After briefly visiting wonderful Hanoi and drinking all the coffee there is to drink, we took an overnight sleeper train to Sapa deep in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of Northwest Vietnam.

But before leaving the glorious capital of Vietnam, we purchased a couple or rain jackets in the market. If you are planning a trip to Sapa in March, be prepared, it’s going to be rather cold and damp.

Sapa – The Alpine Town Inhabited by Ethnic Minority Groups

This small alpine style town, developed by the French colonial settlers, is a place inhabited by main 4 minority groups: Hmong, Dao (Yao), Giáy, Pho Lu, and Tay.

Sapa is also well know amongst trekkers, as it is the main starting point for some of the fantastic trekking routes in Northwest Vietnam.

While still on the journey up to Sapa, you will notice a lot of local ladies in their colourful traditional outfits trekking the main roads and the muddy rice fields. You will also meet them at the market town where they will try to sell you some of their various handicrafts.

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Holy Rosary Church – Sapa’s Transport Hub

The public bus usually stops next to the Holy Rosary Church also known as the Stone Church. That’s where we got off our bus, straight into the falling fog. The weather conditions were so bad that we couldn’t see a thing in front of us. The church also seems to be the main taxi spot in town which is good to know.

Holy Rosary Church in Sapa

Thach Son Street – Away From the Crowds

It was cold, drizzly and we were hungry so we headed in a random direction and thankfully found Thach Son Street, away from the touristy bit.

There are a few places to eat on the street as well as a huge bakery. We had a freshly baked baguette stuffed with omelette, cucumbers and tomatoes for 45,000 VND ($2 USD) per massive sandwich. It was just what we needed and we gave thanks to the French influence in Vietnam for once.

Thach Son Street in Sapa

The Beautiful Setting of Sapa

The setting of Sapa is lovely, overlooking the terraced rice fields of the Muong Hoa Valley. We especially appreciated the jaw dropping views when leaving Sapa on a sleeper bus to Halong Bay. At times it felt pretty scary though being so close to the road edge, inches from a vertical drop into the valley below.

Sapa was only a quick stop before we took off to Ta Van village where we stayed for the next 3 nights while trekking the rice fields.

The rice terraces surrounding Sapa

Brief stop in Sapa, north west Vietnam

Have you been to Sapa? What did you think of it? Planning to go and have a question? Drop us a comment below…