Villages in Sapa → Homestay (+MAP) ☀️

Villages in Sapa – Homestay – Trekking. Photo: Sapa – Hau Thao village, 10 km from Sapa town.

You can visit several ethnic small and large villages in Sapa area.

Area in Sapa where you can move around on foot or with a bike is big and beautiful. For example the Muong Hoa Valley is about 30 km long and there are countless villages with ethnic people. The Black Hmong, Red Dao and Tay ethnic minority prevail in these villages. The whole area around Sapa is suitable for trekking and homestay with ethnic residents. I recommend to ask the local ethnic residents for homestay, I think you will not have problem in below-mentioned villages to find something. Do you travel from Hanoi to Sapa? Read this > How to travel from Hanoi to Sapa?

Book a private tour in Sapa

Villages closer to Sapa are visited by large numbers of foreign tourists.

The whole area is much frequented by foreign tourists, who does not like this so do not go there. However, Sapa still holds a certain authenticity of ethnic villages, hotels for tourists you will find only in Sapa town. Sapa is among the three most visited places in northern Vietnam. Still, there are places or routes where many tourists do not go. The rule is the farther from the center – the better, and the concentration of tourists is decreasing. For most visited villages can be considered Cat Cat, Tavan, Lao Chai.

⚠️ Important: The farther away from Sapa – the better.

Sapa – Muong Hoa valley

You can visit these villages around Sapa:

1. Tavan

Tavan village is a very popular place in the Muong Hoa valley, located about 10 km from the town of Sapa. Officially, it is necessary to come here with a guide and a purchased ticket in price of about 2 USD. The ticket can be purchased in the center of Sapa, in the tourist information center. However, this village can be accessed without a guide and without a ticket. It’s up to each of you what you prefer. Just go eg. with some of the ethnic residents from the nearby villages by motorbike and just have a ticket. Or you can go with an ethnic girl „unofficial“ way around the mountain Ham Rong and you do not have to buy any tickets. Around the mountain Ham Rong on the eastern part is very nice light trek, much better than going by road from the town of Sapa, „off beaten path“.

> Where to stay in Tavan village: Sapa Eco HugoLucky Daisy Buffalo HouseComlan Eco House

  • Ethnic minorities: Hmong, Red Dao, Giay
  • population in this village is approx 1000
  • the possibility of homestay (beware of prepared tourist imitation)
  • treks with local people in Hoang Lien National Park or to Seo My Ty tank (7 km)
  • tourist and largest village, all who come to Sapa go here
  • a few shops, a small restaurants, Daisy Lucky Bamboo bar (delicious)
Muong Hoa valley and Tavan village

2. Lao Chai

Lao Chai village is also very easily accessible location, only 5 km from the town of Sapa. Even in this small village, you have to buy a ticket, at the entrance to the village on the main road there is ticket control. However, you can come e.g. from another direction. From this village you can also continue to Tavan village. There are approximately 100 families of Black Hmong, some houses are only in Hoang Lien National Park. Ask local people in the village for homestay.

> Where to stay in Lao Chai village: Sa Pa Farmer House > Lao Chai Bamboo Stay > Amica House

  • Ethnic minorities: Hmong, Red Dao
  • the possibility of authentic homestay of Hmong residents
  • you can go on treks from Lao Chai with local people in Hoang Lien National Park
  • you can go through this village and continue to Tavan village
  • refreshments and souvenirs
Lao Chai village

3. Sin Chai

Sin Chai village is not as frequented as Cat Cat even if this place is just 6 km from the town of Sapa. There is „nothing“ in this village, but nothing is in the tourist area mean „more“. It’s village mainly of Black Hmong ethnic group. The village has a school, in which you can peek and at the school there is a small local shop, where you will be served as well as some Pho noodles. The path from this village leads to the highest mountain in Vietnam – Fansipan.

  • Ethnic minorities: Black Hmong
  • ask local people for authentic homestay
  • the possibility of buying snacks
  • less visited place than a village Cat Cat
  • you can go to the highest mountain in Vietnam – Fansipan from this village
Sin Chai village and Hoang Lien National Park

4. Hau Thao

Hau Thao village is a small village, about 10 km from the town of Sapa. It is approximately 2 km from the village of Tavan, lies in the hills and and is a bit neglected by tourists. If someone search for a place without tourists, with authenticity and good reach into Sapa, I recommend this place. Definitely this place is better than Tavan village and without imitation of homestay. If you go the route that begins outside the city of Sapa, you do not need to buy a ticket. Go with someone who is from the village, the route is not marked.

