Orientation: On the road in from Lao Cai’s train station (40km east), you’ll pass a lake, then wind around a square sandwiched by an open market and church and hooks south the main street – Cau May St. Cau May St passes another market (and a heap of hotels and eating places) going south. After a couple hundred meters it swerves quickly left then back south (as Muong Hoa St), down towards the valley.

Almost all you need is on this Cau May/Muong Hoa main street.


Warning: Sapa has only a couple ATMs, notably the BIDV Bank (Ngu Chi Son St) by Sapa lake, which has Visa Plus service. If you have a MasterCard ATM, you won’t be able to get money out in Sapa. In an emergency, there are more ATMs in Lao Cai, 40km east. Also, guests (only) at the Victoria can withdraw cash from a credit card.

Travel Agencies

This higher-end agent works with Victoria guests and maintains the excellent lodge 18km down the valley (see Accommodations). Topas can arrange day trips, including Mt Fansipan climbs (ask a day in advance at least) and a one-day trek Black Hmong village Lao Chai and Red Dao village Giant Ta Chai for US$35 per person if two go, US$25 if four go.
Tel 020-871-331;, [email protected]; 24 Muong Hoa St

Smaller, more-budget agent is set up by former local guide; generally better deals than some hustling guesthouses offer.
Tel 020-871-881; [email protected],; 3 Muong Hoa St

Local rep for Hanoi-based agent. They can arrange private tours here – but it tends to be more reliable to book from Hanoi.
Tel 020-872-110;; Muong Hoa St

Not terribly helpful, but staff sells a regional map (US$1.65), Craft Link handicrafts (a not-for-profit group) and may be able to arrange a motorcycle guide (US$10).
Tel 020-871-975; Cau May St at Fansipan St, facing the square; open 7.30am-5.30pm Mon-Sat