Sapa is an incredibly
picturesque city that lies on the Hoang Lien Son mountain ranges near the
Chinese border in Northwest Vietnam. You can take a night train from Hanoi to Lao-Cai, arriving Lao-Cai early in the morning. Then take a minibus from Lao Cai's train station to Sapa. The mountainous, winding road from Lao-Cai to Sapa is very beautiful. In 2015, you can drive to Lao Cai on a new highway connecting Hanoi to Lao Cai.
There are many terraced fields that the local people growing rice on the mountain slopes. Surrounding Sapa are the Hoang Lien Son ranges, which the French nicknamed the Tonkinese Alps. These mountains include Fansipan, which is Vietnam's highest mountain (3143 meters). On a clear day you can see the Fansipan from Sapa. In Sapa, you can take a hiking trip to Fansipan, or visit these beautiful places near Sapa town.
Aerial view of Sapa, Lao Cai from Google Earth.