How we found the perfect budget Sapa trek. Like any person on this Planet, we love traveling too. Especially the choosing part, that is the most fun of all. Where have I been, where have I not been? By imagining the world map I get all confused but in a good way. We can all agree that there is nothing better than piling up the essentials and clothes in a traveling bag. Knowing that in less than a day, you will be somewhere else. Thrill-seekers not always do dangerous sports or life-threatening things. Nothing is more thrilling than traveling, and on a unique destination too!
Why and How I Chose Sapa, Vietnam
Like most people, we have been on vacations and trips to the usual places. Neighboring countries, or a few days on the beach. Here and there, a weekend getaway to the next city, all the usual things. Our thoughts were pretty much racing about what I needed to see that is unique and unusual. The Americas were not a challenge. Big, Scandinavian countries have cold weather, so I browsed the map some more. We kept looking and my mind stopped on Vietnam.
Not sure how and why, but I felt that my feet had to walk through Vietnam. There it was, I needed to see Asian culture, but not as popularized on TV and the media. I offered it to Laurel and she was all in as long as we did Halong Bay as well.
Sapa Trek and Homestay Choices
A multi-day trekking experience to the mountain rice terraces of Sapa was perfect. Believe me, several days of trekking in such a gorgeous region is worth it. These were the best several days traveling we have ever had. That perfect Sapa trek made us want to stay even longer, but our visas limited our time in Vietnam to 30 days. This gorgeous place Sapa is more like a township and capital of the broader Sapa district. This district is a part of something bigger like the province Lao Cai in the northwest of Vietnam.
I started browsing for travel agencies, travel guides, and trip plan makers. After all, Sapa is quite a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of course, after I chose such a unique destination, I wanted more out of the trip. We did not want the classical city-square-hotel vacations. We needed trekking.
Sights and Activities During My Multi-Day Stay
I decided to stay a whole week, after all a day or two plus or minus did not matter that much. The moment my feet touched the Vietnamese ground, I was eager to find the perfect Sapa trek! This place was gorgeous. From a view of a higher spot, it looked like stretched-out greenery of the freshest kind. It seemed as it was endless and flawless. Someone would think they are standing on a film-making location, it is THAT gorgeous!
The streets were adorable and narrow and always crowded with people. Everyone was rushing doing their daily market chores. Everything was colorful, unique, and dreamy. I found out that this location was a hill-station established by the French, in 1922. I wanted to know everything about this whole region, not only its perfect trekking spots. The perfect Sapa trek could wait at that time, and I headed first to the Sapa Main Market.
Shopping In Sapa
All the selling-spots had ornaments, traditional objects, handicrafts like you've never seen before. There were stalls with medicinal herbs, teas, and fresh flower bouquets. Some even had tribal-style silverwork and even some traditional Vietnamese clothing. If you want to see this market, save it for the busiest day, Saturday.
After that, I felt curious to see something traditional or religious. And so, I experienced the Early spring singing in church, in the commune Ta Phin. This village is within the area of Sapa and this tradition followed here is mesmerizing. I got a chance, with the locals, to see a traditional wedding here and admire the singing.
The Sapa Trek
People and uniqueness were enough for me at that point, so I wanted more nature and landscapes. If it wasn't for the desire to see some nature I would have stayed in the village. Climbing the Sapa mountains is magical. It can be either sunny and heavenly or wrapped in the thick mist around. The highest peak of Vietnam is here, in Sapa, with 10,311 feet above the level of the sea. It looked as if it safeguards all the trees, houses and the perfect Sapa trek I looked for. Trekking in Sapa was everything as advertised and it turned out, it did not cost much. Organizing such a tour was surprisingly simple as well. I met my trekking guide right on the market, near the food section.
With our stomachs full, my group of more than a dozen people, gathered and split into 2 groups. The first few minutes I flaunted my stamina, but within half an hour I was rethinking if I can make it to the mountain. We paused along the way for rest and then I noticed the flawless landscape and tree views. I walked through the perfect Sapa trek, there was nothing more that could impress me further. It cannot be expressed with words, this must be a trip you have to make.
Costs on average
The currency in Vietnam is a Dong. Do not expect this place to be cheap. The prices on average are reasonable, compared to the rest of Vietnam areas. An hour-walk to the Sapa lake is $3.52. at the bus station, a trip to the train station is at most $2.64. If you are on a budget, breakfast varies, but on average is $3, a regular lunch $5.29 and dinner $6.61. Try their beer too, it costs $1.32 and the traditional Pho soup is $2.64. A bottle of drinking water is less than $1. For accommodation, a hostel bed rental varies between $4.18-$10.88 per day. The cost for a guided trek can range from $10 to $40 based on duration and location. Usually, the best deals will be through your hotel or hostel.
Some Final Words About Our Sapa Trek
To sum things up, Sapa of Vietnam is worth the visit. I put emphasis on Sapa since it blends all things together. You get to interact with nature, amazing trekking, sightseeing, and cuisine. Noodle lovers, you'll adore this place. The prices are not too costly, especially for seeing this part of the world.
You will find endless colors, crowded markets, village spots, and churches. Couple this with friendly locals, ornaments, and unforgettable music. You will certainly have a good time each minute of the day. For some amazing nature experiences like trekking go to Sapa. Enjoy the trekking paths and natural beauties.
After exploring Sapa treks, where to next?
Hanoi On A Budget