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's terrain is divided into main kinds following: valley, low and high mountainous. With 3,143m in height, Fansipan is considered the highest peak of the Indochina Peninsula. The province has 107 rivers including Red, Chay and Nam Mu rivers... The province also owns 31 types of mineral, of which apatit, cooper, iron are most valuable.
The remarkable feature of Lao Cai is biologic diversification. There are 2,000 kinds of flora, 442 kinds of birds and animals... of which 60 kinds of animals only found in Lao Cai, 9 kinds of floras only found in Sapa. So that Lao Cai owns a treasure of valuable and rare genes, making up 50% rare floras in Vietnam.
Best time to visit Sapa
In the highlands of Sa Pa and its surrounding area, the climate can change dramatically within the course of a day. Sa Pa can have weather similar to spring in the morning, midsummer’s warmth and sunshine in midday, an autumnal climate late in the afternoon and the coldness of winter at night.
Summer: Summer weather in Sa Pa can come as early as the month of May and can last until September. The climate is cool and mild and temperatures seldom reach a maximum of 30°C
Autumn: Autumn in the highlands of Sa Pa comes as the rains diminish in frequency during the month of October. Autumn does not even last long, barely two months. There is a dramatic drop in temperature by four to six degrees.
Winter: Winter in the highland town of Sa Pa is from mid-November to late February. Sa Pa’s winter can be best described as, cold, foggy and wet. Temperature can go as low as 1°C during the night time and at times can plummet to sub-zero.
Spring: Spring in Sa Pa arrives early in March. The average temperature by this time is gradually rising until it reaches a maximum of 20°C (68°F) by early May.
Trainsportation from Ha Noi to Sapa:
Night train from Ha Noi to Lao Cai, striking northwest from Hanoi, terminates at the border town of Lao Cai. From here it is a straightforward about 1.5 hours run up to the hill station at Sapa. Besides normal trains, there's a wide range of private rail carriages for travelers to choose: Victoria Express Train, Sapaly Train, Orient Express Train, Livitran Express Train and so on. Each train has its own strengths, but they are all provides you a comfortable trip with convenient facilities such as: soft berths, air conditioners, wooden floor...