A Journey to Remember: 2 Days 1 Night in Sapa

It is probable that Sapa is a familiar name with everyone, especially those who love traveling and discovering the natural beauty of Vietnam and Vietnamese. Sapa traveling as well as exploring the landscapes of Vietnam has been my dream for a long time. I also had searched and referred the experience of many people in its expense, preparation, or the most beautiful season to go to Sapa. As my knowledge, Sapa is most beautiful in September and October when you are immersed in the yellow of terraced fields with the cool air of autumn, beautiful nature with romantic and gentle features.
My trip lasted only 2 days 1 night, but I tried to select the most outstanding destinations. I will explore a few more in the next trip to the land that is known as the land of fog. If you can not go by yourself, you can click on the following link to book the appropriate travel programs. I will share some experience in traveling, room reservation and detail review of my trip below, hope that it will provide more useful information for reader who want to make a plan for Sapa tour. Firstly, let see what attractive features that Sapa posseses!
Coming to Sapa for peaceful and beautiful rice fields and unique traditional customs.
To follow easily, I will introduce a little about Sapa. Sapa is located at altitudes of 1500 to 1800 meters above sea level, therefore, its atmosphere is cool all year, and it is extremely cold in the winter, you even see the snow. Because of having a such climate, Sapa is always attractive to tourists, especially the young who come to enjoy the Elysium in the pleasant atmosphere and the virtual landscape, charming mountains. It is suitable for couples who want to exchange their love, escape from the noisy and dusty place of the city. You should spend 3 days and 2 nights suitably to explore the beauty of Sapa and relax comfortably. For those who have only 2 days of weekend, you can take advantage of night sleep in the coach to get the whole two days of exploration. For making the plan, you should make clear and choose which season is the most suitable for Sapa tourism. 

1. When is the best time to travel to Sapa?

Sapa is always fascinating all seasons, but do you know what the most beautiful time is to travel to Sapa? Based on my experience, I will help you choose the time to Sapa as below:

Spring is constantly my favorite season, indeed Spring in Sapa is the time when you can admire the whole scenery of forests, mountains, trees in lush green, and including the color of the forest peach, white color of plum flowers. 

During the period from December to January, you can admire ice or white snow covering villages. Although this season is very cold and the road is quite slippery, it is the worth experiencing time that bring back a strange but wonderful feeling, especially tourists from Northern site. For those who has little knowledge of Sapa traveling that want to explore all the best places, you can access the following link to find a tourist guide with a very suitable price.
Snow falls in winter in Sapa.
Sapa in mellowy rice season in September to October when the rice terraces are brightly yellow, air of autumn is cool and quite cold with golden sunshine spreading on the slopes, is another great time to travel to Sapa which is suitable for tourists who love virtual life. To thoroughly immerse yourself in the golden color, you go into the villages such as Lao Chai, Ta Van, Ban Ho, are places having many beautiful terraced fields.
Lao Chai Village is famous for rice terraces
Lao Chai Village is famous for rice terraces 

Certainly, you have had your own selection of what season is the most suitable to make the schedule, but how to get there for saving of money and time? Please read the suggestions below.

2. Vehicle to Reach Sapa?

Sapa is far away from Lao Cai 38km and from Hanoi 378km, you can choose from a variety of transportation options: by reclining berth coach, by train or by motorbike for those who love backpacking tourism. 
  • Transportation by train: It is the safest and most comfortable means of transport for tourists who are car sick or families with children. There is a variety of chairs to choose as follow: soft chairs, hard chairs, beds. Normally, ticket from Hanoi to Sapa is always available, but you should reserve in advance the return ticket to avoid selling out. Its price ranges from 160,000 vnd to 600,000 vnd. It takes about 8 hours to transfer.  Moreover, the train only stops in Lao Cai, to continue to Sapa, you need to buy bus tickets, on average 30 minutes per trip with the price of 50,000 vnd. 
Traveling to Sapa by train
  • Transport by reclining berth coach: There are a lot of companies for this kind of transportation with many driving schedules, so you can go at any time, some favorite ones such as Sao Viet, Hung Thanh, Sapa Express. I booked an one-way ticket with the price of 240,000 vnd. To take advantage of night, the coach departs from 11 pm, appears in Sapa in the early next morning. However, we had to change another coach when we reach Lao Cai. Although the condition of the road is not good (winding and sloping), we were not afraid of it; perhaps as we still felt sleepy and it was still dark. It took approximately 1 hour to stop in the center of Sapa town, near the lake. At that moment, it was still foggy and quite cold. 
Taking bus to transfer from Hanoi to Lao Cai is another good option.
  • Transport by car: Recently, there is a high quality Interbus Valentine car with love double bed that is so nice. It has not only the beautiful private rooms, but also free movie service. However, its price is quite expensive about 680,000 vnd/ double cabin for the students. Certainly, I will set up this kind of car in my next trip.

