Travel Blog

Best time to trek Fansipan

Posted by on 8:42 am in Blog | 0 comments

Best time to trek Fansipan

Trekking up to the top of the highest mount to hug that triangle metal piece saying “Fansipan 3,143m” has become a long time tradition among young trekker. And obviously, Fansipan is also a kind of tourist attraction since it is very close to Sapa, a famous destination for tourists in the North of Vietnam, and a few adventurous and athletic travelers love to combine their Sapa trip with this Fansipan Mount trekking.

Best time to do this whole trekking thing is April and May when the weather is good, not cold (and especially) not rainy, and you will also have a clear view of the beautiful valley with flowers in bloom.

A common question from the trekker is that how is the campsite or the tent when overnight in Fansipan

fansipan campsite

fansipan campsite

This is the camp at the height of 2,800m where the trekkers have dinner and spend an oh-so-cold night after 6.5 hours of climbing. It is quite dirty, especially on a rainy day

Fansipan-tent camp

Fansipan-tent camp

Actually the view from the camp will be very nice if it is not rainy or too foggy. And in fact in dry weather you can even do camp fire here.

candle lit dinner in Fansipan

candle lit dinner in Fansipan

Inside the tin house at night. The hole on the door keeps the winds blowing in all night. It is quite crowded in the camp at night.

Candle-lit dinner. Of course there is no electricity at the height of 2,800m!

Candle-lit dinner. Of course there is no electricity at the height of 2,800m!

Khau Vai love market festival

Posted by on 9:10 am in Blog | 0 comments

Khau Vai love market festival

Thousands of domestic and international tourists gathered for the 2015 Khau Vai Love Market Culture-Tourism Week, which kicked off on May 13th in Meo Vac district of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang.
The week, which will run through May 16th, features a wide variety of activities including the northernmost beauty contest, cow fighting festivals, horse races, traditional dish exhibitions, and incense offerings at two temples in Khau Vai commune.

Vice Chairman of the district People’s Committee Tran Kim Ngoc, who is also head of the organising board, said the week aims to preserve and uphold the traditional ethnic minority culture in the province.

The Khau Vai Love Market has its origins in a legend about a couple who were deeply in love but were forbidden to be together because they hailed from differed ethnic groups. The two promised to meet once every year in Khau Vai on the 27th of the third lunar month.

The “Phong Luu” market of Son Vi commune is also a highlight of the event, drawing crowds of local residents and neighbouring Chinese people to join and enjoy the event’s art performances and games, according to Ngoc.

During the event, tourism service quality, social order and traffic safety have been ensured to serve tourists, he added.

The century-old festival, which is held annually in the third lunar month, is a popular meeting place for ethnic groups in the locality, particularly those in love./.

USEFUL LINKS

Bac Ha Market

Sapa Travel

 

Bac Ha plum tree gardens

Posted by on 9:05 am in Blog | 0 comments

Bac Ha plum tree gardens

People from the south – especially big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho – think of plums as a Hanoi specialty. But in reality they’re grown on Bac Ha Plateau, 340km from the capital.

Plums in Bac Ha, called Tam Hoa plums, are different from those in other regions. Bac Ha’s plums are greenish-red, while those of Lang Son province are pink.

Out of all of Vietnam’s different plums, most say Bac Ha’s are the tastiest because they’re so sweet and have small pits. The region is called the White Plateau because it’s home to more than 1,000ha of plum trees. It’s the northwest region’s biggest plum-growing area.

Tam Hoa plum farming has helped thousands of ethnic minority households in Bac Ha district in Lao Cai province escape poverty. Bac Ha is home to the Mong, Nung, Tay and Phu La ethnic minority groups.

Plum season from late May is prime tourist season in Bac Ha. In recent years it has lured a huge number of foreign and domestic visitors

USEFUL LINKS

Bac Ha Sunday Market

Bac Ha Tour

About Sapa Travel

Sapa Express Bus information

Posted by on 2:56 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Sapa Express Bus information

Sapa Express Bus
The bus journey is a four and a half hour trip from Hanoi to Sapa via the brand new Hanoi – Lao Cai highway giving you the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape of the mountainous area of Northwest Vietnam. The bus accommodates up to 29 passengers with its luxury service including air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, bus attendant, complimentary bottle of water, comfortable blanket and pillow and free tea, coffee and candy at the pickup point.

