Sapa is a small town in Lao Cai province and lies in a beautiful valley near the Chinese border. Sapa is always ranked on top in the list of the best destinations in Vietnam that tourists should not miss when visiting Vietnam. What makes Sapa become famous like that? The answer is very simple: magnificent scenery and a diverse mix of ethnic cultures in the countryside make Sapa become special in the eyes of travellers.
Sapa is surrounded by Hoang Lien Mountains, which have the French nickname “the Tonkinese Alps.” Fansipan is belongs to these mountain and considered as "the Roof of Indochina" at 3143 metres.
Unlike the other hill tribe villages, when the foreigners come to Sapa, their first impression is that the architecture of Sapa looks distinctly European. This is because of nearly 100 years, up until 1954, many French people come to live in Sapa to escape the tropical heat in the other parts of Vietnam so they built a lot of houses and resorts here.
Sapa is the home of many ethnic people such as the Tay, Day, H’mong, Dao, Xa Pho…The H'mong and Dzao people are the largest ethnic groups in the region. The Red Dao are the most eye-catching people because of their impressive appearance of scarlet head-dresses with woollen tassels and silver trinkets, all made by hand and very expensive if you want to own their dress. The most numerous are the Hmong people, who make up over one third of the district's population. Hmong women have very skillful hands, they sell their products made by themselves for many days like embroidered indigo blue waistcoats, bags, hats, and silver jewellery in Sapa town or when following the tourists on the tour way.
Sapa is a great place to go shopping to buy something different for souvenir. If you're looking to escape the tourist buses, head a bit further afield to Bac Ha to visit Bac Ha market on Sunday.