Bac Ha Sunday Market
Far from Lao Cai city about 60 kilometers. Bac Ha is the largest fair of Sapa. When going to market, visitors will see the high mountain, terraced fields. Sometimes, tourists have to stop the car in order to get the majestic natural beauty and meet each ethnic group laughing who brings goods to market.
To go the fair on time, they have to go very early, some people comes here from the previous day to join the fair. Previously, Bac Ha fair has meeting on a gentle hill, after that, this new market was built on the concrete which be split up into regional sales. Bac Ha market is where all products of the region and the necessary instruments be sold such as: plows, hoes, shovels, etc. The most attractive place for women and tourists is the place of jewelry, skirts, dresses, brocade and the charming of rattan baskets.
In this place, visitors can choose all kinds of brocade products. Foreign tourists often marveled at the paintings which are handmade textile patterns with vivid colors and beautiful harmony. For men, the market is a place for they meet and drink wine. The horse is the most attractive for men; they come from remote villages, even people from the provinces of Bac Giang, Ha Tay… They come here to trade horses.
Cat Cat hill tribe village
From Sapa town center fo Cat Cat is only 2 kilometers. It is the oldest of the Mong which preserves traditional handicrafts such as growing cotton, linen and textile and crafted jewelry. Especially, this place remains its unique traditions that other regions have no or no original existence.
Through the looms, the Mong create colorful brocades and patterns that simulate trees, leaves, flowers, animals… In the Cat Cat, crafted silver jewelry has longstanding that creates sophisticated products with several stages. Carving silver products in Cat Cat are plentiful such as: necklaces, bracelets, ring…
The thing attracts tourists to Cat Cat is the unique tradition such as: “Keo vo”. When the man love one women, he will invite friends and sets plan to “pull” her to his home in an unexpected way. He will keep her within 3 days. After that, if she agrees to get married with him, they will hold weding. If the woman disagrees, they will drink wine together and all things return to normal without anything happening. The Mong weddings in Cat Cat are usully held from 2 to 7 days. Architecture of Cat Cat village has many features with po-mu wood roof.
The frame of house has three columns horizontal truss. The columns are listed on the round or square stones. Walls are roofed with timber with three doors: the main door in the nave, two doors on either sides of the house. The main door is always closed, it opens only when having wedding, holidays. The house has the worship space, reserved food floor, sleeping, kitchen and a reception desk. Cat Cat village is formed from the mid-19 century, the residence of households based on slopes and gathered together.
They grow rice on terraced fields; grow corn on the mountain by crafted cultivation methods. Most houses are simple with a desk, bed and cooking stove…
Fan Si Pan Mountain
Hoang Lien Son is a mountain range in the northwest of Vietnam. The Hoang Lien Son has many celandine. The mountain is the kingdom of flowers: azalea, orchids, Hoang Anh, Bgonha, Estacola... Additionally, it has many wood species like pine oil, birds, partridges, bears, monkeys, chamois and the thousands of medicinal herbs.Hoang Lien Son range includes Vietnam's highest mountain: Fan Si Pan at a height of 3142m. It is considered as the roof of Viet Nam and Indochina.
Fan Si Pan is the highest mountain in Hoang Lien Son range, the largest width of about 75km. It is concluded 3 blocks: Bach Moc Luong Tu, Fan Si Pang and Pu Luong. Tourists, who are adventurous come to Fan Si Pan, want to explore and experience the spectacular natural. On the holiday, people go there is huge.
This place has natural conservation areas which includes temperate forests with bright yellow flowers and sub-tropical forest. Fan Si Pang is the place for 2024 plants, 327 species of animals including many species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Come here, you can see some animals. On the high point at 2963m has a milestone marking the conquering of the French in 1905. Climbing up a little bit more, tourists can see a huge stone blocks, located by a small stone. In order to climb Fan Si Pan, travelers need a license provided by Hoang Lien Son National Park Management. This license can be obtained in the morning when you start to climb Fan Si Pan.
