Trekking In Sapa

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Trekking In Sapa

Trekking in Sapa

If you’re travelling all the way to Northern Vietnam, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity of trekking in Sapa. This is, after all, one of the most scenic regions of Northern Vietnam. This picturesque frontier town is known for it’s rice terraces with sweeping mountain vistas. If it’s trekking opportunities you are looking for then the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam are certainly not going to disappoint. You will find a wide range of trekking spots from leisurely strolls to more pressing routes. Depending on your trekking ability and skills, you can choose the trekking route which is most suitable. What ever you decide, trekking in Sapa certainly provides a magical experience to any holiday

Pack light

From personal experience packing light when trekking in Sapa is a great idea. Carrying the bathroom sink around with you isn’t much fun as the day progresses. Items such as towels and bedding are not necessary. If staying with a local family, ask if there is anything you should need to bring. Most hotels and smaller guest houses provide mosquito nets.

Trekking in Sapa
Ethnic tribes people


Trekking in Sapa requires sturdy footwear. Depending on the level of trekking you choose,  you may be taken “off-the-beaten-track”, quite literally. A pair of running shoes (Trainers) with good support and grip are perfectly fine. If you’re planning something longer than a 2 day trek, like say the summit of Mount Fansipan then hiking boots might be worth considering. A pair of sandals (flip flops) are great for the end of the day, providing your tired feet with a little more wiggle room after a long day of trekking in Sapa. There are numerous of shops around Sapa that both rent and sell trekking gear should you need anything.

Snacks, Water & Sun-cream

While enjoying your trekking in Sapa you are certainly going to get a little hungry at some point. Moods can start to decline quickly once hunger sets in. There will be stops for lunch and dinner, but you have no control over those times. Bringing a few snacks and some water with you will provide a much better experience on your trek. Also it is worth remembering that you are going to be outside for long periods of time. Hopefully the weather will be great. The sun in Vietnam can be very strong, pack some sun-cream and perhaps take a hat.

Trekking In Sapa
Ethnic tribe girl

Trekking Types

Easy Trekking

Opting for an easy trekking route will provide a brief understanding of Sapa. You will experience meeting local ethnic tribal residents while admiring the beautiful natural vistas.

Departing from Sapa town, expect a leisurely walk to the Muong Hoa Valley. You may have the opportunity to see the highest peaks of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, including Fansipan Peak. A suspension bridge then leads you uphill to Y Linh Ho village. Here you can expect to meet the H’mong people and enjoy a closer look at their daily activities. After two hours of trekking in Sapa you will reach Lao Chai, a large village of the H’mong people. and then Ta Van- the area where Zay communities gather. An easy level trek of this kind should last approximately 3.5 hrs depending on your specific trek.

Trekking In Sapa
Vietnamese woman

Sapa medium trekking

The route for Sapa’s medium trekking is quite similar to the easy one. Expect to have a few more hours walk through Cat Cat Village, locating near the bottom of the deep valley, right at the foot of Fansipan Peak Typically you would then head to Muong Hoa valley. Muong Hoa valley is an old village home to the Black H’mong people where you can discover not only many fascinating facts about their daily activities but also their rich culture and unique architecture.

Trekking in Sapa
Fansipan Summit

Sapa hard trekking

For many people one thing at the forefront of their mind while trekking in Sapa is Fansipan Peak. Trekking to the top of Fansipan Peak- Indochina’s Rooftop will take at least three days to complete. It is considered the most challenging route for travelers. Follow the itinerary of passing Cat Cat Village, crossing Muong Hoa River and trekking upward for almost 7 hours to reach the first campsite at an elevation of 2300m.

While trekking through the bamboo forests and arrowroot plantations, you may encounter some difficulties hiking as the terrain from the first campsite becomes steeper.

The third day of your trek is when you climb to the peak of Mt. Fansipan, at the height of 3143m. This is what is known as summit day. Due to the dense bamboo forest, the final part will take up to three hours, but from the peak, you can see the best panorama view of  Vietnam, it is certainly worth all your hard effort.

Trekking in Sapa – Written by Huyen Thi Tran

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