Sa Pa town welcomes more than 77,000 visitors in the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday (Photo: VNA)

Lao Cai (VNA) – Sa Pa town in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai welcomed more than 77,000 visitors in the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday from February 2-10, up 17 percent over the same time in 2018, including 7,600 foreign tourists.

According to Tran Manh Hao, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Sa Pa district, the locality earned 224.57 billion VND (9.65 million USD) from tourism services during the period.

The long holiday with favourable weather conditions made Sa Pa an ideal destination for tourists, especially families.

Hao said that from the third day of the first lunar month, all famous sites in the town were chocked with tourists, with all hotel rooms fully filled.

Located 350km northwest of Hanoi capital city, Sa Pa is 1,600m high above sea level, with the average temperature of 15-18°C. The whole town is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which is famous with Indochina’s highest mountain of Fansipan at a height of 3,142m above sea level.

Discovered in 1903 by the French, Sa Pa has many natural scenic sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall), Cau May (Rattan Bridge), Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave. The hill town is home to six main ethnic minority groups, including Kinh, Hmong, Dao, Tay, Day and Xa Pho with various traditional festivals and unique cultural practices, especially the Bac Ha market and Sa Pa love market.

The number of tourist arrivals to Lao Cai was estimated at 4.3 million in 2018, up 22.7 percent against the previous year. It is forecast that Sa Pa will serve nearly 4 million visitors by 2020 and 8 million by 2030.-VNA