Enjoy on board entertainment facilities- Sapa Express by Limousine buses

Enjoy on board entertainment facilities- Sapa Express by Limousine buses

Detailed information:

Bus brand name: Universe Limousine 29 seats
Bus departs from Hanoi at 7:00 am and arrives in Sapa at 12:00 pm
Bus departs from Sapa at 4:00 pm and arrives in Hanoi at 9:00 pm
Ticket price: 378,000 VND
Meals onboard are not included in the ticket.
Pick up/ Drop off in Hanoi at: 12 Ly Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Pick up/ Drop off in Sapa at: 003 Fanxipan Street, Sapa Town, Lao Cai

BOOKING: please send the request to Sapa Travel at info@travelsapa.com

Finding a luxury restaurant in Sapa

Posted by on 2:47 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Finding a luxury restaurant in Sapa

Sapa Travel recommend the following luxury restaurants in the town:

1. the Bellevue Restaurant

BelleVue Restaurant Sapa

BelleVue Restaurant Sapa

U Sapa has the reputation for serving some of the best food in Sapa and uses the freshest herbs, vegetables, and organic greens from the resort’s own gardens.
The award-winning Dining on the Bellevue Restaurant is located at the tip of the headland and presents 270 degree views, whilst Dining offers regional and international cuisine.
A large selection of wines from many of the world’s most respected regions is featured in The Cellar.

An all day dining restaurant located on the ground floor of the main building with an outdoor terrace, serving buffet breakfast and a la carte for lunch and dinner. The cuisine focuses on using the freshness of ingredients and local produce.

 

2. Ta Van Restaurant

Luxury restaurant Sapa

Luxury restaurant Sapa

Ta Van Restaurant in Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa offers the finest dining available in the region. Our Chef’s fine cuisine blends local ingredients to create exciting international dishes with a French and Vietnamese flair. Our restaurant has a large central fireplace and a cozy atmosphere. In the summer months, dine on the terrace and enjoy spectacular views over Mount Fansipan.

Minority Dance Performance
Enjoy traditional dances performed by H’mong and Thai Minority people every Saturday night at Ta Van Restaurant from 8.00 PM until 9.00 PM.

Seating capacity: 110 pax indoors
Opening hours: 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM

Update train transfer information 2015

Posted by on 8:33 am in Blog | 0 comments

Update train transfer information 2015

The most popular and convenient way to get to Sapa from Hanoi is by sleeper train.

If you choose to an experience with us we can also book the overnight trains and transfers for you.
We try to make this very easy for our guests by arranging train tickets for more than 95% of our guests. Once you read these hints and tips you will understand why it is better to leave it to us the professionals to take the guess work out and leave you to have a smooth stress free journey to Sapa.

The trains to Lao Cai depart Hanoi everynight of the week at 21:50. We choose to book our guests on the Livitrans or King Express or Fanxipang train carriages as we believe these to be the best. These carriages are VIP with 4 beds in each room. There is a toilet at the end of the carriage. We strongly advise our guests to book a private 4 berth cabin even if there are only one of two guests travelling, this ensures privacy, security and a better night sleep. The train line was build in 1906 and you can feel every piece of history in the track as you take the journey 320kms to Sapa. It certainly is a wonderful way to travel and makes coming to Sapa all that more exciting.

 

Bus transfer from Lao Cai to Sapa:

After 9 fairly sleepless hours on the night train you want to make sure your bus transfer from Lao Cai train station to Sapa has been organised by your hotel in Sapa, because at 5:00am when your train pulls into Lao Cai the last thing you want to do is to be left standing around having to negotiate for a seat to Sapa. I have heard crazy stories where travellers paid more then US$30 for a single ticket from Lao Cai to Sapa in a mini van. Please don’t let this happen to you.

