The closest village to Sapa, Cat Cat Village is a popular trekking destination to experience the distinctive culture and traditions of the Black Hmong tribe. Located in Vietnam’s Muong Hoa Valley, at the base of Fansipan Mountain, Cat Cat Village is also known for its stunning scenery of terraced fields, rolling hills, and waterfalls. The Basics
The best way to experience Cat Cat Village is to trek from Sapa. At Cat Cat Village, you can go inside 3-room exhibition houses, enjoy local snacks, purchase handcrafted goods such as colorful brocade products and gold and silver jewelry, and learn about traditional customs such as “pulling wife.” Don’t miss the Tien Sa Waterfall, and the dance and cultural performances that take place nearby.
It’s easy to visit Cat Cat Village independently, though guided tours offer additional cultural insights, and often include stops at other villages nearby, such as Lao Cai or Ta Van. If you have time, you can take a multi-day tour from Hanoi, or add on other Vietnam attractions, such as Dien Bien Phu, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, or Son La.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Cat Cat Village is ideal for nature lovers, adventure travelers, and those interested in learning more about the culture of the different ethnic groups in Vietnam.
- The entrance fee to access the village includes a village map.
- Don’t forget your camera, as there are plenty of photo-worthy opportunities.
- Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes, as the trail from Sapa can be steep at times, and includes uneven steps.
- If planning to trek, bring sun protection and plenty of water.
Cat Cat village is located about 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) from Sapa. The trail to the village is mostly downhill from Sapa, but with steep sections and steps at times. You can take a xe om (motorbike taxi) most of the way. To get to Sapa, take a bus from Hanoi to Sapa, or an overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, and then a bus or taxi to Sapa.When to Get There
The best time to visit Cat Cat Village is during the dry season (September to November and March to May). The downpours can be heavy during rainy season, making the roads muddy and slippery.
“Pulling Wife” Tradition
When a man falls in love with a woman in the village, he has his friends “pull” the girl to his house and keep her there for three days. If she feels the same way, she will accept his marriage proposal. If not, they will drink a toast to their friendship and go their separate ways.