It was dimly bright that our coach stopped in Sapa. An owner of Blue Sapa Hotel was waiting for inviting us, after a deal, we came to his hotel with the price of 300.000 vnd per room under his guide, then relaxed until the next morning. By the way, we hired motorbike here that costs 120.000 vnd per day. For Sapa exploration freely, you should hire the motorbike which is the most convenient and cheapest means (self-pay for petrol). Another way is using tramcar or taxi for those who can not go by the motorbike, however, its price is fairy high and many one-way roads, so waiting for taxi is also quite long.
Using motorbike is the most convinient ways to get around in Sapa.

In Sapa, there are countless hotels for you to choose, let's take a look at hotels with beautiful view but having good price for you.

3. Which Hotel Should You Choose and the Price?

The cost of renting accommodation in Sapa is quite reasonable with prices ranging from 200.000 -300.000 vnd for cheap motels. If your budget is larger, you can select 3-star or more hotels with prices ranging from 500.000 vnd to 1 million which is also depended on the time you travel to. If it is on holidays, it can be added about 200.000 -300.000 thousands vnd per room. In addition, it is more expensive that you go on weekend which are Friday and Saturday.
I would like to introduce to you the affordable hotel with beautiful view in Sapa town:

- Sapa Jade hill resort and spa 
- Paos sapa leisure hotel
- Sapa Charm
- Freesia hotel 
- Holiday sapa hotel 
- Nomadtrails boutique 
- Chapa Dew 
- Lasapa hotel
- Sapa Maison
- The view sapa hotel
- Nature view hotel
- Sapa_mountain queen house
- Fansipang terrace coffe and homestay
- Vimico hotel
- Hoa Mai Trang 
There is free buffet breakfast served in some hotels which is very plentiful and delicious, you can both eat and enjoy the wonderful view.

You can choose to stay in Homestay at the price range of 100.000 vnd. Ta Van, Lao Chai, Ta Phin, Cat Cat are places having many homestays most. This is a good choice for students who want to save money and explore the life of ethnic minority. However, it is quite inconvenient to you for transportation. To stay here, you have to be brave to go out because it is dark, and almost no lights. I stayed in the hotel near the town which is so easy to go out.
Spending a night in homestay in Cat Cat Village
After choosing a hotel, then food is an indispensable part for the gourmets. Moreover, it is not easy for the choice of food that both is delicious and cheap.

4. The Cost of Meals and Good Restaurants in Sapa

The cost of meals in Sapa depends on the individual needs of each person, the average cost of meals for 2 days and 1 night in Sapa is 1.5 millions vnd which is quite comfortable.

Coming to Sapa, you do not miss the specialties here such as black pork, sturgeon, salmon or mountain baked meat. Below is the dining places and some good restaurants in Sapa for your reference.

- A Phu 15 Fansipang Restaurant 

- Hai Lam 72 Luong Dinh Cua

- Viethome restaurant is located at Tue Tinh – Fansipang intersection

- Hello 38 Las Vegas Fansipang Restaurant

- Thang Co A Quynh is located near Luong Dinh Cua junction - Ngu Chi Son - Thach Son

- Sapa night Market located in Luong Dinh Cua

- Love Market, walking street in May bridge.

- Xuan Vien Restaurant: No. 8 Xuan Vien, Sapa, Lao Cai. It is spacious, cool, clean. There are many travel companies to take guests to eat. We ate hot pot of sturgeon and salmon with the price of 600 thousands vnd for 4 people but we had tried to eat all.

- Song Nhi Restaurant: No. 258 Dien Bien Phu Sapa or another is on the way to Thac Bac ...

- It is certain that you have to go to eat grilled food in Sapa. There are two eating houses in Cau May Street which are clean, bright and delicious. Prices are from 10-30 thousands vnd / stick, or in the Bo Ho Sapa around the Ngu Chi Son roads.

