Sapa is a town in Lao Cai Province in Northwest Vietnam close to the Chinese border. It is located about 350km Northwest of Hanoi. Here is where one will find the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan - the country's highest peak.
This quiet Vietnamese town is home to a population which consists mostly of minority groups. There are five main ethnic groups in Sapa: the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay and Xa Pho. It is said that Sapa was first occupied by the first four groups, since the Vietnamese from the lowlands (better known as the Kinh) did not colonise the highest valleys.
It was only when the French arrived in Tonkin in the 19th century that Sapa was acknowledged and included on the national map. The site where Sapa would be became a key location for the French military as well as missionaries. It was also only in 1993 that Sapa became accessible to many, as this was the year its doors were opened to tourists.
Our travel guides will probably help you make better trips in Sapa.