Excursions from Sapa
Ham Rong Mountain
Named Ham Rong in Vietnamese, Dragon Jaw Mountain overlooks the town of Sapa – just look to the northwest and you will see the peak forming the ‘dragon’s jaw’ rising impressively over the town. The route to the top begins with a walk through a beautiful orchid garden, and then on to a European style botanical garden where you will find a variety of colourful flowers and plants. By this time you will be at a good altitude to stop and appreciate the stunning views across the Muong Hoa valley to Fansipan Moutain, the highest peak in Vietnam, and over Sapa town itself. From here you will continue upwards to Heaven’s Gate where you can enjoy great views of the ‘dragon’s jaw’. Eventually you will reach the mountain peak where you will be treated to unrivalled views over the valley and a birds eye view of Sapa. Take it all in while resting your legs and looking forward to the easy-going descent back to Sapa for a well deserved refreshment!
Thac Bac lies beside National Highway No 4D, about 12km from Sa Pa Town’s centre. Silver Waterfall is formed by sources of water from the Lo Sui Tong mountain peak. From the distance, the waterfall looks like a white dragon looking down from the sky. You can reach the Silver Waterfall by motor bike or by car in half an hour. From there you can see stunning view of the surrounding mountains and the last forests belonging to Hoang Lien National Park.
Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat is a small but bustling village situated at the foot of Fansipan Mountain. Here you will see traditional H’mong homes at their best, and you will be able to meet a H’mong family to learn more about their way of life. The village is also the perfect place to see traditional clothing being made, hemp being dyed and women weaving.
Ta Phin Village
Ta Phin Village is located in Ta Phin Commune, Sa Pa District, about 12km northeast of Sa Pa Town. The village is surrounded by mountains and owns spectacular rice terraces. The best time to visit Ta Phin is in late afternoon when tourists can enjoy amazing view of sunset over the village and the whole surrounding areas.
In Ta Phin Village there are two ethnic minorities living in harmony. They are the Red Dao, who make up the majority, and the Black Mong. It is the best for the tourists to distin-guish the difference in culture, way of living of ethnic minorities in Sapa.
Lao Chai village
Lao Chai is a village of black H’Mong ethnic group. Lao Chai is a commune composed by three large villages with over 100 families of the Black H’mong ethnic, and people here are quite hospitable.
Location :About 7-8 Km southeast of Sapa town on the west bank of Muong Hoa River.
Lao Chai is a commune composed by three large villages with over 100 families of the Black H’mong ethnic. From a high point of the main road 8 Km from Sapa town, 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 H’mong people in this village experience rice intensive farming on the lower land near the bottom of the valley as main source of earning while growing corn on the mountain slopes at the back of the village.
In this village which you will have a welcome feeling at any house of the hospitable people there. You can interact them, learn about their culture and customs.
Ta Van village
Ta Van commune in Muong Hoa valley is located in the south and 8 km away from Sapa town ship.
Ta Van means “a big turning road” like a basket brim, or tripod-leg line.
Vast terrace fields with unique position of a big turning road become a landscape and a destination of Ta Van.
Seo Mi Ti scenery-old pine forest, a half day of sloping road away from township centre, is also a particularly interesting eco-tourist site of Ta Van.
And Ta van has become an integral tourist site for ecological excursions in Sapa.
Can Cau Market
Can Cau Market hold on every Saturday from 6hours until midday. Can Cau Market is a small, but it is the place where you can encounter Flower H’mong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities in colorful costumes. The Flower Hmong minority is the most common here, and their colourful dresses makes is a beautiful sight. Set in the mountains near the Chinese border, Can Cau Market is the area where different minority groups in colorful dress exchange local items. You will spend the whole morning there then go to Bac Ha for lunch. Light trekking to nearby villages and visit the old castle of the former Hmong king are also highlights of trips.
Coc Ly Market
Leaving Sa Pa early Tuesday morning or picked up in Lao Cai arriving with the train from Hanoi, we drive with land cruiser to Coc Ly Market. The drive from SaPa will take us approx. 2 1/2 hour. We visit the market with all it’s colourful ethnic people such as Flower Hmong, Phu La and Dao Tuyen who gathers to buy and sell. Before lunch we go on a short trek to the nearby village of Sa Koun Ho which is inhabited by the Flower Hmong and Black Dao minority. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before we leave Coc Ly and drive to Trung Do village – inhabited by Tay minority. From the village we go by boat down the river, where we experience the magnificent sight of the beautiful caves and bustling life on the riverbank. The boat trip takes us about 2-2 1/2 hours before we are picked up by our jeep. The jeep takes us back to SaPa or to Lao Cai train station depending of your wishes.
Bac Ha market
This is a big market filled with many different hill-tribe peoples. It is the most colorful market in North Vietnam. At the market, you have chance to enjoy Bac Ha people simple but unique kinds of food with special wines made from rice, cassavas, corn and different sorts of fruits such as plumps, apples, peaches… talking to the minorities through the guide s interpretation.
Bac Ha market is well-known for its naturally sub-tropical scenery. Tam Hoa plums are really a local specialty: sweet and fresh. This seems to be created by its own land, people and nature. Average temperature here is 19°C and it’s not so cold as in Sa Pa. Bac Ha is specifically identified by each mount, each house and naturally-made carpet of white plum-flowers in spring. There are 14 ethnic minorities and the H’Mong ethnics count for 47% then the Dao, Tay, Nung, Phu La… Mountaineers take care of their horses as their properties, means of transport and close friends. Besides plums, Bac Ha is reputed for its alcohol (made of maize). Maize is grown on high mountains, its low in productivity but high in nutrition. To make alcohol, it’s fermented with Hong My seed (the local only plant). Bac Ha alcohol is well-known due to its source of water. So it’s surely believed never to have faulted one in Bac Ha market. Visitors can see the locals selling their own alcohol without feelings to be cheated.