Sapa hill resort

Vietnam Overview

Sapa hill resort

Area: 67.864 ha
Population: 43.600 inhabitants
Mainly tribles: Black H’mong, red Dzao, Zay……
 vietnam visa   Sapa hill resort Located in Lao Cai City, Sapa is a mountainous district in the Southernwest of Lao Cai Province ( Lao Cai Travel ). Sapa District is very well-known with Sapa Townlet, a beautiful and romantic resort .
At the height of 1, 600m above sea level, the average temperature of the area is 15-18°C. It is cool in summer and cold in winter.
Visitor to Sapa in summer can feel the climate of four seasons in one day. In the morning and afternoon, it is cool like the weather of spring and autumn. At noon, it is as sunny and cloudless as the weather of summer. And it is cold in the evening. With no advance warning of a thunderstorm short and heavy rains may come at noon on any summer day. Subsequently, a rainbow appears, transforming Sapa into a magic land, which for years has been a constant source of poetic inspiration, lights up the whole region.
The best time to witness the scenic beauty of Sapa is in April and May. Before that period, the weather might be cold and foggy; after that period is the rainy season. In April and May, Sapa is blooming with flowers and green pastures. The clouds that settle in the valley in early morning quickly disappear into thin air.
Sapa has many natural sites such as Sapa Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave.Sapa is also the starting point for many climbers and scientists who want to reach the top of Fansipan Mountain, the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3, 143m. Hoang Lien Mountain Range is also called the Alps of the North Sea area since Fansipan Mountain is not only the highest peak in Vietnam, but also in the Indochina Peninsula. The pyramid-shaped mountain is covered with clouds all year round and temperatures often drop below zero, especially at high elevations.
The first thing you notice when approaching the resort town are some detached wooden mansions and villas perched on a hill top or hillside, behind thick pine forests and almost invisible on this foggy morning. Old and new villas with red roofs now appear and now disappear in the green rows of pomu trees, bringing the town the beauty of European towns.

Fresh and cool air in Sapa is an idea climate condition for growing temperate vegetables such as cabbage, chayote, precious medicinal herbs, and fruit trees such as plum, pear…
Sapa is home to various families of flowers of captivating colours, which can be found nowhere else in the country. When Tet, the Lunar New Year Festival comes, the whole township of Sapa is filled with the pink colour of peach blossom brought from the vast forests of peach just outside the town. Sapa is regarded as the kingdom of orchids. Here, orchid lovers are even amazed by the choice, when trekking in the forest filled with several hundred kinds of orchids of brilliant colours and fantastic shapes, such as Orchid Princess, Orchid of My Fair Lady’s Shoe. Some orchids are named after lovely singing birds such as the canary, salangane’s nest, and more.

Sapa is most beautiful in spring. Apricot, plum and cherry flowers are splendidly beautiful. Markets are crowded and merry, and are especially attractive to visitors. Minority groups come here to exchange and trade goods and products. Market sessions are also a chance for locals to promenade and young men and women in colorful costumes to meet, date or seek sweethearts.
Visitors to Sapa will have opportunities to discover the unique customs of the local residents, enjoy the pure foods, and explore the charm of the Ethnic groups in Vietnam. ( Bac Ha Market )

Sapa weather & climate

What the weather will be like in Sapa, Vietnam?
Sapa is a beautiful, mountainous town in northern Vietnam along the border with China ( China tours ).

Sapa Weather

Sapa is a place that you can visit year-round, however, the best time to travel to Sapa is between March and May or mid-September to early December, when the weather is pretty pleasant.
Winter: Sapa weather will be pretty cold, wet, drizzle and foggy (sometimes nearly freezing). Travelers have rolled into town on a glorious clear day and proceeded to spend a week trapped in impenetrable fog. In winter, bring along warm clothes or prepare to be cold and miserable, as many hotels do not have especially efficient heating in their rooms.