- Rice noodles with anabas, vermicelli with crap: Address at 171 Thach Son. The price is 35 thousands vnd per bowl with both fish and snails. Fish meat is sweet and tough, many snails, we were ful until lunch with only a bowl. Generally, we love it.

- Nam Dinh Traditional Pho: Address at 78 Luong Dinh Cua Street, the food is cheaper than in the center.

- Suoi Bac restaurant: address at 30 Tue Tinh, good food, reasonable price, many people praise up.

- Original Hue beef vermicelli restaurant is located at 28 Thach Son Street

- Hung Tuyen Restaurant at 318 Dien Bien Phu Street

- Quyen Huong restaurant is located in Dien Bien Phu Street, specializing in chicken, dracontomelon flavored duck hotpot, omelette ... reasonable price

After meal, continue to travel throughout Sapa, some following tourism places are listed for your reference. 

5. Activities and Where to Go in Sapa?

- Ham Rong Mountain: in the center of town, stairs up immediately behind the Stone Church. It is a place where is airy possessing beautiful landscape with typical species of Sapa and many other rare orchids only here... The price of visiting Ham Rong Mountain is 70.000 vnd / adult and 20.000 vnd / child.

- Fansipan Legend - rooftop of Indochina (far away from town 3-4 km) with populations of projects such as cable car possessing 2 world records, amusement park, 5 star resort. It looks like you are immersing in Heaven on the clouds with many interesting activities.
The top of Fansipan Mountain

- Bac Waterfall – Silver Waterfall (From Fansipan Cable Car Station, you go about 6km), this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sapa, you will be immersed in natural enchanting view with the hill of pine and lush green vegetation around ... From above, its current of water falls down with white foam and the sound of birds like you in the realms of the scene. Ticket price is 15.000 vnd / adult and 10.000 vnd / child.
The glorious Silver waterfall in sapa
- Love Waterfall – Vang Stream (passing Silver Waterfall - 2km, then buy tickets for walking that follows the Golden Stream about 1.5km, you will see the Love Waterfall). It is a great chance to admire a beautiful natural picture and listen to the beautiful love story associated with the name of the waterfall. Tickets are 40.000 vnd / adult and 20.000 vnd / children.

- Heaven Gate - O Quy Ho Pass: from Love Waterfall go about 4-5 km. You can a beautiful sight from this Pass. It is a winding road with the mountain on one side, the deep valley in another covered by clouds above the mountains making feel like floating between the sea of clouds.

- Cat Cat village (2 km away from the town), this is the village of the Black Hmong ethnic people, where there is a beautiful landscape with terraced fields, waterfalls and hydroelectric plants built by the former French. Coming here, everyone can be free to take photo, especialy for those who love virtual living, it will be more flickering if you rent ethnic long shirt. Ticket price is about 40.000 vnd/ adult – 15.000 vnd/ child.

Lao Chai - Ta Van – Ancient rock area is far away from the center town 10 km. In fact, there is Cau May (Cloud Brigde) which is so famous, therefore you (women) can be “so deep”. It is so great that La Dao Coffee is very near this place. It is the favorite trekking route of foreigner passing through the villages of black H Mông and Giay ethnic people that you can get more knowledge about their extremely cultural life. Entrance fee is 70.000 vnd. 
The famous May Bridge in Sapa
- Ta Phin (far from the center of town about 12 km) where is still quite wild, is the village of the Dao and Hmong living with beautiful scenery of terraced fields, caves full of mystery and background. The culture is full of national identity. You also have the opportunity to bathe folk medicine that is very beneficial for health. Ticket price is 20.000 vnd / person

- Bac Ha market (about 70 km from Lao Cai) – the kermess opens only in every Sunday. It is a cultural beauty that anyone should come once in life. Besides, you will enjoy deeply mountainous cuisine such as: Thang co, Men men, Sour Noodles ... It will be a strange experience for you when visiting Bac Ha market. 
Visit Bac Ha market opening in every weekend

- Visiting China via Hekou border gate (in the center of Lao Cai city). This is a small but modern town. You need to make a passport and some simple procedures. It is noted that you can only go and return in the day, maximum is 9.pm, not overnight, otherwise you will be accused of intentional immigration and fined heavily. This is the place where you can go shopping and enjoy the unique Chinese food, the employees can speak two languages and you can use both types of money that is very comfortable to discover.

In my opinion, you should spend your free time to visit Bac Ha market, if not, you can return to Lao Cao to visit these two points on the appropriate occasion.

