“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

Lao Cai Province


Lao Cai is the province that located in the North of Vietnam. It borders on Van Nam Province of China to the north with more than 200km of long borderline. Lao Cai is borders with other provinces in the country like Yen Bai Province to the south, Ha Giang province to the east and Lai Chau to the west. Lao Cai has Sapa town which is one of the very famous tourist town in the North of the country with more than 100 years old.

  • Center city: Lao Cai City
  • Districts: Bao Thang, Bao Yen, Bat Xat, Bac Ha, Muong Khuong, Sapa, Si Ma Cai, Van Ban.
  • Tourist Districts: Sapa, Bac Ha, Muong Khuong
  • Climate: Each region in the province has its different climate from others. In the low regions, the climate is tropical with an average temperature from 200-220C. In the high regions, the climate is subtropical and temperate with an average temperature from 180-280 C but they are completely different. In Sapa, the temperature sometimes reaches under 00C and has snowy rain.
  • Transportation: Travel conveniently by land, by train usually and by waterway inside the province. The distance is for reference as below:
          From Lao Cai to Ha Noi: 354 km, can be reached by bus, car or train.
          From Lao Cai to Cao Bang: 394 km
          From Lao Cai to Bac Kan: 328km
          From Lao Cai to Lang Son: 431 km
          From Lao Cai to Yen Bai: 165 km
          From Lao Cai to Ha Giang: 197 km
          From Lao Cai to Lai Chau: 103 km
  • Ethnic groups: In here there are 25 ethnic groups in which there are the main groups such as Kinh Group, Hmong Ethnic Group, Tay Ethnic Group, Dao Ethnic Group, Giay Ethnic Group and Nung Ethnic Group.


  • “Mother” Temple: Situated in the Hong River and Nam Thi River junction, the temple was built in the early 18th century in Nao Nhai village, Lao Cai City. It expresses the “matriarchal” belief of the Vietnamese living in the region that is near the border area.
  • “Thuong” Temple: located about 300m from the “Mother” temple, Thuong Temple is an old temple located a large campus, which is tens of hectares. The Thuong temple was built in the early 19th century to commemorate Tran Hung Dao General and it has been restored for many times.
  • Hoang Yen Chao Palace: Hoang Yen Chao Palace is in Na Hoi Tho village about 300m from Bac Ha market. The palace was built in the early 20th centuries. It is an interesting architectural structure combined between western and eastern style.
  • Sapa: the tourist town is more than 330 km from Hanoi and 38km from Lao Cai Center. There are a lot of things for you to explore in this town with more than 100 years old.
  • Fansipan Mountain: Fansipan Mountain is located 9km south-west of Sapa in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains. It takes 6-7 days to climb to able to reach the 3,143m summit, the highest peak of the Indochina Peninsula. The topography of Fansipan is varied. Muong Hoa Valley, at the lowest altitude (950m-1,00m), is created by a narrow strip of land at the base on the east side of the mountain. There are many special, rare and valuable species of plants on the mountain.
  • Bac Ha and Muong Khuong Districts: two of three famous tourist places of Lao Cai Province. Bac Ha and Muong Khuong Districts are the next destinations of tourists after the time to explore Sapa.


There are many festivals in Lao Cai Province base on the diverse culture and customs of more than 20 ethnic groups live in here. However, you can find some typical festivals such as:
  • Spring Mountain Festival: (3rd to 5th of January lunar month). This is festival of the Hmong ethnic group which is for praying the peace and luck.
  • “Nhay” Tet Festival of the Red Dao ethnic group”: The festival is celebrated in the header of a clan’s house on the 1st and 2nd day of Tet holidays. The specific characteristic is washing the wooden ancestor statues. In the festival, a dancing performance expresses the Dao ethnic group’s colorful traditional religious customs.
  • Long Tong Festival of the Tay”: (on 5th or 15th of January lunar month). The Long Tong Festival takes place in the field near the village. This is the festival for praying luck and peace. There are many folk games in the festival time.
  • Xuong Dong Festival: It is the festival of the Giay ethnic group, Phu La. It is also named “Crop Praying” and held on the 3rd of November lunar month every year. The Giay people pray for good crops, health, multifold creatures, and long-lived life. Xuong Dong is very special and different from any festivals of any other ethnic group people. The festival is also the time when the young from many ethnic groups gather and choose their partners.

Local specialties

There are many local specialties in the province that you can try such as rượu táo mèo Sapa (local wine), lợn cắp nách (the small pigs that can be carry under one’s arm. The dishes which cooked from this type of pigs are very tasty), bánh đao “páu cò” (cake which prepared from sticky rice), thịt xấy khăng gai (same with smoked meat) etc.