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British magazine hails Sa Pa among world’s most beautiful small towns

The magazine has suggested these towns for their perfect, postcard-like beauty, drawing travellers’ admiration as well as desire to visit and experience things often unseen in large cities.

HÀ NỘI — Sa Pa Town in the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai has earned a position in the list of ‘Most Beautiful Small Towns in The World’ by the British magazine Time Out.

Among the 16 selected towns, Sa Pa is the only representative from Việt Nam, standing alongside world-famous towns such as Grindelwald (Switzerland), Alberobello (Italy) and Esperanza (Australia).

The magazine has suggested these towns for their perfect, postcard-like beauty, drawing travellers’ admiration as well as desire to visit and experience things often unseen in large cities.

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Sa Pa is the only representative of Việt Nam in the top 16 most beautiful small towns in the world. — Photos courtesy of Sun Group

“In Vietnam’s misty north, the town of Sapa sits among verdant green mountains, deep valleys and cascading rice terraces. Sapa town is compact and remote, reached by a train or coach, which climbs steeper and steeper into the hills.

“From the local town square, you can see Mount Fansipan, the highest mountain in Indochina, and the streets are filled with motorbikes, buffalo and markets selling delicious and unusual ingredients. The surrounding area is scattered with tiny villages home to ancient Vietnamese tribes and hiking trails that wind up into the clouds,” wrote the author Jayne Trainor, a British-Australian travel writer.

Shortly after Time Out announced the list, Argentina’s Infobae newspaper featured it in their New Trends column.

In early May 2023, the US travel magazine CNTraveler voted Sa Pa into the list of the 50 most beautiful towns in the world.

In June 2023, India Times introduced the terraced fields in Sa Pa as “providing spectacular scenery and being iconic” for tourism in the Northwest highlands.

Continuously appearing in the world media, with unique experiences and its own identity, Sa Pa has strengthened its position as an extremely attractive destination in Northwest Việt Nam for visitors.

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Stunning terraced fields in Sa Pa. 

Visiting the town, tourists should explore the local markets to learn about local products and to sample Sa Pa’s distinctive cuisine.

Standing in view of the majestic nature here, looking down at the beautiful ​​Mường Hoa Valley and gazing at the Hoàng Liên Sơn Range towering in a sea of clouds which roll down like a stream and waterfall, visitors will feel they are “floating amidst the nine layers of clouds”.

To enjoy panoramic views of the town and majestic mountains from above, tourists can take a ride on the Guinness World Record-setting cable car and the Mường Hoa Mountain train to reach the summit of Fansipan.

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Bản Mây Village offers visitors a glimpse into the culture of different ethnic groups living in the region. 

Reaching the top, they can stroll along paths adorned with dazzling azalea flowers. The paths lead to spiritual structures bearing ancient Vietnamese pagoda architecture of the 15th-16th centuries hidden in the clouds, further enhancing the worship experience at this sacred peak.

During the journey to visit Fansipan Peak, visitors can experience the rich local ethnic culture. Amid the Northwest cultural space, Bản Mây Village, a small village at the foot of the mountain, gathers people from different ethnic groups living in the area, including Mông, Giáy, Tày, Dao and Xa Phó.

In their traditional costumes, they will perform the khèn dance or lively traditional cheraw dances to present unique ethnic culture to visitors.

Their unique traditional festivals such as the gầu tào, quét làng (village sweeping), róong poọc, lồng tồng and pút tồng, will also be demonstrated at the village, offering visitors a glimpse into their culture.

Theo Vietnamnews