The famous destination in Vietnam’s North West is Sapa town – it is a wonderful area with lots of valleys with the mountainous landscape, terraced rice fields. Besides, Sapa is home of many Vietnamese ethnic minorities who live in small villages, away from the downtown. Trekking in Sapa brings to you many memorable experiences as well as the best fresh during the trekking route.
Prepare for the trekking day
- Bring the small and light packages
- The comfortable shoes during the trekking days
- Wear the suitable clothes
- Check the weather at least 1 day before
- Bring the light raincoat and bottle of water
Some popular trekking routes in Sapa
1. Route Matra – Taphin – Discover H’mong Villages – the first choice of trekking in Sapa
Matra and Ta Phin village are the best places for travelers who want to discover the beauty of the ethnic people in the Northwest Vietnam.
In Sapa, each village has the unique beauty, the unique culture, so that you should spend more time to visit and know more about that. Matra village is home of H’mong and Red Dao people, but they have the different custom. The small village is located near Sapa downtown, about 4 km on the main road to Lao Cai City. You will enjoy the mountain views, stretching for about 12 km with many low hills and divide the valley into two parts.
Continuing the main road from Lao Cai to Sapa, you will be admired because of the beauty of Ta Phin Village where the Red Dao and Black H’Mong live from many years ago. If the H’Mong people choose the higher land where they live and grow terraced rice fields, the Red Dao cultivate larger and flat fields around the center of the valley, near the streams. From the past, there was no motorway or road connecting the villages with the Sapa town, people walked along the trails to the center. Now, you will be easy to visit them by the main road and motorway, about 30 minutes. But if you want to discover the real local life, you still follow the trail to the further family.
- Timing: You should spend at least 1 day trekking this route.
- Best time to visit: From September to May next year
2. Route Lao Chai – Tavan – Giang Ta Chai
If you have more time in Sapa, you should choose another route through 3 villages: Lao Chai – Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai Village.
Lao Chai village is one of the nearest village from Sapa downtown, only 6km from the center so all visitors can take a short route from here. In the beginning of the route, you will catch the stunning view of Muong Hoa Valley with the stream and rice terraced fields in the bottom. Lao Chai village is the home of Black H’Mong people, so you can be easy to see the local house in the high hillsides due to their customs. Standing at the high point at the main road, you will have a chance to admire the great view of the whole village open wide to offer the marvelous panorama of the village, backed by high mountains and facing the river. The large village has only 100 families, they are all hospitable and friendly so it is the best chance to visit some H’Mong family and know more about their lifestyle.
Continue visiting Ta Van village – this is the home of different ethnic minority group but Giay people accounts for the majority of the population. It is about 8 km from Sapa centre and next to Lao Chai village with about 150 households living here. If you trekking in Sapa with a local guide, he will tell you the difference between Giay people with others, via the nobly humanistic values in characteristics and the special culture, which are the most impressive feature for you when trekking Ta Van village. This ethnic settled in the low areas such as foothills and the valleys along the big stream and river. However, Giay people live in the same resident locality, they have exchanged and under the influence of other culture and customs from other groups like Nung, Thai, Tay people. A road to Ta Van Village is quite small and narrow. Two sides of the village are covered by fertile terraced fields embellished with the green color of corns and rice plants. Setting foot in Ta Van Village, tourists may be amazed by the simple but tidy and clean appearance of the village.
Coming to another village – this is Giang Ta Chai village – the home of Red Dao people, you will have chance to explore a new ethnic community in the Northwest Vietnam. They wear plain black trousers and a long black tunic with embroidered cuffs and lapels with many red items – it is the very colorful traditional costumes. Red Dao minority people are the second biggest ethnic group in Sapa, Vietnam. You will trek through the terraced rice paddies, bamboo forest and stunning waterfalls, crossing a suspension bridge to the other side of the river. From Giang Ta Chai village in Sapa in Vietnam, travelers also can choose to take take adventure trekking route up to the mountain to Su Pan Village in Sapa in Vietnam. Giang Ta Chai village in Sapa in Vietnam is also one of the place where travelers can stay overnight on their homestay tours in Sapa in Vietnam.
3. Route Ban Ho – Nam Toong village
Ban Ho – Nam Toong village Route is the best choice for anyone who want to have a long trekking route with hard level; you will be admired with the most beautiful scenery during the route and the experience in the culture of local people. Actually, route Ban Ho – Nam Toong just takes you 1 day to trek, but if you have time, you should spend about 2 days and overnight at a local homestay.
Ban Ho valley – the home of Tay ethnic and is divided into three regions: a Trung Ho, Xeo Trung Ho and Hoang Lien. Muong Hoa river is located around the village and provide fresh water for rice fields on the banks every year. If you visit here from April to September, you will be overwhelmed because of the romantic valley with the color of the terraced rice. Tay people have high rice farming technique and live sedentary lifestyle from many years ago. Ban Ho village is one of the largest village with hundreds of households and many houses are built on stilts in unique structures so you can stay overnight at a homestay in order to experiencing their daily life.
Ban Ho is the best place for you to have lots of outdoor activities like go swimming in hot water pool or cold water stream, make brocade, see the waterfall, find out traditional weave fabric or take part in community activities. Moreover, you have chance to enjoy the fresh air, the stunning landscape during the trekking in Sapa, live in the cozy ambiance and friendly family.
After visiting Ban Ho and have a night at a homestay here, you will continue to trek to Nam Toong village. It is attractive visitors by various beauties of nature and tranquil atmosphere as well as the traditional culture and everyday life of Red Dao ethnic group. This ethnic lives in the valley and plant corn, terraced rice fields, cardamom and produce hand- made gifts for tourists. Throughout their clothes, you can be easy to know them; they wear a red hat, dark blue shirt adorned by the pattern of red and white flowers. In Nam Toong village you will see another landscapes with the terraced field, the simple silt houses lying on the valley in peaceful atmosphere. Moreover, each year, Red Dao people have some special festival like Lunar New year; Tet Nhay festival in January; Singing festival held on 10th January. Enjoy those occasions, it seems that you are a part of ethnic people, dancing and singing together happily.
Trekking in Sapa is one of the best activities of visitors coming here, you will not only admire the stunning landscape, but also experience in the local living.