Best Sapa treks – Sapa should be on the top of your list when it comes to trekking in Vietnam. Sapa offers the best trekking experience with its mountain topography and the diversity of ethnic minorities. The amazing scenes of nature and the deep knowledge of the culture waiting for you, make for a memorable experience.
Sapa is a picturesque little mountain town northwest of Hanoi that used to be a French colonial hill station. Green rice paddies and local tribes wearing colorful embroidery make the Sapa trekking trails one of the most beautiful in Vietnam. Besides, trekking in Sapa is at the top of the list of travelers in South East Asia. This part of Northern Vietnam is renowned for its mountainsides spilling down its emerald-green rice terraces. You can meet members of many different hill tribes, each with its distinctive clothing, language, and traditions. And everything for backpackers is accessible and affordable.
Differs trekking spots range from easy to difficult levels, from one day to several days since it is the best place to go hiking in Vietnam. Here, there are various tour firms and guided tours, or you can try an autonomous adventure with distance- and difficult-range route, as well as the villages of the eight different ethnic groups: Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa and Xa Pho. Here’s our pick of the best sapa treks.
The best trekking routes in Sapa
1. Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village has located just 2.5 km from the town of Sapa and is the most touristic ethnic village to visit from Sapa. The most excellent example of the Hmong people’s hill tribe. What you can enjoy here is the idyllic landscape, the dramatic setting, and the peaceful atmosphere of the local community.
Young Hmong people proudly wear their traditional costumes, which have been dyed in so many colors. One thing to look for is the traditional Hmong houses, still in good condition, which are considered to be a very important part of Hmong’s life. On your trekking path, we can’t fail to mention the beautiful sight of the terraced paddy fields running to the horizon.
The local way of life can be seen by those who visit the village. There are plenty of attractions for tourists in Cat Cat Village like waterfalls, traditional houses, and floral gardens. Moreover, there are performances of the H’mong tribe every day. Cat Cat Village is also the perfect spot to see traditional clothing being made, hemp being dyed and women weaving colorful.back to menu ↑
2. Ta Phin Village
Through the lush countryside, a 14km hike from Sapa town will lead you to Ta Phin, where several hill-tribe villages lie. It’s a lovely place to spend a few hours wandering around the village overlooking the rice fields below.
Ta Phin Village is located in a valley surrounded by rice fields. The village is also the main habitat of the Red Dao ethnic group, a tribe famous for its embroidery skills. The village is famous for its bath salts and you can find several massage parlors with Red Dao bathtubs around the village. When you’re walking to this village, you’ll have a chance to enjoy magnificent views, experience local people’s daily lives, and explore traditional customs. The journey from Sapa to Ta Phin Village by motorbike takes about 30 minutes, but tourists often choose to walk to the village because it’s a trail that lets you experience the true nature and beauty of Sapa.back to menu ↑
3. Muong Hoa Valley
Muong Hoa Valley is a beautifully scenic valley with rice terraces and blooming flowers about 10km from Sapa. You can catch up with other tribal villages like Ta Van Village and Ho Village while hiking through Muong Hoa Valley. Muong Hoa valley is blooming with lots of colorful flowers in a wide range of different beauties. The rice terraces are full of water at a time when you can contemplate one of the best scenes, such as the reflection of the sunshine on the surface of the fields.
Silver Fall is situated about half an hour from Sapa town, which offers stunning views of the Hoang Lien National Park’s surrounding mountains and lush forests. You will begin to climb uphill to a road, the car and your driver are ready for your journey back to Sapa after taking a rest near a waterfall to refresh.back to menu ↑
4. Lao Chai Village
In the Muong Hoa Valley, about 8-9 km southeast of Sapa town, Lao Chai Village, also a top tourist destination in Sapa. The Lao Chai Village consists of three main villages, with more than 100 households combined. This is a community of H’mong and Giay people, where visitors can distinguish the tribes by the clothes they wear. The local people here are friendly and kind. A lot of stuff about their culture and daily life can be learned.
A car or motorbike can reach the village, but trekking on the path along the mountain is much more interesting and well worth it. There are unforgettable views of the paddy rice fields, waterfalls, and villages. You can see a breathtaking panoramic view of the village from the highest point of the area, with high mountains and rivers flowing. Coming here, you will be captured by their everyday life and how to make their traditional clothes, crafts, indigo… Besides, you will have the opportunity to visit the largest valley that offers you the best views of Vietnam’s golden rice terrace fields. From September to April, Lao Chai Village is the best time to visit.back to menu ↑
5. Ta Van Village
In the Muong Hoa valley, Ta Van Village is located next to Lao Chai Village. It is home to the ethnic people of Zay and H’mong that live together. The Zay tribe lives near the stream in the lowland and grows rice and engraved silver, while the H’mong tribe prefers the top of the higher mountains for maize farming. This is one of the best places for exploring local people’s culture and for some peaceful relaxation. The path to the village is narrow and small.
There is an abundant nature on both sides of the trail full of corn and rice terraces, making it another perfect village for trekking. Of course, in one of the beautiful traditional houses located on the rice paddy fields, you will enjoy lunch with a local family. After that, with the local people, you can have a short sleep.back to menu ↑
6. Ham Rong Mountain
Ham Rong Mountain is a popular destination for eco-tourism in Sapa. It is situated not far from the center of town. The easiest trekking route suitable for beginners is this path. Small and shaped like a dragon raising its head into the sky, Ham Rong Mountain is small. The mountain is split into three main areas: the Ham Rong Flower Garden, the Stone Garden of Thach Lam, and the Hilltop of Ham Rong. With many picturesque spots found along the way, the landscape here is very beautiful. A wonderful panoramic view of Sapa is offered from the top of the mountain. It is around 9 in the morning, the best time to visit Ham Rong Mountain.
Moreover, Ham Rong is one of the most attractive places with many types of flowers and orchard gardens. Stones appear on the path that leads tourists to the wild peach forest, then orchid gardens with more than 6000 orchid plants belonging to 194 species. There are a lot of native flowers grown along pathways such as Lily of the Nile, hydrangea, geraniums, ox-eyed daisies, and cheerful flowers. Here, you will find some fruits like peach, plum, and pear. The scenery was hidden in the sound of fog and echo from the Mong minority boy’s bamboo flute, turning this place into a heaven on earth.back to menu ↑
7. Y Linh Ho Village
Y Linh Ho Village is a small commune made up of many small hamlets scattering on a very difficult mountainous terrain with high and steep mountains. This village is not as popular as the other hill tribe villages of Sapa. However, Y Linh Ho is one of the best trekking spots, offering an authentic experience off the beaten track. The village is located about 7 km southwest of the town of Sapa, on a steep mountain on the west side of the Muong Hoa River.
The road leading to the village is winding and steep, so the only way to get to the village from the main road is on foot. It is therefore the ideal destination for adventurous tourists. Y Linh Ho Village has a unique culture, and most of the hill tribes here are H’mong. They wear dark clothing and navy dyed with indigo, often seen in the hands of older H’mong women. Their houses are built on their farmland and the mainly cultivated corn, dry rice on steep hillsides. The landscapes are stunning with a cool and fresh atmosphere and there are many picturesque spots along the trail.