Villages in Sapa: The Great Destination For Homestay & Trekking Tours

Nga Do
Tucked away from the rest of Vietnam’s tourist trail, up some steep mountains and completely unlike the rest of Vietnam climatically is the beautiful Sapa area. Trekking & homestay in Sapa is something that features on many traveller’s Vietnam bucket lists, but still not everybody heads up this far.

But it’s well worth the side trip from Hanoi for those who do – in fact, one of the most important things you should know before going to Vietnam is that the real beauty of the country is in its nature. That beauty gives you a refreshing spirit, an endless source of inspiration that motivates you to continue your own plans.
Traveling to Sapa to develop your intelligence!
Beginning from leaving Hanoi capital, Sapa has some of the most beautiful scenery in Vietnam; with rolling hills and jagged mountains, rice terraces on an epic scale and small authentic villages. If you’re into trekking & homestay Sapa is your perfect destination, with countless routes taking one, two or three days.

Sapa is the place where the local ethnic minorities gather even more than the normal Vietnamese people It is home to a great diversity of ethnic people, including four main groups: Mong, Dao, Tay, and Giay. They do not live in the central area but in hamlets scattered among the valleys throughout the Sapa district. 

The whole area around Sapa is suitable for trekking & homestay with ethnic residents. I recommend to ask the local ethnic residents for homestay, I think you will not have problem in below-mentioned villages to find something.  

[Are you planning to visit Sapa? Read this article: How to get from HANOI to SAPA?]

Villages in Sapa: The Great Destination For Homestay & Trekking Tours
Photo by Vietnam typical Tours

The villages are most frequently visited by foreign tourists.

Sapa is one of the three most visited places in Vietnam after Hanoi and Halong Bay. However, the most concentrated concentration is in the town center, there are still places or routes that many tourists don't go. The rule is the farther from the center - the better, and the concentration of tourists is decreasing. The most visited villages are Cat Cat, Lao Chai, Tavan.

Cat Cat village

Villages in Sapa: The Great Destination For Homestay & Trekking Tours 1
Hmong children in Cat Cat village. Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
Cat Cat is the most popular ethnic village and the most visited tourists. It's just only 3 km from Sapa town. This is a small village of the Black H'mong ethnic community. There is a nice and small waterfall in the village. The way through this village continues to the highest mointain of Vietnam - Fansipan.

Ethnic minorities: Hmong
I dont know when homestay is possible here, but I don't recommend it in this place. 
A tourist villagess, possibility to buy souvenirs ... 
The possibility of snacks

Ta Van village

Ta Van village is a very popular place in the Muong Hoa valley, located about 10km from the town of Sapa. Officially, it's necessary to come here with a guide and a purchased ticket in price of about $2.

Ta Van is the strongest homestay service development. There are many homestay rentals in Sapa. Visiting Ta Van, tourists can also stop for lunch at local restaurants. You may interest homestay in Sapa for your travel list.

Ethnic minorities: Hmong, Red Dao, Giay
The possibility of homestay
Trek with local guide in Hoang Lien Son Nationa Park
Largest village in Sapa, all who come to Sapa go here
A few shops, a small restaurant, Daisy Lucky Bamboo bar (delicious)

Villages in Sapa: The Great Destination For Homestay & Trekking Tours
Terraced fields in Ta Van village. Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours 

Lao Chai village

From Sapa town to the southwest about 9 km will come to Lao Chai village. This is a village of H'mong people, with houses interwoven with terraced fields. Ask local people in the village for homestay.

Ethnic minorities: Hmong, Red Dao
You can go through this village and continue to Ta Van village
The possibility of authentic homestay of Hmong resident.

Sin Chai

Sin Chai village is not as frequented as Cat Cat even if this place is jusst 6 km from town of Sapa. This is the ideal place for visitors to observe and learn the life of the native black H'mong. The path from this village leads to the highest mountain in Vietnam - Fansipan.

Ethnic minorities: Back Hmong
Ask local people authentic homestay
Less visited place than a village Cat Cat
You can go to the highest mountain in Vietnam - Fansipan.

Ban Ho village

Ban Ho village is home mainly Tay ethnic minority, with a relatively small population compared to other ethnic groups.. Approximately 30 km from the town of Sapa in the same direction as Lao Chai - Ta Van. Located in the small valley is downstream of Muong Hoa stream.

Ethnic minorities: Tay, Red Dao
Less visited place in Muong Hoa valley
Authentic homestay, but also prepared accommodation for tourists

Hau Thao village

Hau Thao village is a small village, about 10km from the town of Sapa. It  lies in the hills and is a bit neglected by tourist. If someone search for a place without tourists, with authenticity and good reach into Sapa, I recommend this place. Definitely this place is better than Tavan village and without imitation of hoemstay. If you go the route that begins outside the city of Sapa, you don't need to buy a ticket. Go with someone who is from the village, the route is not marked. 

Ethnic monirities: Hmong
Ask local resident for authentic homestay. 
Much less visited place than Ta Van village. 
Small village, ideal for knowledge of life of local people.

Rules to follow in a village with ethnic inhabitants:

  • No drugs.
  • Do not touch sacred objects.
  • No noise making and alcohol drinking (rice wine in their presence is doable).
  • No kissing in public.
  • Ask for permission when taking photos, especially of older people and children
  • Only walk into a house if you are invited. Gifts for kids are welcome but avoid money and sweets.
  • Pay for your meal if you are invited for lunch or for homestay accommodation.
  • I recommend buying a handmade object to show appreciation of hospitality.

Villages in Sapa: The Great Destination For Homestay & Trekking Tours 6
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours

What to Pack when Trekking in Sapa

  • Food and water. There won’t be many stores in your path. Make sure you have enough food and water because you should only rely on yourself.
  • Those stunning scenes need to be captured and saved.
  • In case you want to see a certain village or stay in a specific homestay, a map will be very helpful. If you have data from the Vietel provider; there is a possibility you can access the internet here. Other than that, you should be prepared for no signal. Make sure to load the map on your phone beforehand when you still have internet.
  • Sunscreen/ hat/ sunglasses. This depends on when you are trekking. If it is summer, it is necessary.
  • Warm clothes. In the winter, it can get really cold in Sapa. Stay warm. Sometimes homestays have limited to no heating.
  • Lightweight rain jacket.
  • Bug spray.
  • Good hiking shoes 

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