There are many good reasons for taking a Vietnam holiday. One of them is certainly to enjoy the natural environment and the Northern Highlands close to the Chinese border is regularly included in Vietnam tour packages to satisfy that desire. Sapa is a town that can be used as a base for exploring the area as well as meeting the hill tribes. You should talk to a Hanoi travel agent about the arrangements for your time in the Northern Highlands because it is possible to get very close to experiencing daily life in the villages booking a homestay tour. You will be able to learn about the cuisine and even help with preparing meals if you wish.
The whole experience is likely to be a world away from every tourist’s daily life at home. Even those who live in a rural environment around the year are unlikely to have had the chance of a homestay. The trekking is great and at the end of the day, being able to spend a night within a village community, experiencing the sights and sounds of a remote part of Vietnam is amazing. While the accommodation is not 5-star, neither is it too basic. You can expect a hot shower which will refresh you at the end of the day, and prepare you early next morning for the daylight hours ahead.
Experienced hikers will have little trouble exploring the whole area but those who want to go to Fansipan, the highest mountain in the whole of Vietnam at over 3,000 metres, will need a licence to do so as well as a local guide. Guides are not compulsory elsewhere and with the help of a readily-available map, it is fairly easy to follow well-worn trails to enjoy all that the hills and valleys have to offer.
However, the best way to fully appreciate Sapa is to trek in a group with a guide. You will start as strangers but are likely to be similar in interests and temperament simply because all of you have been attracted by the idea of trekking in the Northern Highlands. You will eat simple but completely fresh food, sample the rice wine, but not too much because you have some walking to do.
If you enjoy late nights and parties, there is plenty of time to enjoy them elsewhere in Vietnam. Sapa, the natural environment and the people are not about that. However long you decide to spend in Sapa, and you will not get bored with three days and two nights, you will surely enjoy some early nights because of the quality the days will bring, both travelling to and from Sapa and exploring the whole region?
A Vietnam tour is magical. Time spent in Sapa, trekking and having a night or two in a homestay, only adds to the experience. A combination of your photographs and the images in your mind are certain to take you back in the years to come of your time in Sapa.