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Sapa a small hill town is located about 320 km north-west of Hanoi, Vietnam. Home to diverse hill tribes, breath-taking landscapes, green rice fields and the highest mountain in Vietnam, the town is quickly culminating into a travel destination. Crowned with beautiful rice terraces Sapa finds a place in the bucket-list of every traveler for good reasons. Also stepped up rice fields in the town have secured top spot amongst the array of other amazing locales according to a famous travel magazine and travel portal.

As a well-known holiday destination in Vietnam, Sapa appeals to a large number of tourists all year round because of its cool weather and beautiful hilly scenery. In particular, it is the only place to have snow in Vietnam in the winter. This distinctive interests a lot of people choosing Sapa to see in their Vietnam tours.

The hill station though small can be explored in a span of 4 to 5 days when planned accordingly. The spectacular views when combined with the thrill of exploration make the town worth visiting for every tourist.

10 Things To Do In Sa Pa

Besides rice terraces, the place also has a bounty of other attractions in its kitty along with top things to do in Sapa for one and all.

1. Traditional Experience At The Cat Cat Village

Cat Car Village at Sapa

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Sapa is home to a variety of cultural and minority tribal folks. There are about 8 diverse tribes each practicing their own culture and slip-on its unique tribal attire. To peek into the lifestyle of the H’Mong who makes up the bulk of Sapa’s population, visiting Cat Cat Village is a worthy start. This is the best thing to do in the sapa valley as it offers you a lot. Cat Cat is also the bordering village to Sapa town which is less than 2 km away.

Ideal for: Family and Friends
Cost: INR 217 adults, INR 93 for kids
Timings: ‎05:00 AM – 09:00 PM

Must Read: Paragliding In Vietnam: Top 10 Places That Are Perfect For An Enthralling Vacay

2. Hiking: Dragon Jaw Mountain

Hiking in Sapa

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One of the supremely beautiful places to be in Sapa is Dragon Jaw Mountain or Ham Rong Mountain Park. It is easy to reach on foot due to its location in the heart of the town. Ham Rong features colorful flower beds, man-made stone monuments, flourishing foliage with diverse flora along with natural mountain rock formation. It also has the best viewpoint over Sapa city. A beautiful place famous for its magnificence this tails in as one of the best things to do in sapa in december.

Ideal for: Adventure and nature lovers
Cost: INR 217 per person
Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
Location: Đường Lên, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam

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3. Cable Car Trip Fansipan

Cable_Car_Trip Experience

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For those who are incapable to take the pressure of hiking sideways on mountainous terrain, a cable car ride on Fanxipan Road would permit you to get glimpses of some terraced rice fields and pretty mountain countryside. Fanxipan Road is a long twisting road with a steep incline located in the hub of town. After the long row of shops, the view of mountains and valleys with some rice terraces becomes noticeable. This is one of the best things to do in sapa other than trekking and village sightseeing.

Ideal for: Nature lovers
Cost: INR 2,171 for adults, INR 1551 for kids
Timings: 7 AM – 7 PM
Location: Fansipan, Sa Pa

Suggested Read: 52 Stunning Places To Visit In Vietnam For A Natural And Historic Retreat

4. Sapa Town Park

Town Park in Sapa

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This is a little park in the center of town where you can hang out and look out the world go by. These park structures consist of an interesting monument, a fountain, trees, rocks, and benches. Bordered by Xuân Viên Street and Thạch Sơn Street this park is cozy albeit and little noisy as it is located in the utmost busy part of town. With its relaxing atmosphere and flourishing charm, Sapa Town Park is one of the most beautiful places to explore here. When you are searching for things to do in sapa besides trekking the town park is a decent option.

Ideal for: Family and Friends
Cost: Free
Timings: All Hours
Location: Sa Pa, Vietnam

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5. Holy Rosary Church of Sapa

Rosary Church in Sapa

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The Holy Rosary Church frequently known as Stone Church is a magnificent landmark in Sapa town. Built by the French in 1930, this Catholic Church is still a well-designed place of worship. The church ground is always a hive of activities as tourists group together to click photos and the ethnic minority come together for selling their handicrafts. As a traveler you might think what are the free things to do in sapa town, then this church definitely makes a top checklist.

Ideal for: Architecture lovers and religious people
Cost: Free
Timings: 05:00, 18:30, 19:00 on weekdays and 8:30, 9:00, 18:30 Sunday
Location: Sa Pa, Vietnam

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6. Shopping at Quang Truong Square

Shopping Streets in Sapa

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Sapa town square is also known as Quang Truong Square. It is a huge field with cement steps located in the middle of Sapa city. It is another desired hangout for the locals and events like ‘Love Market’ is held here every Saturday night. This love market is an activity where ethnic girls and guys from various villagers assemble to court each other with the view of the wedding. Sometimes the lantern festival also happens on the square and the love market activity sometimes gets canceled.

Ideal for: Shopaholics
Cost: Free
Preferred Timings: 02:00 pm – 07:00 pm
Location: Sa Pa, Vietnam

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7. Boating In Sapa Lake

Boating In Sapa Lake

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Sapa Lake is an artificial reservoir near the town center. A wander along the lake on a cool day can be pretty energizing and at certain times of the day, the water gives a good mirror image of its surrounds. The lake has been a prime center of attraction for tourists as well as the town people for its unique charm. A visit to the lake accounts as one of the top things to do in sapa while visiting the region.

