Travelling Sapa with the most spectacular natural scenery in the North will not disappoint you if you have plan to visit Vietnam. This is also the place where many ethnic minorities live together. Have you travel Sapa Vietnam to admire and experience this exciting land?
If not, let’s explore together with me today, I hope my sharing is helpful for you to enjoy this trip!
1. Where is Sapa located in Vietnam
It would be a mistake if visiting Vietnam without dropping by Sapa – a destination will definitely make you curious.
So “where is Sapa in Vietnam?”
Sapa town is 1,600 meters above sea level, 38 kilometers far from Lao Cai city and 376 kilometers far from Hanoi. Although the majority of Sapa residents are ethnic minorities, many Kinh people live on agriculture and tourism services in this town.
2. Sapa Weather & Best time to visit Sapa Vietnam 2019
#1 Sapa Weather & Climate
Despite being located in the North of Vietnam where has a humid tropical monsoon climate, Sapa has a humid subtropical climate and a temperate climate due to it is situated in high terrain and close to the tropics. Therefore, tourists do not have to care much about weather when travel Sapa Vietnam because the atmosphere here is almost cool all year round.
In the summer, the weather in the town is like a full four seasons a day. In the morning, it is spring weather. It is summer weather: hot, sunny at noon. In the afternoon, it is cloudy, cool and sometimes you will feel cold as autumn weather because the dew falls. In the evening, you will see the cold of winter.
The average temperature in Sapa is 15-18 degrees. From May to August, Sa Pa has a lot of rain. At the end of the year, when winter comes, the temperature in Sapa can drop below) degrees, sometimes with snow.
Do you know it: Does it snow in Vietnam?
Although Vietnam is a tropical country, you can also find a place with snowfall in Vietnam, which is Sapa.
In recent years, there is continuous ice and snow in the winter in Sapa. Previously, there used to be only heavy rain (rain with cold air 0 degree and closed into smooth ice). However, currently, there has been snowfall in Sapa, light snowflakes falling from the sky and drying up.
It is usually snowy at the end of December every year.
#2 Best time to travel Sapa Vietnam:
The ideal time to travel Sapa Vietnam is from September to November or from March to May. At this time, the weather in Sa Pa is the most comfortable: the day sunny and dry, the night is cold.
Sapa’s tourist season can be divided into 3: Spring, Rice season and Winter.
In Sapa, there are thousands of cherry trees, plum flowers blooming. If you want to see the cherry blossoms, you should find out carefully before going because the weather each year is quite different, the cherry blossoms would bloom sooner or later than the previous year, which may make you miss the opportunity to admire that beauty. Tourists should visit Sapa between February and April or the first week of May.
In Sapa, there is only one 6-month crop, sowing at the beginning of May. Green rice is around July – September, ripe rice is between October and December. If you want to go on a vacation with walking around the rice paddies, you had better come here in July – September. If from October to December, it may be cold and foggy. Moreover, the waterfall will flow strongly and strongly at this time. It will be great to take wonderful photos here.
Winter in Sapa is extremely cold, especially in recent years. Snowfall continuously occurs, even half a meter thick. It is impossible to determine the exact the day snow falls so you have to follow up constantly by contacting the people in Sapa (or the hotel you intend to stay in) and via radio, television.
3. What to wear in Sapa Vietnam 2019
Corresponding to each season, you should have the right outfit to be able to enjoy the most complete Sapa trip:
- From December to March, it is quite cold, the temperature sometimes drops 4-5 degrees. If you travel during this time, please bring enough warm clothes.
- From April to November (summer and autumn): The daytime temperature is very cool so you can choose the outfit you like. However, summer and autumn evenings in Sapa is mostly cold, you ought to bring a thin coat to keep yourself warm.
Nevertheless, no matter what season you go to Sapa, the most important thing is to have a pair of smooth and light shoes to climb and move between locations.
4. How to get to Sapa from Hanoi
In order to get to Sapa from Hanoi, you will have 5 options: motorbike, train, coach, limousine car, taxi 4-7 seats.