> Where to stay in Hau Thao: Mama Chu Homestay > Rock Garden Sapa Homestay > Surelee Homestay

  • Ethnic minorities: Hmong
  • ask local residents for authentic homestay
  • much less visited place than Tavan village
  • small village, ideal for knowledge of life of local residents
  • it is not possible to buy something in the village
Hau Thao village

There is a mobile signal in the mountains around Sapa:

5. Ta Phin

Ta Phin village is home mainly of Red Dao ethnic group. This small village is 12 km from the town of Sapa. It is possible that you’ll have to buy a ticket before the come to the village, depending from where you come. Residents in this village offer original herbal bath, if you want to try, try it here, do not to try herbal bath in Sapa. There is also a cave in this village, you can come here with local resident.

> Where to stay in Ta Phin: Sapa Homestay Ta May > Ta Phin Homestay > Stone Garden Homestay

  • Ethnic minorities: Red Dao
  • ask local residents for authentic homestay
  • the opportunity to purchase some refreshments
  • ideal for understanding the life of ethnic Dao
  • Cave in the village, rice paddies, herbal baths
Ta Phin village

6. Cat Cat

Cat Cat village is about 2 km from the town of Sapa, it is frequented by lots of tourist. You need to buy a ticket when you want to go in to the village. The village has a few „attractions“ such insight into accommodation of Hmong or small exhibition of textiles. There is a nice and small waterfall in the village.  The way through this village continues to the highest mountain of Vietnam – Fansipan.

> Where to stay in Cat Cat: Chapi Homestay > ChienDe Homestay > Stone Paradise Homestay

  • Ethnic minorities: Hmong
  • I dont know when homestay is possible here, but I do not recommend it in this place
  • a tourist village, possibility to buy souvenirs…
  • the possibility of snacks
Cat Cat village and Muong Hoa valley

7. Thanh Kim

Thanh Kim village is home mainly of Red Dao ethnic minority. Thanh Kim is located about 25 km from the town of Sapa, and you can come here on a motorcycle. This village is quite far from Sapa, not so much frequented. There are in fact no „attractions“ and the village lives its typical ethnic life. For authentic homestay you need to ask local people in the village. Nearby are huge rice terraces and hilly valley and view to the mountains. About 2 km from the village is located Topas Ecolodge. This Ecolodge has small guest houses in a beautiful environment for affluent tourists. The resort does not interfere with the surrounding nature and it’s built in accordance with the surrounding.

> Where to stay in Thanh Kim: Topas Ecolodge

  • Ethnic minority: Red Dao, Hmong
  • authentic homestay, ask local residents for homestay
  • less visited place
  • it is not possible to buy something here
  • you can come here on a motorcycle
Thanh Kim village

8. Ban Ho

Ban Ho Village is a home mainly of Tay ethnic minority. However, in nearby villages live the Hmong and Red Dao ethnic minorities. Ban Ho village is located about 20 km from town of Sapa. It is possible you’ll have to buy a ticket at the village. This village is quite far from Sapa, but some tourists come here. There is a opportunity for homestay in the village and there is also possible to buy some food and refreshments. Not far from the village is a waterfall, you can do a light walk and even swim.

> Where to stay in Ban Ho: Sapa Orange Homestay > Organic Farm Homestay

  • Ethnic minority: Tay, Red Dao
  • authentic homestay but also prepared accommodation for tourists
  • less visited place in Muong Hoa valley
  • opportunity to purchase food, snacks in the village
Ban Ho village

The rules to follow in the ethnic villages in Sapa:

• do not use drugs – the use or sale of drugs in Vietnam is illegal
• do not touch the sacred objects
• dress appropriately (long pants, dresses…)
• do not drink alcohol in the village and do not be noisy (you can drink the rice wine in their presence)
• it is not recommended to kiss in the village
• be careful when taking pictures (especially the older people and children, ask for permission and then show the finished photo)
• to the house you can go in only when you are invited (you can also bring a small gift – for example fruit and balloons for children)
• do not put your money and sweets to young children (give only small items, toys for the children)
• like appreciation of hospitality you can buy a handmade object
• if you are invited for lunch or a homestay accomodation – of course pay your money

Villages and trails around Sapa on the map:

FAQ + TIPS – Ethnic and tourist villages in Sapa:

1. How to get and travel from Hanoi to Sapa?

    • You can book train or bus tickets or car from Hanoi to Sapa on Baolau or
    • You can also search another routes and tickets, e.g. Sapa > Ha Giang, Ha Giang > Hanoi…

2. How to book a tour in Sapa and to the villages?

    • It is possible to book a tour or hike in Sapa and nearby villages online with KLOOK.

