It was a while since my last post about wandering Ha Giang province from my 14-day-trip from North to Central Vietnam. I came back to my routine of busy studying and woking. However, the memorial trip always occupy a place in my brain’s warehouse and I really want to share it to everyone on my blog. I write about the trip not only to store my memories but also to share to anyone who interests in wandering the mountain area at the Northern Vietnam in general, or Sapa in particular.
The area of Sapa was discovered and developed by the French in the early 1900. With the cool, fresh atmosphere and beautiful landscapes, many people compare Sapa with Dalat and called it Dalat of the North Vietnam. However, a special point that differentiate Sapa and Dalat is the ethnic minorities that live around Sapa. Together the ethnic people bring a very special thing to the land (even I don’t know how to describe it) that I really enjoy when come there. Maybe it’s the culture or the traditional activities of those people or whatever, the land is special to me in it way.
Around Sapa city centre, there are 3 big villages Cat Cat, Ta Phin, and Ta Van that have a lot of visitors come when they travel to the area. I have been in Ta Van and Ta Phin so I can show you what I did and where I went. For the last village, I will try to tell you things that I know or heard from (and will update later next time I visit 😉)
But first, let have a quick talk about the central Sapa..
Me and my friends (the team 😎) came to Sapa city at around 7p.m. It was night, and we were hungry so the top thing that I remember was Sapa’s night market with a lot of foods for BBQ..
A warm night with BBQ to start a new journey 🥓🍗🍖 at Sapa, 🇻🇳✌🏻 . 🎊Happy Lunar New Year 🎉 . #thebroadlife #happylunarnewyear #sapa #market #vietnam #foodporn #food #foodie #dinner #instadaily #instafood #instagood #chicken #vietnamesefood #foodgasm #bbq #mealprep #vegetables #eatingfortheinsta #yummy #delicious #eat #foodphotography #fooddiary #enjoy #hungry #tasty #foodstagram #happynewyear #foodlover
.. and after my stomach was full of foods, I could notice many restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, souvenir shops, etc. on my ways back to the hotel. Sapa is not a quiet but kind of a vibrant city with a lot of activities and tourists. By the way, there were also some places that I visited: Sapa’s central market, Cau May Street (Western Town), the Central Lake, and the Stone Church (I lost the image 😢).
There are some places around Sapa city such as the Golden Stream, Love Waterfall, Fansipan Legend, and the Mountain Fansipan if you want to check out.
Now let’s go to the villages.. 🙂
Ta Van Village
Ta Van is the home of some ethnic minorities, typically the Giay and the Mong people. The village is 8km away from Sapa centre and becoming a hot destination that attracts many visitors.
Ta Van village has a lot of activities for visitors to enjoy, starting with playing as an ethnic minority and wandering around the village for taking pictures to trekking on a trail that lead to the ancient-rocks field. There is a campsite at the ancient-rocks area and also a stream for anyone who want bathing. If you don’t want to stay outside under the cold weather of Sapa, there are also ‘homestays’ in the town with cozy furniture and decoration, and a chef to cook your meals. By the way, those homestays serve breakfast for visitors. You can fulfill your stomach before start discovering the village 😉
Start to discover Sapa. The ancient-rock field in the picture is at Ta Van village, 1 of the 3 big villages around Sapa, 🇻🇳 . #thebroadlife #travel #sapa #vietnam #scenery #landscape #mountains #instatravel #instadaily #instapassport #instagood #instago #travelgram #lovetotravel #traveldiary #tbt #roamtheplanet #neverstopexploring #wonderful_places #mytinyatlas #beautifuldestinations #travelblog #photooftheday #picoftheday #traveladdict #postcardsfromtheworld #wanderlust #explore #igtravel #travelphotography
Tips to travel Ta Van village:
- The checkpoint to Ta Van village start working at 7 a.m. If you go to the village before that time, you can save VND 75,000 for the entrance ticket.
- Homestay at Ta Van village is really cool to stay, but they only have crepes and instant noodle for the breakfast (as I can remember) 🙁 If you wanna stay there, click here for booking.
Ta Phin Village
Ta Phin is the village where I spent the most of my time at Sapa. It’s not a popular place with activities for tourists, but a typical place to discover the culture, and daily life of the ethnic minorities, especially the Red Dao, in the area (in my perception).
Thanks to a friend that we met in Sapa city, we had a chance to discover the life and culture of the Red Dao. Red Dao people locate a lot in Ta Phin with the village centre where they offer many services for visitors to enjoy, and the rest is where we stayed, in their homestay, to have the same feels of the locals and learn more about their culture, and life. Honestly that is where I have the most experience and memorable stories.
It was worth every penny of me to spend time there. I enjoyed good foods and liquor made by the locals, took herb-bathing of the Red Dao, did hiking a lot of hills in the area to visit people who live there, held on hand the most beautiful but top poisoned foliage, luckily attended a local wedding, drank till drunk, learnt more about culture, gained more experience, and especially spent time with my friends for memorable moments.
15 dishes made from black pigs for each table in the Red Dao wedding 🤵🏻👰🏻 As the tradition, a couple have to treat a lot of people in their wedding. So they usually borrow the pigs of people in the village to make the meals. Then raising the pigs and working to pay off the debts after the marriage❤️ . (click to link in my bio for full story)
Tips to travel Ta Phin village:
- We stay at Mrs. Phau’s homestay, you can contact her at +(84)1675056281 if you wanna stay there. She has a son, A Van, who also open a homestay. You can contact him at +(84)1256806308. Both homestays are good with a warm bed, amazing dinner and breakfast, and 1 time taking herb-bath a day. Furthermore, they can pick you up (by motorbike) at your hotel at Sapa city centre.
- Some of the culture and tradition of the ethnic minorities are very different with us, so research clearly and be careful when you come there.
- The ceremony of the Red Dao’s traditional wedding last very long, you shouldn’t stay there to join the whole celebration (unless you really like it).
- It’s great to do hiking around the area but be careful with the beautiful leaves or flowers there, it can be poisoned and dangerous.
- Try to pack stuffs as less as possible. Check the weather for your clothes. If you want to go out at night, a flashlight is must needed. And a pair of hiking shoes is better.
- If you need a friendly tour guide who can speak English, contact my friend Tung at +(84)989192962, he can help.
- And you should try the grilled sweet potato, it’s really good there 😉
- ..hm… if I remember anything I will update here 😅
Cat Cat Village (to be updated soon..)
Cat Cat is a village of the Mong people which is located about 2km away from Sapa centre. This is a very common place for tourist at the area. Coming to the village, there are a lot of beautiful scenes for you to take pictures, also some activities such as making jewelries from bronze or silver, brocade weaving, and discovering the Mong’s culture and tradition.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to visit the village so I don’t have pictures to show 😑 But it’s great to leave this place for the next time so I have a reason to come back to Sapa LOL 😝