Sapa Vietnam Trekking – Our Review

Author Carina Klein
· 8 min read · 0 comments

Share this post with others


The Sapa Vietnam trek treats you with picturesque rice paddy views and a local homestay experience.

Hiking Sapa is much more than the rice paddy views you see all over Instagram. It’s bamboo forests and waterfalls. And it’s hiking through hill tribe villages and immersing yourself in the local culture in homestays

We chose the Sapa 2 Days 1 Night From Hanoi - Overnight in Ta Van Village because of its affordable price and amazing reviews. We are going to talk about this tour in our blog post.

Sapa Vietnam Trekking – Our Honest Review

We thoroughly enjoyed our hike in Sapa Vietnam – although we went in winter. Would we do it again? If winter is the only season we have time, definitely. If we could choose the season freely, we would probably choose the main season from September to November when all the rice fields are ripe.

The tour itself was great.

The hiking was tough for untrained people like us but manageable. Although it was the off-season, the views were still stunning.

The night bus transfers went smoothly.

Our guide was kind, knowledgeable, and helpful.

We were lucky and hiked with a very small group of nice people.

We absolutely loved the homestay and think the homecooked food was among the best we had in our month in Vietnam.

All in all, we can only recommend this tour.

Picture of Hiking Sapa Vietnam
Hiking Sapa Vietnam

Is Sapa Hiking Worth it?

Yes, hiking in Sapa Vietnam is absolutely worth it. The rice field views are amazing and we always love staying in homestays.

Keep in mind though that Sapa is by no means off the beaten path any more. Many buses connect Hanoi and Sapa. Sapa town is pretty touristy with many massage parlours, hotels, and photo spots.

Still, Sapa homestay trekking is a worthwhile experience if you ask us. Tourists will disperse the further you get away from Sapa town and you can enjoy many of the views for yourself.

The homestays offer a perfect blend of traditional (think food) and modern (think hot showers).

Picture of Newsletter
Get your Free Vietnam Itinerary Cheat Sheet
  • Quick overview over the most important destinations in Vietnam.
  • Decide which ones to visit and which ones to skip!
Picture of Sapa Vietnam Hiking
Sapa Vietnam Hiking

Can You Trek Sapa on Your Own?

Yes, trekking in Sapa is possible without a guide. You have to be aware though that you will not save a lot of money.

You’ll pay

  • Around 20$ for roundtrip buses from and to Hanoi.
  • Around 10$ for a night in a homestay.
  • Around 16$ for food (4 meals times 4$).

= Around 46$ in total.

If you compare that with the price for the Sapa trekking tour, you’ll see that you don’t really pay much extra for the knowledge and carefreeness a guide provides.

Picture of Indigo

Who Should Book Sapa Trekking Tours?

A trekking Vietnam Sapa tour is perfect for travellers who

  • like hiking.
  • maybe don’t feel confident enough to hike in a foreign country without a guide.
  • want to experience local life in a homestay.
  • enjoy views and photo ops.
Picture of Hill tribe village Sapa
Hill tribe village Sapa

What Other Travellers Say About Sapa Trekking Tours

⭐ Rating: 5.0 / 5 (921 reviews)

An incredible experience. Zi was an amazing guide, she is so kind and patient. She gave us lots of time to take photos and rest stops. I recommend you bring good hiking shoes since the trek can be muddy. They will also take your bags for you to your bungalow which was wonderful. Food was delicious and our host was great. Overall an amazing trek.

– Yumi (see more reviews)

What Do Sapa Vietnam Tours Include?

The Sapa tour we did includes:

  • Roundtrip transfers from Hanoi in modern bus.
  • English-speaking local guide.
  • Bungalow/stilt house (dorm).
  • Breakfast.
  • Lunch (2).
  • Dinner.
Picture of Traditional Vietnamese food
Traditional Vietnamese food

How Much Does Trekking in Sapa Cost?

You can check the current rates for trekking Sapa Vietnam here.

Homestay in Sapa Vietnam

We stayed at River mountain view homestay in Ta Van and were super happy. The owners were amazing, the home-cooked food delicious, the showers hot, and the beds comfy. They have a 9.7/10 rating on for a reason!

Picture of View from homestay in Sapa Vietnam
View from homestay in Sapa Vietnam

2 Days in Sapa Vietnam

The Sapa 2 Days 1 Night From Hanoi - Overnight in Ta Van Village tour has two options available: A morning bus and a night bus. We chose the night bus so that is the option we will describe.

Sapa Vietnam Itinerary – Day 1

After a super smooth night bus ride, we arrived in Sapa in the morning.

Our lovely guide picked us up on time and the hike through the ride paddies commenced. On the way, our guide explained a lot about the local hill tribes and told a lot of interesting stories. Our favourite was the indigo demonstration.

The lunch we had at a local restaurant was delicious.

The afternoon treated us with more rice paddy views before we reached the homestay.

The local family was super kind and we were even allowed to help prepare dinner – which was delicious.

After a hot shower, we spent the night under cosy blankets.

Bucketlist2life tip: There will most likely be a flock of local women following you. In our case, they were quite helpful because the path was muddy and they helped guide our steps. In the end, they were very persistent that we buy some of their products.
Picture of Preparing food at Sapa homestay
Preparing food at Sapa homestay

Sapa Vietnam Itinerary – Day 2

Day 2 started with a local breakfast. Afterwards, we trekked through more rice fields and a bamboo forest.

The highlight of the day was the waterfall in Giang Ta Chai.

We had a local lunch before we were driven back to Sapa. Here, we had some free time to explore the town before we hopped back on the bus.

Picture of Bamboo forest
Bamboo forest

Sapa Trek Travel Guide

How to Get to Sapa Vietnam

Normally, how to go to Sapa Vietnam should not worry you because transfers are included in your tour. In case it’s not, you can book a ton of buses from Hanoi to Sapa online.

How Long Does it Take to Trek in Sapa?

Of course, you can trek as short or as long as you want. Most travellers will choose a 2 day/1 night trek because staying in a homestay in Sapa is part of the experience.

Is Trekking in Sapa Difficult?

Real talk: Trekking Sapa was surprisingly difficult for us.

Checking the itinerary, we thought 9 km (5.5. mi) on day 1 and 4 km (2.5 mi) on day 2 was very doable.

One factor of Sapa trekking being hard was the off-season. The paths were super muddy and slippery and it took quite a lot of concentration not to slide down the rice paddies.

The other factor which I feel like many other travellers neglect to mention is the elevation. Rice paddies are located along hillsides so of course, there’s a lot of walking up and down. We were not mentally prepared for that. Maybe this post can help you to be better prepared…

Sapa Vietnam in Winter

Speaking of the off-season: Winter in Sapa Vietnam is not a joke. It can get very cold. When we were trekking Sapa in January, there was even snow on Fansipan, the highest mountain in Vietnam. Additionally, the paths can be super muddy.

Picture of Waterfall in Giang Ta Chai
Waterfall in Giang Ta Chai

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. You would help us a lot if you do so. Thanks.

Interested in personal updates and honest travel guides?
Sign up for our biweekly bucketlist2life newsletter for exclusive behind the scenes looks into our travel planning!


Want to support us?
Buy us a coffe, a tea – or a whisky.


Leave a comment

Do you have any thoughts on this article? – We would love to hear from you!

Do you want to follow us on our jouney? Check this box to also signup for our Newsletter and never miss an update!

You have a link you want to share with others? This is a good place for it!

Do you want to receive a Push-Notification when someone replies to your comment? – Check this box!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.