Built in the 1920s as a hill station for the French armed forces, Sapa was re-discovered in recent years as a tourist destination. A mountainous area on the Vietnam-China border, Sapa sees 160 days a year of mist and rain, and is home to a wealth of ethnic minorities and hill tribes. Among them are the H'mong, the Dao, and the Montagnards, the "Mountain People", who cooperated closely with American forces in the Vietnam War. Many French-era colonial buildings remain in the area, lending Sapa a genteel, nostalgic air.


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Cat Cat Trek

Trek to Cat Cat, which sits about a mile and a half outside of Sapa. Cat Cat is a sleepy place filled with authentic hill tribes, and is home to a thriving series of cottage industries, selling all the manner of products, including embroidery, sculpture, and art - perfect for souvenirs and mementos.

Colonial Walking Tour

See the buildings established by the French, which include the town hall, the church and the town square. Don’t forget to stop in at the Sapa Culture Museum as well to learn about local traditions and customs. Afterwards, eat at the Hill Station Restaurant, which features pate, ham, wine and cheese - a legacy of the French. For coffee lovers, there’s a special Italian coffee blend.

Heaven’s Gate

Trek near the mountains by Heaven's Gate, for a stunning view overlooking the valley, with its jagged mountains, verdant forests, and elaborate, terraced rice paddies.

Ta Phin Village

Ta Phin Village is five miles from Sapa. Visitors will be able to meet the Red Dao, who are known for their elaborate, special headgear. Visitors can also embark on a 6 to 7 miles (10 to 11 kilometers) circular trek that will pass through both Red Dao and Black Hmong villages.

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