Not only a trekking tour will give you a chance to see beautiful valley view and interact with hill tribe people, but also trekking tours organized by local guides are inexpensive. There are 5 tips that are useful for you to have a perfect trek in Sapa.
Even though no technical skills are required, you should be in a good shape to walk around the hilly roads. Therefore, it is advisable to exercise beforehand, for example, walking around your neighborhood or on a treadmill or doing some cardio exercises to test your endurance. Don’t try to trek when your body opposes to do so.
The routes around Sapa are not too complicated and it is feasible to figure out the routes yourself. However, it is recommended to trek with a local guide, who is familiar with the routes, local weather and also can communicate in English clearly. You can hire a local guide via travel agency, but you can also ask your hotel to hire one for you. My friends and I followed a young local guide who was always full of energy. Thanks to her, we had a chance to trek to “off-the-beaten-track” spots with photogenic view.
Keep in mind that you are going to trek through some craggy and even muddy roads. It is important to wear a pair of robust shoes and also prepare a couple of extra clothes. Without a doubt, a pair of robust shoes will help you not only adapt to the road condition but also save you energy during your trek. Even if you choose a short route, please wear strong shoes instead of fashionable sandals or flip-flops. A couple of extra clothes become handy when the weather suddenly gets worse.
From my experience, for a full day trek, beside shoes and a couple of extra clothes, you should pack only necessities such as camera (a must item), snacks, some bottles of water, a pair of towels, a bag of skin care and some medicine. It is imperative to keep your backpack light to save energy during your trek, especially in the summer when the scorching hot weather can easily get you drained of energy. During the rainy season, it is advisable to bring one extra raincoat.
If you trek around villages in Sapa, it is common to be followed by hill tribe touts who have aggressive sales approach. If you are not interested in buying, then firmly say “no” immediately and even before they start talking to you. They have been doing it for years, so they know how to make get money from your pocket. Hence, be prepared to confront this kind of situation.
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