Views 380
Nature & Adventure

Must-try experiences when coming to Sapa

Translated by Bing
Sapa is beautiful and always attractive no matter what time of year you visit. Not only has poetic scenery, beautiful nature, irresistible delicious cuisine, Sapa is also a land of culture and colorful indigenous values.

To make your trip to Sapa more complete, let Migo suggest it for you must-try experiences when coming to Sapa.

1 - Take the cable car to the top of Indochina Fansipan

One of must-try experiences when coming to Sapa is to explore the roof of Indochina Fansipan. In the past, this journey was only for those who are healthy enough and it took 2-3 days to reach the top of Fansipan.  However, now, with only 15 minutes, you can easily explore this fascinating place.

Besides, you can admire the majestic nature and enjoy check-in with an extremely impressive tourist complex along the way from the cable car station to the top of Fan in the Sun World Fansipan Legend complex.  

Conquering the "roof of Indochina" is always a journey not to be missed. Photo: Petrotimes.

Travel from town to cable car station 

From Sapa town center, you have two ways to get to the cable car station.

Option 1: From the central stone church, you travel about 3km to Muong Hoa funicular train station at Sun Plaza. Then move up to the cable car station by funicular.  The train has a relatively impressive European-style design. Sitting on the train, you can just enjoy the beautiful view of Muong Hoa valley outside the window. 

Travel time: 6 minutes – Ticket price: 100.000vnd/way

Option 2: Travel by motorbike taxi or on foot. For those of you who want to enjoy the road more, explore the beauty of Muong Hoa, you can rent a motorbike taxi (50,000-100,000vnd/time) or walk (take about 30 minutes). 

The beautiful Muong Hoa valley along the route of the Muong Hoa funicular train. Photo:

Cable car journey to the top of Fansipan

The 6292.5m long Fansipan Cable Car connects Hoang Lien Cable Car Station to Fansipan Station. Rated as one of the world's leading safe cable cars, children to the elderly can rest assured when using the cable car. Through 4 sides of the cabin glass doors, you can overlook and fully explore the beauty of Muong Hoa valley below at any time of the year. 

From Fansipan station, you take a funicular train or climb about 600 more steps to reach the top of the mountain with a milestone of 3142m and enjoy the majestic beauty as a foreground. 

Especially on this journey, you can discover more beautiful stops in the middle of the sky such as Bich An Zen Temple, Kim Son Bao Thang Temple, heavenly gate, giant Amitabha Buddha statue ... It is a sacred blend between ancient and contemplative spiritual tourist destinations and majestic nature that makes people suddenly calm down, touching the endless peace and tolerance of mother nature. 

Along the journey of climbing Fansipan are many interesting stops for visitors to explore. Photo:

Notes when preparing to explore Fansipan

Fansipan peak is located at an altitude of 3143m above sea level, the altitude and terrain make the weather here relatively harsh, colder than Sapa town. Especially, if you travel to Sapa in 12 or 1 months, you can also encounter snow and frost. 

Therefore, to prepare for the perfect trip to explore Fansipan, you should monitor the weather situation about 3 days before going to prepare well. At the same time, you should prepare soft-soled sneakers, sufficiently warm clothing. Do not forget to bring cash to be able to experience dining and fun in Fansipan. 

Cable car opening hours: 8:30 – 16:00 daily 

2 - Bath of medicinal leaves of the Red Dao ethnic group

Mention must-try experiences when coming to Sapa it is impossible to ignore the Red Dao tobacco leaf bath. 

This is one of the esoteric male remedies of this highland ethnic group. A "genuine" pot of medicinal leaf bath water must be bath water cooked with fresh tobacco leaves, foaming white like soap, and "drunk" that makes every visitor experience it swoon. 

The Red Dao Medicinal Leaf Bathing is one of must-try experiences when coming to Sapa. Photo:

To have a standard pot of bathing water, the Red Dao people have to go to the forest to find all the necessary ingredients and cook them on the same day. A Dao leaf bath remedy is made from at least 10 different leaves. In particular, complex remedies may require up to 120 herbs. In order for each type to be effective, it also needs different preliminary processing: some use fresh, some dry stars ...

In particular, the tobacco leaf bath is a bathtub made from Pumu wood. This wood not only has a pleasant scent, but when resonated with hot bath water, it will help herbs promote their best use. 

In order to have a pot of medicinal leaf water, the Red Dao people had to go to the forest to find enough "esoteric" medicinal cascthaor ingredients. Photo:

After a day of going out, exploring Sapa, soaking in a warm medicinal leaf bath water both relaxes the tendons and dispels fatigue, blood circulation, especially comforting the bones and joints, there is nothing more pleasurable. 

The perfect place for you to enjoy this experience is to Ta Phin village – the famous Red Dao village in Sapa – about 12km from the town. In addition, you can experience staying in Sapa town at the spa system of hotels. 

Note: Drunk people, women who are pregnant or are in the "red light" period should not use this bath medicine. In particular, if you are bathing with a feeling of lightheadedness, grogginess, drowsiness, you should stop, rest for about 15-20 minutes, the body will return to normal. 

Reference cost: 120.000 – 250.000vnd / time

3 - Join a Sapa love market

If traveling to Sapa on weekends, one of must-try experiences when coming to Sapa It is to participate in a love market. 

In many Northwest lands, it is said that Sapa love market is the oldest origin. However, the exact time no one remembers. Only know that, in the past, once a week on Saturday, Sapa market met. At the end of the market, it is also late afternoon, unable to cross the forest to go home, everyone gathers together, gradually, on the 7th night the market becomes a place where men and women meet to learn and date. 

