Located in North-West Vietnam, Lao Cai is surrounded by Yunna (China) on the north, Lai Chau Province on the west, Ha Giang Province on the east and Yen Bai, Son La provinces on the south.
Lao Cai has a colorful culture of 27 ethnic groups. They are Kinh, H'Mong, Tay, Dao, Thai, Giay, Nung, Phu La, Ha Nhi, Lao, Khang, La Ha, Muong, Bo Y, Hoa, La Chi, San Chay, San Diu, Khmer, Lo Lo, Ka Doong, Pa Co, E De, Gie Trieng, Gia Rai, Cham, Ka Tu. The life of minority people groups base on planting rice on the paddy, on the fields in the mountains or on terraced field.
Lao Cai has typical mountainous climate. The dry season lasts from October to March, it is cold. And the rain season is from April to September. Annual average temperature is 23ºC. Specially, sometime, there is snow in Sapa.
How to get there:
Located 300km from Hanoi, Lao Cai can be reached by car or train. There is National Highway No.70, 279, 4D linking Lao Cai to Yen Bai, Lai Chau and Ha Giang, China in turn. There are two trains depart from Hanoi daily to Lao Cai.
Lao Cai preserves lots of special cultural and historical sites. Outstanding vestiges is ancient stone engrave area with picture of map, handwriting, people thousand years ago in Muong Hoa Valley (Sapa), Pho Rang vestige. There are many beautiful caves like Thuy Tien (Bat Xat), Ta Phoi (Cam Duong), Tien-Trung Do (Bac Ha), Xuan Quang (Bao Thang).
Lao Cai is very proud of Sapa, a unique natural tourist site. Many new married couples like spending their honeymoon in Sapa because of good weather and romantic sightseeing. Visitors to Sapa in summer can feel the climate of four seasons in one day. They enjoy discovering other interesting places including Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo forest, Ta Phin Cave and Sapa ancient rock field. Taken place every Saturday night, Sapa Market is an attractive place for visitors who are keen on exploring traditional cultures.
In addition, Bac Ha Market hosts the biggest fair near the mountainous highlands. It is a typical weekly activity for the H'Mong and other minority groups living in the locality. In Cat Cat Village many H'Mong residents are good at manipulating gold and silver jewelry.
It is festinate to travel from Lai Chau to Lao Cai following National Highway No. 4D because of scenery along roadsides and impressive sight of Hoang Lien Son Range. This way attracts to people liking the adventure and discover on bicycle, too.
Festivals here are very special including Pray for good crop, Spring Mountain, and Long Tong festivals. There are many merry games such as nem con, tug-of-wars, cockfights.