Sa Pa is so different from anything else I saw in Vietnam.
I went on two walking tours with local Black H'mong guides. Fascinating people, such a unique and rich culture. They make their clothes from hemp and use the local indigo plants to dye it a rich "indigo" blue, almost black.
Unfortunately I only spent two days in Sa Pa. I was not expecting it to be so interesting; both the people and scenery. the surrounding mountains really are quite amazing. I arrived at about 8am with the mountains shrouded by fog. Just before mid day the fog started to part, unveiling the massive mountains before me. I was blown away, I had no idea.
Later that day I was taken for a walk through the closest village, Cat Cat. The following day I went on a 7 hour walk down mountains and around them, through villages and farms. It was an exciting day. I had the most wonderful Black H'mong guides: Cool and Me (not ME, the guides name was "Me"). Cool made me a lovely little horse out of straw as she walked along, I treasure it as probably the best souvenir of my trip to Vietnam.