Coming to Sapa, visitors cannot miss the trekking tour (walking through the forest or mountain to villages) to discover the nature and life of ethnic minorities as well as admire the majestic beauty of terraced fields, mountains or waterfalls in here. Normally, the journey is combined with Homestay service and the total cost is about 80$ to 170$ (depending on the length of your trip). If it is the first you join such a journey, you will be surprised by it. We would like to share some information as well as the experience of trekking in Sapa below:
Trekking is a type of experience and exploration of the cultural space of the ethnic minorities. For a fun and impressive trekking trip, you should find out the information about the village, customs – habits, what to do and not to do when visiting the villages.
Besides, you should do the following steps:
- Study the cadastral map and the terrain of the destination in order to have suitable plan for the trip.
- Calculate the reasonable distance of moving to prevent from falling into dangerous situations.
- Watch the weather forecasts for precaution
- Prepare necessary documents if the trekking area is a border or protected area managed by a specialized agency.
Because the trip is mainly walking, you need to wear neat and cool clothing. One suggestion is that the clothes should have plenty of bags to hold some necessary things.
You should prepare a pair of sport shoes. This is a very necessary tool and it is determined whether the trip is convenient or not (absolutely not wear high heels or new shoes because they will be very uncomfortable). The material of the shoes is also airy, cool, waterproof and fast drying.
You will have to carry your luggage yourself during your trekking journey so choose a comfortable one. You should prepare a backpack with a belt to tighten to your back and a cushion in the trap to make your shoulder comfortable during the journey.
Food – Drink
A walking trip consumes a lot of energy so you need to prepare enough food and drink to replenish the body when needed. Some foods to bring include: Breads, cans of meat, sausages, snacks, many kinds of candies and cookies.
The medicine for common diseases such as: Cold, fever, diarrhea or fever… as well as antibiotics, vitamins is indispensable. Anti-cracking lotion for your lips like vaselin is also necessary.
The attractions of Vietnam Trekking Sapa
Walking around the town of Sapa
Let’s start your journey from the Sapa town’s center. As a peaceful and beautiful place, Sapa seems to be the same as Hanoi because there are also old buildings built in the French colonial period. You will only take a few hours to walk around this small town.
Discovering the cultural life of ethnic minorities
Sapa is inhabited by several ethnic minorities, of which H’Mong is the majority. When you come here, the ethnic women will accompany you around the mountains and introduce the brocades they make by themselves. You can easily communicate with them in English. This is a good opportunity to explore the culture and life of the locals in Sapa.
Conquering Hoang Lien Son Mountain
If you want a climbing tour, you definitely do not miss the discovery of Hoang Lien Son Mount. You will be able to admire the majestic views of the mountain and beautiful scenes appearing after every step. As a nature lover, you will be surprised by the beauty of the Hoang Lien Mountains. If you like shooting, you should not miss this place on your trip.
In addition, the natural landscape of Sapa is also prominent. You will be fascinated by the majestic beauty but also full of charm and poetic here.
Playing with local children
Children here have to work for the family. Normally, 7 to 9-year-old children will follow tourists to sell cheap souvenirs and jewelries. You should buy handmade embroidered bracelets rather than give them candies because at least this will help them get a meal during the day.
Watching the herds of cattle
Have you ever seen the white buffalo? If not, come here to see and learn more about it.
Exploring the local culture at your homestay
Staying in a homestay in Sapa is the best way to explore the life of people in the Northwest. The houses here will provide quite simple accommodations with a mattress, mosquito nets and clean toilets for guests.
Maybe not everything is comfortable but this is definitely a good opportunity to meet local people and enjoy regional specialties.
Finishing the day with amazing sunsets
Nothing is more interesting than watching the sunset from the top of the mountain. You will also find the town of Sapa hidden under the fanciful and attractive fog.
Some notes for the trip
Every year, Sapa has an average of 160 days with mainly cloud and fog which can cover up your view. The rain and fog will also cause many difficulties for the trip. If you do not want the journey to be interrupted, you should find out more about the weather before you start.
If you want to save money, you should book train tickets in advance at Hanoi Railway Station. The ticket price ranges from 18$ to 79$ depending on the types of train. After reaching Lao Cai Station, there are many buses for you to easily move to the Sapa town.
The taboos when visiting villages in Sapa
- When visiting the villages in Sapa such as Lao Chai – Ta Van, Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho and Ta Phin… of the Black H’Mong, Dzao, you absolutely cannot sit in the middle of the house and when visiting their home, you must comply with the instructions of the host.
- When seeing the black H’Mong or Red Dzao worshiping for the god or exorcism, you cannot participate in the ceremony because they do not welcome the appearance of strangers. The signal is: in front of the main gate of the village, it usually has a bunch of green leaves hanging on a solemn place of the high column that everyone can see and avoid entering).
- When playing with the children do not rub or kiss on children’s heads because the local people think that action will make children scared and easily sick.
- Do not whistle when watching the scenery because the people in here said that the sound will call devils to the village.
- Each ethnic house usually has the biggest pillar where the ghost resides, visitors do not hang clothes, sit back against this “soul” pillar.
- When talking to the landlord you cannot point your fingers forward. The H’Mong believes that the behavior is to express the disdain for the conversation.
- You cannot wear white clothes when visiting the village because it is the color of the funeral.
Above are some experiences about Sapa travel we want to share. We hope that the information will be helpful for you trekking trip in here.