One option to consider when visiting Sapa, Vietnam, is to do your own trekking without enlisting a tour company to arrange the trip. This would give you more freedom to explore the area at your own time and create an experience that’s possibly unique to yourself. But it might not be one for you if you’re more structured or less adventurous, unless you can plan ahead of time and chart out your route.
On our second day in Sapa, our guided trek was cancelled, so we’re left with the option of exploring on our own, or just staying put at the hotel. We had pretty much all day, but we also had to be back at the hotel by 6 pm and ready to go for our trip back to Hanoi. So, after spending the morning only hanging out in the town of Sapa close to the hotel, we finally decided to spend a couple of hours doing our own trek to a nearby village called Cat Cat that’s located only about 1-2 miles away from the hotel, and according to the hotel staff, it’s pretty easy to find.
On the way to do our own trek, we saw one more option that’s probably even more adventurous — rent a motorbike to ride around to villages. The cost was pretty reasonable, and it can get you to places more efficiently, but when the weather is not cooperating, with the steep grades in some location and muddy paths in others, I’m not sure this would be a safe activity to do. All I could think of was a tourist getting injured in a motorcycle accident, and his/her travel insurance wouldn’t cover the expenses because the activity was considered as one that’s not covered by the insurance policy.
The photo below was taken as we passed the motorcycle rental place. You can see the various motorcycles they had. Notice there was only one helmet there; I wonder if that’s considered optional.