Sapa culture & people

The population of the Lào Cai province is a mosaic of ethnic groups. An incredible variety of peoples, some of them unique to Vietnam, are found on a relatively small area.
In fact, visitors can meet 24 ethnic groups, each with its own language, culture and traditions. This cultural wealth is explained by the diversity of landscapes and of land available for farming. History also offers clues as to why the highlands in the Lào Cai province served as a refuge for certain ethnic groups during political unrest like the Taiping rebellion in 19th-century China.
The seven most numerous ethnic groups in the Lào Cai province account for over 90% of the whole population. The following groups are found: the Kinh (the true Vietnamese) 35%, the Hmong 22%, the Tay 14%, the Dao (Mien) 13%, the Thai 9%, the Nung 4.5% and the Giay 4.3%. The other ethnic groups: the Phula, Hani, Latis, Tu Di, Pin Tao, Tu Lao, Pa Di, Sapho, Lolo and the Xa Mang are sometimes represented only by a few villages and a few hundred individuals

The Hmong people

The Hmong, known for centuries in China by the name of Miao, used to be called the Méo in Southeast Asia. Numbering about three million, they are scattered over a vast territory stretching from south-west China (2 million) to north Vietnam (600,000), Laos (about 250,000), Thailand (150,000) and Myanmar (formerly Burma) (about 30,000).
The main subgroups present in Vietnam are the White Hmong, the Hmong Leng, Hmong Pua, Hmong Shi or Sheu and the black Hmong. In Sa Pa, the Hmong Leng are the most numerous, some Hmong Sheu and Hmong Pe women – with their colourful skirts and double-breasted tops – come from the Muong Khuong district.
Originally, the Chinese hmong populations used to live in the wide plains south of the Yangtse river. As of the 16th century, they started to migrate to the south-east under the demographic, territorial and political pressure of the Chinese. During the first half of the 19th century, the Hmong left the Chinese territory and settled in neighbouring countries. At the time, the great Taiping rebellion (1850-1872) was disturbing all southern China (Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces) causing long periods of famine that pushed numerous ethnic groups to go south. The Hmong entered the Indo-Chinese peninsula through North Vietnam, their presence near Lai Chau was reported in 1848. These successive waves of migration were probably facilitated by the hmong tradition of shifting cultivation and their close contacts with the Chinese caravaneers who had been travelling for centuries through the mountains of southern Asia.
Today, the traditional agrarian economy is still based on family farms raising pigs, chickens, buffaloes and horses, on food crops (rice, corn, manioc) and cash crops (cardamom and vegetables).
The traditional social organisation of the Hmong is based on the clan. Each clan is made of lineages, all the members of which acknowledge a common founding male ancestor. In the Hmong household, up to four different generations may be gathered under the same roof. The household is the most important economic, political and ritual unit. The villages perched on the mountain slopes house several clans.
Easily recognisable by their costume, the Sa Pa Hmong Leng – who do not call themselves Black Hmongs – still wear hemp clothes dyed with natural (black-blue) indigo. The women wear stiff indigo-blue turbans over their hair gathered into a bun. Nowadays, they hardly ever wear their batik or embroidered pleated skirts, replaced with short indigo pants. Only the collar, sleeves and belt are embroidered with geometric patterns in silk. The White Hmong women from the Bat Xat district wear long black pants, fairly short-waisted double-breasted jackets, and cover their hair with colourful head scarves. The Hmong Pua, Hmong Pe and Hmong Sheu women from the Bac Ha district wear similar batik skirts with an embroidered band. They are distinguished by the decorative patterns and shape of their aprons.