Here are some tips:

If you want a taxi this will cost you up to 580.00 VND
The journey is 37km from Lao Cai to Sapa
The journey will take up to 1 hour depending on the weather
When you arrive it will be too early to check into most hotels.
Find a good cafe or restaurant for breakfast – Our Indigo Summer House is open from 7.30am and is a great place to shower and get some breakfast.
If you negotiate a bus ride yourself, do not pay until you arrive in Sapa
Make it easy for yourself, the train station is not the place for an adventure!!!

Terms & Conditions
By making a train booking with Sapa Travel, you acknowledge reading and accepting these Terms and Conditions and agree not to violate our policies.

ACCEPTANCE OF TERMS
In these Terms and Conditions “we, our, us, company” refers to Sapa Travel, an online operator for train ticket booking in Vietnam. “You” refers to the individual person creating an account with us and/or making a reservation through us. This website is offered to you and is conditioned on your acceptance without modification of the terms, conditions and notices contained herein as they exist at the time the booking is made. Your use of this website including the use of your booking, and the site information, constitutes your agreement to the following terms, conditions, and notices.

You agree to be fully responsible for any claim, expense, liability, losses, costs including legal fees incurred by us arising from any infringement of the terms and conditions set out in this agreement.

MODIFICATION
Sapa Travel reserves the right to change any part of this agreement without notice and your use of the Website will be deemed as acceptance of this agreement. We advise users to regularly check the Terms and Conditions of this agreement.

We have complete discretion to modify or remove any part of this site without warning or liability arising from such action.

TRAIN BOOKING
To make an online train reservation, select the itinerary you would like to travel on the front page, or email the following information to Sapa Traveladventuressapa@gmail.com
• Name of passengers (as it appears in passports)
• The exact dates of traveling
• Your preferred train(s) or expected time
• Type of ticket you would require (Soft berth, hard berth, or soft seat)
• Number of adults and children (noted with ages at the time of travel) accompanied (if any)

The booking is effective only when you make the payment, and we will issue & send the ticket voucher to you.

SPECIAL NOTE:
Sapa Travel is a third party booking agent, which allow customers to reserve train ticket online in advance. We are therefore not to be held accountable for train services provided by Vietnam Railways and private train companies such as Livitrans, King Express, Sapaly to name a few. Please direct any inquiries, concerns or complaints to the train travel experience to the corresponding people in charge.

– For the ticket delivery process, when we send you the booking confirmation and request for an address where the tickets be delivered you will have to provide us the address to deliver your tickets prior to your departure time. Otherwise, we are not responsible for delay or missing your train.

TICKET TYPES

* Recommended – 4-berth soft sleeper cabin refers to the cabin where 4 people share one cabin, which 4 berths in each cabin (see prices above)

Also available on request:
Soft-seat refers to the ticket option of soft non-armchair seat, with air-conditioner in cabin.
6 berth hard sleeper cabin refers to the ticket option of hard bed on a cabin, shared with 5 other people
2-berth soft sleeper cabin refers to the cabin with only 2 berths where 2 people share one cabin. The cabin with 4 berths but two upper berths are removed where 2 people share one cabin

RATES
Unless specified otherwise, rates are quoted in US dollars. The fares rates are for one way trip, including all fees and service charges.

Children price
• Under 5 years: Travel free if sharing berth with parents
• From 5: Price will be 100% of adult price

PAYMENT
– Credit Card: We accept payment through all major credit cards. In both ways, we will only proceed with the payment after reconfirming with you.

– PayPal. We accept payment via PayPal with a commission fee of 8.5%

– Bank transfer: Bank transfers can be made from your bank account abroad. For this payment method, you will need to cover for all bank fees (usually an additional 3%). Our bank account information as below:

Name’s card holder: Tran Quoc Long
Address: 198 Tran Quang Khai, Hanoi, Vietnam
Account number: 0011000536585
Bank’s name: VietcomBank
CANCELLATION & REFUNDS
– Ticket cancellation or amendment made after issued Booking Confirmation will be charged 30% of the ticket price.
– Ticket cancellation or amendment made 48 hours before departure date will be charged 50% of the ticket price.
– No Show or Ticket cancellation or amendment made less than 48 hours of the departure date will be charged 100% of the ticket price.

