Are you looking forward to the Sapa trip? Are you nervous about what to know about this region? Here are some useful experiences for you to carefully plan and get prepared for fun Sapa Vietnam tours.
Best time to visit Sapa Vietnam
Due to high altitude, Sapa is ideal for summer holidays with sparse population and rejuvenating air. In this season, you can easily deal four seasons during one day in Sa Pa: Spring is bright with pear, peach, apricot and plum flowers; Summer comes blooming with pansies, dahlias, sunflowers and numerous temperate fruits; Autumn is the time for perfume mushrooms, wood ears and plenty of spacious medicinal plants… And in winter, fog filled the space, making the landscapes look more mystery and attractive.
From May to September, Sapa witnesses a noticeable wet season, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in July and August. The weather is notorious for changing frequently and quickly. In the morning and afternoon, it is cool like the weather of spring and autumn. At noon, it is as sunny and cloudless as the weather of summer. And it is cold in the evening.
For the most pleasant weather, the best time to have Sapa Vietnam tours is March and May or mid-September to early December.
In April and May, the ethnic people grow rice on terraced fields. 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, shows it most charming beauty when the new crop begins and when the field is lush with ripening rice.
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 amazingly beautiful.
From late December to February, Sapa has a harsh winter with temperature sometimes drops to below zero degree and tree branches and grass is covered with ice. Sa Pa on icy days always attracts many tourists and photographers and strangely all the most beautiful pictures about Sapa are taken in wintertime. Some recent years, snow falls at the end of December which is a great time for a Christmas holiday and New Year vacation. Taking Sapa tours in Sapa Vietnam tours during this time, visitors may contemplate beauty-spot as breath-taking as in picture described in the Snow Queen fairy tale of Andersen.
Favored sites for shopping
For those interested in unique shopping experiences in an area of picturesque hilly nature and rich ethnic cultures, Sapa is an ideal destination for Vietnam adventure holidays. Strolling around Sapa town’s placid streets, you will soon find some souvenir shops here and there. They all could make good presents for you to bring home.
Indigo Cat is a lovely, authentic H’Mong handicrafts shop at 46 Phan Xi Pang Street in Sapa Town just below the Cat Cat View Hotel. It is owned by an H’Mong woman named Pang. She said that her shop was the only H’Mong owned boutique in Sapa. All items are made by herself and her family members. Many of these handmade items cannot be found in other places. Indigo Cat shop offers a wonderful selection of interesting local crafts including bags, clothing, pillows and belts. She even offers embroidery classes so that you can try your hand at learning the local craft. You might gain a deeper appreciation for the amount of work that goes into the garments the women are wearing, and in the next adventure Vietnam you buy something from free people, know the difference. Highly recommend that if you visit Sapa, take a visit to Indigo Cat.
Ethnic minority fair markets
What is more interesting is trekking in Sapa Vietnam down the hills and discover traditional markets of local ethnic minorities like Sapa market, Bac Ha market, Coc Ly market. Here you will have a chance to buy souvenirs from the local hill tribes themselves. They trek surprisingly long distances to gather here and sell you their hand – made nice items, most impressive of which are colorful clothes made of local fabrics.
Local street vendors
From Sapa Town, about a 5-minute walk to the Main Square, you will find many the hill tribe vendors with crafts ranging from bags, wallets and pillow covers.
Sapa town is also famous for the night market which offers different delicious dishes, most of which are grilled or roasted ones. Taking Sapa tours without trying a dish of baked or grilled meat, beef, fish, and vegetables is a great pity. There are many other delicious dishes to be explored in Sapa. If you have a chance, do make a cuisine trip along Sapa night market and enjoy the moments.
Must-try local foods
Thang Co is the traditional food of H’Mong people and it has been cooked for hundreds of years. Thang Co is a type of soup which is made of horsemeat, horse’s viscera and horse’s bone. You might feel a little bit panic-stricken when hearing about the ingredients but that feeling will be blown away once you taste it. Cooking this dish not only requires time but also the skill of cooks. The seasonings comprise of 12 spices from cardamom, ginger, citronella, anise to cinnamon twig.
The locals stew horsemeat with these 12 spices in a big pot within a couple of hours. To elevate the flavor of Thang Co soup, they serve it with fresh vegetable and a special red hot pepper name Muong Khuong.
Where to eat:
- Thang Co A Quynh: 15 Thach Son Street, Sapa Town
Sapa Cap Nach Pork
Cap Nach pork is a specialty that you must try during Vietnam adventure activities in this mountainous region. The ways to make this dish is diverse. The locals usually roast a whole pig directly on charcoal so that the skin covering the pork is very brittle while the pork inside is very delicious and fleshy. Others stir-fry thie pork with little or no water and herbs. No matter how do you cook it, make sure the pork is soft with a hint of spicy.
Where to eat:
- Anh Dung Restaurant: 69 Xuan Vien Street, Sapa Town
- Hoang Minh Restaurant: 23-24 Sapa food court (the corner of Xuan Vien Street and Fansipan Street)
Salmon Sour Hotpot
Sapa has an extremely cool weather all year round and the water here is pretty cold that is suitable for salmon to exist. It’s explained why salmon sour hot pot is a familiar food to local people. The food has a timeless quality. No matter when you enjoy this hot pot, your eyes will glittery light up talking about the dish.
The real star of the hot bot is its broth. It’s a combination of several vegetable types and freshly caught salmon. Unlike other fish, salmon brings to diners an elegant and delicate flavor. Nestle up to a restaurant on Sapa hill road and make an order of salmon sour hot pot, your heartbeat is just a little bit faster.
Where to eat:
- Hoa Dao Restaurant: 48 Le Van Tam Street, Sapa Town
- Lotus Sapa: 34 Cau May Street, Sapa Town
Grilled skewers (Sapa BBQ)
This is the most famous delicacy of Sapa since tourists all come to enjoy the hot and tasty barbecue with many different local ingredients in the middle of the typical cool weather of Sapa. There is a countless number of grilled dishes here that you could not have enough room for the stomach to try them all. From the very simple food like potatoes, cassava, eggs, chicken wings… to other more complicated dishes with the typical Northwest flavors like the Rolled beef with Meo spinach, stream fish, or bamboo pipe rice… With special local marinated spices & ingredients, Sapa BBQ has a unique taste that differs from any other BBQ. Barbecue stalls in Sapa are located everywhere in the street, in front of the old stone church, in the alleys, markets or even at the famous Silver waterfall… Set up with some of the grilling equipment and few tables & chairs for the customer, these stalls are considered mini roadside BBQ restaurants.
Let’s join Sapa Vietnam tours with safe, honest and reliable local services.