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Sapa Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 25, 2016
Sapa for 4 nights  (11 Answers)

I'm planning to spend four nights in Sapa end of December. As I would love to go in daily trekking tours and would like to visit some villages around Sapa (please recommend me if you have visited any). Therefore my question is, should I book one accommodation for the all 4 nights (which means that I have to back to my accommodation at the end of the day) or is it better to spend a night in my first room and book other accommodations for the rest (which make my trekking tour as a one way tour!). Please also do advice me if you have tried any authentic and cheap homestay in Sapa or any village near to it.

I really do appreciate your huge help guys!

Best wishes,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 14, 2015
hiking in Sapa  (11 Answers)

Is it possible to just make my own way to Sapa from Hanoi (Train) and book my hike whilst there,or am i better of booking in Hanoi

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 26, 2015
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Needed in the Northern Part of Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong,Sapa, ) Area?  (1 Answer)

At the end of July/beginning of August I will be taking the train from Hanoi to the Northwest Vietnam to Lao Cai stop (near the border of China), then headed to Sapa. We will be going for a walk to some villages, which are surrounding the area. I understand this is now somewhat touristy.

Have there been concerns with Japanese Encephalitis? I am wondering if any of you have had the inoculation in anticipation of traveling to this area.Have you heard of anyone getting bitten?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 08, 2015
Packing for Sapa  (5 Answers)

Id like some advice on what to pack for 3 days in sapa. I am going in July from Australia, and am doing a trek through the mountains.
Will it be cold at all at that time of year?
I would like to know if I need warm clothing or not.
Cheers Melissa

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 17, 2015
Homestay in Sapa  (10 Answers)

Hi, Can anyone recommend to me how I should arrange my trip to Sapa?


As I will arrive in Hanoi on the 20th of Feb, I was planning to take the overnight train to Sapa and be there till the 23rd before taking the train back, a total of 3D2N spent in Sapa.


  • I know I will be able to book the train tickets online but what about the bus from Lao Cai to Sapa? I have heard many commented that they booked through either an agency or the hotel, because I'm pretty sure I will get ripped off if I were to book it at the train station itself. 
  • Since I will be there for 3D2N, are there 2 nights homestay or should I do just a 1N homestay and 1N hotel before heading back to hanoi?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 12, 2014
Avoiding Tours in Sapa  (8 Answers)

Can anyone recommend dome good treks in Sapa which we can do without a guide? My partner and I hate guided tours and prefer to make things up as we go along, so we want to just take a trek by ourselves. Are there any good destinations or villages which can be trekked to within one day - besides Cat Cat village?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 14, 2014
clothing to take to sapa in mid feb 2014  (4 Answers)

we are 2 ladies in your early 60't travelling to Sapa we are staying in a hotel and trekking out every day, what clothes should we take i am leaving next week for 4 days, taking the train up from Hanoi.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 16, 2013
safety in vietnam  (12 Answers)

Hi- I will be traveling by train to sapa with my 10 year old daughter in Novemeber, from Hanoi. If you read the government websites, and visit your "travel health specialist" you get the idea that horrible diseases and risks are everywhere! We both got our Hep A and TDP and are up to date on the regular vaccines, but Typhoid/JE/ maleria??? How many (relatively careful) tourists
actually suffer from these sicknesses after a week or 2 in Sapa- or 3 1/2 weeks (in our case) in the country, sticking mainly to the beach and large towns, cities ? I am also wondering about train travel down the coast in November- is that safe? Thank you- ( i want to say that before i started traveling with a kid- these kinds of things never crossed my mind- parenthood has made me more careful- maybe they should call it par(anoid)enthood!!!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 06, 2012
best train from hanoi to sapa  (5 Answers)

i will be travelling from hanoi to sapa around 25th november 12. there appears to be a number of train carriage and i was wondering which is the best other than Victoria. also what is the weather like then? cold? there is a lot of references to trekking around sapa. i am not the fittest being an office worker are the walks steep or gradual rises.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 22, 2011
A long shot - lost/stolen camera  (4 Answers)


I know this is a longshot but I stupidly left my camera in one of the bar/shops on the ascent from Cat Cat to Sapa (literally one of the last shops before you reach the first hotels at the bottom of Sapa}.

