Photographer's Note

Sapa - ON the beaten track

Sapa (also written Sa Pa) is a tourist magnet in the northwest of Vietnam.
There live several ethnic minority groups such as Hmong, Dao (Yao), Giáy, Pho Lu and Tay.
The city itself is not beautiful at all. Large numbers of new hotels are built criss-crossing each other. On arrival the city seems very confusing. But it's not expensive at all to stay there and you will find good restaurants.
The attraction of Sapa lies in the surrounding villages and rice fields built on mountain slopes.

Sapa isn’t big and it’s possible to walk from the center of town to villages like Cat Cat, Sa Seng, Hang Da and Ta Phin. You can also take a car from Sapa along the main road that runs almost on top of the mountain slope, let you drop off somewhere and continue on feet.
You can’t get lost ! Just be aware that the slopes are steep and that you need time (well, an older guy like me needed time).

It’s possible to stay for the night in the villages. There’s plenty of basic but clean accommodation. There are several eating places with simple but good food. After all, this is one of the top tourist destinations in the north of the country.
So one more time, I was shocked by the high number of foreigners that was hiking there. If you don’t want to see other tourists and you’re looking for real adventure, forget about this region.
But it is a beautiful area and not difficult to get there.

I arrived in Sapa early in the morning (with the night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and from there by bus). That afternoon I went walking by myself. Just without plan from one village to another. In my hotel I arranged a car that dropped me off along the main road and picked me up a few hours later on another spot. For the next two days I signed up for a trek. There are many travel agencies in Sapa and they offer all kind of treks.

The two-day trip began on foot from Sapa, led down various steep slopes along the rice fields and different viewpoints. The guide was a young woman, a resident of one of the villages. In the group we were with eight. Accommodation was together with another group in one very large room. Basic but clean. There were two showers and toilets. Along the way we eat in small eateries. Simple but tasty food.
The advantage is that the local guide can give you some explanation about the life in these villages and that you come to places you just would not find by yourself. Such hiking tours are inexpensive. For the money you should not let them.

The only downside as stated above is that this area is definitely the beaten track!
But since this is a photo site, most of the members just look at the pictures (well, at the main picture).
Yeah, there are some more in the workshop.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4529 W: 17 N: 10745] (43796)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2017-04-06
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/0.1, 1/21 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2017-09-09 23:46
Viewed: 805
Points: 42
Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4529 W: 17 N: 10745] (43796)
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