The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s Topas Ecolodge named among list of unique lodges around the world, according to National Geographic, the official magazine of the National Geographic Society.
Earlier, National Geographic also named Topas Ecolodge top of its list of “21 places to stay if you care about the planet”. These lodges have unique designs and architecture with creative solutions and wonderful food. They are located in spectacular areas, according to National Geographic.
High on a hilltop outside Sa Pa in north Vietnam, Topas Ecolodge is an amazing mountain hideaway. As one of the longest-running and most philanthropic lodges in the region, Topas Ecolodge has nurtured strong relationships with the local hill tribes and with each passing year, the lodge conceives new ways to give back to these communities that are so integral to their operation.
Opened in 2005 on a mountaintop far from the emerging tourist hub of Sa Pa Town, Topas Ecolodge offers its guests a rare experience of culture, as there are five different native tribes in the region with distinctive languages and lifestyles.
Surrounded by mountains and green rice paddies, the hilltop resort is the first in Vietnam and the 5th in Asia to make the National Geographic list.
Sapa was voted one of the Top 10 most attractive destinations in Asia in 2017 by popular American travel website TripAdvisor, one of the 50 most beautiful places in Asia by the US’s Condé Nast Traveler, and one of the Top 8 destinations in Vietnam by English travel site of Rough Guides.
The hill town is known for its terraced rice fields and trekking trails. The harvest season in October is amazing for both sightseeing and trekking, with beautiful yellow rice paddy fields. Tourists can also visit the Saturday night “Love Market”, the Gothic stone church in the town center that is a reminder of the French missionary influence, and many Vietnamese and European restaurants downtown.
Sapa welcomed nearly 1.5 million visitors in the first eleven months of 2017, of which more than 30% were international tourists. In 2016, there were 1.2 million visitors to the hill town. It has been actively preparing for being officially recognized as a national tourism site and reaching international standards in its services, according to Lao Cai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.