 vietnam visa   Sapa hill resort

The Dao people

The Dao, known as the Man or Yao in south-west China for centuries, also number a few tens of thousands in Laos ( Lao Tours ), Thailand and Myanmar (formerly Burma).
The Dao-Mien settled in Vietnam two to three centuries ago, depending on the area. One of the Dao’s specific cultural features is their traditional writing system using Chinese characters. Preserved texts make it possible to trace their origins back to the provinces of south China. Their taoist religion is also based on texts. For major taoist ceremonies, the ritual space must be surrounded with painted pictures of the divinities and celestial generals. As a consequence, the art of painting on paper and canvas survives among the Dao.
Like the Hmong, the Dao build terraced paddy-fields irrigated by a sophisticated system of canals around Sa Pa. They also have a reputation for pig and horse breeding.
The different Dao groups from the Lao Cai province usually wear red headdresses or red pieces of clothing. The Dao (Ké Mien) from the Taphin and Tavan villages (Sa Pa district) wear flat headdresses, totally red, hung with silver coins. The headdresses of the Dao (Ké Mien) from Muong Hum district (north of Sa Pa) are cone-shaped and made of red flowery material. The Bac Ha (Ké Moun) Dao enhance their turbans with red and pink wool or silk threads. The headdresses of the Dao (Iu Mien) from Van Ban district – south of Sa Pa – are decorated with red and yellow pompoms, and hang low down their backs.

The Tay people

The Tày grow rice in paddy fields, preferably in the plains and in the valleys. The villages consist of wooden or bamboo stilt houses and are often built in the immediate vicinity of a stream or a river. The household is the basic economic unit and tends to be a nuclear family limited to close relatives.
The Tày, Giay, Numg and Thai women wear brightly-coloured jackets, – pink, green, or blue – double-breasted, often with contrasting braid at the collar. The tartan headscarf covers their hair gathered into a bun. Traditionally, each group used to have their own style of bun, held up with long silver needles, but the custom is vanishing.

The Zay peopele

The Giay (pronounced”Zay”) are a relatively small minority group, with a population of around 40,000, living at high altitudes in Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Ha Giang provinces. Traditional Giay society is feudal, with a strict demarcation between the local aristocracy and the peasant classes. All villagers work the communal lands, living in closely knit villages of stilthouses. A few Giay women still wear the traditional style of dress, distinguished by the highly coloured, circular panel sewn around the collar and a shirt-fastening on the right shoulder: the shirt itself is often of bright green, pink or blue. On formal occasions, women may also wear a chequered turban.

e. With a population over 100,000 people, it has a significant number of catholics as the city boasts the largest Catholic church in the region, seating up to 1000 people.
Long Xuyen is a big town with slow pace living. Unlike its motorized cousin in Can Tho, “Xe Loi” here is pulled by bicycle. 40 km from Long Xuyen is the hilly area of Ba The where the ruins of the Oc Eo civilization dating back to the first century A.D. were discovered. The Oc Eo civilization reached its height in the 5th century and was part of the foundation of the Phu Nam (Funam) kingdom.

Sa Dec

Sa Dec used to be the capital of Dong Thap province, formerly inhabited by the ancient Phu Nam Kingdom and later the Chan Lap (Tchen La) civilization. In the 1700s, the area was exchanged with the Vietnamese for military aid. Since then many Vietnamese have settled in this area and effectively annexed this whole area. The Chan Lap were subsequently wiped out and assimilated by the Vietnamese and today the population consists mostly people of Chinese, Khmer, Cham and Thai origin.
Sa Dec has become less and less prosperous ever since Cao Lanh was named capital of the province to reward communist cadres from the area after the war ended. New constructions and developments are now occuring in Cao Lanh, the commercial hub of the region.

Chau Doc

Chau Doc is the last town in Vietnam before entering Cambodia. The town is located on the right bank of Hau Giang, 5 km away from Sam mountain, the highest point on the Delta. This mountain gets the name from its shape of a king crab, which is “sam” in vietnamese. It is a sacred mountain for many locals since it is dotted with pagodas and temples. Chau Doc is very famous for “ma(‘m”, a type of fermented fish used regularly as food ingredients or garnishes.
With a population of 85,000, Chau Doc is a bustling city with heavy trade of illegal goods crossing the cambodian border. From smugglers on bicycle carrying cartons of cigarettes on their back to boats loaded with VCR and TV sets to new cars originating from Thailand, it seems like anything is fair game in the wild west of Vietnam.

 vietnam visa   Sapa hill resort

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