Sapa town is beautiful nested at around 1500 m at the top of a valley. Not only does it boast of magnificent views of Mt Fansipan, 3143 m, (well, when the weather is clear) but Sapa Valley is also one of the most ethnological diverse places. On a day's trek through the valley you can meet up to six different minorities (Black H'mong, Blue H'mong, Red Dao, Giay, Tay and Xa Pho), and then we haven't even counted the visiting minorities that come in for Sapa's weekend market. The colourful minority ladies are keen on selling their souvenirs and they don't take no for an answer. Many visitors might find Sapa too touristy, but keep in mind that Sapa was original build as holiday retreat for the colonial French more than a hundred years ago. So tourists are not a new thing for Sapa. Though Sapa town can have its moments on market days, the real reason to come here is the valley and beyond; rice terraces covering whole mountain sides, primitive minorities villages with homestays and off-the-beaten-track trekking along Hoang Lien Son mountain range.