Sapa In February: All You Need To Know (2024)

Find out what Sapa in Vietnam is like and my experience hiking in February. Learn about how to get there, what to do, homestays, and more in this Sapa in February guide!


One of the bucketlist places to visit in Vietnam is Sapa. Think photos of nature, trekking through endless rice fields, and with the sun hitting at the perfect angle.

Well, of course, things are never what they seem and my Sapa experience certainly was not like this. This is exactly why I decided to write this Sapa in February guide which covers absolutely everything you need to know before traveling there.

A day’s journey from the main northern international hub of Hanoi, many people make the journey to discover a different side of the country in Northern Vietnam.

It is definitely on the main backpacker trail and numerous hostels in Hanoi advertise multiple-day trips there. It certainly is a unique part of the country and completely different from any other city I visited on my trip.

Once you get here one of the best things to do on your Sapa itinerary is go trekking, allowing you to explore the magnificent rice fields that line the hilly countryside making for the most picture-perfect opportunities.

Though, the weather in Sapa during February can be very different from the rest of Vietnam which is why you need to prepare yourself accordingly.


shop in sapa town during the rain in february
walking through one of the main roads in sapa town
walking in sapa town past construction sites
construction happening on the outskirts of sapa town
checking out one of the viewpoints while trekking in sapa
checking out one of the viewpoints while trekking in sapa

🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Vietnam: Baolau & 12.Go Asia


When To Visit Sapa & Visiting Sapa In February

Before adding Sapa to your Vietnam itinerary I highly recommend doing research to prevent you from disappointment. It is located North of the country and lies about 1500 meters above sea level.

There are basically two best seasons which are the ideal times when to visit Sapa. The first is September to mid-December which is perfect weather for trekking Sapa.

The days will be clear with mild temperatures, making it the perfect opportunity to see the countryside. It is outside of the rainy season so the trails will be dry. If you are brave there is even the possibility to hike the impressive Mount Fansipan.

The second best time to visit Sapa is from March to May. The days here should be sunny and good weather as well.

In contrast, you definitely do not want to go trekking in Sapa during the wet season from June to September.

It generally lasts 3 months and is often overrun with domestic tourists. The second bad time visit is from late December to February.

empty rice fields in sapa vietnam
empty rice fields in sapa vietnam

What Is Sapa Like In February

Unknown to me until my arrival, February is winter in Sapa.

Temperatures here drop down to the negatives overnight and we were not prepared. There was a constant fog over the town which never lifted and I swear I lost a couple of shades of tan!

Luckily, it did not rain during the day while we were there. Though, just like clockwork at about 6 pm each night it would bucket down.

We did not get any of those picturesque views over the rice terraces. Well, actually the rice terraces were empty, being basically just mud puddles for the winter months.

The hiking paths were just like this also. Though, we found a good alternative for those interested in trekking Sapa which I will cover below.

view while trekking in sapa during february over the rice fields
view while trekking in sapa during february over the rice fields
fancy resort overlooking rice fields while trekking in sapa during february vietnam
fancy resort overlooking rice fields while trekking in sapa during february vietnam

Traveling From Hanoi To Sapa

If you are in Northern Vietnam there is a high chance you will be going to Sapa. However the journey traveling from Hanoi to Sapa is not that quick. The two most popular options are either by sleeper bus or by sleeper train.

I chose to take the bus and it quickly became a regrettable decision. Being nearly 6 feet tall, I do not fit comfortably into those unique Vietnamese-style long-distance buses.

Luckily on the journey to Sapa, we were right down the back of the bus which provided a bit more room. Though, the journey back was certainly not pleasant.

About an hour or so into the trip, we saw a bug, then there was another and another. Soon enough we quickly realized this bus was absolutely infested with beetles and cockroaches!

After that, we only took trains for the next 3 weeks. I know if I also go to Sapa again it will definitely be by train rather than bus.

A great option for booking transport in Vietnam is 12.Go Asia. I have used them plenty and I highly recommend them.

water buffalo sneaking up on a man in sapa
feeling a little bit unsure about our new water buffalo friends

🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Vietnam: Baolau & 12.Go Asia


What To Pack For Sapa In February

If you are traveling during the best time to visit Sapa, which I cover above, it is relatively easy to pack for Sapa.

Think comfortable shoes you can hike in, a jacket, and some activewear. The days will be sunny and you will want layers you can put on/take off during the day.

Nothing overly special will be needed and you should already have in your bag everything you will basically need.

Though, if you are traveling during the cold and wet months such as February in Sapa, you will need a completely different packing list.