It was a Panasonic Lumix TZ10 (or maybe TZ8 - I forget!}. I returned to the bar 40 minutes later and as expected the camera had gone. The owner asked some of the kids who frequent the place whether they had seen it - one of the children couldn't look me in the eye when this was being explained and I am certain one of the kids there knows its whereabouts.

Anyway if any of you kind souls are offered a panasonic camera that still has pictures on it (I am wearing a white t-shirt with "scottish widows" written on the front, my girlfriend a plain white t-shirt}, please take the camera and I will refund your costs and some!

I have about 7 weeks worth of pictures on there, only backed up half. I am obviously devastated to lose the pictures ( I really dont care about the camera, I would gladly take just the memory card back} and don't hold much hope of seeing them again but thought I should try every avenue to retrieve them.

Finally, remember to double check you have everything before you leave an establishment or suffer like me!



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 14, 2011
Cold winter lasted until late April  (10 Answers)

will be visiting Sapa late Feb. Had read a forum people saying, the cold weather will last until late April. Don't know whether is it reliable. Was told that in Feb & March, weather hit a low of 4-6oC and average is just a 9oC. Can anyone comment on this? I'm trying to pack as light as I could.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 02, 2011
sapa in july  (11 Answers)

Even if we know that this is not the best period to visit Sa Pa, we have no choice. My husband and me will arrive in Hanoi and wanto to have a two-three days trip in Sapa. We want some advise about the mean to get there. We've been told that night train is safer, but you lose most of the magnificent scenery. What about hiring a 4x4 jeep? Too much expensive? And safety?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 14, 2010
4x4 hire  (8 Answers)

Hi, I'm hoping to travel to Sapa mid November and was thinking about renting a small 4x4 - instead of a motorbike. Any advice would be appreciated.
British driving license.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 06, 2010
Bac Ha Market  (8 Answers)

I plan to visit Sapa in October and join the tour to visit Cancau market on Saturday and Bac ha market on Sunday. Is it worth both markets ?
First day arrive Sapa and visit village around Sapa.
2nd day to Cancau and overnight in Bacha.
3rd day visit Bac Ha market on Sunday and take the train back to Hanoi from Laocai in the evening.

Is it a good plan ?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 10, 2010
Homestay in Sapa  (3 Answers)

I was wondering if I should be booking a homestay in Sapa prior to getting there, or it'll be easy to find a tour agency to book once I'm there?

Also, what's the recommended no. days of stay in Sapa?

Thanks in advance!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 08, 2010
Sapa weather  (5 Answers)

How is the weather in Jan/Feb in Sapa? Ave temperature? Does it rain a lot around this time?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 27, 2010
Sapa and surrounds for two older ladies in March 2010  (2 Answers)

Can someone tell me specifically where to find a tour guide once one has arrived in Sapa from the Railway Station and if the treks are very far. We would like to see some of the villages and market and will do a 2day 3 night trip from Hanoi. I would like to book the train and the accommodation myself and then see if we can get a guide in Sapa. It would be a Wednesday/Thursday and I understand there are markets at Cao Son (wednesday) and Lung Khau Nhin (Thursday), is it possible to do those two villages from Sapa without too much trouble?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 15, 2010
Hiking boots?  (2 Answers)

I am going to spend a couple of days in SaPa in October. Do I need hiking boots or will my trekking sandals suffice?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 25, 2009
Sapa tours  (3 Answers)

hi every one,
i had many usful advices from my friends on this forum. can you recommend me which tour operator i should contact with? and is it better if i book a package Hanoi - Halong - Sapa or book saperatedly?
I do look forward to hearing from your,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 11, 2009
trekking fansipan in s√Ępa

hi all

does anyone know how difficult it would be to book a trek up fansipan in sapa, and if it would work out cheaper than booking in hanoi? if so can you recommend anywhere in sapa that can do 3 days two nights for less than85 per person?

ant and grace

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 03, 2009
Tet in Sapa  (5 Answers)

I'm planning a trip to Sapa during the Tet Holiday period (14th to 17th Feb 2010), is it advisable as it's a holiday season? Are the markets in Sapa open during this time of the year?

