The road between Sapa and Lai Chau crosses the Tram Ton Pass on the northern side of Fansipan, 15km from Sapa. At 1900m this is Vietnam’s highest mountain pass, and acts as a dividing line between two weather fronts. Even if you’re not touring the northwest, come up here to experience the often ferocious winds and the incredible views.
On the Sapa side, it’s often cold and foggy, but drop a few hundred metres onto the Lai Chau side, and it can be sunny and warm. Surprisingly, Sapa is the coldest place in Vietnam, but Lai Chau can be one of the warmest.
Alongside the road, 12km from Sapa, is 100m-high Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall); the loop track is steep and scenic.The waterfall is sometimes included on tours offered by Sapa travel agencies and another option to get there is to rent a motorbike.