Ta Phin and ruined monastery walk, Sapa - review by Rusty Compass
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Ta Phin and ruined monastery walk, Sapa

| 31 Jul 2011
Ta Phin and ruined monastery walk, Sapa
Around 10kms from Sapa
Our rating
31 Jul 2011

The Red Dao village of Ta Phin is around 10kms from Sapa and it’s well worth walking at least half of that. This is another very popular stop so the village is very commercialised. The walk is at least half the fun.


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The Red Dao village of Ta Phin is another of the more popular spots and it’s now possible to drive or take a xe om all the way. Accessibility has made a visit to Ta Phin a very commercialised experience. The local Red Dao women will be very persistent. Show some good humour and you’ll enjoy yourself. And don’t expect to escape without at least a modest fabric purchase.

You can add some value to a Ta Phin visit by walking as much as possible in the surrounding hills. Walking to the village from the ruined French monastery is easy and interesting. The countryside is lush and you’ll encounter plenty of locals on the route.  

The monastery had barely been established in the early 1940s when Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh began their assaults on the Vichy French colonial establishment and their Japanese patrons. The monastery was a natural target and its occupants are said to have made a swift retreat to Hanoi. 



Travel tips:
Cars of motorcycle taxis will take you all the way Ta Phin. Jump out either at the turnoff or the old monastery for some very scenic walking. Some energetic travellers do this by bike but it’s very hilly and the main road is dicey.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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