Sapa and around

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July 24, 2014 as of 10:20 PM

High in the mountains of northwestern Vietnam, Sapa offers great hiking and a kaleidoscope of ethnic groups.

The valleys surrounding Sapa are home to several of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, each with their own distinctive dress, customs and dialects. These tribes can all be seen at the weekend market in Sapa town to trade with one another. Sapa has also become a destination for travelers seeking adventure. It is a staging point for trekking in the nearby valleys and for climbing Mount Fansipan, Vietnam's highest peak.

80km from Sapa, Bac Ha boasts a very unique beauty of subtropical nature and people. The most remarkable feature of Bac Ha is its lively and colorful Sunday market, a regular rendezvous of ethnic minority groups to gather and exchange goods. On this occasion, all the paths leading to the town are filled with ethnic tribes of the Tay, Dao, Nung, Giay and Flower H’mong trek in on horses or water buffalo for the dawn-to-dusk sales in their colorful distinct costumes.

Other noticeable and worth-visiting ethnic markets include Lung Phin (on Sunday), Can Cau (on Saturday) and Coc Ly (on Tuesday).

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Highlights

1. Take a short trek along and through the rice paddies to the nearby minority villages
2. Attend a local weekend market
3. Wander the town and chat-chit with local folks

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