Destination Travel Rambles Travel Tips Vietnam ~ A Different Orient

Explore Sapa – Chillax or Adventure?

Sapa is small yet magnificent and… laidback but larger than life. Modern comforts are available in this traditional and very-much natural environment. Am I making sense or do you find me contradicting? Well, before I confuse you further, I meant exactly what I mentioned above.

Sapa
(Soft-trekking at Sapa, dated Feb 2012)

Lying at an altitude of about 1650m, the area of Sapa is about 67.864 ha with population numbered less than 50,000. People always say Singapore is a little red dot that is akin to being a “pea”, so with Sapa being slightly smaller – you kinda get an idea of how “BIG” the place is. Despite its “small” size, an abundance of lofty mountains, beautiful valleys, unique fauna marks a natural landscape that brings the term “magnificent” to mind.

So… are you the type of traveller who likes to chill and relax or do you have an adventure in mind? The extremities of available activities for visitors match the versatility of Sapa! Beyond an idyllic vacation and an adventurous trekking expedition, one can also travel to Sapa for a good cause (such as volunteering or providing daily necessities and school supplies to needy children etc).

Being the greedy type who likes to try all alacarte dishes in tiny portions variety in a restaurant, the same goes for travel activities that I pursue. Below are some activities you may like to consider in Sapa:

Sapa Rooms Boutique Hotel
(Sapa Rooms Boutique Hotel, dated Feb 2012)

Give a little! Live in style while doing good deeds! Do you know you can contribute and help improve the lives of local ethnic minority by staying at the right accommodations? Besides the smaller-scale local guesthouses, the Sapa Rooms Boutique Hotel provides modern comfort for weary travellers while helping the local community. They call this the boutique hotel with a big heart, and they do so by engaging locals as guides, using local artworks for decoration etc. Part of their profits goes to school funding for children in Sapa.

Sapa Church
(Sapa Church, dated Feb 2012)

Sapa Town
(Sapa Town Square, dated Feb 2012)

Through Hmong Eyes
(Exhibition at Sapa Museum – free admission, dated Feb 2012)

Explore and discover! Be it visitors’ attraction areas (i.e. Sapa museum) or a local commune place (i.e. Sapa church), just walking around town gives us a chance to discover and experience beyond what travel guides promise.

Back Alley Sapa Cafe
(A coffee place at some back alley, dated Feb 2012)

Chill and relax. Of course, you can CHILLAX at some nice air-conditioned cafe or a restaurant with beautiful mountain view (plenty available!). However, my choice would still be that unassuming back alley cafe that we stumbled upon by chance. A simple set-up with makeshift stools and tables, we had our caffeine fix while basking under the sun. Pure AWESOME-NESS.

Soft Trekking at Sapa

Sapa - Cherry Blossom
(Cherry Blossoms in Sapa reminds me of Japan. Dated Feb 2012)

Soft Trekking at Sapa II
(Soft-trekking around Sapa district, dated Feb 2012)

Let’s get adventurous! Before you start getting excited, let’s note that your “idea” of adventures might well surpasses my boring cells but I am sure you can take it a step further. Amid the beautiful landscape of Sapa, trekking is very common. For the faint-hearted or individuals who (1) does not favour exercises (2) are afraid of heights and (3) have 2 left feet, you can consider soft-trekking (which was what I did). For the ultra-fit and adventurous souls, by all means do try scaling Fansipan – the highest mountain in Indochina. (Good luck and I salute you!)

Local food at Sapa

Breakfast at Sapa Town market
(Breakfast at Sapa Market, dated Feb 2012

Local Sapa streetfood
(Streetfood at Sapa town, dated Feb 2012)

Fuel up on local yummies! Most Singaporeans love to munch, I am no different. Good food are always a bonus during travel expeditions and in spite of perpetual weight-gains, it is tough not to indulge in the local yummies! Besides “classy” cafes and nice restaurants, the town market and streets do offer some lip-smacking goodies! Fuel up after that tedious trek and give yourself a pat on the shoulder! 😀

Can’t get enough of Sapa? Read about the insights that I learnt from the good Sapa women here. 🙂

The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, do check out http://www.vietnamtourism.com/ or http://www.sapaguides.com/sapa/.

From Me to You:
A Simple Reference Guide For Your Travel In Vietnam

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