Everyone raves about Sapa. It’s one of the destinations in Vietnam that visitors are most excited about visiting. However, after spending some time there, I soon realized it wasn’t because the town of Sapa is anything to write home about. Sapa consists of one cookie-cutter hotel or restaurant after another. So, why do people rave about Sapa? Well, in Sapa it’s all about the views! Rice terraces exist as far as your eyes can see. The two best ways to get the most out of these breathtaking views are to stay in a hotel on the edge of town and to go trekking with a local guide. Cat Cat View Hotel is your one-stop shop to ensure you get just that!
Cat Cat View Hotel is perched on the edge of town
Sapa is a small city so really anywhere in Sapa has a good walking location. It’s easy to walk to any restaurant within 5-10 minutes or to the town center. The only thing to think about in terms of location is whether or not your hotel provides views. If the hotel is situated in the wrong part of the town, you won’t have views of the rice terraces. Thankfully, Cat Cat View Hotel is perched on the southern edge of town and directly overlooks the rice terraces. The views are unobstructed and can be seen from the top floor rooms, the restaurant and a large communal balcony.
Comfortable rooms with or without A/C and heat are available
The rooms at Cat Cat View Hotel come with no frills but are very comfortable with the option to have a double, twin or family room. All the rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Many hotels in Sapa provide A/C or heat for an added fee so depending on when you visit, be sure to keep this in mind as Sapa is very cold in the winter and stifling hot in the summer. Cat Cat View Hotel does have rooms with A/C for the hotter months but be sure to specify that you would like that feature in your room. If you don’t get a room with A/C, there is a small fan in the room. Alternatively, in the winter months, Cat Cat View Hotel always provides electric blankets; heaters can be rented and some rooms have working fireplaces. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the hotel.
Book fantastic local tour guides for trekking at Cat Cat View Hotel
Cat Cat View Hotel makes booking a trekking tour with a local guide remarkably easy. A binder with all trekking options is available at the front desk. Information provided includes the duration of the trek, the price, the length in kilometers of the trek, and the level of difficulty. You will trek through the rice terraces and you can ask your guide to make the trek easier or harder as you progress. Treks range from only a few hours to as long as a few days. All treks begin at 9 am and your local guide will meet you at reception.
The local guides are all female and they all speak great English. Most of the guides learn English on their own. They belong to various ethnic minorities that live around Sapa; the largest minority is the Black Hmong. Each different tribe wears a certain kind of identifying clothing that your guide can tell you all about. The clothing is all handmade and is beautifully crafted. The guides are eager to learn about where you are from just as much as you will be eager to learn about their lives. Getting to know your guide throughout your trek may very well be the highlight of your day!
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Cat Cat View Hotel ensures you have a smooth trip from start to finish
There are many transport options for getting to and from Sapa. The best place to start is in Hanoi. The first option is the overnight train. You can take an overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and then take a mini-bus to Sapa. This allows you to travel while you sleep and saves money on accommodation. Each train room has 2 bunk beds for a total of 4 people. However, if you are a light sleeper this may not be the best choice for you as the train jostles you a bit. You will arrive in Sapa at roughly 7 am. The train costs 37 USD (825,840 VND).
The other option is to take the 5 hour Sapa Express bus from Hanoi directly to Sapa. Buses leave Hanoi at 7 am and return from Sapa back to Hanoi at 4 pm. The bus is very comfortable with A/C and reclining seats. The bus costs 15 USD (334,800 VND). However, this means you are spending your day traveling.
No matter what your transportation preference is, Cat Cat View Hotel will book all your transportation for you. They will deliver your ticket, whether it is for the train or the bus, to your accommodation in Hanoi. Once in Sapa, they will personally escort you to the pick up point for the express bus to Hanoi or for the mini-bus to Lao Cai and then the train.