Sapa is the perfect destination for trek lover. There are the fantastic mountains, windy green rice fields, quaint town and colorful markets that attract tourists. Sapa trekking with a local guide is great, especially for a safe trip. However, trekking Sapa without a guide is also an ideal option.
1. Trekking Sapa without a guide – Where is Sapa?
Sapa is a small, mountainous town in Lao Cai province, located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. This land is famous for lots of tourist destinations like Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which includes Fansipan mount – the Roof of Indochina. It’s one of the reasons why tourists like trekking Sapa without a guide.
cat cat village
And this area is home of different ethnic tribal groups such as: the Hmonng, Dao, Tay, Giay, Xa Pho,… Every year Sapa welcomes a diverse of visitors, attracted by the trekking Sapa, highland tribes, iconic rice paddies and the diversity of forests. It’s no doubt that this land is blessed with natural beauty
2. Which route is the most appropriate?
There is no answer for this question because anywhere in Sapa can be your trail. And it also depends on what kind of trekking you would like to take: long or short.
If you want to take a short trekking Sapa without a guide, I recommend you to go to tribal villages. The most common places for sort trekking sapa are: Cat Cat village, Ta Van village, Ta Phin,… Those villages are really amazing. They are well preserved both the landscapes and tribal traditions. You can walk around the village and visit lots of stall where they sell their handicrafts or you also can join in some interesting workshops.
Moreover, if you prefer long and more adventurous trekking Sapa without a guide, there are also lots of trails for you. First of all, I want to mention the route on Hoang Lien Son mountains, which lead you to Fansipan mount. You can find it a little dangerous but if you have mountaineering experiences and you are venturesome enough, why don’t trek Hoang Lien Son mountains without a guide. You will be impressed by the landscape along the way. Another route that you can take is going through paddies fields. This route is safer for trekking sapa without a guide.
3. What things should you bring along when trekking Sapa without a guide?
preparation for trekking sapa
Water: You can’t survive without water. Take enough water. You should take a big bottle of water, about 1.5L. Believe you will finish all.
Food: If you take a trekking Sapa without guide, you should bring some food along. Packaged food is really convenient even thought it don’t taste well at all. Or you can take bring some snacks with you, and you can have lunch at local restaurants
Sun cream: No one wants to destroy the skin. It’s really sunny in Sapa except in the winter and you will take a trekking sapa without a guide all day so sun cream is essential.
Hat and sunglasses. Another sun protection objects that you need in every trip.
Camera: with a full – charged battery. You will be impressed by stunning views of Sapa. And you might want to take photos or record a video to share with your friends.
Map: obviously! You have a trekking Sapa without a guide, so a map is the crucial thing you need to have on your backpack. You should note the route on the map before to save time and to avoid missing some points.
4. Is it easy and safe to take a trekking Sapa without a guide?
Yes and yes, it’s really easy for Sapa trekking without guide. You can easily find great spots and bump into some tourists or local people at least once every hour. Therefore, we can ask for the directions if necessary. And you won’t be afraid of getting lost.
And is it safe for me to take a trekking Sapa without a guide? Once again the answer is yes. You have nothing to worry about. However, I definitely recommend keeping an eye on the time. You should go back to your hotel before dark because there are no lights outside the town. Other than being in the dark, there is no reason to feel unsafe at all.
Even there are a lot of local women and kids trying to sell you stuff, they are really friendly and do no harm to you. They follow you just because they want you to buy something from them.
5. Pros and cons of trekking Sapa without a guide
– It’s cheaper: Very clear and obvious. Without a guide, you only need spend money on the tickets for tourist attractions and food. Trekking Sapa with a guide usually charges you 30 USD/ day more or less.
– You can go wherever you want: Trekking Sapa without a guide is definitely gives you more freedom. You can design the route, destinations you want to go on your own. For me, it’s nice to make my own decisions and just go with the flow.
– You can find unique places: If you trek with a guide, they will lead you to the most common route that any tourists go. Then, it’s not intriguing anymore. And if you take a trekking Sapa without a guide, you can follow your own path and find some interesting places. Maybe, it’s not like Colombus discovered America, but you can feel satisfied and curious throughout the trip.