How to spend 48 hours in Sapa, Vietnam
Spare two days in your Vietnam trip to go see Sapa up in the North. With spectacular cascading rice terraces in every shade of green and brown, mountains and valleys to conquer, exciting flavors to explore and a beautiful culture to get to know, you may not want to leave.
Day One - Morning: City Time
Enjoy an hour or two exploring the Sapa Market and talking to the locals about their culture. A good many of them will speak English, learning from the tourists themselves. Make sure to try any of the dishes that catch your eye for breakfast. After all, you’re in foreign territory, so you should leave the thought of morning bacon and eggs behind. Afterwards, carry on exploring by foot. Check out other attractions in town worth visiting, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral of Sapa, Cat Cat village and Ham Rong mountain, where, at the foot of it, you can find numerous flower gardens and a beautiful forest of wild peaches. All of these attractions are only a few minutes’ walk from each other and the center of Sapa, so you can easily spread your morning around them.
Afternoon: Off to Heaven
Day Two - Morning: Fancy What?
Afternoon: Visit the H’Mong
Even if trekking is out of the question for you right now, you can still enjoy a lot of what Muong Hoa Valley has to offer. Hop on your motorbike and head to the Ancient Stone Sculpture area in the valley, at Hau Thao village, seven miles (12 kilometers) southwest of Sapa, with over 200 stone blocks in various sizes, with ancient carvings still remaining undeciphered to this day. After, take some time to visit Ta Van village and talk to the locals. Some may even take you to their home for a meal or offer to walk you around to spots where you can find beautiful views of the valley. Luckily, due to the influx of tourists, the locals around here can speak English pretty well. If you prefer to do it yourself, just bike down the few roads you find, and you will surely come across hidden gems.
Before it gets dark, it’s time to head back into town. If you happen to be around on a Saturday, after you get back, head over to the Sapa Love Market. You will get to witness how the ethnic minorities in the region date, which is very different from typical movie nights with significant others. Local couples hang out with each other, talk, laugh, sing and play traditional village games with one another. At the end of the night, they part ways and promise to see each other again. Just like you will when you leave Sapa.
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