Muong Hoa Valley or Sapa valley is the gateway to another world of mysterious minority cultures and outstanding landscapes. Dive in to explore NOW!
The breathtaking beauty of Sapa valley in its best season!
Sapa is the place that holds tremendous beauty in Northern Vietnam, and a popular destination for foreign tourists to visit. It is famous for the cloudy rooftop of Indochina – Mount Fansipan with trekking trip, the colorful life in the villages of local ethnic minorities, the lush green terrace fields of rice on the sides of hills, and of course, the charming beauty of Sapa valley.
Located around 10 kilometers away from Sapa Town center, in Hau Thao Commune, Muong Hoa Valley is known as the largest farmland for rice growing and one of the most breathtaking landscapes in Sapa Vietnam. Coming to Muong Hoa Valley, tourists will be able to admire the impressive scenery of the valley lying between high ranges. And if you know the right time and the right way to visit Sapa Valley, the experience will be doubled!
Sapa Valley – Muong Hoa Valley Overview
Muong Hoa Valley is an important part of Sapa, it is the place that nurtures the people here as well as the workplace for most of them. It is said that Muong Hoa Valley is at its peak of beauty when it comes to the new rice season or the harvest season, so traveler should note down these times to visit this beautiful valley in Sa pa Vietnam.
Normally, people would go explore Muong Hoa Valley in two ways: through a Sapa valley trekking trip or by the mountain-climbing train. If you plan to stay in Sapa a few days and want to have an overall understanding of “life on the clouds”, a Muong Hoa Valley trek would be a good idea.
Muong Hoa Valley trekking is one of the 2 best way to witness “life on the clouds”
However, if you don’t have much time to spend in Sapa and want to have a more romantic, less tiring experience, taking the train to visit Sapa valley will suit you better. The train will effortlessly take you to a new height, and the landscape around you will be magnificent and breathtaking.
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Best time to visit Muong Hoa Valley Sapa in new rice season and harvest season.
For the best experience in Muong Hoa Valley, visitors should come in the new rice season, when the valley is filled with lush green young rice tree, or in the harvest season, when the whole valley turns golden with ripening rice.
The planting season or the new rice season in Sapa valley starts in May. However, it is not advisable that travelers coming to Muong Hoa in early May, since at that time the fields have not been planted completely, leaving a lot of empty and brown spots on the Sapa terraces – which means the beauty of Sapa Valley has not shown yet.
The beauty of Sapa Valley has not shown yet how ever the lush green of these rice fields is charming enough!
Visiting Muong Hoa Valley in late May or even later will reward the tourists with endless lush green fields of the slopes of the hills, running to the horizons. And the faraway ranges of cloudy mountains add a more romantic touch to the scene, making it even greater for photo taking.
For the harvest season, September to October is high time, but the beauty of Muong Hoa peaks in September. In autumn, the rice terrace fields on the slopes of the hills in Muong Hoa Valley all become ripen and ready to be harvested.
The harmonious beauty of nature and people
The scenery of the golden valley in the cool winds and light sunlight and the local people in their traditional colorful clothes, busying of harvesting their labor is like something that walks right out of a painting.
More details in Best time to visit Sapa!
Explore Sapa Valley Vietnam by trekking
As mentioned above, one of the things to do in Sapa Valley is exploring the place by Sapa trekking routes. The advantages of the Sapa Valley trek are that you can add more destinations into the plan, learn more about the daily life of the local hill tribes and having a great time bonding with your friends or families over the trip. However, the trip requires physical abilities, so it may be out of reach for elders and young children.
Typically, the trip will start at Sapa town, and travelers will walk on one of the main roads leading to Muong Hoa Valley. On the road, the landscape is already a great thing to see. And when coming to Muong Hoa Valley, tourists will surely be impressed by the magnificent and charming of Muong Hoa Valley as Sapa Valley is like a scene jumping out from a movie.
Apart from that, Muong Hoa Valley has a lot of destinations that you can corporate into the schedule. Travelers can visit the Carved Stones in the valley with about 160 rocks carved with mysterious graphics and drawings. It is rumored that these stones are evidence of the life of pre-historic people left behind for our generations.