Tourists need a sleeping bag that can be hired in Sapa about 120.000vnd at the tourist office. Sleeping on Fan Si Pan is always a problem when mountain lodging is very basic. Small groups (4-5 people) can sleep in the tents; the large group should be prepared camp. There are many different sizes and different prices.
Muong Hoa Valley
Hoa stream flows along the Muong Hoa valley, extends throughout the Lao Chai, Ta Van, Hau Thao,... It is a place, along through the mountains is a strange carved stones. Spread over 4 kilometers length, 2 kilometers width with at least 159 stones, Muong Hoa have mysterious graphics.
This place was researched by scientists of Vietnam, Russia, France, Australia, etc. Both populations of ancient stones with beautiful carving are located in Ban Pho. With the big stones, it has many different sculptures on the surface. Especially, there have various postures and 11 motifs strange shape. Most scientists evaluated that it is the great heritage of mankind. People found many similarities with the Dong Son culture, which has date from2300 to 3000 years. The mysterious graphics of the Sapa’s ancient stones can be of many ethnic groups living in different ages. They draw a primitive picture or sophisticated picture to express many different cultures. They can be either Dao or Mong.
On the main road leading to Muong Hoa valley, tourist will have opportunities take photos and sight Sapa’s views. This valley has terraced fields which is the most beautiful terraced fields of Sapa. Cross the suspension bridge, you will be visiting the village of weaving and dyeing cloth of the Hmong and exploring Muong Hoa valley. Exploring the magnificent Muong Hoa valley to enjoy its breathtaking landscapes, you will also paying visit to small and isolated hamlets and villages meet the Black H’mong, Zay and Red Zao at home and at work.
Every year on Dragon’s first lunar month, Ta Van commune, Sapa district, they open the festival to welcome a new year for bumper harvest. The Giay, H’mong, Dao ethnic… and a large number of tourists come here, which makes Muong Hoa valley becomes more vibrant and colorful. Previously, Ta Van Giay was called Roong Pooc festival. Although it is the traditional festival of Ta Van ethnic, many years it has spread to become the festival of the whole valley of Muong Hoa. Tourists from Sapa attend and festival ambience spreads throughout the valley of Muong Hoa.
Silver Waterfall is far about 15 kilometers from Sapa toward Lai Chau; tourists take approximately 30 minutes by motorbike or bus to visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam. The scenery along the way, the pine forest, and the 'su su' spread over the hills. With more than 100 meters high, white water poured down the stream. Standing on Ham Rong Mountain, visitors will see the water flows down as silver so that people in here called the waterfall with the romantic name “Silver Waterfall”.
Go over about 2 kilometers, tourists will come to Tram Ton where the mountain Fan Si Pan conquest begins to conquer the roof of Indochina. Continue the trip to Heaven Gate, visitors will find spectacular natural paintings with dense forest, far away is the little crooked path. And they will see the difference between the two provinces of Lao Cai and Lai chau.
Sapa has the cool and pleasant air, in contrast, Lai Chau has climate as the summer. Guests can soak in the cool stream, throw away all worries and relax under the shade of forest in order to all sorrows go with Silver flows. Tourists can go to Silver Waterfall by Jeep or Car 4-seats.
Stone Church of Sapa
The ancient church is known as stone church or the Holy Rosary church which is located in the heart of Sapa town built by the French from the early 20th century. Before starting to build this structure, the French architect selected carefully about the terrain.
The shape and architecture of the church was built by cross. This architecture presented in the roof, bell tower… which created the elegant church. The whole church was built by stone (walls, floors, bell towers …) that are linked by a mixture of sand, lime and molasses. With total area over 6000m2, Sapa church has enough rooms for the arrangement of the area. The church of Sapa is always a place where holds many traditional cultural activities of ethnic minorities.
In the front of the church is tennis area which has unique cultural activities of local people on Saturday. With flute, trumpet leaves, “xòe” dance… created sparkling, magical atmosphere in Sapa. Additionally, because the structure was designed early, the church of Sapa experienced many events of history.
Since its establishment, the church always has priests in order to offer parishioners. However, many years later, due to the presence of Japanese troops, the activities of the Church have stalled. In later years, the war makes almost activities to suspend. After that, the church became the repository of rice.