Important Note: When the tickets were issued and delivered to your address in Vietnam then it will be impossible to cancel! In that case, you need to bring tickets to the nearest train station to cancel by yourself! We can not make a cancellation without tickets in our hands!

Sapa Travel reserves the right to cancel your booking with a prior notice. In such case, a full refund of 100% will be credited to your account.

Sapa Homestay

Posted by on 2:42 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Sapa Homestay

Sapa is famous for both its fine, rugged scenery and also its rich cultural diversity. If trekking is your thing, why not opt for a two or three day experience incorporating homestays in the villages of your choice. What better way to expose yourself to the cultures and colour of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities on a trek through terraced rice paddies, bamboo groves and traditional villages all in the shadow of Mount Fansipan.

Sapa Travel work in association with a number of host families throughout the Hoang Lien Son Mountain range and each village has something different to offer. Our homestay partnerships grew out of Sapa Travel’s mission to promote and support responsible travel. From the popular Lao Chai and Ta Van homestays to the quiet and remote village of Lao Chai San, each homestay has a different feel, but all offer the traveller a rare glimpse into the way of life that has all but vanished from the rest of Asia. Here you will find no welcome mats or rehearsed “cultural” parades, just real people living real lives who greet visitors with genuine warmth and real smiles.

There are two types of homestay. The choice is either a well established mini guest house style homestay with other travellers or staying in an a traditional Hmong home as exclusive guests. In both, expect to experience village life in all its glory. On the plus side, you will get some quality time with the wonderful Black Hmong community. Hmong homes are set within the famed rice paddies and have incredible views if the weather permits. On the downside, expect to be awoken early by roosters or the families livestock. You can choose towards the end of your trek which type of homestay you want to stay.

 

Village Guesthouse

Your choice of trek often influences the homestay we can use. The guesthouse style homestays are quite large and built from wood or brick. There are no separate bedrooms or en suit bathrooms and only some homestays have wifi. The guesthouses do have electricity. Typically, there is one big open space upstairs, which is then divided into zones with mosquito nets. The photos below show the sort of setup you might expect. These homestays normally have a couple of western style toilets and warm showers. The number of guests varies per day, but typically, two to three groups will share a particular homestay on any given night.
There are facilities to buy soft drinks, beers or water at an additional cost.

1523358_orig

What are the bathrooms like?

The bathrooms are clean and do offer privacy. There are hot showers and flushing toilets!

Whilst walking around the house, it is best to take off your boots and slide into a pair of the plastic sandals. For more tips of acceptable behaviour, please see our comprehensive code of conduct.

 

Traditional Homestays

If you are looking for absolute authenticity in a real home, then this is the choice for you. You can cook and eat with your host family and generally enjoy the hospitality of Sapa’s mountain people. The only way to guarantee a private experience is to stay in a traditional home. These homes also come equipped with a sleeping area and mosquito net, but bathroom and toilet facilities vary. Many homes have no toilets whatsoever, whilst others have long drop latrines.

Are there any dangers or annoyances?

The traditional way of cooking is over open flame. At dinner time, with all the cooking that goes on, the house may get quite smoky.
Mosquitos can be an issue in summer, but they are not terrible (just bring repellent and use the mosquito net provided). Long trousers are recommended for after sunset.

Roosters will cockle-doodle-doo very early in the morning, but it’s just the signal that you might want to get up and see what’s going on in the village!

Can Cau Cattle Market 2015

Posted by on 10:18 am in Blog | 0 comments

Can Cau Cattle Market 2015

 

Sapa Travel is a team of experienced guides in Sapa Town and its villages. Sapa Travel is not a big company, and we do not pretend to be.  Our work is to combine a personal touch with a high level of reliability, while maintaining excellent value for our inbound destination management services to Sapa and the North of Vietnam.  We compete with a flexible and creative attitude towards travel, and by doing what we say when we say we will do it. While many large companies promise to have their ‘best’ team on the ground, we ARE the team on the ground, providing you unparalleled communication and attention you deserve.