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Or you can choose to visit some of the visits nearby, to learn more and see more about the life of the Black Hmong, Tay, and Red Dzao peoples in Sapa village. They are friendly, always welcome you with a smile on their faces. Getting a homestay with a local family is also a good idea – you will have a chance to taste the local dishes, join in their daily activities and learn about their ways of life on the clouds.
Meet friendly locals on the way exploring Muong Hoa Valley
And you can buy a lot of nice souvenirs, from brocade products, traditional clothes, silver jewelry to fresh fruits and high-quality herbs from the local people – everything is made from their labor and skillful hands. Some of the best villages in Sapa to visit during a Muong Hoa Valley trekking trip are Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Phin and Ta Van village.
And during the trip, sight-seeing is a must. Sapa is famous for the poetic and dreamlike landscape everywhere, so on the road of Sapa valley trekking, the scenery around you is of no exception. The lush green rice terrace fields, the small bamboo bridges crossing the crystal-clear streams, the people working on the fields or weaving in front yards or the busy and bustling markets of the local hill tribes… all of them are one of the greatest parts of the trip.
>>> More things to do in Sapa besides trekking? See shopping in Sapa market!
Explore Muong Hoa Valley Vietnam by mountain-climbing train
The question is can you explore Muong Hoa Valley Sapa without trekking?
If you don’t have much time to stay in Sapa, or trekking through Muong Hoa Valley is out of your league, taking the mountain-climbing train is a good alternative. Besides, Muong Hoa Valley’s beauty is best appreciated from above, so taking a train trip will give you a panoramic Sapa valley view.
Operated since March 2018, the Muong Hoa mountain railway is the connecting means of transportation between Sa Pa Town and the Fansipan cable car station. The length of the railway is about two kilometers, the Muong Hoa mountain railway is one of the longest sight-seeing railways of Vietnam, traveling through for viaducts and two other tunnels.
The railway station for this train is at Sapa town center, in the Mgallery Hotel’s area. The opening hours for the train trip is from 6:30 to 18:30 every day. It only takes approximately 5 minutes to travel on this train from Sapa town center to Muong Hoa Valley, super-fast comparing to 20 minutes by car or shuttle bus.
The price for a round trip of the Muong Hoa mountain-climbing train is 10$ US (200.000 VND) per pax. You can buy the ticket for only the train, or get a combo for cable line ticket to the top of Mount Fansipan. The train station is designed with a touch of European styles, vibrant and joyful feeling. The train has two cabins, with a total capacity of 400 passengers.
Inside each cabin, the decoration and the lighting bring out a warm and nice feeling. The sides of the cabins are made from glass, allowing the passenger to have a full view of the landscape around them. Muong Hoa Valley will gradually appear in front of your eyes, with all of its pristine and charming beauty.
Have the whole Sapa valley in your eyes!
If you wish to continue the trip, getting to the peak of Mount Fansipan by cable line is a good choice. The second station of the mountain-climbing train is the transit point to the cable service. From this point, you can take the cable cabin and continues to explore the rooftop of Indochina in Hoang Lien Son Ranges.
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Tips for the best Sapa Muong Hoa Valley trip
To get the best experience in Muong Hoa Valley and in Sapa in general, tourists should remember these small tips:
- Dressing modestly is a way of showing respect to the local people. Even if the weather is hot, showing too much skin is not really appropriate in the ethnic minorities’ cultures.
- If you stay with a local family or visit their houses, remember to take off your headwears and your backpack. Again, it is a good way of showing respect.
- The living standard of the local people is quite low, so you can help them by buying their handcraft goods or using their homestay. You should not give money directly to them, especially to the children.
- Visitors should ask for permission before taking photos. In that way, the local people will show their willingness, and having a better memory about you.
- Invest in trekking gear if you plan on a trekking trip in Muong Hoa Valley. The road and the trails can be really slippery are bumpy, and most of them are not in good condition in bad weather. A rain jacket, a water-proof trekking pair of shoes and a hat or headwear is the minimum necessary for the trip. Don’t worry, you can find them almost everywhere in Sapa markets.
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