If you are only visiting Vietnam during your travels you should have room in your bag for a few thicker pieces. This will allow you to keep warm, snug, and most importantly dry. Try to pack a rain jacket, beanie, at least two jumpers, and some thick socks.

Alternatively, if you previously have been traveling to other places in Southeast Asia, then it is unlikely you will have warm clothes in your bag. Seriously, I had more bikinis than long-sleeved tops.

The best option here is to layer up! Oh, and I also purchased an overpriced $5.00 beanie that I quickly threw out after returning to Hanoi. However, having something to keep my head toasty was honestly a lifesaver.

You will need lots of warm clothes especially if you are planning to sleep in a homestay as they do not have heaters. Often though, the host will light a fire at night which the whole family crowds around to keep warm.

Also, a must is a waterproof pair of shoes. If you book a trek with one of the local guides you will be going off the main road and into the fields.

With constant moisture in the air and rainy nights, the consistency of the ground is beyond muddy. We saw so many people freaking out having to walk along these crazy sludgy paths in their fancy white Nike sneakers. Just bring appropriate shoes.

foggy views in sapa vietnam from a clifftop
foggy views in sapa vietnam from a clifftop
not being able to see much through the fog in sapa
not being able to see much through the fog in sapa
river running next to ta van in sapa vietnam
river running next to ta van in sapa vietnam

The Best Things To Do In Sapa Vietnam In February

Even though the weather in February may not be the best in Sapa there is still plenty of things to do here.


Go Trekking In Sapa

One of the best things to do in Sapa is trekking on a guided tour. These are surprisingly affordable costing less than $20.00 for the day.

The price general includes lunch and water as well. However it is best to double-check what exactly is included before booking.

You will be able to visit ethnic minority villages and your guides will be able to take you through the beautiful rice terraces to some of the most picturesque spots.

excited puppy while trekking to ta van
making an adorable puppy friend in ta van

Homestays In Sapa

One of the best things to do in Sapa, and what I highly recommend is to do a Homestay experience. There are so many places to choose from, so you should definitely do some research as to which village you would like to stay in.

The easiest way to book your Homestay in Sapa is through Booking.com. This is what I used to book my homestay making it a hassle-free experience. You will just need to go through the listings and choose one of the homestay options or look at the map view and choose something not in the main town.

We paid $6.00 / 136,000 Dong each per night at our homestay. This amount included breakfast each day and a basic private room, which had an amazing duvet cover!

On one of the nights, we also decided to get the homestay dinner which was $3.30 / 75,000 Dong per person. These homestay dinners are always offered as an extra and I highly recommend doing at least one. It was the best tofu I have ever had in my life and I was able to get the recipe.

the outdoor area of our homestay in sapa while would be great on a warm day
the outdoor area of our homestay in sapa while would be great on a warm day
warming up over a fire at our homestay in sapa
sitting next to the fire as there is no heating inside
bed and room at our homestay in ta van sapa
the beautiful room in our homestay in ta van village

Stay In Ta Van

Ta Van is a village where the majority of homestays are located. It is 9km outside of Sapa town and if you do not want to trek in you can also catch a taxi there for $11.00 / 250,000 Dong.

This might seem like quite a large amount, but the roads down to Ta Van are horrible. Expect constant potholes and puddles, it is a slow 9km journey. Honestly, it makes a nice change getting off the main backpacking trail in Vietnam.

There is also a $3.30 / 75,000 Dong entry fee to get into the Ta Van area. If you book a taxi off the side of the street they will stop at the booth so you pay the money. Though, if you book the taxi through your homestay your host will likely tell the driver not to stop as the fee is included in the room price. Well, this is what our host family said anyway.

In Ta Van itself, there is an abundance of homestays as well as eateries. This is perfect in case you don’t want to do the homestay meal every night.

One night we stopped in at Lucky Daisys Bamboo Bar for a meal. It had super awesome relaxing vibes and a massive fireplace. The town itself was a lot more happening than up the street where we were staying.

In my personal opinion, I would recommend you book a homestay in the actual town of Ta Van, especially if you are going to stay more than one night.

walking over the main bridge into ta van vietnam
entry to ta van village over a small bridge

Where To Stay In Sapa?

Visitors seeking a cultural experience might opt for homestays within the local villages surrounding Sapa, providing an authentic glimpse into the lives of ethnic minority groups like the Hmong and Dao.

For those desiring more luxurious amenities, the town itself boasts an array of hotels and resorts offering stunning views of the verdant valleys and rice terraces.

Additionally, budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses are scattered across Sapa, providing comfortable stays and opportunities to connect with fellow travelers.