Ideal for: Family and Friends
Cost: INR 250 per person
Timings: All hours
Location: Ngu Chi Son, Sapa 330000, Vietnam

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8. Shopping at the Sapa Market

Sapa Market

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Sapa Marketplace is situated somewhat more than 1 km from the town center. It is just a regular market and can be skipped if time doesn’t allow. The main market building houses many smaller stores selling among other things traditional handicrafts and souvenirs. There is also an eating section where you can get cheaper eats but this is mostly supported by locals. The wet market is towards the nether part of the main building. A tour around the market gets into the list of things to do in sapa valley for all the visitors.

Ideal for: Family and Friends
Cost: Free
Timings: ‎All Hours
Location: Sa Pa, Vietnam

Suggested Read: Ho Chi Minh Shopping: 10 Places To Splurge And Shop At This Vietnamese Hub!

9. Cau May Street

Cau May Street in Sapa

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Sapa town is not very huge and it is possible to explore all the streets by walking. Walking along Cau May Street is a requisite as this is the main profit-making market street of Sapa. Most of Sapa’s eateries, shops, massage parlors, etc are concerted along this street. For all the above mentioned points this place has acquired a big thumbs up from the locals and visitors. If you have time and are thinking of exploring what things to do in sapa, then visit this street and the market complex.

Ideal for: Friends and Family
Cost: Free
Timings: ‎All Hours
Staying Options: Budget-friendly hotels in and around town.

Suggested Read: 4 Days In Vietnam: What All Places to Add To Your Backpacking Itinerary

10. Day Tours In Sapa

 Sapa Tour

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There are many things to do outside of Sapa town. The best way to take part in these activities is to buy day tours from your hotels or travel agents. For those who are physically fit, a hiking tour to the ethnic villages is an ideal way to see the remarkable rice terraces and to know-how the lifestyle of the various tribes are. And all those who adore waterfalls, there is a half-day tour to Silver Waterfall, Love Waterfall, and Heaven Gate. Fansipan Mountain tour is also offered for those who wish to scale the tallest mountain in Vietnam. A day tour to one of the ethnic markets outside Sapa is also an interesting thing to do in sapa besides trekking. These markets are only opened once a week. Here is a list of markets and the days they are open.

Phong Hai Market – Mon
Bac Ha Market – Sun
Cao Son Market – Wed
Lung Khau Nhin Market – Thu
Coc Ly Market – Tue
Can Cau Market – Sat

Ideal for: Adventure, Family, and Friends
Cost: Some activities are free of cost while others are chargeable.
Timings: All hours on specific days.
Staying Options: Budget-friendly hotels in and around town.

Further Read: Vietnam Visa For Indians: Everything You Need To Know Before Applying

The Sapa region is prominent for its picture-perfect mountain landscapes and the diverse cultures of many tribes such as the Red Dzao, Hmong, and Phù Lá ethnic groups. All these things when combined churn out a varied list of things to do in Sa Pa for every visitor. So book your holiday to Vietnam and explore this beautiful place for yourself.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Sapa

Which are the best things to do in Sapa?

Here are some memorable experiences you can indulge in during your visit to Sapa:
1. Experience the culture and tradition at Cat Cat Village
2. Enjoy boating in Sapa Lake
3. Hike up to Dragon Jaw Mountain
4. Explore Cau May Street
5. Visit Sapa Town Park
6. Enjoy shopping at Quang Truong Square

Are 2 days in Sapa enough?

If you have duration constraints, you can plan a trip of 2 days and explore all the major attractions in Sapa. However, if you can extend the holiday, then make sure to spend 4-5 days in sapa. This way, you can thoroughly visit tourist attractions and indulge in adventurous activities.

Can I visit Sapa during the current Covid situation?

Yes, you can plan a visit to Sapa during Covid times. All you need to do is to follow Covid protocols. Wear a mask when in public, sanitize your hands at certain intervals, and don't forget to maintain a social distance when required.

What is the best time to visit Sapa?

March to May is when you have sunny days, lesser chances of rainfall, and fresh air in Sa Pa. These weather conditions are perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

What is there to do in Sapa at night?

Here are some experiences that you can enjoy in Sapa during night:
1. Explore Sapa Night Market
2. Spend some relaxing time at The Hmong Sisters
3. Indulge in peaceful moments at Stone Church
4. Explore Cau May Walking Street
5. Stroll around Sapa Lake

Which is the best place to live in Sapa?

Muong Hoa Valley and Fansipan Mountain is the much-loved place to visit around sapa that offers you stunning views and absolute greenery where one can choose to settle in.

Which is the coldest place in Sapa?

Sapa is the only place to have snow in Vietnam in the winter. This distinguishing feature attracts a lot of people choosing Sapa to learn in their Vietnam tours. Stay anywhere in Sapa to have fun.

What can I buy in Sapa?

Brocade as Sapa is famous for colourful handicrafts. Medicinal herbs, local apple wine, and Muong Khuong Chutney are a few products you can purchase.

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Category: Things To Do, Vietnam

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