5 useful tips for trekking in Sa Pa
Update: Sep 06, 2017
If you are planning to travel to Northern Viet Nam, you should not miss a trekking adventure in Sa Pa. This region has breathtaking scenery with its sweeping mountain vistas, rice terraces, and local villages.

Here are five tips for the most enjoyable trekking experience in Sa Pa:

Hire a guide

A half-day hike (such as Cat Cat Village) or a full-day hike is one of the great things to do in Sa Pa and is easily attempted without a guide, but if you plan to spend two or three days exploring the hillside, it certainly benefits to hire a local guide. They are familiar with the best lookout spots, the changes in weather and the terrain. Most of the local guides are English-speaking, friendly, and knowledgeable to make the trekking experience that much more enjoyable.

Cat Cat Village in Sa Pa

Pack light

It isn't necessary to pack a lot of supplies for the day or overnight trekking trip to Sa Pa. Most of the family-run homestays provide the essentials like fresh towels, warm blankets, or bed sheets for the night. Only pack what is absolutely essential. Even though a backpack may feel light in the hotel room, it will soon feel a lot heavier as the day goes on.

Useful items to pack included food (snacks, bread, soft drink, etc.), drinking water (although this can easily be bought along the way), a light raincoat for the changeable weather, a camera to record the stunning scenery, a change of clothes, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a jacket for the evening when the temperature gets cooler  

Snacks are important to pack because you aren't always in control over the stopping times for lunch and dinner. There are plenty of villages to stop at with a restaurant, but it still benefits to snack regularly to keep the energy up.

Sturdy shoes

Trekking trails often go off-the-beaten-track, so a good pair of sturdy shoes is essential when attempting to hop across ditches, scramble up mountains, or similar difficult terrain. A decent pair of running shoes may suffice for the short hike. However, a proper pair of hiking boots is the best option if planning a trek that lasts two or more days, or intending to walk to the summit of Mount Fansipan.

For the travellers on the Viet Nam family tour without suitable gear for trekking, there are several shops in Sa Pa town that sell and rent a complete collection of trekking gear. This is certain to appeal to the tourists that prefer to travel light and don't wish to lug around heavy boots and hiking poles.

Don't forget your camera

A trek on the mountainous region of Sa Pa makes a perfect destination for the Viet Nam photography tour. The local scenery is quite stunning with its mountains and rice terraces. Many guides will point out the best lookout points and give photo breaks to really get the most from your camera.

Get used to the touts

If you are planning to spend one or two days in Sa Pa, you are likely to encounter the local Hmong tribe’s women who regard touting as a serious business. There are plenty around and although they may start off friendly enough, many of the touts can use quite aggressive sales tactics.

Read More: Sa Pa travel guide and Sa Pa trekking tour

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