. Beside the tourists, the market is the convergence of ethnic groups of Hmong, Dao, Giay... White Hmong people wear their typical colorful patterned costumes. Dao young girls are dresses in their traditional red turbans studded red tassels. The black Hmong people dress in their traditional black turbans, black skirts, short black pants, and their legs wrapped black leggings. Meanwhile, Po Sa ethinic people put on their skirts or pants with the border patterned short sleeves...
Taking part in any Vietnam tour packages to Sapa in the winter, tourists should not miss unique and appealing tourist attractions. Located in Muong Hoa Valley, far about less than 10 km from Sapa town, Cat Cat Village is the vivid picture of Hmong people’s culture. The stilt-houses in the village are roofed in “po mu” wood with the pillars designed on the round or square stone pillars. The outer of the stilt-house displays brocade products, silver jewelry and souvenirs, along with unique ethnic instruments such as bamboo flute, leaf panpipe...
Unlike Silver Waterfall drying up in the winter, Cat Cat Waterfall in Love Valley still falls its white water down tens of meters from the top, among murky fog. In addition, another sight which tourists should set their foot in Sapa is Ham Rong. In the winter, Ham Rong looks like a sleeping princess, which is mysterious and beautiful magic. Strolling on the small winding roads among the rocks with multi bizarre shapes, admiring the apricot trees and peaches in the hovering mist, tourists suddenly feel like that they are losing in a wonderland. Scattering in the streets are the souvenir "shops" of brocade products: hat, bag, scarf, wallet... like the glorious highlights standing out among the green of the grass, along with the gray of the fog and the mountain.
Sapa night market is the convergence of the tasty, fragrant traditional dishes. Most are baked specialties such as chicken, pork, or beef... Spending their vacation in Sapa, tourists will have the opportunity to taste “thang co” - the most famous and delicious dish in Sapa. Traveling Sapa winter, tourists not only enjoy the delicious specialties, but also to experience the stunning natural beauty and ordinary people's lives here. Sapa thus gradually becomes the most ideal destination in Vietnam tours in the winter.