Sapa will always be attractive to visitors, especially during holidays
The northern mountainous province was opened, the Sapa town was visited by many local and foreign tourists despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Sapa is a small, mountain town in Lao Cai Province. It is located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Here’s where you’ll find the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan—the country’s highest peak.
This quiet Vietnamese town is home to different ethnic tribal groups. There are five main ethnic groups in Sapa: the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay and Xa Pho. It is said that Sapa was first occupied by the first four groups, since the Vietnamese from the lowlands (better known as the Kinh) did not colonise the highest valleys.
“As we can see, there is a serious influx of visitors. The re-opening of Sapa was a positive step in terms of tourism”, Sophie Dao, a visitor told Vietnam Insider.
The number of travelers has grown especially after the re-opening of the Fansipan cable car system carrying visitors to the highest mountain peak in Vietnam.
Due to many visitors, the toll station Km237 Noi Bai – Lao Cai highway has suffered heavy traffic jams. Although the weather is cold and foggy, streets leading to Sapa town’s center and attractions of the ancient stone Church of Sapa, Cau May (Cloud Bridge), Fansipan Mountain, Xuan Vien, Thach Son, Muong Hoa are busy and crowded with a lot of vehicles.
From the third – fourth day of the Lunar New Year, more than 6,000 vehicles traveled to Sapa while hotels were fully occupied, making concern for spreading Covid-19.
Hiking and enjoying nature is the name of the game in Sapa. The most prominent attraction in the area around Sapa is Fan Si Pan, which is the highest mountain in Vietnam. It’s only 19km from town. This may seem like a short distance, but the trek is not easy; the rough terrain and unpredictable weather present some difficulties. Tourists who are fit and have mountain climbing experience will enjoy this attraction the most, as the peak is accessible all year round. Technical climbing skills are not necessary, but endurance is a must.
Fan Si Pan can be found in Hoang Lien National Park, which is an attraction in itself. The park covers a picturesque mountain landscape and several forests, and serves as the habitat for a diverse set of animals. Some species can only be found in northwest Vietnam and are highly endangered. Nature lovers will truly appreciate this park.
Other attractions that are part of the Hoang Lien National Park include the Cat Cat Village and the Ta Phin Village and cave.
In Sapa town, there’s a small museum and a modest cathedral. We highly recomend taking a stroll up and down the steep streets of this tiny mountain town. You may be hassled by tribal ladies to buy their wares, but it’s fun to talk to them.
Compiling by Minh Khang/ Kim Khanh @ SGGP and Vietnam Insider’s staff.