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Vietnam: Sapa and beyond

– a former French Hill station in the cool highlands (1600m) is home to various ethnic minorites. Enjoy day walks to visit villages of Black Hmong, Dzay ( Giay) and Red Dao (Zao) communities. Remoter treks are also available.

Contact David Le Duc Tho for arrangements:

at his family run hotel in town,  Sapa Paradise View:

Other accomodations:

Lots of small and reasonable guesthouses in Sapa town.

More upscale include:

Chau Long 2 Hotel:  4 star with great view and quiet location.

Victoria Sapa Hotel:  beautifully appointed but not much of a view from rooms
Victoria Hotels also found in the Mekong Delta, Siem Reap and Luang Prabang

Baguette et Chocolat in Sapa – part of the Hoa Sua Training School for ethnic minority youth- a fun restaurant as well as guest accomodations –

Trains to Lao Cai for Sapa:

Most visitors take the overnight train from Hanoi- approx 9 hours.
There are several private train carriages of higher standards linked on to the government train including the Victoria Express Carriage.
Check out the various options:

The train travels north along the Red River arriving at the train station of Lao Cai which is right on the China border.  There is an option to continue by train right on to Kunming.

With an early morning train arrival in Lao Cai-  if on a Sunday, most visitors opt for a breakfast in Lao Cai and then head eastward first to see the traditional market at Bac Ha, or the smaller CocLy Market on Tuesdays, where ethnic Flower Hmong gather wearing elaborate dresses with colorful bands and leg wraps.  Also on this side of Lao Cai is the Chay River where a nice local boat trip can be done to visit the Fairy Cave.  Then, drive back through Lao Cai and up into the highlands to reach Sapa town.

Below breakfast and shopping at the Bac Ha market:

Rewards of travel in and after the rainy season are the views of green fields outside of Sapa

Red Dao villagers in Tai Pin village near Sapa.

Morning Mist and onward travel west of Sapa on the road to Dien bien phu.


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