Where to visit beyond Sapa | Cruise Mekong River

Where to visit beyond Sapa

Ethnic people in Lai Chau

Sapa, which is the wonderful combination of uniquely ethnic minority groups culture, pristine nature and harmonious weather, is certainly one of the most famous tourist attractions in northern Vietnam. However, that is also the reason why this small town attracts both domestic and foreign tourists all the time. There are still many others for consideration for the same time and budget spent for those who are looking for a change, something off the beaten track in northern Vietnam. Tours of Indochina

Lai Chau – untouched local culture and stunning landscape

Lai Chau

Lai Chau-source: Internet

About 450km northwestern far from Hanoi, Lai Chau, which is located in the northwest region, is where you can visit several highland villages such as Dao San, Ta Phin and Sin Ho, most of which are at the altitude of more than 1500m. You can choose Road 4D (from Sapa, catching local bus which is available daily in Sapa terminal) or the Highway 12 (from Dien Bien Phu Loop) or to reach this province. The weather here is much like Sapa, foggy and quiet cool with the average temperature of nearly 20 degree Celcius and two seasons: rainy and dry thanks to the high altitude. What Sapa really has to envy is the completely pure air.

In addition to the high mountain ranges surrounding the province, Lai Chau is also famous for towering waterfalls, narrow valleys as well as the three large rivers: Nam Mu, Nam Da and Da; which bring them the incredibly picturesque sceneries. Once coming to Lai Chau, besides going mountain trekking, travelers can also bathe in natural hot springs, discover primitive caves or sail along Da River.

Ethnic people in Lai Chau

Ethnic people in Lai Chau-source: Internet

Especially, including H’Mong, La Hu, Mang,H Nhi, Dao and Thai, Lai Chau is home to nearly 20 ethnic minority groups. Therefore, visitors coming to this town will have an amazing chance to explore the special multi-cultural society through minorities’ authentic festival such as H’Mong’s “Gau Tao Festival” in spring or Thai’s “Hoa Ban Festival” in the second lunar month or the original local market taken place every Thursday and Sunday morning.

It will take you 2-3 hours for the route of 175km from Sapa to Lai Chau. You can find buses from 5.a.m to Sapa departing from Lai Chau terminal every hour. North Vietnam packages

Phia Den – Phia Oac – wild nature

Phia Den-Phia Oac in mist

Phia Den-Phia Oac in mist-source: Internet

Travelers will definitely be amazed at the gorgeously wild panorama of huge areas of original forests, caves, rivers and mighty mountain ranges when visiting Phia Den-Phia Oac (or Phia Dac). Phia Den-Phia Vac, which belongs to Nguyen Binh- a remote district of Cao Bang Province, about 240km far from Hanoi, is a potential ecotourism destination in the northwest region of Vietnam.

Phia Den- Phia Vac is covered in mist all year around, which is similar to Sapa’s climate due to the 1500m average elevation with the highest peak up to 1931m. In the past, as this area was controlled by the French colonialists for exploiting aromatic wood and other precious minerals, it shared the same historic background with Sapa. Thus, you can admire several French military post and villas such as: Tatsloom and Tai Soong here. Travelers can also meet a lot of Dao minority people living scattered throughout this region for culture discovering purpose.

By following National Highway Number 3, Cao Bang is 272km north of Hanoi. Reaching Sapa from here is pretty convenient as there are many direct buses departing from Cao Bang terminal to Lao Cai terminal and vice versa.

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