Sapa is a mountainous town in the North West part of Vietnam at about 1500m above sea level. It is famous for its rice cultures which are best to see just straight before rice harvest (end of september, beggining of october).
I love sharing travel experiences with other travelers. It is a great way to plan my own trip. That being said, most of the people I have discussed with were quite negative on Sapa. It was either too touristic or not the right season. However, the thing is that most people pretending to avoid touristic areas won’t even try to go off-track.
A traveler I have met in Ninh Binh and I decided to hike by ourselves. It took a whole journey to complete a high intensity trek of 13kms. We planned this hike using Maps.me. For those who do not know this app, it’s a crazy useful GPS application that works offline and even mentions the tiniest paths you can imagine. Plus it’s free.
We bumped into some tourists with guide in the first half but we litteraly did not see anyone during the whole second half. These tiny paths lead us to some breathtaking point of views we would not have been able to see hiring a guide.
If you fancy doing it by yourself and have a good physical condition, just go for it. Not mentionning that hiring a guide roughly costs 50usd per person a day.