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Sapa is compact and easily covered on foot. For the lazy, mountain bikes are available for rent just about everywhere.

Day trips can be made independently along the road to Lao Chai. If you're in good shape, you can easily hike (or bike) to the Hmong village of Lao Chai, the Ancient Stones and the Zay village of Tavan. If you're in boot camp shape, you can venture further afield to more isolated villages such as Y Linh Ho (best to hire an English speaking Hmong as a guide). Beware that some villages can only be reached by narrow paths (darn steep ones at that!) making access by anything but foot impossible. Maps of the Sapa Valley can be purchased at most hotels and guesthouses, many of which offer tour desks offering organized treks and excursions into the mountains. Of course, set much less ambitious goals if you want to spend time socializing in the villages. Get up early and bring rain gear and water.

More-distant destinations, including markets in surrounding villages, require motorized transport before the walking can begin. 4WD vehicles with driver can be hired through a travel agent or in town. Motorbike rentals can be arranged in town in front of the church. Warning: If you don't ride at home, Sapa isn't the place to start! Motorcycle travel in the region should be undertaken only by very experienced riders. The roads and paths are treacherous, often washed out during the rainy season, and the equipment is often in less than peak condition.

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