Sapa Money & Costs

Vietnam is rich in tourism resources, abundant in agricultural products, cheap in various fruits, and low in price index, which is very suitable for tourism. Vietnam is also one of top budget travel destinations.

Sapa is a town located among the Hoang Lien Son mountains, also known as the Tonkin Alps, at an altitude of 1600 metres in North-West Vietnam province of Lao Cai (Lao Cai). Sapa is located almost on the border with China and 400 kilometers from Hanoi . It is a popular tourist destination, attracting with its magnificent mountain scenery, because it is surrounded by high mountain peaks, valleys, and beautiful rice fields. Also here you can meet many ethnic groups that there is a richly populated Northern part of the country.

A small note about the spelling of the city name. Often you can find spelling of "Vietnam" and not "Sapa". Moreover, such writing is found even in reputable sources and reservation systems. In fact, the name of the city is pronounced by locals as "Sapa".

The city was founded in 1910 by French colonists to break from too hot tropical climate, and attractive to tourists it was after 1993, when the decision was made about the development of tourism in the area. Until Sapa was forgotten by all the place, living only by agriculture.

Stay in Sapa

Sapa, in the first place, is a great place for Hiking, trekking, travel on Bicycle or motorbike in the area. A beach holiday here, of course not. Tourists visit Sapa to see the famous "Love Market" to visit in surrounding the town are villages, enjoy views of the famous rice terraces or climbing the highest peak of Indochina - Fansipan mountain (Fansipan). A special touch to your stay in Sapa give exotic excursions, including visits to ethnic villages, meeting families and staying in the homes of rural residents - homstead.

Surrounding Sapa was a cradle for many ethnic groups, eight of whom still live here. To distinguish one ethnic group from another by the color and patterns of traditional clothing are usually embroidered typical of a particular group patterns. Some villages are almost medieval appearance, although some people have a mobile phone and Internet access. Basically, they live a harsh and poor life. Special interest tourists and travelers cause residing in the district of the ethnic group Hmong (Hmong) and the ZAO (Dao), which are an integral part of city life. The Hmong are more numerous, the illiterate, are a way of life not using the achievements of civilization. They are the poorest ethnic group in the region. You can recognize them by the outfits in dark blue. Another group of Dzao or ZAO... But find out when I get there.

But it is not necessary to consider Sapa as a place for recreation for the whole period of your trip. Rather, it is simply a tourist destination, where you can go for a few days, but not for another week, unless you aim to study in detail surroundings. Besides, the town itself, even though it's not that small (population about 10,000), has little to offer tourists. Though the tourism infrastructure is developed and in the city, you just really have nothing to do after one or two walks along the streets, exploring several city attractions, and trip to the local market. No other entertainment here. So, first of all, Sapa is worth considering as a place to send in Hiking trekking or for climbing mount Fansipan. Visit Sapa without trekking excursions just pointless and uninteresting. By the way, to make trekking here can not only tour, but also independently, and it is even more interesting. Read more about how to do it 

Visit Sapa, easier and more convenient to tour from Hanoi (cost from $ 100, including train tickets, transfer, hotel) but easy enough to do this yourself, and it will be much more interesting. Already in the Sapa will be possible to buy trekking tour in the area and even in neighboring towns and villages. In the city there's a huge number of hotels, travel agencies, developed the hire of motorcycles and bicycles. All the necessary information for independent visit you will find in our guide to Sapa, by the way very complete and accurate in Russian.

Weather, tourist seasons in Sapa

Sapa is located on 1,600 metres above sea level, and therefore is mostly cool (mean annual temperature 15 to 18°C), and in the winter in January and a light snow falls. At the same time, the weather here is special: one day you can feel the change of four seasons: morning and afternoon cool, as in spring and autumn; in the afternoon Sunny and cloudless as summer; and at night it gets cold in the winter. Going to Sapa, don't forget to bring warm clothes, even if you go there in the summer, and this is no joke. Don't forget warm outerwear and warm underwear to comfortably sleep at night.

The dry season in Sapa - from January to June. In the winter months, cold, the temperature drops to zero and may even snow. The humidity is high and are constantly fogs (160 days a year). Summer is considered the rainy season.

However, a visit to Sapa should be tied more likely not to weather (you sunbathe here at any time of the year is not possible), and by the time of harvest of rice. Best time to visit Sapa before or during the harvest in September-November or in the spring. The rest of the time, unfortunately the weather is not particularly favorable. Often in summer, especially in August, rains fall, and splendid landscapes are hidden. Winter (November to February) are cold and always foggy, and rice terraces brown.

Shopping in Sapa

Sapa is not a place for shopping. There are no shopping malls, buy something only small shops and markets. There are a couple of supermarkets in the area of the lake and a shop with household appliances and if you need to buy food, water and beverages, it is best to do that here, as in the shops the prices for tourists are inflated by almost two times. For example, in a supermarket a bottle of water costs 10,000 VND, and the shop is very near you will sell it for 20 000. In General, prices in Sapa are higher than in the resort cities of Vietnam, so shopping is better to postpone.

However, it is not surprising, something you can buy. The city has many shops with clothes and trekking shoes at low prices. For example, pants-transformers are 250 000 VND; synthetic thermo-sweatshirt – 130 000 VND; windbreaker – 130 000; jacket with Gore-Tex membrane – 340 000. It is sold in the shops and the stores under the guise of Made in Vietnam and these things really are made in Vietnam and supplied in sporting stores around the world, including in Russia.

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Daily Expenses in Sapa

Daily Expenses in Sapa

How much does a trip to Sapa cost? Is Sapa expensive? The average Sapa trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these Sapa prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

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