Update timetable for trains Hanoi Lao Cai 2015

Posted by on 4:27 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Update timetable for trains Hanoi Lao Cai 2015

On 21st January 2015 we have the announcement from Vietnam Trails Cooperation 10/CĐ VTHN  that the SP 7 and SP 8 train will stop their services from Hanoi to Lao Cai and return.

So, the previous train timetable will be only on the SP 3 and SP3 trains.

Hanoi- Lao Cai: on SP 3, departing Hanoi at 21:50 and arriving Lao Cai at 6:25
Lao Cai- Hanoi: on SP 4, departing Lao Cai at 20:20 and arriving Hanoi at 5:20

So, if any of the passengers who have the vouchers for SP3 and SP4 will get the new departure and arrival as this notice. The services and seating will keep unchanged.

Trusted hill-tribe tourist guide in Sapa

Posted by on 9:06 am in Blog | 0 comments

Trusted hill-tribe tourist guide in Sapa

One of the best experiences you can have is to by-pass all the hotel and travel agency organised treks and go straight to the source – the local hills-tribe women. By doing this, you will not only be able to choose your own itinery, have a small group (just you and your friends) and be able to set your own time-table, you will also be assured that all the money you are spending will go directly to the people who need it most – your guide and her family. Many of the trekking companies pay their guides a flat fee of around $12 USD irrespective of the size of the group – often charging each tourist over $25 USD.

Giang Thi Lan Vietnam Tour Guide

Giang Thi Lan – Tour Guide

It is pretty easy to meet a local guide if you are in Sapa and willing to be mobbed by very persistent handicraft peddlers – just sit in the square, and it won’t be long before you are approached by a hills-tribe woman offering to take you to her village for a day trek. The guide may be able to offer multi-day treks and home-stays as well. Most guides will speak a bit of self-taught English. If you meet (or find) the right guide, she will also suggest lesser known villages without any tourist shops at all or indeed any other tourists. You will have to negotiate with your guide for the right price. Remember that most of the hills-tribe people are very poor by developed world standards and your money will be given directly to her family and extended community.

Many of the older hills-tribe women are not literate but they will have a phone number. Younger hills-tribe guides are likely to have an email address as well. There’s even one in Sapa with a website and tripadvisor listing! However for the majority of hill-tribe guides, its pretty difficult to get to them outside of Sapa. You are likely to meet tourists who will give you the number of their guide – your guide will ask you to recommend her to your friends and other tourists. But that’s about the only way outside of Sapa.

Sept 2014 For a wonderful 1/2 day Meme will guide tourists on the trek for 1/2 the price the agents charge and even arrange a taxi back to Sapa. Meme speaks great English (self-taught) and is full of information. She has2 daughters studying at the village school and can explain and demonstrate every aspect of how the women make their clothes from raw hemp to the finished product. She can even find some fresh local herbs which cured an upset stomach. Ask the Hmong women for Meme from Lai Chau village.

Ly Za Za Vietnam Guide

Ly Za Za – Sapa Guide

One of the many guides in Sapa is Chu, she speaks English and French and her phone number is 01657256913. Feel free to add your recommended guides on this page!

If you wish to have a lovely experience around Ta Phin village, with local red Daos guides you can contact Mrs Ly Ta May Quang at 01676098581. She and her friends can guide you for 1 or 2 days tours. Even more if you wish to spend nights with local people.

Another option for a guide and overnight homestay is Mao (http://sapamaohomestay.tumblr.com/). She speaks English and her phone number is +84 01645371770. Mao is lovely and the trek to her village was generally free of people hasseling you!

 

If you cannot call these guides, please contact Sapa Travel Company for supports

Company: Sapa Travel

Website: http://www.travelsapa.com

Person in charge: Mr. Tran Quoc Long

Email: info@travelsapa.com

Mobile in Vietnam: 0912217448

Travel Sapa