Best Time to Visit Sapa

Sapa is one of Vietnam’s most popular areas and is situated in the north of the country. It is a fascinating place with superb scenery and a mixture of cultural styles. Like any place it varies throughout the year. The mountain side rice terraces for which it is famous change colour through the seasons. From brown before the rice is planted, to a watery silver when they are flooded and finally to a rich verdant green as the crop riches fruition. The alone makes the time of year that you visit important. However, there are other factors. Here are some of the reasons to visit Sapa at different times.

From the very end of the year in December, through to February, Sapa is in its Winter Season and the temperatures will fall to the lowest experienced in Vietnam. Cold winds coming down through China force the temperature to drop to almost zero and snow falls are not unheard of. After this period from March through to the end of May, it becomes much warmer and the air is fresh and clean. This is an excellent time to visit.

The month of June is a little unstable. Sometimes it can be really pleasant and the air is delightful. However on occasion, the Wet Season arrives early and things look a whole lot different. From late June until September Sapa is in the grip of its Wet Season. The roads become highly dangerous and are prone to flooding. At this time the demographic of the local population changes also, and because of the domestic season, you see more Vietnamese in the area rather than the ethnic minorities for which it is famous.

Once the rains subside in September the weather remains perfect until December. This is a really good time to visit, with excellent walking conditions and the beautiful surrounding countryside looking its best. Temperatures will be cool and just right for trekking.

Therefore, speaking entirely from a climatic standpoint, the two good times to visit are from March to May and from September until the cold snap arrives in mid December.

Tet is an important time for all Vietnamese people and represents a good time to be in the country. Whilst a lot of business closes down, the people are in high spirits and generally gather around their family home to celebrate the new year. It is of course a movable celebration as here they follow the lunar calendar which has 13 cycles per year. As the new year gets under way the Long Tong Festival is held in fields near the village of the same name. Between the 5th and 15th of the first lunar month, the ethnic Tay people gather to bring good fortune and crops. They play games sing tradition songs, dance and enjoy themselves. If you are in the region at this time, be sure to catch it.

Sapa is an amazing place with a unique lifestyle. Planning your trip carefully will provide you with memories to least a lifetime.