The top popular places in Sapa to visit

Many beautiful places in Sapa can make your journey more exciting and memorable.

Now, prepare your luggage with a good camera for lovely pictures to explore this area. Let’s go!

1. Villages of mountainous ethnic groups

1.1. Cat Cat Village

cat cat village in sapa
Cat Cat Village

Located in Muong Hoa Valley, about 10 minutes by motorbike or car from Sapa town center, Cat Cat Village appears as a beautiful small village. Coming here, you will immerse yourself in the typical cultural colors of the Hmong village, an ethnic group in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam.

Ancient houses, natural waterfalls, and surrounding majestic mountains create a beautiful picture of the forests. In particular, you can also admire the colorful brocade costumes that are typically charming.

The owners of the village are the H’Mong people, who established this region with the purpose of preserving the cultural features of their ethnic group.

Please see more detailed information about Cat Cat Village here!

1.2. Ta Van village

ta van village in sapa
Beautiful rice field in the village

A relatively pristine village, Ta Van village has become a place to preserve the beauty of the Mong, Red Dao and Giay ethnic groups. Ta Van is only about 12km from Sapa town center, so it is convenient to travel here by almost all popular vehicles in Sapa.

We most enjoyed walking through Ta Van village to admire the scenery and the daily lives of the local people. Besides, this place is also on the list of places to see beautiful terraced fields in Sapa, which gives a lovely view for taking pictures.

Currently, about 300 households live in the village, of which 95 households operate accommodations in the form of homestays. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to stay right in Ta Van village to immerse yourself in the local lives and better understand the interesting cultural features of ethnic communities in the Northwest region of Vietnam.

1.3. Ta Phin village

red dao house in Ta Phin, sapa
A red Dao house in Ta Phin

Like other villages in Sapa, Ta Phin village nestles in the middle of majestic, vast green mountains and forests. For a long time, this place has become a favorable place for the inhabitants to build houses, establish villages, and preserve the cultural identity of the Dao and H’Mong people.

Ta Phin does not have outstanding terraced fields but attracts travelers because of its rustic nature and the mountainous people’s sincerity and friendliness.

You can visit many places in Ta Phin, such as caves, brocade villages, and bamboo forests. In there:

  • The brocade cooperative was established with the mission of creating jobs for many older women in the village. At the same time, it supplies souvenir brocade products for Sapa and export.
  • Bamboo forest: this location is very suitable for photography and nature exploration. Because this is a new destination of Ta Phin village, to make traveling and sightseeing more convenient, ask a local to guide you.

1.4. Muong Hoa Valley

muong hoa valley sapa
Muong Hoa Valley in Sapa

Located only 6km from Sapa Stone Church in the center of Sapa town, Muong Hoa Valley is considered “the flower in the middle of the Northwest mountains and forests.” The lovely small houses are nestled on cliffs or among layers of surprisingly beautiful terraced fields.

Here, you will see rice planted close to the wall of the house, golden rice sprouting all over the alleys and entrances. It’s because the people here appreciate every piece of land and space they have.

Standing on the floor of a local house, you will feel like you are living on a vast rice field, immersed in gentle nature. Typically, the fragrant rice scent wafts around you, giving you a feeling of fullness and warmth during the ripening rice season. What a wonderful moment!

Interspersed among the lush fields are small and winding roads stretching to the mountainside. From afar, they look like a touch that creates perfection for a beautiful, heart-touching picture of nature.

2. Natural tourist attractions and entertainment

2.1. Fansipan Mountain

fansipan mountain sapa vietnam
Fansipan Mountain

Fanxipan mountain peak, the highest mountain peak in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, was invested and built by Sunworld Group to become the most prominent tourist destination in Sapa.

Outstanding activities at Fansipan include visiting temples, admiring the vast mountains and forests, and taking the cable car to admire the scenery from above.

To visit Fanxipan Mountain, you need at least half a day, and your health is good enough to walk and climb stairs.

See more about exploring Mount Fansipan here!

2.2. Sapa Heaven Gate

o quy ho heaven gate sapa
From O Quy Ho Heaven Gate

Sapa Heaven Gate is on top of O Quy Ho Pass, also called O Quy Ho Heaven Gate. This place is often on the list of amazing natural destinations for tourists who like to explore the mountains and forests.

Only about 10km from Sapa town center, O Quy Ho Heaven Gate has an altitude of 2,035m above sea level. The road leading to the heavenly gate crosses the majestic mountainside and looks poetic.

To the eyes of a wanderer, the whole winding road looks like the skillful cuts of a talented designer, against the background of a blue fairy dress that is forever enchanted under the clear sky.

Visiting Heaven’s Gate in the dry season, you will be delighted to see the endless scenery of mountains, forests, and peaceful valleys in the distance. On the contrary, coming here during the rainy season, you will have the opportunity to watch the clouds flying under your feet, looking like you are in the middle of a fairyland.

