The sleepy nest, which was Sapa a few years ago.The village in the north of Vietnam is now in every guide book. The people from the mountain villages have become accustomed to tourism and business-minded sell their goods in their colorful and strange alien-looking costumes.
Nevertheless, Sapa is still a special place – as most Vietnamese are also the mountain rice people: In the steep slopes of the mountains they have beaten narrow layered rice terraces slice by slice that stretch for miles in all directions.
Established as a hill station by the French in 1922, Sapa is the one place in the northwest where tourism is booming. It’s now firmly on the European and North American package-tour circuit, and well-equipped trekkers are a common sight around town.
The town is orientated to make the most of the spectacular views emerging on clear days. It overlooks a plunging valley of cascading rice terraces, with mountains towering above on all sides. Views of this epic scenery are often subdued by thick mist rolling across the peaks, but even if it’s cloudy, Sapa is still a fascinating destination, especially when local hill-tribe people fill the town with colour.