Last week we wrote about where to travel in Vietnam in winter. One place we failed to mention? Sapa!
Winter is certainly not the best time to visit Sapa, and visitors are often ill-prepared for the cold temperatures, but that isn’t to say you should miss it! There are even a few reasons why you might find Sapa more enjoyable in winter and fewer crowds is one of them.
Sapa scenery in Winter
One of the main reasons people are inspired to visit Sapa is the beautiful terraced rice paddies etched across the mountains. So, people often wonder what they’ll get to see in the winter without the rice terraces in action. The answer is that Sapa’s mountains are stunning in their own right and you may even get to see them tipped with snow! The empty terraces are eerily picturesque and the forests make for lovely hiking all year round. Winter is also the chance to spot wildflowers. February is cherry blossom season in the region and if you book a tour with our local guides we will take you to the most beautiful and hidden places to enjoy the beautiful scenery during the winter.
Sapa homestays in winter
The local people of Sapa are one the biggest reasons for you to visit Sapa anytime of the year. With over 50 ethnic minorities in Vietnam, you can meet up to 15-20 different tribes in Sapa, including the Black H’Mong, Tay and Dzay people. The local people in Sapa are incredibly friendly and will take good care of you at their homestays. Keeping cosy by a fire, surrounded by family, with a home-cooked feast of local produce and a few glasses of ‘happy water’ will keep you warm even on the coldest night!
Hiking in Sapa in winter
Along with homestays, people come to Sapa for the trekking. Trekking is usually a fair weather activity but we would actually recommend hiking in Sapa in winter because the temperatures are cooler. Hiking is a great way to warm up and if you are lucky, you’ll get a homestay foot bath at the end of your trek! The visibility for views may not be as good as in spring or autumn but there is something about fog clinging to the tops of mountains that really makes a place seem magical.
Transportation in winter
We recommend for you reach Sapa by overnight train so that you can have good sleep on the train, warm with a flat bed and blanket. This will get you ready for your first day trekking in Sapa o your homestay. Coming back you can choose to go by bus, which is only 6 hours and passes through some lovely scenery. You then arrive back to Hanoi in the evening and can have a good sleep in the hotel.
Sapa during Tet holiday
Sapa is a good place to escape the mayhem of the Tet holiday. Tet holiday in Vietnam normally happens during February. During this time people will travel all over Vietnam to celebrate with their friends and families and many shops, hotels and restaurants shut down for days (sometimes weeks!). While it can be fun to observe the traditions and celebrations, it is a difficult time to travel, especially in Hanoi. But, as the ethnic minorities of Sapa do not celebrate the Viet holiday, everything will be running as usual. Staying in a Sapa homestay for 1 or 2 nights to avoid the main Tet holiday is a great idea!
How to book a Sapa trip in winter
Lily’s Travel Agency can provide plenty of options to visit Sapa during the winter, depending on your travel style and desire for certain activities. From traveling in the less busy area with Mao’s sister and staying in Mao’s homestay to beautiful hotels in Sapa town or a mountain retreat like Sapa Clay House or Topas Ecolodge.
With all kinds of transportation options and programs, we will help you to have a amazing time in Sapa – whatever the weather!
Interested? Book now and take advantage of our winter offers!