ELEVATION - 1500 METERS
POPULATION - 138,000
LOCATION - LAO CAI PROVINCE
Welcome to Sapa. Located in the Vietnam’s northern province of Lao Cai, this town was developed almost one hundred years ago as a mountain retreat for the French colonists. Today, the region has become a colourful mosaic of culture, ethnic markets, and inspiring landscapes that can be easily reached by an overnight train ride from Hanoi.
Sapa has become one of Vietnam's premier tourist destinations and has historically been an escape from the heat and humidity of Hanoi. It's known for its trekking, amazing landscapes, climate, and ethnic minorities. This region is a photographer’s mecca, an explorer’s playground and many travellers’ favourite place.
Beyond the tourist centre lie a multitude of trekking opportunities and villages where the homes of many of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities are found. These include: Black Hmong, Red Dao, Giay (Day) and Tay.
Tourism has played a contentious role in the growth of Sapa throughout its entire history. As in most tourist destinations both negative and positive impacts are evident. As tourists, you can help support sustainable, responsible tourism development by supporting the businesses of the local ethnic minorities.