-Cost: 150,000 VND ~ 6 USD of gas for the distance 400 kilometers
– You can comfortably conquer high roads, take a rest to admire the sightseeing and take photos at any time
– Check your available time & the weather to avoid rainy days
To travel Sapa Vietnam by motorbike, you should use Google Maps to help your trip, here are 3 suggested routes:
- Going towards Lao Cai
Way 1: Hanoi – Vinh Phuc – Viet Tri – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – Yen Bai – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total road about 360km)
Way 2: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Trung Ha Bridge – Phong Chau Bridge – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – along Route 70 – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total Road 370km)
- Going to Sapa by Lai Chau direction:
Route: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Thanh Son – Going straight ahead QL32 – Sapa (Total road over 420km)
Cost includes train ticket + 50,000 VND (2 USD) per person to catch a bus from the terminal to Sapa town
Train tickets on weekends are often rare, especially holidays, you should book many days
Sapa tourism by train is quite popular because of low cost and safety. There are usually 2 types of trains: SP (fast) and LC (slow), departing from Hanoi Railway Station in the evening (19:00 – 22:00) and going to Lao Cai Station in the early morning (5:00 – 7:00).
The price is between 150,000 – 560,000 VND or 6 – 24 USD per person depending on the type of train and the type of seat you book.
Read also: How to get to Sapa from Hanoi by train (Updated 2019) to find out the type of train as well as the seat price for each type.
#3 Bus or Passenger car:
-If you go to a bed-type bus, the price ranges from 230,000 VND to 280,000 VND or 10 – 12 USD/person/trip and departing from My Dinh station, Luong Yen station or Gia Lan station (Hanoi)
– Time: from 8 to 9 hours
– The bus will go straight to Sapa tourist destination without stopping any stations, and run through the night like the train.
However, the passengers will feel uncomfortable and easy to get car sick when lying on the 2nd-floor beds. Moreover, you might have to wait a long time if the bus has a few passengers.
Read also: How to get to Sapa from Hanoi by bus (Updated 2019) to get some useful tips and avoid scams in Vietnam
#4 Limousine car:
Limousine car is a comfortable and reasonably priced car for tourism. Currently, there are 2 types of Limousine cars: 9-seat Limousine and 29-seat Limousine for Hanoi – Sapa –Hanoi route. The car will pick up and drop off the passengers in Hanoi Old Town and Sapa town. The price for a passenger ranges from 370,000 – 450,000 VND or 16 – 20 USD/seat.
The disadvantage of this car is the high cost, the limited number of cars and limited seats. Hence, it usually runs out of tickets early, especially at the weekends.
#5 Taxi 4-7 seats:
Taxi is the fastest and most convenient means of transportation, which takes about 5 hours. You can easily stop, take a scenic tour on the way and do not restrict your schedule. However, the price of a taxi from Hanoi to Sapa is pretty high and usually calculated in kilometers. Moreover, not all drivers are familiar with the Northwest roads.
5. How to move around Sapa
Option 1: Motorbike rental
Coming to Sapa Vietnam, rent a motorbike for about 120,000 – 240,000 VND or 5 – 11 USD/motorbike, not including gasoline to drive yourself to visit places.
You should note that the date in Sapa is only calculated in 1 day from 6:00 to 18:00 so it will apply a price whether you rent for the morning or afternoon. You have to return the motorbike at 18:00, late at 20:00.
Some notes when renting a motorbike in Sapa Vietnam 2019:
- You should choose the motorbike such as Jupiter, Wave RS… to be convenient and easy to use. Especially, Wave RS is the most popular, easiest to use in those vehicles. Additionally, it also saves gasoline
- In order to avoid some case of unfair compensation, you must check the lights, horns, the neck lock, turn signal of the motorbike when you receive it
- Fill up with gasoline immediately after renting the car because the gas stations in Sa Pa often open very late, close early and stay far away from each other
- If you are near or going around the town, you can rent a bicycle or walk for safety and savings.
Option 2: Trekking
You not only want to visit Sapa but you also want to exercise to improve your health? Why don’t you try trekking (walking) to most destinations in Sapa? This is a great idea that many foreign tourists like. They usually take trekking from the town center to villages such as Ta Van, Ta Phin or Cat Cat. If you want to walk, prepare yourself a pair of good shoes that are light, smooth and waterproof. High heels, leather shoes or even flip flops are not suitable for this option.
Explore: Travel Sapa Vietnam 2019 (Part 2) – Detailed guideline to find out:
6. What to eat in Sapa
7. Things to do in Sapa
8. Sapa souvenirs