Sapa is an attractive town located in Vietnam’s remote Northwest Mountains. Sapa is famous for both its rugged scenery and its rich cultural diversity. Sapa is also known as an incredibly picturesque town that lies in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in north-western Vietnam.
Many ethnic minorities live in and around Sapa such as: H’mong, Dzao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa and Xa Pho. The most prominent in town are the Red Dzao, easily identified by the coin-dangling red headdresses and intricately embroidered waistcoats worn by the women and the Black H’mong, distinguished by their somewhat less elaborately embroidered royal blue attire.
Despite of its commercialization recently, Sapa is still a must-see destination. Nestled high in the Tonkin’s Alps near the Chinese border, Sapa was built as a French hill station on purpose to avoid the heat during the summer. On these days, weekends are still the biggest draw in this bustling small town. Visitors from the capital come to Sapa for a glimpse of the famed Saturday night "Love Market", treks to local hill tribe villages, or an ascent of Vietnam's highest peak, Mount Fansipan.
Topping out at 3,143 meters, Fansipan Mountain has become the most challenging place for professional trekkers coming to Vietnam. There are a variety of options and routes that will see one to the summit.
The best times of the year to visit Sapa are in the spring and fall when gold rice is ready to be harvested it will draw a marvelous scene you can never imagine. Early summer tends to be rainy and muddy in while winter temperatures can drop to the freezing mark. Weather really does make a difference because the spectacular scenery is all but blotted out when there is cloud cover and rain. However, the infamous Sapa mist does make for some incredible photographs.