Basically, I have just introduced to you where you can relax for night in Sapa, some highlight points to visit and go shopping in Sapa. Now, let see my schedule of these 2 days of trip. 

We made use of the night to travel that we could spend time sleeping in the car and early the next morning could fully explore Sapa.

6. My 2 Days Itinerary

First Night and the next day

We booked Sao Viet reclining berth coach at 789 Giai Phong, route at 11 pm. The car arrived early 10 minutes, because we booked in advance for a long time so we could book two seats next to each other, you travel in pairs, you should choose the last seat that is preferable. When I got on the coach, I checked web and facebook, talked with my partner, then I went to sleep. At 3 a.m, the coach stopped in Lao Cai, then we transfer into another coach driving to Sapa with the length of 30 km. After a short of time, we reached to Sapa Like. It was quite cold and foggy in the early morning. 

It just stopped at the hotel that we saw the owner of the hotel standing in front of the guest to invite, so after a deal, we booked a Sapa Blue hotel for 300.000 vnd per night which is located in the center of Sapa town on Thach Son Road, the owner carried us to come back, after that we checked in and rested, storaged, slept a night to restore our energy, then got out to play all day.

Until 7 am, we went down hiring motorbike and prepared to go to breakfast. Gasoline was still quite good so no need to refuel. The owner was quite enthusiastic to add a guide paper with a map of the play around in detail.

From the hotel go down the slope, it is countless breakfast stalls, we ate at a “Phở” restaurant because of it charming view and many customers. The taste of Pho was quite delicious with the price of 40.000 vnd/ bowl, the promotion of hot tea drink as much as you like, good tea but too hot, but it is so great if using it in the cold weather of Sapa. 

Continue on our car and ignore the plan to fly the cable car to Fansipan. Before that I also find cheap ticket hunting and luck how to meet you properly ceded. She told me that before buying tickets that go to the place where the forgotten voucher at home, so too is the place to come back. Normally, the cable car is 700.000 vnd per person, but it is only possible to buy 2 tickets at half price.

The, we traveled by the motorbike and sit on the cable car to Fansipan. We also hunted cheap ticket and luckily, we were ceded it from another person. She said that because of forgetting voucher at home, she had to return, even reached to Sapa. Its normal price is 700.000 vnd/ person, we just took one half to get the ticket. 
Riding Sapa's cable car to Fansipan.

We followed the signposts, acrossed the fairy steep and winding paths, then we had also reached to the cable car station. There were not so many customers on this occasion, so it was quite quickly to enter, before that I also took pictures of the new station, then changed tickets.

It was an interesting feeling that I could experience Sapa cable car in the firt time which has been keeping two world records. There were only us and another pair in the cable car, so we were comfortable to take photos without fear of other people.  The feeling was so great, the scenery was all collected in sight, we could see both the Hoang Lien Mountain with sapa town, clouds hovering over the mountain peaks, sometimes the cable hanging through the clouds, in general it is very difficult to describe, and it is so pitty if you do not try the cable car once. 

It was a very large halls selling a lot of souvenirs and items to top Fan like raincoats, gloves ...when the cable car reached the stop station. Because of seeing the white mist, therefore many people bought the raincoat, but I thought it was not necessary. Leaving this hall, continued to climb 600 steps to reach the top, the weather outside is quite cold so you remember to wear a thick jacket, we wore the two feather coats, so we felt quite warm.

The fog was white that we could not see everything in front, but we were not very wet. The stairs are quite steep and the air above is also thin so we just climbed and took a break, there were also many elders that climbed very well on the road. Finally, we climbed to this place after 20 minutes. It was so happy that we conquered the roof of Indochina, hehe. Next, the indispensable part was to capture to satisfy the feeling of being touched hands on the top of Fansipan.

Took a photo and then we went back down, we could admire the amazing beauty when sitting on the cable car again that was full happy. It was noon when going down, then we went to the restaurant and rested on our hotel. 

Back in town, we stopped at the restaurant - a few hundred meters from the hotel and enjoy the sturgeon hot pot. The price is about 600.000 vnd, it is ful for two people. For cartilage, not bone so a disk of this type of fish is very much. 

We finished our meal and came back to the hotel to rest.

