A festival to celebrate the 100th anniversary of tourism of Sa Pa has opened today, October 4. Sa Pa is a main tourism site of Lao Cai province and one of 20 key tourism sites of Vietnam.
Sa Pa township is located about 30 kilometres from Lao Cai town to the west and is 1,500 metres high above sea level. The region has a climate of a temperate zone: cool in summer and cold and even having snow in winter.
Sa Pa also covers the Fanxipang mountain peak of 3,148 metre high on the Hoang Lien Son range. Sa Pa is also a place of hundreds of rare and precious trees and birds.
Since early the 20th century, the French were seen in Sa Pa. In 1905, two wooden resort houses appeared, followed by two large hotels of Metropole and Fanxipang and some villas of the French. The Sa Pa resort and other infrastructures were built then such as Cat Cat hydroelectric station (in 1925), road Lao Cai to Sa Pa (in 1930), water plant, farms and 200 villas later.
In 1991, Lao Cai province was reestablished. Sa Pa was relived with a series of buildings brought into use and upgraded. More hotels were built. The tourism services went beyond the town area with ecological tourism and cultural sites. Lao Cai province has spent tens of billion of Vietnamese dong to invest in upgrading the road to Ham Rong, planting flowers and setting up art troupes. Other cultural sites are being upgraded.
The Sa Pa tourism site will be invested with hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong for upgrading and expanding ecological tourism, cultural tourism and adventurous tourism and tours for foreigners.
In recent years, tourism activities have been improved sharply. In 1996, there were just several private guest houses but in 2000, there were up to 80 hotels with 1,000 rooms, including one three star hotel, four two star hotel and 50 others with standard conditions for tourists. In 2002, Sa Pa received 75,000 tourists, half of those were foreigners. The revenue from Sa Pa tourism activities is expected to reach VND 50 billion this year (accounting for 50% of the revenue of the whole province).
NhanDan - (06/10/2003)