When you have seen the sawa’s in Sapa, you will always know the ‘grass’ is greener there. It’s so beautifull! You can stay right in the middle of mountain tops and socialize with the local etnic minority tribes.
Sapa has a long fascinating history. Till this day on, there live several etnic minority groups that left their home long time ago. Two of the biggest are Hmong and Dao tribe. Way back in the 1900’s the French already saw potential in Sapa and so the mountain town was under direct colonial military administration from on 1891. The first colonial villa’s popped up in the 1900’s. But they all got destroyed in the 50’s. A pitty, but the way Sapa looks today is stunning anyway.
Three years ago we visited Sapa during our Vietnam trip. During our hike through sawas’s and mountains it was pooring rain. Yet I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Our guide was a 10 year old girl, she was wearing hand dyed indigo coloured clothing, beautifull. She showed us how it is made aswell – Indigo blue turned out to be very interesting! All tribes that still live in Sapa, have their own color and pattern in clothing. I have bigtime regrets for not buying any of it, of the clothing I mean by that. Because I seriously made an effort to support the locals by leaving with loads of bags, scarves and stuff!
Besides the tribes that live there, the surroundings are super impressive too. You can watch the clouds floating in the valley, the mountains are massive and entirely green. It’s an awesome sight. The feeling of exploring something new with every corner is amazing. Still I think we’ve only seen the parts that the tourists see… We met a young couple on our way back to Hanoi they told us there was so much more to see! So we need to get back there some time soon.
That is an other cool thing about Sapa.. The Vietnamese people from the cities like to spend their holidays there. So in general you won’t feel like to much of a tourist.
You have to travel by train from Hanoi to Sapa, that trip is quit an adventure aswell. Better buckel up and stay away from the lavatory.