Sapa is a small mountainous town in the north of Vietnam. It is located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Here tourists can visit the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains and conquer Fansipan—the highest peak in Vietnam.
Getting to Sapa
- The best way to reach Sapa is via the overnight train from Hanoi.
- It’s a nine-hour ride from Hanoi to Lao Cai.
- Tickets need to be booked in advance from Hanoi Train Station. We advise to take a cabin with a bunk bed.
From Lao Cai, it will take about 45 minutes to an hour of road travel (either by minibus or taxi) to get to the desired destination. Travellers also have the option to drive from Hanoi (usually by motorcycle), but the direct route to the capital will take about 10 hours. Getting around Sapa is mostly done on foot. The town is very small and the steep streets are easy to navigate.
The Weather in Sapa
- The dry season begins from around January and lasts until June.
- The best time to visit is between March to May.
- January and February are the coldest and foggiest months of the year.
There are times when temperature drops to almost freezing, and visitors find themselves blocked by a thick wall of fog. It is warm during June and August, though it often rains during this time, especially in the mornings. If possible, visit during the week, when the town is less crowded.
Before visiting, tourists should bring with them the necessary gear appropriate for the weather. Good trekking footwear or rubber boots are a must.
Where to Stay in Sapa
For such a small town, there is a surprisingly large collection of hotels in Sapa. The majority of accommodation caters to locals and backpackers. Hotel prices in Sapa are noticeably cheaper than in the big cities so a comfortable guesthouse should be within the budget of most visitors. Take a look at the best hotels in Sapa below.
Sapa Legend Hotel & Spa
With a stay at Sapa Legend Hotel & Spa in Sapa, you’ll be minutes from Sapa Cathedral and Quang Truong Square. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available 24 hours), and free self parking is available onsite.
Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel & Spa
With a stay at Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel & Spa in Sapa, you’ll be in the mountains and minutes from Quang Truong Square and Sapa Cathedral. Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, express check-in, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Guests may use a train station pick-up service for a surcharge, and free self parking is available onsite.
With a stay at Freesia Hotel in Sapa, you’ll be minutes from Sapa Lake and Sapa Market. Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available 24 hours), and free self parking is available onsite.
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