The surrounding spots were visited in the afternoon. Unfortunately, Ham Rong Mountain had been being repaired, so we went through Cat Cat. There are two checkpoints at Cat Cat station. Don’t stop at the first station when you are invited by someone to rent ethnic goods because you also have to walk more. Let buy ticket when you reach to the second station and continue your path. You can stop your motorbike at the middle of the village. Ticket price is 50.000 vnd per person. There are also plenty of stalls and virtual life scenes around the entrance to the village, so you will take a long time to capture. For us, we also did like this, after coming back, it was dark and we decided to have dinner. 
Coming to Cat Cat Village to experience the traditional lifestyle of ethnic minorities.

Based on the Internet review, we chose A Quynh restaurant in Thach Son where is very beautiful in space, friendly in staff, tasty food. We tried a lot of food such as fried chicken, Sapa cabbage, fried bamboo-tube rice and so on all costed 400.000 vnd. In general, this restaurant is the best choice for you when you travel to Sapa. 
We love café, so after that we went to find a café to enjoy. Fansipan Terrace was our selection which is not far from the town with a wonderful view.

We sit at Fansipan Terrace just outside the town, the restaurant has a beautiful view, thanks to the pots and flowers on the side of the balustrade it creats a refresh and spacious feeling. Sitting in this air among the poetic space, I just wanted to sit here and did not want to leave. 

The second day

In the morning, we had breakfast and buy gasoline. There was only one gasoline station according to the owner of the hotel, but it was not far, we just turned back and moved about 700 – 800 meters. 

Then, we continued to Lao Chai, Ta Van, went straight on Muong Hoa Road you will reach to this place. However there were many bad conditional roads so you must drive carefully. Ancient rock area and May Bridge are located here. To stand on May Bridge, you have to walk with the fee of 10.000 vnd / person, who do not buy tickets, only captures from a long distance. We sent the motorbike at the stall nearby and then went down to play, shooting comfortably. Children of ethnic people are available to invite you buy something for them. Remember to ask the exit because the entrance way is the one-way street.  

We had lunch at Duyet Hoa restaurant at the beginning of the market which is famous for the taste and cheap price. Drivers usually come here for meal. In fact, it is very clean and spacious. I took only 50.000 vnd for my meal but I was so full.

At noon, we came back the hotel to rest, we got up in the afternoon and went to see mountainous view. We stopped at Gem Valley Coffee at the beginning of Cat Cat village which is quite famous and almost no one to Sapa without sitting here. It is decorated with many green trees, vines, pots of flowers in blossom green. The outside view is so surprising - "Wow", in front of your vision is the valley with terraced fields, and a majestic Fansipan in a further distance. You always want to sip a cup of coffee or hot drink and sit all day to enjoy this view. The price of bevarage ranges from 100.000 vnd to 150.000 vnd for 2 people, it is not cheap but it is so worthy to enjoy such a stunning view.

We sat until the dark, then we returned to eat baked food in the town. It is a famous place for grilled and baked food. We came into a stall nearby the market and Stone church because it was quite crowded. In fact, we wanted to eat grilled meat, chicken, corn by ourselves but it took a long time, so we ordered them to grill. We (including 2 people) just took 400.000 vnd for the tasty barbecue. 
Sapa Stone Church in the evening

Then, we moved to Sapa Stone Church, captured, came back and checked out the hotel. At 9 p.m we got on the coach to return Hanoi. 

So, it is the end of our Sapa trip in 2 days 1 night. Basically, we love this trip. The condition of the coach was quite good, the hotel was suitable. Especially, Sapa people is very friendly and enthusiastic. The weather was so great. We hope that we can come back in near the future to explore all Sapa. 

Travel expenses (2 persons): reclining berth coach (two ways), renting motorbike in 2 days, gasoline, hotel, ticket fare, cable car’s ticket, coffee and food; and some other expenses. Totally we spent about 5 millions vnd for 2 people. It was indeed a great and comfortable trip. 

It is a trip that I would like to share with you, if you are not convenient to prepare for Sapa tour, contact Far East Tour office, there are many experts and professional teams with many years experience in control Sapa route of coach will advise you to get the most suitable schedule. An other option is that you can choose combined tour which includes Sapa in the list of destinations such as these tour packages: 


Everything about the schedule, hotel or homestay or transportation, meals and destinations worth to visit in Sapa just contact Fareastour, you just hold your luggage and go. It is simple to chat through the orange frame on the right or contact information below:

Telephone: (+84) 24 3747 5876
Hotline     : (+84) 917 620 980
Email       : sales@fareastour.com.vn


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