City Info
SAPA, Vietnam

Area Code 020, $1=16,103D, July 27, 2007

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Sapa is an incredibly picturesque village that lies on the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in NW Vietnam. It is called as "the Tonkinese Alps" You can see many hill tribe people, their villages, rice terraces, lush vegetation, and Fansipan, highest peak in Vietnam.

How to get here by tour
Very common and popular. Many travel agents organize tours from Hanoi. 4 days / 3 nights incl visiting the most famous Bac Ha Sunday market with
How to get here by yourself.

There are many trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai. However almost all sleeper seats are controlled by travel agents. It is impossible to buy sleeper tickets. The seat tickets are available and a few 2nd class sleeper may be available at the train station without makeup.

From Lao Cai train station to Sapa
Many minibuses are waiting at the train station for Sapa. They are offering the service with 25-30,000D but local price is 20,000D. Bargain hard.

Arriving to Sapa
Your minibus stops at the area where many hotels are clustered. This is not the center. The minibus continues to travel. You may ask the driver to take you to the market or Royal Hotel, both are good starting points to look for a room. The entrance of the market is Cau May Street, where most budget accommodation can be found. More GHs are behind the market.
All rooms equipped with HW. Only expensive hotels have a/c but no need a/c. The view to the valley is the key to choose a room.

Weekends: always busy due to the Sunday market at Bac Ha, The most hotels put their prices up during weekend.
Tourist Peak & Dry Season:
Mar - May, Oct - Nov. Good season for trekking.
Vietnamese Tourist Season: June and July
June - August: and cold at night (Sapa is 1500m above sea level)
Jan - Feb: Cold specially at night. It sometime snows.

i Tourist Office: None: But you can get info at travel agents. Many in town. They all deal with trekking tours.
$ Agri Bank: M-F7:30-11, 13:30-16:30, Sa7:30-11:00, $1=16,103VD, US$ T/C -> VD com 1%
P Police: near the church.
H Hospital: 3km out from the town.
Hp Pharmacy: Many in town such as Cau May Street, the main street.
M0 Post Office GPO/ Telephone office: Summer 7:00-21:00 Winter 7:30-21:30

There are many different classes for the train to Hanoi.
1. Hard seat, 2. soft seat, 3. fan hard bed sleeper, 4. a/c soft bed sleeper, 5 wood carnage, 6 Oriental Express carnage.
You can get 1 or 2 easily at the train station in Lao Cai and you can get 3 & 4 at Pathfinder(see below), but it is almost impossible to get "Wooden carriage and Oriental Express" classes. To get those tickets, ask at travel agents or your guest houses. When you order tickets, please make sure which class your tickets are for.
T Train Station: In Lao Cai. The most minibuses go to the train station. Tickets for night trains are sold after 16:30. Many people come so come early and stay in a line.
T1 Train Ticketing Sapa Pathfinder Travel: #13 Xuan Vien., T873468, train ticket counter open only 7:30-11, 13:30-15:30. Ticket prices are offcial one. Commission for seat 7000VD, for sleeper 10,000VD
The cheapest tickets for lower class tickets.
B Mini bus to Lao Cai:
To Lao Cai:
Mini buses leaves near the church when it gets full. Also you can get one in front of Royal Hotel.
local fare 20000/ tourist fare 25-30000D
To the border to China
(called "guojing or goukyou")
Take a minibus heading to the Lao Cai train station. Get off just after crossing the bridge and walk to the left for 500m. Ask your minibus driver. Usually he will take you to the border.
B1 Bus station: near the entrace of Sapa. Bus only to Lao Cai. To Hanoi, you can get one from Lao Cai bus station.
B2 Tourist Bus:
Mini buses or jeeps organized by travel agents leave to Lao Cai and Hanoi.
by Dang Trung GH:
Mini bus to Lao Cai 30000D, to Hanoi160000D
Jeep to Lao Cai: 150000D/jeep
(2003 info)

Local Transport
This town is very small. You can walk from one side to the other within 30 min.
To go to hill tribe villages, you had better to rent a bike or take a bike taxi.
Rental bike 80,000D/day

Tour to Hill Tribe Village (2003 info)
Most of the travel agents, hotels, guest houses organize this tours. They change money as well.
ta Auberge Dang Trung(Sapa Discovery): T871243 F871666
Exchange Cash $1=14,000D Don to US$ $1=14,400D
Tours: Day trip $3
Trekking tours including 3 villages (the Hmong, the Dao, and the Dai
 Day trip min 2 people $8-10 Excellent view on the way Highly Rec
Day trip $3
Ask for the excellent Sunday market.
1night 2days. No food
Vietnam highest peak Fansipan Peak
 3143m  climbing : 2ngiths 1 3 days $50-60
stay in a tent. Hard mountain trekking.
ta Sapa Nature: Cau May Street. T871366,
Train to Hanoi. Hard sleeper
$12, Hard sleeper $14
ta Green Bamboo Travel: T871556 7:00-21:00
ta Queen Hotel: T871301 F871313
ta Chapa Cafe (Handspan Travel) : T871245 F871844

Hill tribes' handicraft, cloth, daily products, etc. Cheaper than shops in the village. Also many hill tribe ladies come to you to sell their products.

Others (2003 info)
Photo shops: A few near the church.
Quang Huy : 020871715
develop 5,000D, prints 1,000-1,600D/p, laminated photos 100-500D/p extra, Films 3,000-
Laundry: Auberge Dang Trung and other places
 -shirt 1 3,000D, jeans 5,000D,socks 2,000D
Copies:  near Son HA GH 250D-/p

@ Internet @
The cost is reasonable, 500D/min but the speed is slow.
@ Auberge Dang Trung: Cau May street, near the Royal Hotel. @ 12000/hr, 4000 for first 10 min.
@ Internet cafe: Cau May street From the market entrace, walk down the road. left side.500D/min

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