The Best Travel Guide of Lao Cai Vietnam 2023

Lao Cai, Vietnam is a mountainous province that is bordered by a mountainous and midland region in northwest Vietnam, one of the country's most promising geographical areas. Lao Cai has an extremely complicated topography with sharply defined altitude strata.

Hoang Lien Son and Elephant, the two primary mountain ranges, form the lowlands and midlands between the two mountain ranges and an area to the west of Hoang Lien Son. Additionally, there are a variety of smaller mountains that have been separated into various sub-climate zones. We believe that a tour to Lao Cai Vietnam will amaze you so much and bring about some new exploration in this peaceful landscape.


1. What need to know about Lao Cai

1.1. Location

A province in Vietnam's hilly Northwest that borders the Chinese province of Yunnan is called Lao Cai. The province has a total size of 6,383.9 square kilometres and a population of 602,300 as of 2008.


1.2. History

Since the beginning of time, traders have used Lao Cai as a trading location. Here, ethnic minorities like the Chinese, Vietnamese, and others fought for control of the area. The Viet Kings made Lao Cai the capital of their most northern province, which was then known as Hung Hoa, in 1463.

It was the French colony's administrative centre and a military garrison when it fell under French colonial authority in 1889. The first railway line from Hanoi to this area was built in the early 19th century. It took 7 years to finish, but 25,000 Vietnamese labourers' lives were lost in the process.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Wikimedia Commons

1.3. Highlights

So, let's take a look at some highlights of the outstanding northern region in Vietnam. Lao Cai in Vietnam is one of the province's most well-liked tourist destinations. It is anticipated that more than 500,000 tourists, both domestic and foreign, visited Lao Cai City in recent years to take in the local vistas and Vietnam cultures. The old fortress, Thuong Temple, and spiritual centres are among the must-see attractions in and around Lao Cai.


2. Best time to visit Lao Cai Province

The ideal months to travel to Lao Cai, Vietnam are March and April. At this time, the spring season is in full swing, with comfortable daytime temperatures and chilly nights. Between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius are the typical temperatures. The low level of rainfall makes it ideal for outdoor sightseeing.

You could take a look at the Lao Cai weather in the table below. This is just the reference source for you to refer to the weather in Lao Cai. Therefore, to be certain about the nicest weather when travelling to Lao Cai, you should contact the tour organisation. We would give you the exact information and some important advice which will make your excursion more joyful and exciting.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: holidify

3. How to get to Lao Cai?

If you want to travel to Lao Cai, HasonHaivan, SaoViet, NganHa are the popular brands that offer direct bus service from Hanoi to Lao Cai, you could take a look at them and decide to choose the suitable option. On this route, a lot of buses are in operation.

We will have another choice for you if you are not familiar with travelling by bus. Daily trains from the capital are provided to Lao Cai by Vietnam Railways, and the trip takes around 8 hours. You could find more information on its authorial website.

Driving a car and riding a motorbike are exciting if you want to explore new things on your own. However, it maybe not safe if you are a new traveller in Lao Cai, Vietnam.


4. What to do at Lao Cai?

4.1 Trekking Fansipan

About 9 kilometres southwest of Sapa town, in the province of Lao Cai Vietnam, is where you'll find Mount Fansipan. It is a part of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which is in Vietnam's northwest and divides the provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau.

The highest peak in Vietnam, Fansipan, is not only known as the "roof of Indochina" but also a representation of youth triumph and tenacity.

The scenery along the Fansipan climbing path is highly varied, allowing you to have an adventure-filled excursion. The main terrain consists of a forest track with uphill climbs that require holding to strong stainless steel ladders. As a result, the voyage also grows simpler and more common, making it possible for most people to complete.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Viettrekking

In addition, the campsite at 2800 metres along the Fansipan trekking path features a stunning sunset observation area. The magnificent Hoang Lien mountain range may be seen overlapping one another in this location. And without a doubt, Fansipan Peak's vista of gorgeous clouds is the most alluring scene. When you finally ascend to Indochina's roof, your emotions likewise burst and you are able to push all of your boundaries.

Trekking Fansipan Mountain is the best option for those who love climbing and exploring new things. Pls check out this itinerary : trekking & conquering Mount Fansipan Sapa.


4.2 Muong Hoa Valley

The Muong Hoa Valley is 4 kilometres from Sapa City and extends for roughly 15 kilometres to Ban Ho Village. On the two banks of Hoa Stream, the Red Dao Tribe, Black Hmong Tribe, Day Tribe, and Tay Tribe all reside in the valley.

There are several terraced fields in Sapa, however, Muong Hoa Valley contains Sapa's most exquisite and sizable terraced field. When you visit this valley, you will realize why Muong Hoa's terraced field is considered one of the world's most beautiful.

