Sapa is a bustling market town, but visitors often rave about the surrounding rice terraces and conical mountains with mist rolling in, rather than the town itself. The mountain rice terraces were carved by the Hmong Tribe many years ago and remain well - preserved and in use even to this day. Many people use Sapa as a base camp to trek to several surrounding villages that still practice a traditional, tribal way of life. Sapa is also close Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam and a very popular trekking destination.Trekkers and those who prefer to be out in nature instead of beating the city streets will find their emerald-green haven in Sa Pa. Located in northern Vietnam, Sa Pa is known as the trekking mecca of the country. Cool weather, sprawling tiered rice paddies, hiking trails, and village culture are the highlights of a few days spent deep within Vietnam’s Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Spend a night in a local homestay for a truly authentic experience.
Cat Cat Village: The charmingly named Cat Cat Village is one of the oldest villages in the Sapa region and it is also known for being the home of the H’mong ethnic group. The village is famous for its traditional industries such as flax and cotton production and there is a strong tradition of weaving here. When travelers visit, they can learn all about these traditional techniques as well as spend time studying the H’mong culture.
Silver Waterfalls: Sapa is famous for its waterfalls and one of these is Silver Waterfalls. This is a collection of gushing cataracts that tower to a height of some 200 meters. Located just up the path from Silver Waterfalls is the beautifully named Love Waterfall which is a place that is steeped in local legend. Locals will tell you that fairies used to bathe in the waters here and although it is a long trek to both waterfalls it is more than worth it for the pretty scenery.
Tram Ton Pass: If you want to see more of the scenery in Sapa then you need to head for the Sapa and Lai Chau road which then turns into the Tram Ton Pass. The pass stands at an elevation of some 1900 meters which makes it the highest pass in all of Vietnam. You will find a number of lookout points here which have amazing views over the surrounding area and you can also combine a trip here with the nearby Silver Waterfall.
Fansipan Mountain: Fansipan is the largest mountain in the Indochina region (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos). Fansipan has a varied topography suitable for trekking. There are a number of tour operators which take groups of people on organized treks. Fansipan also has indigenous flora and fauna which offers you an exciting opportunity to learn about it. Recently, cable car services have been installed to reach the summit of the mountain, which makes it easier for those who do not want to trek to experience the breathtaking view from the summit.
Bac Ha Market: The region of Bac Ha is a mix of activities on Saturday evenings when the weekly market comes to life, and this celebration of Vietnamese culture continues on Sunday as well. From intricately designed handmade traditional clothing to delicious local cuisine, all the essentials of this vibrant culture find a place here. You can interact with the locals and learn about their culture and lifestyle, which is a mesmerising experience in its own right. Popular items that you can buy from here include different textiles, saddles for horses, bags, cushions, figurines and other handcrafted items. Bac Ha is also famous for Tam Hoa plums.
Ham Rong Flower Garden: Calling all anthophiles! Swarmed with bright-coloured flowers in the dewy air and sweet fragrances up your nostrils, the Ham Rong Flower Garden is a worthy visit. If you’re tired of trudging uneven grounds – not to worry – the garden is nicely paved and stairs are provided. The steps may be a bit steep but it is a relatively easy climb. Not to forget, the top overlooks the Sapa Town and Sapa Lake. If you happen to visit Sapa Town or the church, then make a visit to the Ham Rong Flower Garden which is within the vicinity!
Fairy Cave: Fairy Cave or Hang Tiên. This is a lesser-known and non-touristy spot locating on the bank of Chay River, just outside of Bac Ha District – Sapa. Fairy Cave, which is surrounded by mountains and forests, boasts a broad system of limestone formations with stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes and sizes. It is called “The tiny version of Halong Bay” by the localpeople thanks to its harmonious combination of limestone cliffs and water. To get to the Fairy Cave, the best way is to take a boat trip on Chay River to also contemplate the majestic landscape in Sapa.
Muong Hoa Train: Just opened in 2018, Muong Hoa Rail Route which connects Sapa and Fansipan Station has risen to be one of the things to try in Sapa. The trains and the station are designed in European style with impressive architecture. Riding Muong Hoa train, you’ll have chance to enjoy the views of the beautiful Muong Hoa Valley below.
Thang Co (Thắng cổ): Thang Co is the traditional food of Hmoong people and it has been cooked for hundreds 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 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.
Sapa Cap Nach Pork: Cap Nach pork is a specialty of 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 does you cook it, make sure the pork is soft with a hint of spicy.
Bamboo Sticky Rice: Bamboo sticky rice in Sapa is an abnormal version of rice. Different from others, it is absolutely cooked in bamboo sections. Local people spend spend hours on collecting the bamboo then cleaning and chopping them into small sections at about 30 centimeters in length. The locals mix rice with a little bit of salt then they stuff up bamboo with salty rice. Don't forget the water used to cook this dish. It's brought from the streams which is fresh and a little bit sweet. A biggest secret here is that you need to resolve the bamboo sections while grilling.
Salmon Sour Hotpot: 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 littery 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 hillroad and make an order of salmon sour hot pot, your heat beat is just a little bit faster.
Tao Meo wine - a local whiskey of H’moong: Tao Meo wine is a popular and original wine of H’moong people. It is made from fruits of Tao Meo tree - a kind of tree grows naturally on Hoang Lien Son Mountain. It blooms at the end of spring in autumn so you can buy the fresh Tao Meo fruit from August to October. It serves up an amazing natural wine flavor for those who are seeking something unique in the mountainous region. Tao Meo wine comes perfect with unbelivebly good brook fish.
Grilled Fish: This simple dish is incredibly delicious, and it is a pity if you travel to Sapa without trying the grilled fish. Sapa has many kinds of fishes, and their flavors are different from other fishes. The goby fish, bighead carp, etc. are usually found in the stream of Sapa. Almost of them are not so big, just as big as your fingers. When completing the catching fish process, you just need to make a fire to grill the fishes or cook them with some kinds of species to have an attractive dish. The sweetness and freshness of this dish are irresistible to any diners.
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