Best Time to Visit Sapa

08/12/2014
By ATA

There is much talk and, sometimes, much disagreement amongst online travel writers regarding when is the best time to visit Sapa. Sapa is a highland town situated at the farthest reaches of Vietnam, near the border with China. Many travellers make the mistake of assuming that the weather in the north of Vietnam will be the same as the weather in the South, at the same time, however Vietnam is a large country and the weather in the North may at times surprise you with its icy mornings and misty afternoons.

The sometimes inclement weather in Sapa can be one of the area’s main draws for travellers who are tiring of South East Asia’s sweaty humidity and craving the feel of a cool breeze on their skin. In fact, the first people to travel to Sapa and set up lodgings were the colonial French, who built a hill station high in the mountains to escape the heat of the South. The trouble is, Sapa’s incredible views of the Muong Hoa Valley and Mount Fansipan are also a big draw and bad weather doesn’t help to make good views.

Lao-Chai-village-morning
Misty Sapa morning

December – February

This is wintertime in Sapa. And don’t be fooled by those winter months you spent in Thailand or Indonesia, Sapa gets a real, harsh winter thanks to its northerly position and the freezing winds that sweep in from China, at times lowering the temperature in Sapa close to zero degrees. Very few tourists visit Sapa during this time. Anyone reading this who comes from a country with proper winters might be thinking this weather would suit them fine but do be aware that the misty, rainy skies can spoil any views and the lack of tourists during this time can mean than many hotels don’t properly prepare for the guests that do turn up. There are no ski town type lodges with crackling fireplaces and hot chocolate on tap, you’ll be lucky to find somewhere with an electric heater and electric blanket. But, on the flipside, the lack of tourists and opportunity to see Sapa looking closer to its original, pre-tourist boom self might be enough reason for many to brave the winter chill. Many Sapa festivals also take place during this time. The Xoe Dancing Festival, Long Tong Festival and Thuong Temple Spring Festival all take place in January and February.

March – May

For many, this is the best time to visit Sapa. The misty, rainy skies clear for springtime and the trees and flowers begin to bloom. The weather is quite stable, there are few flash-flood proportion downpours and the sunny days are countered by cool nights. I think all of those travellers who hail from cooler climes can agree, there’s no home comfort quite like putting on a cosy, chunky knit jumper when the sun goes down. The warm, dry days make the spring period perfect for trekking and other outdoor activities in Sapa. Also, did you know Sapa has its own cherry blossom period? Around the month of April, Sapa’s already magnificent views are lightly dusted with the pale pink of cherry blossom trees. A photographer’s dream.

Giang-Ta-chai-sapa
Sapa late March to May

June – August

June to August is the rainy season in most of Vietnam. While you may have gotten used to the brief and quickly forgotten downpours in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, the rainy season causes rather more problems in the more rural, mountainous area of Sapa. As Sapa is a highland town getting there and getting away can be more difficult during rainy season as the storms can sometimes cause dangerous road conditions. Despite the rain, this season is a popular time for Vietnamese tourists to enjoy the splendour of their country and Sapa can become a little saturated with domestic tourists.

September – November

Like the springtime season from March to May, the autumn season from September to November is thought by many to be the best time to get best sapa tours. Again, the weather is stable with warm, clear days and cool nights. The dry weather makes it easier to trek and the rice paddies are said to be in their full emerald-green splendour following a few months of almost constant watering. September is harvesting season in Sapa, so you will get to see the landscape transform before your very eyes. Let start a wonderful year of 2017 with Vietnam tour packages that AsiaTourAdvisor offers. Please contact us via phone at (84) 4 3926 3858 or via email help@asiatouradvisor.com for more details and book cultural trips with best prices and services.

Tags: Best vietnam tours

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