Most people decide to book a mixture of a hotel in the main town and a homestay among the rice terraces.

Lustig Hostel

Lustig Hostel

A beautiful hostel with mountain vibes for backpackers. Dorms here start from $4.00 oer night.

BOOK NOW
Flaco Hostel Sapa

Flaco Hostel Sapa

Super affordable private rooms in an excellent location. Rooms start from $10.00 per night.

BOOK NOW
sapa clay house mountain retreat

Sapa Clay House Mountain Retreat

Beautiful private rooms from $82.00 per night and in an incredible location with a pool.

BOOK NOW
bamboo sapa hotel

Bamboo Sapa Hotel

A super modern and luxurious hotel, starting from $40.00 per night with an amazing pool.

BOOK NOW
walking along the main road to ta van in sapa
trekking along the road in sapa due to the trails being super muddy

Where To After Sapa?

North: Apart from the Ha Giang Loop there isn’t too much else if you are wanting to travel North of Sapa. If you have your own motorbike then you may want to explore the North. However, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are traveling solo and want to meet other people.

South: Alternatively, you can end back down South towards and past Hanoi. Honestly, I recommend taking the train down Vietnam and hitting up some of the highlights including seeing Phu Quoc, Imperial City of Hue, Hoi An, snorkel In Nha Trang, seeing the sand dunes in Mui Ne, and the tunnels in Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam is a huge country and there are so many things to do here!


Wrap Up: Is Sapa Worth Visiting In February

Trekking in Sapa during the month of February certainly is not what the pictures make it out to be like. Forget sunshiny days, lush green fields, and beautiful views. I don’t mean to be a bummer, but there is more likely going to be fog, rain, and mud.

Though, as long as you dress appropriately and set your expectations accordingly you should have a good time.

Also, on the plus side, prices in Sapa during February are extremely cheap. From accommodation deals to free food and cheap massages your money will go far in Sapa during your visit. Most restaurants will have free drinks or free meal signage outside their restaurant and you will see online prices plummet.

In all honesty, I would not recommend trekking in Sapa during February. Alternatively, I would recommend you visit Mai Chau instead.

You can still do all the amazing hiking and get those awesome rice terrace photos. Though, as it is not so north as Sapa the weather is warmer, there is less rain and there are still plenty of trekking companies where you can have the homestay experience.

a break in the fog showing off some of the still green rice terraces in sapa during february
a break in the fog showing off some of the still green rice terraces in sapa during february

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Find out what Sapa in Vietnam is like and my experience hiking in February. Learn about how to get there, what to do, homestays, and more in this Sapa in February guide!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.


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8 thoughts on “Sapa In February: All You Need To Know (2024)

  1. Avatar for Bob
    Bob says:

    Hi. I was planning on visiting Sa Pa and Mai Chau from Hanoi on the day bus (no train as I don’t sleep on trains), departing Hanoi around Feb 25 or 26. You don’t recommend Sa Pa in Feb – were you there in early Feb? Was wondering how much better the weather is the end of Feb since it’s almost March? If it’s still cold and brown, then I prefer skipping it. If I then go to Mai Chau, any other good weather places with beauty and culture easy to get to from Mai Chau?

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Hey Bob! To be more precise we were in Sapa from 23rd February until 28th February, so we were there in late Feb. Definitely check the latest weather reports before making a decision as you might happen to get lucky with the weather. Though, from the people I meet after visiting Sapa they recommend Mai Chau for that time of the year. Unfortunately I have not personally been to Mai Chau yet, though I will certainly be changing that on my next trip to Vietnam!

  2. Avatar for Jacomijn Heupink
    Jacomijn Heupink says:

    This is for years already on my bucket list!! I was in Hanoi and skipped this!! You always have something you regret…this is mine! Sorry for the weather but the area is beautiful none the less!!

  3. Avatar for Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad says:

    Fab tips!! I love your honesty, your photos look amazing despite the weather but we had the same experience in northern Vietnam (and then as soon as we hit Hue it was sun sun sun!). I’m desperate to return to Vietnam and Sapa is definitely #1 on my list, but we had similar weather in Halong Bay and I might have ended up disappointed with Sapa if it was the same!

  4. Avatar for Janelle Yeager
    Janelle Yeager says:

    Wow! I’ve never thought about going to Vietnam, but these pictures made my jaw drop! I love atmospheric settings and the fog (and adorable animals) makes me want to go badly!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Avatar for Adventuresfromwhereyouwanttobe
    Adventuresfromwhereyouwanttobe says:

    Awesome photos, you really captured the fog and weather. I know you said you wouldn’t recommend going in February, but would you go back there in the warmer months?

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