Trekking in Sapa
Sapa is an old French Hill station nestled amongst the highest mountain range in Vietnam . Sapa is well known for its outstanding natural beauty and the variety of hill-tribes people that live in the area. As a destination it offers many adventure outdoor activities, cycling and trekking are the most popular of these.
Trekking in Sapa which is required various fitness levels. For short treks of one to two days in Sapa, which are suitable for almost anyone. However, for longer treks than two days, an adventurous nature and good physical fitness is needed. Most of trekking tours are departed from Sapa town by foot. Just 15 munities walk out of the town you will be admired by rolling mountains, deep valley , magnificent terrace paddy fields and lush green forests as far as the eyes can see.
During your trek, generally you'll be able to have chances to explore the daily life of ethnic minority people or sometime walk through the wilderness with a rucksack (meaning there will be lots of sweating and in the rainy season, or if you are unlucky enough to catch a cloudburst, getting wet). The sanitary facilities during this part of your Sapa trip will be primitive to say the least - on the hike, behind the 'bushes' or in this case bamboo trees - and the primitive overnight accommodation while visiting the mountain people (on a wooden floor with a sleeping mat) are not everyone's favorites ! It may not be the most comfortable experience of your life, but it will definitely help to make your trip something to really interesting experience
Apart from the daily physical demands of your trek activities, an essential part of trekking is being a part of the village atmosphere in the morning and evening. In the evening, you can relax and take in village life from beside an open fire, a real highlight of any Vietnam trip. Your guide will prepare your evening meal made from locally produced ingredients. You might even be able to have a chat with the locals using your guide as an interpreter. Your guide not only knows the region like the back of her hand, she also knows the local languages of the different mountain peoples and can tell you all about their culture.
While you're trekking, you'll sleep in a local house. Currently electricity and running water are supplied to most villages in Sapa, the other facilities such toilet or bathroom are met basic conditions and your bed is foam rubber mattress with mosquito net being placed on an upstairs floor of the house and separated with others by curtains.
When trekking you will be able to take few important items on your back. Generally if something is not necessary you can leave at your hotel in Sapa town and remember to lock your valuables away in the safe. Good quality, well broken-in shoes, with a good tread, are an absolute must during your trek. Toilet paper and other day-to-day essentials are not always available for purchase en route.
For local people, every foreigner that they come across is rich. If you really want to give something to the local people, you're better off making a donation towards the village school. You can talk to your tour operator or your guide about arranging this during your Sapa trip.
The best period to do the trek in Sa Pa is from September to November. The weather at this time is nice and relatively cool with little or no rain. The next best period is between February and April, this is spring season in Sapa, when the unpaved roads are not yet turned into a mud bath. Whenever you choose to travel in Sa Pa, you're bound to have a great time.
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