A Guide To Homestays in Sapa, Vietnam

Based in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains, Sapa is a popular trekking destination
Based in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains, Sapa is a popular trekking destination | Courtesy of The Little Hmong House / Booking.com
Piumi Rajapaksha

Staying at a homestay run by a local family is always a refreshing change from staying in the usual and rather boring hotel with minimal interaction. In Sapa, you have plenty of options for lodging where you can surround yourself with nature and immerse yourself fully into the local culture. While staying at a homestay, you will be able to help families source food for meals, learn to cook regional specialties, and be a part of their day-to-day lives. Here are some of the best homestays in Sapa.

1. Little Sapa Homestay

Homestay

Double bedroom in wooden cabin at Little Sapa Homestay with rose petals in heart shape on bed
© Little Sapa Homestay

We’ll start with a homestay located right in the heart of Sapa town. Little Sapa Homestay is only a five-minute walk away from major attractions within town such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sapa Square, and Sapa lake, making it conveniently located. Not only that, but due to its hillside position, the homestay has beautiful views overlooking the Muong Hoa Valley and Fansipan Mountain, the tallest peak in Indochina. Everything you need for a comfortable stay is offered within the well-furnished rooms, which have an Alpine cabin feel with wooden paneling and local handicraft decorations. The communal kitchen is available if you wish to cook your own meal, or you can join the host family and learn to cook some local delights. There is a 24-hour front desk that offers a range of services, such as helping you plan tours around the region, transport back to Hanoi or elsewhere, or arrange motorcycle rentals. They also have electric blankets, which makes Little Sapa Homestay perfect for keeping warm on cold winter nights.

2. Sapa Heavenly Homestay

Homestay

Cabins at Sapa Heavenly Homestay in the gardens with mountains in the background
Courtesy of Sapa Heavenly Homestay

Sapa Heavenly Homestay is a family run eco retreat in Ta Phin Village, about 10 miles (17 kilometers) west from Sapa. Dat, his lovely wife, and two children will be your hosts during the stay. They are members of the black Hmong tribe and are known to be amazing chefs, so you’re really in for a treat. Dat has also worked as a tour guide for the past 10 years, having summitted Mount Fansipan over 180 times. Upon request, overnight trekking tours through the rice fields and valleys can be arranged along with transport in and out of the city. While staying here, you can also get involved with the local community – past visitors have helped the tribesmen with farming and repair work or volunteered to teach English to the local children. It’s really an opportunity of a lifetime.

3. Homestay Floating

Homestay

Homestay Floating, is run by a talented painter – Bui Duc. This artist’s lodge is located on the top of a slope looking down at the majestic Muong Hoa Valley. It is only a short taxi ride from the center of Sapa town, but, once you get there and you bask in the views of the rice fields and valley below, you will feel like you’re a million miles away from civilization. The house is decorated in a traditional manner creating a warm, homey ambiance, making it a great and relaxing escape from the busy life. You will be joining Bui Duc and his family in raising chickens and pigs, growing vegetables and fruits, and cooking delicious meals and drinking endless “happy water” (homemade rice wine) throughout the day. If you fall in love with the simple life and wish to stay long term, it can be arranged.

4. Ta Van Ecologic Homestay (perm closed)

Homestay

Six miles (10 kilometers) from the Sapa town, Ta Van Ecologic Homestay is located within a stone’s throw of Muong Hoa Valley’s river. The welcoming passion fruit drink you get served is an indication that the rest of your stay is going to be nothing short of sweet! The place is everything you need, clean and comfortable, but not luxurious. There are private wooden huts with en-suite bathrooms, or there is a comfortable dormitory option for backpackers, and these shared facilities are cleaned multiple times a day. The room balconies overlook the family’s tiered rice fields, streams and mountains, and at night the house gets very quiet that you will fall asleep to the sound of leaves rustling against the wind. The host family is known for cooking some of the best dishes in the area and guests have fallen in love with their morning pho, and their evening bun cha and papaya salad in particular.

5. The Little Hmong House

Homestay

Open plan dining area at The Little Hmong House with wooden bar and view of the mountains
Courtesy of The Little Hmong House / Booking.com
The Little Hmong House is also located in Ta Van Village, nestled in the Muong Hoa Valley, and is made and designed according to the traditional methods and styles of the Black Hmong tribes people. All six private rooms and dormitories come with everything you need for a comfortable stay and feature beautiful views of the Hoang Lien Song Mountain range. Your lovely hostess, Oanh, is keen to learn about your culture and your travel stories as well as share her part of Vietnam and her life with you over a delicious home cooked meal. If you are an animal lover, you will absolutely love staying here because you will be surrounded by chickens, ducks, pigs, dogs, and water buffalo, sometimes even running after them through the common area. Your stay in Sapa will be extra special.

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