Cat Cat Village became one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Sapa and taking part in Sapa trekking tours as the village is located just 2.5 km or about 30 minutes’ walk from the center of Sapa town and getting there is very convenient.
Cat Cat Village is one of the oldest villages in Sapa region and is known as the place where people of Black H’mong ethnic minority are living. It is also a perfect place to start trekking experience and see the beautiful scenery of Sapa as well as to discover the way of life and customs of locals. This village is surrounded by amazing rice terraces and flower gardens, beautiful valleys, rolling green hills and dazzling waterfalls.
Our complete guide to Cat Cat Village will help you to plan a visit and to get the most out of it.
Location of Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village is located 380 km northwest of Hanoi, just 2.5 kilometers from the center of Sapa town. The village is nestled at the bottom of Muong Hoa Valley, which is an important rice cultivation area in Sapa. The area around Cat Cat Village is surrounded by rice field terraces, lush green mountains and beautiful waterfalls. The village is not far from Fansipan Mountain, which is the highest mountain in Vietnam with 3,143 meters high.
Cat Cat Village Entrance Fee
You cannot get into the Cat Cat Village for free. Tourists need to buy tickets to explore the village.
Cat Cat Village entrance fees in 2020 are as follows:
- Adults: 70,000 VND per person
- Children: 30,000 VND per person
When purchasing a ticket, you will also receive the map of Cat Cat Village. If the map won't be given, don't forget to ask for it as the map can be very handy during the visit. The most important information about attractions and walking routes as well as the time of local performances is displayed on the map.
6:00 - 23:00 daily
What to do at Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village is a small village which is easily accessible from Sapa town. Expect to see many tourists visiting the village as there you can find many unique activities and attractions.
Visit Cat Cat Waterfall
Cat Cat Waterfall, also known as Tien Sa Waterfall, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cat Cat village. The waterfall is large and powerful so you can hear it from quite a distance. There are benches nearby where you can sit and relax while admiring the scenery of the waterfall and natural surroundings.
Watch Folk Performance
Next to Cat Cat Waterfall, there is the center house where traditional performances are presented for free throughout the day. The schedule of performances is as follows: 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, and 17:00.
See Giant Water Mills
When walking in the village, you will see giant water mills that are made of bamboo. These water wheels use fast-flowing water power to pound rice, corn, and other grains.
Talk to Local People
Cat Cat Village is home of the H’mong ethnic minority. You will meet friendly and smiling locals throughout the village. Some people can communicate in English really well and might even persuade you to visit their home or ask to be your trekking guide with the hope that you will buy local products such as bags, textiles, and other souvenirs from them.
Visit H’mong House
When you walk around Cat Cat Village, you will notice that there are many traditional houses that are open to tourists. Traditional H’mong houses are unique and each of them has three rooms with three doors and is covered with “Pomu” wood roof. The main door is always closed and opened only for large events or important ceremonies such as Chinese New Year, Tet holiday, weddings or funerals.
Learn about Local Culture and Practices
You will witness daily activities of locals in Cat Cat Village. It is normal to see them weaving, carving, making tools. At the center house, you can see how H’mong people making traditional handicraft products.
Wear H'mong Ethnic Clothes
When visiting Cat Cat Village, you will notice many tourists wearing traditional costumes of H’mong people to take pictures around the village. The costumes can be rented at the entrance to the village. The rental price is approximately 50,000 - 100,000 VND per set. Before renting, you should carefully check the clothes to ensure that they are not damaged and there will be no problems when returning them.
Taste Local Wine
Corn wine, often called "Happy Water", is popular in Cat Cat Village. When making this wine, corns are boiled in hot water for a long time until the seeds break out of the cob. After cooling the broken grains, they are mixed with yeast. The wine fermentation process takes about 6 days. Wines are often poured into recycled bottles and sold at the market for low price.
Taste Local Food
Along the path of Cat Cat Village, you will see many cafes and restaurants serving tourists. You can try local food to experience new flavors.
Shop at Cat Cat Market
When traveling to Cat Cat Village, don't forget to buy souvenirs from Cat Cat Market to bring back home. Various local items can be purchased at the shops located on both sides of the main pathway. These shops sell a wide variety of products, from dry and fresh foods to handicrafts and clothing at reasonable prices.
Steal or Pull Wife
An interesting custom of H’mong people in Cat Cat Village is “Stealing or Pulling Wife". There is a tradition that when a man falls in love with a woman, his friend and he will plan and pull the woman to the man's house for 3 days as a trial before making the decision of marriage. After that, if a woman agrees to be his wife, they will get married. If not, they will drink alcohol together and everything will return to normal as if nothing happened. Therefore, don't be shocked if you will see it as it is just their tradition without resistance.