In the Muong Hoa Valley, terraced fields produce a lovely slanted pan by sloping along the edges of the hills. The terraced fields here are vibrant in the summer when the rice is growing and soft like a green silk ribbon in the heart of nature. In the fall, the entire valley is covered in a luscious, golden-yellow layer of rice that seems inlaid with gold. A scene that is difficult to locate elsewhere, like the staircase to heaven.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Vietnam Discovery Travel

The 8 square kilometre SaPa Ancient Rock Field is situated amongst the terraced rice fields of ethnic minority communities. There are 200 stones of various sizes scattered over the rock field. Da Chong and Da Vo, which have a love story attached to them, are the two most striking stones.

Additionally, there were other stones in the field that had been cut with various features. Surprisingly, human drawings, stilt homes belonging to ethnic minorities, and symbols regarded as an early form of writing can all be found among the engravings. Many visitors, particularly French visitors, took the time to study more about the stone and Sapa's ancient civilisation.


4.3 Silver Waterfall

Due to its distance from Sapa's centre—12 kilometres—the Silver Waterfall is more tranquil and serene than the rest of the city's tourist attractions. Even if the trip to the waterfall could take some time, you'll discover that it was well worth the effort.

You can see Sapa's varied and vibrant beauty on the approach to Silver Waterfall. On one side of the road, there are mountains with huge, beautiful pine forests, rubber rigs, and all kinds of vegetation.

On the other side, there are vast fields that appear to go on forever. Incredibly serene and relaxing, it almost seems as though no one has ever set foot in Sapa's breathtaking scenery. The tranquil journey will make you feel more at ease and in control.

If you don't take any remarkable and admirable images of the location after seeing Silver Waterfall, your trip would have been for nothing. Don't let this opportunity pass you by because there are several places in the Waterfall where you may take beautiful pictures. Additionally, you may have fallen in love with the magnificent northeast Panorama in Vietnam. We definitely make sure that this is such a wonderful photo overall.


4.4 Sapa Ancient Church

The church, which sits in the middle of Sa Pa town and has a vast, flat area in front of it and Ham Rong Mountain to its back, is a representation of early 20th-century French architecture.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source:  Vietnam Discovery Travel

The stones in the Sapa Church are connected by a mortar made of sand, molasses, and lime.  This church, which was built in the French-inspired style, is the sole remaining building in Sapa that still reflects the beauty and soul of Catholic architecture.

The exquisite bell tower in the shape of a cross that faces west, the location of Christ's birth, is Sapa Stone Church's outstanding feature. Sandstone that twinkles as stalactites forms a very remarkable natural beauty on the wall. The ceiling is still as beautiful today as it was when the church was first erected. It is made of a combination of iron, straw, and lime.

The Sapa Stone Church, located in the centre of Sapa, the city of mists, is where locals gather to engage in customary customs. Tourists can see the distinctive cultural activities known as "Love Market" every Saturday.

Additionally, the Sapa Stone Church is surrounded by a number of charming structures, which adds even more historical beauty to the scene and creates the very special characteristic known as "castle in the sunset." The Stone Church will loom in the mist, creating a surreal, gloomy landscape that will astound visitors.


4.5 Cao Son Market

Beginning in the early morning, people move in pairs, groups, and occasionally individually to the market. They carry items by using horses. In addition, they also ride bicycles and motorbikes. 

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: BestPrice Travel

Cao Son Market is lovely due to its inhabitants, merchandise, and surroundings. People trade, buy, and sell products such as rice, brocades, fruits, vegetables, tubers, and other highland delicacies…


5. What to eat in Lao Cai restaurants?

5.1 Bamboo Cooked Sticky Rice

Food to try in Sapa is sticky rice in a bamboo tube. People from several ethnic groups in the mountains of Vietnam bring sticky rice along when they travel to the forests to work. To make stick and fragrant steamed rice, cut a bamboo tube, add some rice and water, and steam the rice and water inside the tube.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Dien may XANH

Bamboo Cooked Sticky Rice is a unique meal of Sapa because of its distinctive cooking process, fantastic flavour, and aroma that arise from the ideal combination of sticky rice farmed in the mountains and bamboo. 

It can be said that this is the signature of cuisine in Lao Cai Vietnam, precisely, Lao Cai restaurants. The Bamboo Cooked Sticky rice, now, is becoming the must-try food when you come to Lao Cai, Vietnam.


5.2 Grilled Sapa Black Chicken

One of the most well-liked dishes in the Vietnamese Sapa region is black chicken, which is produced locally and is allowed to roam freely. These black hens consume organic local food, which accounts for the sweetness and aroma of their flesh. The hens have a black feathered coat and are petite, weighing around 1.2 kg.

