1 Day in Sapa Town, Vietnam

Wednesday March 30, 2016

Anike and I spent a full day wandering around the sweet little town of Sapa in northern Vietnam along the border of China. I first heard about Sapa a little over a year ago while reading a travel memoir titled, The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World. Before that, I had never heard anything of the place, but the scenic pictures alone were enough to convince me that it was a must-see.

After a full day of traveling from Seoul to Hanoi and an 8 hour train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, Anike and I decided to take it easy and have a free day to roam around the town. This meant no scheduled tours or obligations of any kind for our only full day in Sapa. We checked into the Sapa Elite Hotel (Address: 012, Hoang Dieu Str, Sapa Lao Cai), which I scored for only $7 bucks (regularly $32.52 a night)  thanks to the points I’ve accumulated by booking everything through Expedia.

It was nice to finally have a real bed to rest on, but the reviews on Trip Advisor and Expedia failed to mention that there was lots of construction and late night Karaoke sessions right outside the hotel. The temperature of the water was also fidgety and hard to control, but I’m grateful that everything was clean.

We grabbed a simple eggs and bread breakfast in town at a local restaurant, Nha Hang Ngon Sa Pa.




Bánh mì trứng thịt nấm (Bread with meat & eggs) 50,000 VND


Enjoying sinh tố xoài (fresh mango smoothie) 40,000 VND

The rest of the day was spent wandering around the local shops and getting approached by the local Hmong women who were trying to persuade us to purchase their handmade goods. Before coming, I had read about the touting and sales tactics of the Black Hmong women and children in Sapa. Because of this, I tried my best to overlook whatever they were selling because even a brief moment of eye contact was a cue for all of them to approach me with their goods. Despite the touting, the Hmong women and children are what makes Sapa so different from other parts of Vietnam.




We passed by this lady several times and she was extremely quiet and focused on her craft, which is what drew me in! I eventually bought small goodies from her. 



I took a much needed power nap in the middle of the day, got back up to go out for dinner and roamed around some more down every alley and street.


Dinner: steak fried rice with hardly any steak, lemon grass beef stir fry, watermelon & mango smoothies.


Thịt bò xào xả (Lemon Grass Beef Stir Fry)


Street treats.


1 of many cocks I spotted on our walk around town.


Street food


Street Market


Midday traffic


One of my favorite shots: Hang onto your weiner!


Vietnamese children walking home from school. 

The sun came down early and so did we.


We ended our sweet day with ice cream purchased from a man selling cones off the back of his motor bike.


10,000 VND for 1 cone of 3 flavored ice cream



4 thoughts on “1 Day in Sapa Town, Vietnam

  1. hi, this is Sebastian, JUST saw your tube video about your experience in sapa, confused, on the video it seems that u did a 3 days tour but here u stated that u took a 1/2 hour to lao chai.

    On the other website u stated u stayed overnight in ta van and then following morning u continued hiking but here u re saying that u booked a tour through a hotel for just a half a day until 3 pm, confused.

    Thanks, please see my questions I posted on your tube video, thanks a lot

    Happy new year 2018



  2. what month did u visit Sapa and what village did u like the most if u have to choose one? is it true all villages look similar or almost the same? I wonder if all villages look similar maybe one day in sapa would be enough? thanks a lot


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