Sapa in Vietnam is very well-known old French Hill station located in the Northern Mountain area. With the elevation of 1600 m from sea level, Sapa is very famous and the town of four season in a day or the town in the cloud, that could be the ideal condition for taking the romantic photograph of this lovely town. It will be very easy for you to meet and interact some of hill-tribe group or taking street life photos with some influences from old French time in Sapa Town.
Sapa located in one of the most scenic areas in the northern mountain area of Vietnam. You will be impressed by the 33 km long and wilding road going uphill to Sapa from Lao Cai along the tremendous mountain with beautiful cloud, river, waterfall and amazing terrace rice field. In some part along the road, you can view the terrace rice field going down from top to the bottom of the mountain that look really like “the stair way to the heaven”. These photo opportunities will make you to stop several times to take pictures, that will shorten allots the way to Sapa.
Special interests for photographing in Sapa
I can say that the terrace rice field can be one of the most attractions for Sapa photography tour, which many of the photos of this won the international price or published by National Geographic. From along the way up to Sapa from Lao Cai to beautiful route from Sapa town to Cat Cat and Sin Chai Village or specially the amazing road down to Muong Hoa Valley, you always can see abundant of opportunities for taking your own photo this masterpiece of nature and human being.
The others attraction of Sapa you should not miss is the authentic local hill tribe living in this area. There are totally 8 different hill tribes in Sapa and you can meet some of them, such as: Black Mong, Red Dzao, Giay, Tay and Xa Pho people. Many of them can be seen in Sapa town, but the best way is going to where they live in their villages. The highlight here is all the hill tribe people in Sapa still wearing their traditional clothes and they are strongly keeping their traditional and custom. They even look more colorful and beautiful at the weekend, when they all dress up to go to their weekend market. So the best thing to do when coming to Sapa is taking the beautiful trek from the town to the villages of Hill tribe people. This trek will lead you along the spectacular scenery of mountain area of Sapa, the well known terrace rice field, friendly and hospitality people. In many villages of hill tribe people in Sapa now, you can stay in their traditional house as the home stay. Taking part of the hill-tribe villages and interacting with local people will give you the opportunity to capture unique Sa Pa daily life photograph.
Sapa and it’s surrounded area also have the local weekend market, mostly on Sunday and some on Saturday. It will be perfect opportunity for taking photos of local people and their products. For hill tribe people here, the weekend market is not only for shopping but more important, it is great chance for them to have a good food, great fun and socializing after the week of working hard. So they all wait for this market all week long, well dressed and having the great fun in the market. Their emotional faces with different expression will be the great photo opportunities. All surrounding weekly markets such as Coc Ly (Tuesday), Can Cau (Saturday), Bac Ha, Muong Khuong and Muong Hum (Sunday) promise you most attractive Vietnamese hill-tribe photos. Don’t miss the food section, where you can the see the best fun in the market.
Link to photo tour to the north-west of Vietnam !
When is the best time for Sapa Photography Tour?
Sapa located right in the middle of Hoang Lien Son – the longest pass in Vietnam. If you keep driving from Sapa up to the top of the pass to O Quy Ho and Tram Ton – the place so called “The Gate to the Heaven”, you can take the photograph of the most spectacular scenery in the mountain area in the north of Vietnam.
In anytime of the year, you can find the interesting subject to take photograph in Sapa. But two most popular times will be spring and summer time. Spring time can be the most romantic time for taking photograph in Sapa when the town normally covered by the thin mist with peach and plum blossom everywhere and hill tribe people having their festival for celebrating the New Year.
In the summer time, the local hill tribe will cultivate their only crop of rice in the year from June to October. The most interesting time for taking photograph could be at the beginning of the crop (the local hill tribe call: the falling water season) where you can see many activities of local people working on the field to prepare for their crop in June and the harvest time when the rice field in golden color from middle of September to beginning of October.
To take the Vietnam photography tour to Sapa, you need to spend at least two day in this town. Half day for the town, half day for going up to Tram Ton Pass and one day to go down to visit the hill tribe villages and terrace rice field. But the perfect time to take the tour should be in 4 days, that you can spend one more day to the villages with home stay and the other day to one of weekend markets near Sapa.