By Salina Boghairi
Thanks to its striking natural beauty, Sapa, is becoming a go-to destination while visiting northern Vietnam. Home to Fansipan, the country’s highest peak, Sapa attracts hikers and adventurers from around the world. Travelers enjoy the fresh mountain air and the opportunity to trek through the green terraced rice paddy fields of Vietnam.
The charming mountain town lures travelers in with its picturesque landscape. Catering to locals and visitors alike, the town has a wide range of restaurants and markets. A 10-hour journey from Hanoi, a visit requires a combination of train and bus transportation. Many visitors to Sapa opt to stay for a few days and trek through the luscious highlands.
When looking for an authentic experience, Sapa O’ Chau is a social enterprise that offers a trekking and homestay experience. It started as a collaboration between Australian volunteers and a single mother from the Black Hmong tribe, Shu Tan.
Established to put tourism dollars back into the community, their initial goal was to reduce high illiteracy rates in the village. To do that, they began by providing clothing and education for local children, so they could attend school.
As their trekking services grew in popularity, Shu and her crew expanded their services to meet the demand. By creating a hotel, a café, a Hmong handicraft store and a tour company, they were able to increase their investment back to Sapa’s ethnic communities.
Through Sapa O’Chau tours, visitors are immersed into the heart of the region. For example, some activities might focus on nature or culture and include visits to waterfalls or local artisan shops. But for those who came to trek in Vietnam, the most popular tours are through the lush valleys and verdant rice fields.
Guided by a local, all guests are able to learn about the history and culture of the neighboring villages. Likewise, evenings are spent relaxing and enjoying dinners made by a host family, providing more opportunities to learn from one another.
In short, Sapa O’ Chau is dedicated to giving back to its community and giving you an enriching experience as you explore this mountainous region.