Sapa

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.
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.

Experiences

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.

VIETNAM Regions

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

Multi-Country Specialists

vietnam Goes Well With

Remote Lands

Explore 400+ Journeys in
33 Countries Across Asia

Where to go

Choose Your Destination

What to do

Choose Your Interest

When to go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Cambodia
China
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Macao
Malaysia
Maldives
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Oman
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Siberia
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Tibet
Turkmenistan
Uae
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Amazing Landscapes
Architecture
Art
Beaches
Bicycling
Celebrations
Cuisine
Diving
Glamping
Heritage
Luxury Cruises
Luxury Trains
Motorcycling
Off The Grid
Responsible
Romance
Skiing
Spirituality
Sports
Trekking
Tribal
Unesco
Wellbeing
Wildlife
With Kids

Filter to Select Your Itinerary

Travelogues

Why Sapa and Lao Cai Will Transform your Vietnam Experience

Author
Travelogues

Whether it's getting from Hanoi to the north in style or trekking with tribes, Sapa and Lao Cai give travelers unique opportunities to experience an authentic Vietnam.

Read More

Hill Tribes and Caves: Hiking in Vietnam

Author
Remote Lands

Curving around Cambodia and Laos, its east coast reaching all the way up to China, Vietnam is a country of intriguing history and glorious and varied landscapes.

Read More

Remote Lands’ Dozen Dream Destinations in Asia 2016

Author
Remote Lands

We’ve compiled the very best destinations in Asia - places guaranteed to pique your interest, ensnare your senses and captivate your imagination this year.

Read More

Into the Mist with Sapa’s Authentic Hill Tribe Culture

Author
Jay Tindall

Sapa or "Sa Pa,” is situated near the border with China in Lao Cai province. It’s a difficult place to reach -- the most popular way in is by overnight train

Read More

What Others Say

Couple from Texas - Aman Jet Expedition, October 2016

Couple from Texas - Aman Jet Expedition, October 2016

“We have used some of the top rated travel specialists all over the world and, without question, Catherine Heald and Remote Lands are at the very top of the list!”

Aman Jet Expeditions

Bali to Luang Prabang

Indonesia - Cambodia - Vietnam - Laos

May 9 - 24, 2021

Kyoto to Greece

Japan - Philippines - Indonesia - UAE - Turkey - Greece

October 1 - 17, 2020

Wait List Only

A Mindful and Cultural Journey

Vietnam - Laos - Bhutan - India - Sri Lanka

September 8-24, 2021

Venice to Utah

Italy - Morocco - Dominican Republic - Turks and Caicos - USA

February 16 - March 2, 2021

The Grandest Tour

Japan - China - Vietnam - Thailand - Bhutan - India - Greece - Montenegro - Italy

March 21 - April 11, 2021

Kyoto to Greece

Japan - Philippines - Indonesia - UAE - Turkey - Greece

April 16 - May 2, 2021

Stay Informed: Newsletter