3. What are the closest villages to Sapa?

    • The closest tourist and ethnic villages to Sapa are: Cat Cat, Sin Chai, Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai.

4. Is it possible to stay in the villages around Sapa?

    • Yes, it is an ideal opportunity how you can see the life of ethnic people (mainly Hmong ethnic minority) in Sapa. You can search and book your homestay in Sapa online with Agoda.

5. What to expect from homestay in Sapa – Vietnam?

    • It depends, where you will stay, there are tourist homestays and non-tourist homestays in Sapa. Homestay is not for everyone and services are limited. Read this article: Homestay in Vietnam.

6. What is the most popular area of villages in Sapa?

    • The most popular and visited area for visiting the villages in Sapa is Muong Hoa Valley. This valley is located about 3 km from Sapa town and it is a part of Hoang Lien National Park.

7. What can I expect to see and do in the rural villages around Sapa?

    • In the rural villages around Sapa, you can expect to see stunning terraced rice fields, traditional stilt houses, and locals dressed in colorful ethnic attire. You can engage in activities like farming, handicraft making, cooking traditional meals, and participating in cultural performances.

8. How can I visit these rural villages around Sapa?

    • The most common way to visit the rural villages around Sapa is by joining a guided trekking tour. These tours are usually led by local guides who can take you on scenic hiking routes, navigate through the villages, and provide insights into the local culture. Homestays are often available in these villages, allowing you to experience the daily life of the locals.

9. Is it possible to stay overnight in the rural villages around Sapa?

    • Yes, it is possible to stay overnight in the rural villages around Sapa. Many villages offer homestay accommodations where you can experience the hospitality of the local communities. This allows for a more immersive experience, as you can interact with the villagers, learn about their customs, and savor traditional meals prepared by your hosts.

10. Can I visit the rural villages around Sapa independently, without a guide?

    • Yes, it is possible to explore the rural villages around Sapa independently. However, having a local guide is highly recommended, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area and the local customs. A guide can help you navigate the villages, communicate with the locals, and provide valuable insights into the culture and traditions. They can also ensure that you respect the local customs and traditions during your visit.

Ethnic Villages in Sapa, Vietnam Description
Cat Cat Village Cat Cat Village is home to the Black H’mong ethnic group, known for their traditional crafts, weaving techniques, and cultural heritage. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local lifestyle, explore rice terraces, and witness traditional performances.
Tavan Village Tavan Village is inhabited by the Giay ethnic minority. It offers stunning views of terraced rice fields and opportunities for trekking. Visitors can experience the Giay’s unique customs, traditions, and vibrant textile artistry.
Lao Chai Village Lao Chai Village is home to the Black H’mong and Dzay ethnic communities. It provides a glimpse into their daily lives, agricultural practices, and handicraft skills. The village is surrounded by scenic landscapes and offers trekking opportunities.
Ta Phin Village Ta Phin Village is known for its Red Dao ethnic community. Visitors can witness their distinctive clothing, herbal bath traditions, and intricate embroidery. The village is also surrounded by lush green valleys and terraced fields.
Sin Chai Village Sin Chai Village is inhabited by the Black H’mong ethnic group. It offers an authentic experience of their traditional farming practices, local crafts, and rich cultural heritage. The village is nestled amidst scenic mountains and rice terraces.
Ban Ho Village Ban Ho Village is home to the Tay ethnic minority. It provides an opportunity to learn about their unique stilt houses, traditional farming methods, and handicraft traditions. Visitors can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Giang Ta Chai Village Giang Ta Chai Village is inhabited by the Red Dao ethnic group. It offers a chance to experience their vibrant culture, traditional clothing, and herbal medicine practices. The village is located in a picturesque valley with terraced fields and a waterfall.
Ma Tra Village Ma Tra Village is home to the Black H’mong ethnic community. It provides insights into their agricultural lifestyle, handicraft skills, and traditional customs. The village is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and scenic beauty.
Y Linh Ho Village Y Linh Ho Village is inhabited by the Black H’mong ethnic group. It offers a glimpse into their daily activities, farming techniques, and traditional weaving. The village is located amidst terraced fields and picturesque valleys.
Seo Mi Ty Village Seo Mi Ty Village is known for its picturesque landscapes and traditional stilt houses. It is home to the Red Dao ethnic minority, offering an opportunity to witness their unique culture, costumes, and handicraft traditions.

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