Where should you stay while traveling to Sapa, Vietnam you ask? Well, there’s really only one answer to that question — Topas Ecolodge.
There is truly no way to put into words how gorgeous this lodge is. I mean, just look at it:
Ok, now here’s the details:
We originally found Topas on Air B&B (link here). That’s how we got in touch with our tour agent, Do Luan. Luan ended up planning the logistics of our entire Vietnam trip. Props to him because we never slept in the same place two nights in a row — we went from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, back to Hanoi, round trip to Sapa, and finally down to Phu Quoc Island, all in eight days. He met us in person every step of the way and made sure we got on all our planes, trains, and boats. And he set up a driver and guide for us in each location. We cannot recommend Luan enough. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on facebook for all your Vietnam needs!
We took the overnight train to Sapa where we met Nguyen Bac Dao, our trekking guide, at Lao Cai Station. We drove about an hour to get into Sapa Town. He took us to the rice paddies for a day of trekking. Check out our post on Terrace Trekking in Sapa for more information! We also highly recommend Dao — he was a fantastic guide. You can contact him via messenger on Facebook. His profile is here: Nguyen Bac Dao. After we finished our trek, he took us to the lodge high up in the mountains.
Sapa is an incredibly rural place. It’s made up of tiny farming communities. The roads aren’t paved or smooth, so the hour drive from Sapa Town was less than ideal — thankfully the van was adequately cushioned! When we arrived, we were met by a host of ladies trying to sell their handmade goods at the gate. It was a bit overwhelming, actually. Then, we entered the grounds, and all was forgiven. Our mouths literally fell open.
It was like Asian Hobbiton, if you can imagine. We stayed in little bungalows, each facing outward toward the mountains. In the center of the community was a gazebo and park area. We were a short walk from the on-site restaurant and bar. A longer stroll put us at the spa atop the hill overlooking the complex. Unfortunately, the spa was under renovations at the time, but it would have been amazing to have had a massage overlooking that incredible vista. All the food was unreal — we even asked for the recipes. Unfortunately, everything was a local dish, made by local chefs who don’t use recipes.
*Tip: We traveled to Vietnam during the end of September. The farmers were just getting ready to harvest the rice, so the terraces and surrounding mountainside were still lush, green, and ready to have their picture taken. A week later, the rice was harvested and the fields were brown. Dao also said that Sapa gets snow in winter, so be careful with your season when you travel to Sapa!
We felt one night was perfect. Our guide advised us not to leave the grounds (as if we wanted to). But there was plenty to do within the complex for a day — including walking the trail winding through the surrounding on-site terraces and lounging on the many scenic spots around the bungalows and lodge. Beautiful stone paths connected all the structures. Our bungalow was simple, clean, rustic, and lovely — everything a little mountain bungalow should be. However, I will say thank goodness for the bug net encircling the bed. At first, I thought is was romantic and whimsical, but I quickly realized that, in addition to those nice things, it is HIGHLY functional and necessary. The bugs were murder. Aside from those unwelcome guests, our stay was better than anything we could have imagined — and reasonably priced at under 150 USD. We all agreed that it felt more like a fairytale than real life!
For more information on the lodge and grounds, check out their website! And if you ever visit Sapa, you must devote at least one night to Topas Ecolodge!
Questions or comments? Leave them below — we’d love to hear from you!
Travel on, Beaches 🙂