Sapa in the local language means that the sand
pool. Today the town formerly known as Red Lake (Red water springs) is located
at an altitude of 1.500m above sea level with an area of about 25km2 between the
Hoang Lien Mountains and Can Thang mostly inhabited by Hmong people.
Early 20th century discovered the advantages of Sapa with excellent topography,
terrain, climate and resources, the French have accrued to local Hoang Lien Son
mountain foot and the planning and construction of resorts Sapa. The early 1940s
there were over 200 villas with many different architectural styles built by the
French in Sapa. Through the years of war most of the villas were destroyed and
damaged, only about about 20 villas left.
Close to Chinse border, Today Sapa is still one of the most attractive spots in
Vietnam, especially at weekends when people crowd for the famous "Love market"
which has become legendary, take an adventure into the villages of ethnic people
in the mountain or climb up Fanxipan, the highest mount in South East Asia.
On Saturday nights, young people from remote villages gather at the market, they
court each other by playing music, dancing, drink rice wine, after the market,
many boys and girls become close friends, many couples find their partners from
the Love Market.
There are about 6 ethnic groups living around Sapa, the two biggest are Red Dzao
and Black Hmong, others are Dzay, Xa Pho, Tay...Most ethnic women are very
hardworking while men spend their time with opium, rice wine or hanging around.
Coming to Sapa it is a must to buy some item embroidered products made by local
ethnic people such as Hmong or Dao. Many young girls beautifully dressed follow
their mothers to market selling souvenirs or posing for photos with tourists.
Sa Pa is cool all year round, average temperature in about 15-18OC. Winter often
cloud covered and very cold, sometimes below 0 degree celsius with snow. That is
a great opportunity for those who want to enjoy the winter scenery in Europe.
Weather in Sa Pa, has four seasons a day: morning, afternoon is the weather of
spring, collection; noon is the summer weather, often with mild sunshine, clear
sky, but still mild cool climate; night is the cold weather of winter.