The capital of Sa Pa District in the Lao Cai province of Vietnam, Sapa and its surroundings are home to eight cultural minorities, including H'mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa, and Xa Pho. As there are numerous markets in Sapa as well as locals selling their wares on the streets, a good chance for interacting with these people is by perusing their local goods. Sapa is known for its embroidery, so if you’re looking for an authentic local souvenir this is a good idea.
Along with being home to an array of rich cultures, the mountain town of Sapa is a haven for hikers. Sapa resides in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range and is home to Indochina’s highest peak, Fansipan at 3,143 meters (10,312 feet). Spend some time exploring the mountain scenery, rice terrace and farms through treks like the one to the ethnic Cat Cat village or Y Linh Ho. All around Sapa there are booths where you’ll be able to pick up hiking maps that are easy to read, so you’ll have plenty of options for scenic hikes.