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Sapa is a mountainous district of great natural beauty and the starting point for climbers wishing to conquer the Fansipan Mountain - the highest in Vietnam at 3,143 metres. The area is inhabited by local hill-tribes from different ethnic groups. The main town also called Sapa, was formerly a French hillside retreat. It's fast becoming a centre for eco-tourism, with activities like kayaking and trekking to places like Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave. Best time to visit is in April and May when the area is blooming with flowers and green pastures.