To enjoy each moment and having the best experience in Sapa, tourists are advised to be well-prepared before setting off. Choosing the best time to travel and preparing nescessary items to Sapa is what tourists should know.
What to bring
For typically leisure trips
If you are in a leisure trip in which everything is taken care of the travel agencies and tour guide, all you need to bring is your own personal stuff. In comparison to Hanoi and other tourism destinations in Northern Vietnam, Sapa is colder, with the temperature around 13-15oC. Consequently, do not forget to bring some long sleeve shirts in summer; and warm coat in winter, as it may even snow in this season.
In hot season, it is really easy to get sunburn so suntan cream, hat and umbrella are indispensable items. The road leading to Sapa from Lao Cai Station is quite bumpy, so bring some motion sickness medicines if you are not familiar with slopes and mountain pass.
For trekking trips
If you intend to join a trekking trip in Sapa, there will be more things you need to have inside your suitcase:
• Small money notes and change
• Personal small water bottle
• Insect repellent
• Good shoes, raincoat and umbrella
• Bread, snack, canned food
• Personal Torch
• Personal knives
• Camera with backup or rechargeable battery
• Medicines for popular diseases such as flu, diarrhea, fever, etc.
Best time to travel
Sapa, one of the most attractive points in Vietnam, still has its inconvenient times that visitors should avoid. Since Sapa is a highland town, the way leading there is not easy to drive, especially in rain season, when the road surface is slippery and a litter bit dangerous. The wet season lasts for around 3 months, from June to September, and it is not a wise choice paying a visit to Sapa that time. The period from June to September also coincides with high domestic season so you may expect to see more Kinh than other ethnic minorities. From September to mid-December, the weather is perfect for sight-seeing, photo-taking and camping trips, making it one of two best times to drop by Sapa.
From late December to February, Sapa has a harsh winter with temperature being practically zero and cold winds stemming from China. Thus, this time should be avoided by tourists, especially those from tropical countries. The dry season is from January to June, but from January to February, the winter still predominates in the dreaming town. March to May is another great time to come to Sapa, with sunny days, good weather and fresh air. June is an unstable month; sometimes wet season comes earlier in mid-June, so tourists should be mindful of June, too. In general, March to May and September to mid-December is two best times to visit this marvelous town.
Sapa Weather In Brief:
- March – May: perfect weather – warm and dry – for trekking and outdoors activities
- June – September: rainy weather and crowded with Vietnamese tourists
- Late – September – mid- December: cool dry weather – perfect for photos and trekking
- Mid-December – February: harsh winter but few tourists – perfect for people watching
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