Would appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 12, 2009
Travel to Sapa  (12 Answers)

In February 2010, I'm planning a trip to Vietnam and am considering a side trip (2 days r/t) to Sapa. I've read about it and it sounds intriguing and not at all a glitzy tourist trap. However, I'm a "mature" (60's) female traveler with mild back problems. Can probably trek 2 miles w/o a problem. My travel buddy thinks it's too far and perhaps too difficult. Any insights this forum can provide will be much appreciated. Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 08, 2009
Lao Cai - Bac Ha - Sapa  (9 Answers)

I ll go to Vietnam soon, and I am planning to go to the north for a few days.
I'd like to ask you what you think about my potential plan.

I ll arrive by the night train from Hanoi in the morning, and find a GH in Lao Cai.
After a short rest, I would like to go and see Bac Ha during the day.
Do you think it worth it to go to Bac Ha, and also is it possible in a day?
I m not sure, I ve been very clear on that one, haha.

Sleep in Lao Cai, and next morning, catch the bus to Sapa: spend a day there relaxing, and next day, go trekking, and sleep in Sapa.
Next day, go back to Hanoi by the day train to enjoy the landscape.

I m really grateful to those who will answer that post.
I have 18 days holiday with a tight budget (I live in Thailand) so I am trying to plan something great....

Have a great day everyone!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 10, 2009
Sapa Tour  (2 Answers)

Can someone advise on whether footprintsvietnam tours are reliable? Have found a 3 day 4 night tour leaving Hanoi for Sapa, covering the market on the Sunday. Am looking to visit Hanoi in August and have limited time

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 17, 2009
trip to sapa  (2 Answers)

we are considering a 2night 3 day trip to sapa including private driver ,hotel stay and transportation for320 .Is this a good price?
thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 11, 2009
Which train is better.....Et Pumpkin vs Livitrans  (8 Answers)

Anyone recently on either of these train? Appreciate feedback on which train is better in terms of cabin comfort? Which is newer? From the pictures of the trains, Livitrans seems to be a better choice but I rather hear from her passengers....... Price wise, Livitrans 4-berth sleeper is 10USD lesser compared to the Et-Pumpkin. Thanks in advance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 21, 2009
Local Market during 2D/3N Sapa Tour  (5 Answers)

Hi, do I have to join a 2D/3N Sapa Tour on leaving Hanoi on Friday night in order to visit the local market? Are these specials markets only operating on weekends? Will I still be able to visit the local market on Thursday and Friday?

I may have to change my plan for the Sapa tour, i.e. to join on a Wednesday night train instead.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 11, 2008
Sapa in June?  (1 Answer)

Can we travel in Sapa in June-July or is it too muddy? we know it's the monsoon but it is the only time we can travel!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 21, 2008
Baguette et Chocolat - seems to be an ethical place  (2 Answers)

Just researching places in Sapa (and Hanoi) and came up with web sites that say that Baguette & Chocolat in both places is part of a cooking training school for disadvantaged youths. If this is so then I will be there as soon as I arrive in Sapa! Good on them. Any comments welcome.

Regards, David

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 13, 2008
Excursions in Sapa...  (8 Answers)

I will be arriving early in the morning and leaving late night the next day.
WHich excursions are a must? Is it necessary to speak to any trekking guide to cover any of those excursions? Do you know anyone or have a contact in the area? Do you think that the excursions could be done by our own or will we be missing something?
Thanks a lot!!

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