Accommodation in Cat Cat Village
If you want to experience the way of local life and wake up surrounded by fresh air and beautiful scenery, then choose to stay at the homestay in Cat Cat Village. The cultural homestays of ethnic people at Cat Cat Village are as follows:
Chapi Homestay: This is a small homestay with a very calm atmosphere surrounded by nature. It is located in a good location, next to the entrance to Cat Cat Village. The owner speaks good English.
Terraced H'mong Homestay: This is a traditional homestay located in Cat Cat Village, from where you can walk to the waterfall in less than 10 minutes.
ChienDe Homestay: It is a real traditional home of H’mong family surrounded by nature.
Best Time to Visit Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village is located in Sapa, which can be visited throughout the year with every season having its own advantages and disadvantages.
November - February
During this time, Sapa is cold, cloudy and foggy. The temperature sometimes drops below 0 degrees and branches and grass get covered with ice. At this time of the year you shouldn’t have a high hope for clear skies and sunny weather. However, in recent years even the snow was covering Sapa, so this is the ideal time to visit the area for those who want to experience the beauty of white Sapa. In winter time, only few tourists are visiting the area so it’s more peaceful.
March - May
During this time of the year, the temperature in Sapa is getting higher. At the beginning of spring it is still cold but the sky gets brighter. The locals start planting rice on terraced fields. During these months you will get a chance to see the overlapping rice fields all the way to the horizon and thousands of blooming flowers such as peach blossoms, plum blossoms, chrysanthemums, and roses.
June - August
Summertime is the high season in Sapa so a lot of tourists can be expected there. During this time you will get a chance to experience the wonderful scenery of Sapa as the whole valley seems to be colored. The weather is usually quite hot and humid. At the end of this period, there may be a typhoon causing heavy rain.
September - October
This is another good time to come to Sapa as it brings stable weather. The weather is not as hot and humid as in the summer, with sunny days but cold nights. It is the ripe rice season so you get a chance to enjoy beautiful views of the rice terraces turning from green to golden across the hills. Many photographers love to go to Sapa during this season for the best photo journey.
Visiting during High Season
If you will be visiting Cat Cat Village during the high season, we would suggest going there in the morning from 9:00 as there is a better chance to have less tourists in the village so you would be able to fully appreciate the atmosphere and take pictures.
How to get to Cat Cat Village from Sapa
Cat Cat Village is located just 2.5 kilometers from Sapa town so you can choose one of many ways for getting there.
Taxi fare for a trip from Sapa town to Cat Gat Village is around 100,000 VND.
Renting a motorbike and driving to the village by yourself is a worthwhile option. Aside from traveling to Cat Cat Village, you can also drive to other further places. The road to Cat Cat is quite convenient, just be careful of the slippery road during rainy days because the way is down the hill.
If you don’t want to drive by yourself, you can hire a motorbike taxi. The one-way trip should cost around 20,000 VND.
There are many tours from Sapa that take tourists to explore Cat Cat Village. We recommend this Cat Cat Village Trekking Tour from Sapa as this tour offers you to visit Cat Cat Village, learn about culture, traditions and local life through a H'mong guide.
If you would love to explore the area by foot, this option is also possible. The road to the entrance to Cat Cat Village is an asphalt road, therefore walking is not difficult. You can enjoy the view of the mountains and rice terraces on the way to the village. From Sapa town, it can take about 30-40 minutes to reach the entrance of Cat Cat Village.
As walking is our preferred method of exploring new areas, we walked to Cat Cat Village as well. Our half-day trip itinerary can be found here: Trekking to Cat Cat Village without Guide [Review].
How to get to Cat Cat Village from Hanoi
Cat Cat Village is located in Sapa so for getting there you need to travel from Hanoi to Sapa first. There are many ways for getting from Hanoi to Sapa.
There are many trains running from Hanoi to Loa Cai Railway Station and the trip by train takes about 7-9 hours. From Lao Cai Station, you need to take a local bus or taxi to Sapa as the distance between these towns is about 40 km.
Bus route from Hanoi to Sapa is covered by many companies. The journey by bus takes about 6-7 hours. The advantage of taking a bus is that buses drop off passengers in Sapa town and transfer is not needed, contrary to taking a train.
By Private Transfer
Private transfer is the most convenient way for traveling between Hanoi and Sapa, suitable for group travelers. When taking a private transfer, the trip from the hotel in Hanoi to the hotel in Sapa can take only 4-5 hours.
Cat Cat Village Tour
Trekking is one of the most popular activities in Sapa. The good thing about Sapa trekking tours is that they are inexpensive, save time and include a local tribe guide. This 2D1N Sapa Cat Cat Village Tour and Trekking with Fansipan Legend Cable Car Ride is definitely worth the price.
More Tips for Visiting Cat Cat Village
- Respect local customs and traditions.
- Don't pick flowers or destroy trees just because you want to take beautiful pictures.
- No littering.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes or sneakers.
- Avoid swimming during heavy rain or floods.