08.12.2015 - 08.12.2015 17 °C
Many people travel to Sapa to trek its beautiful and stunning mountains, visiting the various hill tribes villages as well as to experience the ethnic hill tribes home stays. There were also some wonderful and awesome waterfalls in Sapa that will captured the hearts of nature lovers on how such gift of nature were not short of within this mountainous region of Northern Vietnam that borders just next to China. In summary, Sapa is a province that provides everything a traveller would want to enjoy which include the great nature's wonders such as the serene mountains and marvellous waterfalls, interesting hill tribes communities and their ethnic products which these were also derived from natural resources such as herbs, teas, nuts and their skills in producing hill tribes clothing and kitchenwares. Sapa town in itself has so much of its special characters which distanced itself from any other towns in Vietnam. This town at various points look so much of a European country's town with some of its buildings such as hotels were designed to look in such a way that they resembled a foreign-like structure. I am not sure how this blends into Sapa during the summer season as I was here at this time of the year which weather was chilly with thick mist coupled with rains and winds. But as I read, due to its mountainous geography, this town do experience all 4 weather "seasons" at anytime of the year, cold during the early morning, spring after sunrise, summer during afternoon and winter cold again during night time. The most notable parts of Sapa town were the Sapa Church, Sapa Square and the Sapa Lake areas. Its worthwhile to spend some time to walk around Sapa town to check out these areas and other nooks and corners of it as they offer a rewarding photography efforts with the nice and awesome structures and natural beauty surrounding Sapa town. Within the town, there were also dozens of restaurants that served hotpots as well as barbecue meats, which were inexpensive and taste good too. Also, there were few cafes that you can go for a fix of the aromatic traditional Vietnamese dripping coffee, relax and chill out.
European inspired hotel architecture at Sapa town
Relax and enjoy Vietnamese dripping coffee at Sapa town
Barbecue meat are popular among travellers to Sapa
Other than trekking mountains and visiting hill tribes villages, there were also few other activities that can be done in Sapa such as venturing into waterfall adventures within the Heaven's Gate. The tour can be done by hiring a "taxi" which usually being a minivan and can be arranged with the hotel or any of the tour agency in Sapa town. It can also be done privately with a cost of just the taxi hiring to transport you around at approximately VND 400,000 to visit 2 major waterfalls as well as to the Tram Ton Pass which overlooks the stunning view of the Lai Chau Valley. Lai Chau is another province within the Northern Vietnam region and Lai Chai Valley is located between Sapa and Lai Chau. The waterfalls that dotted the road within the Tram Ton pass in this Heaven's Gate tour were the Silver Waterfall known as Thac Bac and the Love Waterfall known as Thac Tinh Yeu. The tour took about 3 hours to complete.
THE MARVELLOUS VALLEY VIEW WHILE RETURNING FROM THE HEAVEN"S GATE TOUR TO SAPA TOWN
The Silver Waterfall was situated close to the road shoulder, therefore requiring minimal trekking other than to climb up the staircase which has several base levels. The final base has a bridge that connects from one side to the other, which was the entrance hike up side to the exit hike down side. The waterfall was located on a steep mountain and have few levels of very awesome and amazing falls with water gushing down intensely from each of the mountain edges. From afar, the waterfall can be seen pouring down from the mountain, creating one of the most distinguished natural wonders that can be captured by one's eyes and the camera. There were some traders just opposite the waterfall on the ground level which include sale of teas, nuts, herbs, knives and hill tribes accessories.
THE SILVER WATERFALL LANDSCAPES, VIEW FROM ABOVE THE BASE OF THE EDGE OF THE WATERFALL & ITEMS SOLD WITHIN THE WATERFALL AREA
The Love Waterfall was one of the quite challenging exploration because to access to this waterfall, it requires about 30 minutes of trekking along the forest and creek to reach the waterfall. It can be exhaustive walk but the effort will not gone down the drain. Its truly worth all the energy to trek the trails to see and witness by your own eyes how beautiful this nature's masterpiece could be. The Love Waterfall natural landscape was rather different from that of Spring Waterfall as here, there were no multi-layered edges and as such, the water can be seen gushing down just from one side of the mountain. Once reaching the stream area, the Love Waterfall was thought to be rather near but yet, it was still quite a distance away with more efforts required to climbed up the narrow and hilly pathways. The conditions will turned out to be rather difficult during the wet and cold season as the pathways can be slippery and muddy, so be well prepared. Nevertheless, as just mentioned, the sweat and challenges were well worth it to check out this stunning natural wonders.
THE PATHWAYS, FOREST AND CREEK WHILE TREKKING TO LOVE WATERFALL
The most unfortunate thing during this Heaven's Gate tour was the inability to view the Lai Chau Valley at the Tram Ton Pass due to the heavy mist but there's always another opportunity to experience that the next visit. The Thac Bac and Thac Tinh Yeu tour however has made up for the day and were indeed a satisfying and fulfilling adventures after another interesting and marvellous trekking at Cat Cat Village.