Notwithstanding the recent fast changes, the Sapa’s ethnic peoples can still keep their unique and colorful culture. It is special to attract tourists come to Sapa every year.
Location and Landscape
Sapa is situated at Lao Cai province near to the border with China where is distant Hanoi about 350km. This whole district is dominated by the range of the Hoang Lien Son Mountain. Moreover, it is at the Himalayas’ eastern extremity including the highest peak in Vietnam, a huge area with a very rich wildlife where is covered by thick forest, the Fansipan Peak above sea level about 3,143m.
On a hill station at the 1600m attitude, the Sapa Township was constructed there by French. Up until now, it has been turned into the well-known resort in the summer with the hundreds of colonial villas like the “Tonkin’s Alps”. The Sapa’s complicated terrain is created from the combination of the steeped high mountains cut sharp, big valleys and the great, magnificent views between a lot of water streams and sloped terraced paddies.
Sapa Ethnic Minorities
Sapa is famous for not only the spectacular views but the ideal and great domicile for many ethnic minority peoples in Vietnam as well. People also believe that Sapa is the first inhabitation of the highland minorities such as Zao and H’mong who were immigrated from the south of Chinese provinces, Zay and Tay groups as well as a small amount of Xa Pho.
In generally, nowadays these five main ethnic minority groups takes approximately 85% the population of this district. In fact, there are just the small amount of immigrated Vietnamese from the lower lands to region, the main town for living, the government offices, hospitals, schools for working and their own mini hotels, stores for running.
Actually, almost the remaining part of ethnic peoples chooses living in the smaller villages and hamlets on the whole district’s valleys and mountains. For this reason, Sapa is considered as the most ideal location. Until the mid-20th century in Sapa, the majority of population is Zao and H’mong. In addition, their life style is to shift and practice the slash-and-burn agriculture so that why our nature meets the major damages.
However, today, thanks to the mainly mountainous land, most of ethnic minority peoples there have changed into the sedentary form depending on working on their own sloping terraces to cultivate corn, rice and intensive farming.
About Sapa Tourism
In 1990, the tourism begins to develop in this region, in spite of its limitations about hard climate and weather even there is only a cultivated crop in a year. At this place, it is very easy for you to see the quite common food shortage.
After Sapa has turned into one of the top tourist attractions of Vietnam, thanks to the effort in developing all of region’s aspects during nearly 2 decades, the locals in these ethnic peoples have been experienced the good changes as well as the invaluable advantages.
For example, the roads to remote villages are upgraded and built continuously even people construct a large number of extra schools. Especially, the key is not only the agricultural revolution but also the quick development in tourism that supports majority of the Sapa’s ethnic peoples improves their lives more and more.