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Sa Pa

A picturesque highland town in northern Vietnam, known for terraced rice fields, ethnic diversity, and the Hoang Lien Son mountain range.

Tips from the community

You’ve got to admit that the French probably knew what they were doing when they chose Sa Pa as a hill station back in the 1880s. Of course, today’s Southeast Asia backpackers are hardly drawn by the mild climate and fertile soils. They come to spend evenings in traditional Vietnamese longhouses. They come to learn local cooking techniques in homestays. They come to trek the well-worn trails that weave under FanSiPan mountain (the highest in the country). Whether you’re looking for a day of adventure or a day of rest, Sa Pa is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

jrfrancis 2 years ago

Most people think of Bali when it comes to rice terraces, but Vietnam is stepping it up with some serious competition. The Hoang Lien Son mountain range houses Sapa, a quiet town with not-so-quiet views and lots of trekking opportunities. It’s pretty easy to get there from Hanoi, a straight shot northwest with busses leaving daily. Peaks, valleys, and a blanket of lush greenery make Sapa look like something that would be on the cover of a guidebook. All of that verdant vegetation comes with steady rainfall, so pack your spiffiest rain poncho and a positive attitude.

sarahlempa 5 years ago

Between rolling rice fields and trekking opportunities, this quiet mountainside town has seen more traffic in recent years due to tourism. Nearby, Fansipan Mountain is the tallest point in Indochina, even earning the nickname “The Roof of Indochina.” Who could argue against ascending above the clouds for a casual afternoon activity?

sarahlempa 5 years ago

August 2017; Dave; Trekking and renting motor scooters in the rice paddies of Vietnam

nicolejordan 3 years ago

Sa Pa Articles

  • Backpacking Southeast Asia: 41 Destinations That Won’t Blow Your Budget

    Like a bar mitzvah or a grad party, backpacking the well-worn trails of Southeast Asia is nothing short of a rite of passage. For the budding traveler, the trodden route that links electrifying Bangkok to the temples of Angkor and the rolling surf of Bali is a chance to discover what street food and tuk […]

  • 31 of the Best Things to Do in Vietnam

    Vietnam is notorious for chaotically vibrant cities, iconic limestone mountains, and enough crave-worthy local cuisine to inspire you to extend your visa. Seriously, that pho is downright captivating. But wait, there’s more, and I’m not here to just tell you about Ha Long Bay like everyone else. You’re going to want to make your way […]

  • The Best Places to Visit in Vietnam from North to South

    Vietnam might be a geographically narrow country, but there’s certainly nothing easy about narrowing down your decision on which spots to visit. With nearly 1,000 miles from the top to the bottom, this Southeast Asian country is filled with beautifully chaotic cities, towering limestone mountains, and absurd amounts phở whenever your heart desires. Vietnam’s northernmost […]