From the writer’s perspective, the architecture of Sapa Heavenly Gate does not bring much impression. However, the natural scenery here is incredible. The winding and poetic road, the vast green rolling hills and mountains, and the white clouds playing right under the feet all leave the traveler with an unforgettable attachment.

2.3. Sapa terraces

rice fiels in sapa
Beautiful terraced rice fields in Sapa

Terraced fields are one of the beauties of indigenous people’s lives, contributing to the charm of Sapa.

There are many places to visit the terraced fields at Ta Phin Village, Muong Hoa Valley, and Lao Chai Village. Among them, Muong Hoa Valley is the most prominent address. The terraced area here is up to about 100 hectares. All are planted and carefully cared for by indigenous people. 

At the same time, the local government is also introducing many policies to encourage the protection and maintenance of the terraced field system as a unique method to make Sapa tourism more impressive.

Late September and early October are the most suitable time to travel to Sapa. During this time, the rice fields enter a full ripening season. The entire mountainside is dyed golden, creating a wonderful backdrop for a series of beautiful photos.

2.4. Hoang Lien National Park

hoang lien national park in sapa

Belonging to the highest mountain range in Southeast Asia, Hoang Lien National Park contains various natural wonders with strictly preserved biodiversity.

Hoang Lien National Park has over 2,840 species of plants and 555 species of animals – including about 347 species of birds.

Located at an altitude of from 700 meters to 2,900 meters above sea level, Hoang Lien National Park possesses majestic mountains, waterfalls, and many beautiful streams. This park deserves to be one of the rich biology destinations to explore pristine nature in Sapa, Vietnam.

However, there is a note for tourists: infrastructure for tourism development in Hoang Lien National Park has not focused on investment. The paths into the forest are still difficult to move on. Therefore, you should choose a company that specializes in organizing picnic and trekking tours to support your journey to explore this national park.

3. Architectural, cultural, and historical sites

3.1. Sapa Market

sapa market in the town
Sapa Market. ©Thomas G./Pixabay

The markets in Vietnam are always places containing unique beauty in the daily life of indigenous people. Sapa Market is no exception. Located right in the center of town, about 1.6km from Sapa Stone Church, this market is very convenient for tourists to visit traveling in this city.

The market is open every day of the week, from 6 am to 6 pm. This site is the main center for trading and food supply for the Sapa people, so all activities are always bustling.

The special thing about the Sapa market is the specialized products from the mountains and forests sold here in abundance, such as typical herbal remedies of mountainous ethnic people, wild ginseng, wild boar meat, buffalo meat, corn wine, etc.

In addition, brocade is sold at the market as an outstanding product, imbued with the cultural imprint of Northwest Vietnam. This product has a strong attraction to tourists. Visiting Sapa market, you can combine shopping for unique gifts from this beautiful mountainous region.

3.2. Sapa stone church

Sapa Stone Church

Located right in the center of town, Sapa Stone Church has become a favorite stop for many tourists. This location is suitable for taking commemorative photos for your trip to the beautiful mountains and forests of Northwest Vietnam.

Compared to churches in Vietnam, the Sapa church does not have too many differences or highlights. The typical feature of this place lies in its history of formation and development as well as its location in Sapa. At the same time, this is also a spiritual place to convey faith to the souls of the Sapa people.

At night, the church’s area is also a busy gathering and entertainment spot for young indigenous people.

3.3. Sapa Museum

sapa museum lao cai
©Sapa Museum

Although Sa Pa Museum is relatively small in scale, it contains rich cultural beauties of ethnic minorities in the Northwest region of Vietnam.

This place introduces you to an overview of the life, house architecture, and main festivals of the Mong, Dao, Tay, Nung, etc.

Sa Pa Museum consists of only a 2-storey building with a relatively small area, located inside the Sapa Tourism Promotion Center. Thus, this museum scale has not been worthy to contain the entire massive culture of the ethnic minorities in this area.

3.4. Sun Plaza Sapa

sun plaza in sapa
Sun Plaza Sapa

Sun Plaza is the newest and most modern shopping center in Sapa town, with a European architectural style. Typically, clocks stand out at the main gate, referring to the Big Ben tower in London.

This architectural building has a bright yellow color that is eye-catching and ideal for taking photos. Therefore, Sun Plaza has become a favorite shooting location for many young people when traveling to Sa Pa.

In the writer’s opinion, the best angle to take photos is from across the street, using the Sun Plaza building and the main gate with the clocks as the background.

Another shooting angle for better lenses is from the location in front of Sa Pa church. From this position, you can have a larger view of almost the entire Sun Plaza Sapa building.

Most regions have various places to explore, and Sapa is the same. However, Vietnamdrive’s team only selected the top tourist destination of this region. We hope this introduction will give a little value for saving you time in researching places to visit in Sapa.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.