Sapa Love Market is located right in the center of town, along with Sapa gradually becoming a tourist destination, the love market also becomes a tourist attraction. 

Here, visitors can see girls in colorful national costumes with silver rings, silver buttons and small silver coins sparkling on dress shawls. The smiles, the traditional dances of ethnic people.

The boys would dance or sing a confession song in the local language and then give commemorative gifts to the girl they noticed. The girl did not want to give up her gifts and was held back by her hand, this movement was a characteristic expression of fierce confession. Until a girl has a boy's belly, she will put an engagement object in that person's hand—be it a ring, bracelet, or comb. 

After the crowd has dispersed, the girl will be taken by 2-3 friends to send to the man she has chosen. Then they took each other to private places. Through the love market, many lovebirds have become husband and wife together forever.

Explore Sapa love market as one of must-try experiences when coming to Sapa on weekends. Photo: Vnexpress

When: Saturday evening 

Admission: free.

4 - Go to the market and shop

To fully enjoy the beauty of the land and people of Sa Pa, feel the breath of Sapa life, you definitely cannot ignore the colorful Sapa markets and attractive flavors. This is also one of the indispensable stops in any Sapa tour.

Going to Sapa flea market is always one of must-try experiences when coming to Sapa and if you don't go, you'll definitely regret it. With the abundance of cultural life, each locality of Sa Pa, with different ethnic communities living, will have different markets for visitors to explore.

Sapa Town Market – Sapa Typical Market

Location: Sapa Town

Sapa Market is the market of the H'Mong, the Dao people living near the town. The market is most crowded every Saturday and Sunday. The market operates from 6h00 until 18h00. This is a place to trade a variety of local goods from clothes, brocade fabrics, towels, hats, bags, bracelets, wallets, agricultural products such as vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, cat apples, tiger macadamia ...

There is also an area selling Northern medicine, Southern medicine is herbs such as crane mushrooms, tam ventricles, imitation neck lam ...

Sapa town market is one of the attractive destinations in the misty town. Photo: @doquocvan0105

5 - Enjoy winning the fixture

Referring to Sapa cuisine but ignoring the victory, it is a huge shortcoming. Therefore, enjoying this dish in a bold Sapa space will definitely be one of the must-try experiences when coming to Sapa. 

The easiest place to see this dish is in the traditional markets of compatriots. Or in Sapa cuisine restaurants. 

The traditional winning dish is cooked from horse meat. Later the dish added beef, pork, buffalo meat. The cooking method of each region is also different, with different spices and flavors also have their own characteristics.

Once upon a time, all the meat and offal of horses were cleanly treated and then put in a hard-boiled pan, chopped into squares. Then, all this meat is put in a pan with spices. The secretions are boiled, placed on top of a pot with invasive water and stewed. Today, the cooking method has changed but not much, especially the traditional spices are almost kept intact, preserving the characteristic flavor. 

First-time visitors may not be familiar with the taste of these typical Northwest spices. But surely after just a few times, you will not be able to forget, especially when enjoying the taste of soft sweet horse meat scooped from the boiling pan, combining a little spicy chili, a little throne of victory spice. Especially taking more sips of corn wine will create an irresistible attractive taste. This is definitely one of must-try experiences when coming to Sapa. 

The winning taste for those who are used to it is easy to cause "nostalgia". Photo:

Address to eat thang co delicious: Bac Ha market, Thang co A Quynh (15 Thach Son), A Phu Sapa restaurant (15 Fansipan) ...

Average price of a winning bowl: 80,000 – 100,000vnd/bowl 

6 - Attend the Gou Cao festival of the H'mong ethnic group

And coming to play Sapa, you should definitely at least once try with the locals to participate in the Gou Cao festival.

This is one of the most important traditional festivals preserved by the Mong ethnic community in Muong Khuong, Bac Ha, Si Ma Cai, Phong Hai town of Lao Cai province for many generations.

Usually, a Hmong family has few children, has only children, has no children, or has sick people, does not do well ... The Hmong people would go to Gao Cao Hill to ask the gods to grant them children, health or favorable business. The prayer came true, they would perform the ceremony of Gou Cao to give thanks to the gods. 

Each year, people will plant a cane tree for the homeowners to take turns taking the tree and hanging objects from the tree to get blessings and loot. This festival is usually held in January every year and usually lasts up to 3 days. This is one of the major festivals of community scale with many fun activities, and at the same time closely associated with the spiritual and spiritual life of the Hmong people.

In 2012, the Gou Cao festival of the Hmong people in Lao Cai was included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage – a traditional type of festival that is being preserved and maintained to pass on to future generations. 

Participating in the Gou Cao festival, visitors can not only participate in community activities of the indigenous H'mong. You can also participate in many games such as archery, spinning, swinging, horse jumping, bridge, coward dancing, bucket singing ...

For those who love to explore the beauties of indigenous culture, Gou Cao Festival is definitely one of must-try experiences when coming to Sapa

Participating in the Gou Cao festival, visitors can participate in fun activities of indigenous H'mong people. Photo:


Above are 6 of the must-try experiences when coming to Sapa. Migo hopes the article has given you more suggestions to make your trip to Sapa with your family and relatives more meaningful.  

If you still have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact Migo immediately for the most detailed advice on the tour schedule of Sa Pa, places to eat in Sapa or experience traveling to Sapa on your own.

Image source: Multiple authors
You may also like