​​Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Picture the Recipe

One of the most well-liked dishes is black chicken that is marinated in honey and roasted over charcoal. They are primarily used for steaming, frying, or boiling.

Black Chicken seems to be healthy because it has nutrients and helps you recover from the illness and fly effectively. Therefore, you could find it in the Lao Cai region or popular Lao Cai restaurants to be guaranteed the quality of food.


5.3 Black Chicken Hotpot

A typical Vietnamese cuisine that is particularly well-liked in the hilly Sapa region is black chicken hotpot. One of Sapa's most distinctive animals, the black chicken, is used to make the cuisine. These fowl have delicious, fragrant, and rather rough meat.

Typically, it is prepared in a broth with young bamboo, mushrooms, ginger, red apples, and a variety of wild vegetables and greens found in the area. Everybody can customise how they cook the ingredients in the boiling broth because this hotpot is offered as a communal dish.

Even though black chicken hotpot is made in a few different parts of Vietnam, Sapa is still an easy place to find it, especially in some restaurants in Lao Cai.


5.4 Corn wine

The wine is made from yellow glutinous maize and has an irresistible aroma. When you sip it, it feels hot and sweet at the tip of your tongue, gradually to the throat, but you get more ecstatic the more you drink.

The unique quality of this wine is that it is easy to consume and keeps you alert the next morning without giving you a headache.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: The Pepper King Resort Sapa

The H'mong people distil this wine using traditional methods, utilising the rose mi tree for spontaneous fermentation. It's excellent to buy wine in jars to give as gifts or to invite brothers over.


6. Where to stay in Lao Cai?

6.1 Muong Thanh Grand Lao Cai Hotel

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Booking

One of the biggest lodging options in Lao Cai and one of the most recent hotels to open is Muong Thanh Grand Lao Cai Hotel. Visitors may readily enjoy the vibrant beauty of the city from all directions from here. The hotel's handy position makes it simple to see the city's well-liked tourist sites.


6.2 Lao Cai Royal Hotel

The Royal Lao Cai hotel has 132 luxurious rooms, which are classified into different categories such Standard rooms, Superior rooms, Deluxe rooms, and Suite rooms. Visitors can select to eat at two restaurants on the second level with several Vietnamese and Eurasian delicacies, with an area of up to 80m2. These establishments are a pleasant escape for prosperous business people and honeymooners.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Tripadvisor

6.3 The 1996 House

If you are bored with lots of luxury hotels, you could take a look at kinds of homestay here. This would bring about a new fresh mood for you, especially when you plan to go with your partner on your honeymoon.

The guest house has rooms with patios. The rooms at The 1996 House have a city view and a private bathroom with a bidet and free toiletries. Bed linens and towels are provided in the rooms at the accommodation.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: datgiare

6.4 H'mong Eco House

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: VietnamBooking

The area has a lot of visitors. It is possible to access the Internet. Vehicle parking is available on the property. You'll have the option to enjoy a relaxing evening with a cup of coffee or something stronger in a quaint bar. Guests may pay exclusively with cash.


7. What should you prepare for Lao Cai travel?

Due to the fact that Lao Cai's tourist locations frequently experience poor weather during this season, including fog, hoarfrost, and drizzle... visitors should therefore wear sturdy, warm, and waterproof clothing. Additionally, travellers should bring more woollen items including hats, scarves, gloves, sports shoes, and boots.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: ParentMap

In Lao Cai, winter is also the busiest time of year. Therefore, you should make reservations in advance to save time seeking and to prevent waiting outside in the bitter winter weather. To maintain your health and keep your body warm when visiting Lao Cai in the winter, you should choose hot pot, grilled, Thang Co, meals with pepper, chile, and garlic.

Wintertime cloud cover over the northern highlands limits vision and makes the roads slick, making it difficult and dangerous for visitors to travel by car to tourist destinations. 

As a result, if you are a novice driver who is unfamiliar with the mountain road, you should either go on a tour or rent a car with a driver. The experienced drivers of the pass will make sure that you have a safe journey.

If you are driving by yourself in the winter, you should additionally be aware of the following: Need to check fuel, tires, and brakes. Oil frequently freezes, which makes it challenging to start the car. When driving on a foggy pass, you should also use yellow or warning lights.

Lao Cai , Vietnam - The Best Travel Guide 2023

Source: Community Home Health Care

Additionally, you should bring some cold remedies, lozenges, ginger candies, ginger tea, or thermal paste to use as necessary due to the abundance. 

Here are our recommendations for you to have a perfect trip plan to Lao Cai Vietnam. This article seems to be full of necessary information when travelling to Lao Cai. If you still do not know how to organise a tour to Vietnam, precisely, Lao Cai, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always willing to help you.


Read more 

=> Sapa Travel Guide  

=> From Northeast to Northwest Vietnam 

=> How to organize a tour to Vietnam 

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