If we can not go to Japan like every year at this time, this year will still be synonymous with cold and mountains in the Sapa region.
It has been 13 years since I have not been back there. I heard a lot of negative things: too many tourists, Sapa in eternal construction, a lot of children in the streets begging... Considering the period, it's now or never!
We leave with the family, 5 of us with the children, on December 25th, after having celebrated Christmas at home on the 24th.
We take the plane around noon to arrive in Hanoi at 2 pm. I rented a car without a driver. The positive point? It is directly parked at the airport, so we do not waste time to reach the city center!
Google Maps announces arrival at the Victoria Sapa, our hotel, 4 hours and 20 minutes later. Let's go! It is a big highway, limited to 100kms/h on one half and 80kms/h on the other. It will take about 45 minutes of mountain roads from Lao Cai to Sapa. It goes up and it turns... Phew! We arrived. The serious things are going to be able to begin.
We wake up with the sun and a blue sky.
The breakfast at the hotel is gargantuan. We must eat to gain strength, because today, it is the ascent of the Fansipan mountain, the highest point of Vietnam: 3,143 meters. We are announced 4 degrees in the top, we exchange the dresses we wear in Ho Chi Minh City against a sweater and a scarf!
Sapa has just equipped itself with a completely revolutionary cable car, with 2 Guinness World Records: the longest with 3 pillars, more than 6 kilometers, and the highest, at 1 410 meters. It's like being at Disney!
The ascent is impressive, the flow too. We make the first stop after having taken a funicular. The view is breathtaking. The serious things begin. Some cries and it is gone. Magnificent.
The return is done on foot, a descent of 600 steps with some stops, it is magic. We left at 10:30 this morning. It is already almost 4 pm when we arrive at the center of Sapa.
A small hour of walk in the city before it is dark and cold. A very beautiful covered and heated swimming pool awaits us at the hotel, with a sauna as a bonus. It is fabulous!
Once is not custom: the aperitif! This evening, it will be at the corner of the fireplace in the living rooms of the hotel. We choose to dine at 1991 at five minutes on foot of the hotel, it is a French restaurant, excellent like our day!
A walk in CatCat, a very touristic site, but so different from what we are going to see the next day. There are no tourists, only the Vietnamese of Hanoi who come to spend the day disguised as in Japan. We spend a very good moment in these small streets full of shops and the waterfall to finish.
We leave our hotel around 3:30 pm to arrive 30 minutes later at the Laxsik Ecolodge, nothing to compare, in the middle of the mountain, the sight is impressive. We rented the family cottage with its chimney, the dream.
Talk outside with the children until the fallen night, aperitif in front of the fireplace, we love it. The dinner will be surprising. I don't say more.
We wake up with a breathtaking view. We have breakfast outside. It is nice and warm. The weather is exceptional, the breakfast too.
We attack our trekking which will last all day. We took the highest level of difficulty, so we do not walk on the road. It is feasible.
The beginning is difficult because that goes up strongly, but we take our time. The sight is exceptional. Our guide is great. I indicate her coordinates at the end of the article, I recommend her to you!
This day in the valley of Mong Hoa is really full of nature, exchanges, do it without hesitating!
We stop directly at our homestay for the night because we pass in front of, after the bamboo forest. We are going to spend the evening with our hosts and their little girl of 2 years, the dogs, the puppies, and the cat. A very strong moment and filled with sharing. Our bungalows are very pretty and give on the other side of the valley.
We are in the village of Ta Van, alone!
After a tour in the village, we leave for Hanoi where the children's friends and work partners are waiting for us. An evening in Hanoi at Emm's restaurant and the next day, a few visits for a breath of Hanoian atmosphere. The plane will take off around 7 pm the next day.
"This trip was perfect, with no false notes and very varied. I highly recommend it."
Victoria Sapa, contact Hanno on behalf of Stéphanie
Laxsik Ecolodge, Clay house or Topas Riverside, it all depends on your budget.
Sapa Guide: Yao, +84 (0) 834 725 296
Hmong House, Sapa Homestay