by Zoe Francis
When planning my second visit to Vietnam, there was one place I noted as an absolute must-see; Sapa.
Other travellers have sung the praises of this small town in the northern hills of Vietnam, stating it’s “stunning, the most beautiful part of the country and so peaceful!”
I decided it was time to go and see this magical place for myself.
Hmong rice paddy
After driving through winding roads and the lush green mountainside, I arrived in the town of Sapa. I was greeted with a much-appreciated drop in temperature – a very pleasant 20 degrees, compared to the mid-30s we experienced in Hanoi.
The town of Sapa is quite the contrast to other parts of Vietnam. The village is more reminiscent of a European alpine town. A slower pace, cooler weather and friendly locals – this was the perfect place to relax for a few days. Our gorgeous hotel, The Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa, provided views over the property’s pine gardens as well as the town. We could see the fog & mist roll in and out as the weather changed.
Room with a spectacular view
A True Cultural Experience
This quaint town is the perfect base to explore the surrounding hillside, full of endless rice paddy terraces, greenery as far as the eye can see, and some of the more untouched and rural communities in Vietnam. I was left amazed after meeting with the local Hmong people, one of the many hill tribes of the area, and seeing the more traditional side of Vietnam. My cultural curiosity was intrigued after seeing the colourful textiles sold at the local markets and taking guided walks through the paddies. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the life and customs of the fascinating locals.
Sapa’s colourful markets
A short-guided walk into the mountainside helps you to step into the beauty and nature of rural Vietnam, an absolute must do for all visitors to Sapa.
Two days in this hillside town left me in awe. It became one of the highlights of my whole trip. From the mountains peaking above the rolling fog, to the endless green hillside and the colourful culture in between, Sapa is truly a photogenic delight and a lovely breath of fresh air.