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“H'mong homestay trek” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sapa O'Chau Cafe

Sapa O'Chau Cafe
08 Thac Bac Street, Sapa, Vietnam
+84 20 3771 166
Website
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Ranked #11 of 86 Restaurants in Sapa
Price range: $3 - $6
Cuisines: Café, Tea Room, Creperie, Fish & Chips
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“H'mong homestay trek”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Did a 2D1N H'mong homestay trek with Sapa O'Chau, Was supposed to go solo but at the last minute was paired with another solo traveller and got a discount off the trekking rate. My guide's San( or Sang?) a young chap of around 21 years old and he was very helpful in explaining to us about the local people, their customs and way of life. Had a really good lunch (over 2 days) that was prepared by him. was carrying both my camera bag and daypack and he also offered to help me with my daypack.

Dinner at the homestay was a very good experience where I met another couple from France and there was a huge spread of dishes as well as many many shots of Sapa's 'happy water' =D personally I prefer the rice version as compared to the one made from corn.

on an ending note, previous reviews did somewhat mention that Sapa O'chau is not a real cafe bla bla bla but i'll beg to differ. After coming back from my trek and waiting for the transport to Lao Cai train station, I ordered an ice coffee and a Ham+Cheese+Egg+Tomatoes baguette and they were delicious! there were also other items on the menu that caught my eye but unfortunately I only have one stomach =(

I'll love to visit again soon, thanks Sapa O'chau for a wonderful trekking and homestay experience!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sapaochau, Guest Relations Manager at Sapa O'Chau Cafe, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Dear FC L,

Thank you so much for sharing your H'mong Homestay experience!

It sounds like you had a great time and I am so happy to share this positive review with your guide, Mr. Thao A Sang (Sang).

When we have groups that are happy to join up then we are always happy to pass on the savings to our guests, but we will never join groups together that would prefer privacy.

Thank you for sharing your experience of the cafe and I'm very glad that you enjoyed your food and drinks. Hopefully you will be back with us to try more one day soon!

Best regards,

Peter Gilbert and the Sapa O'Chau team.
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100 reviews from our community

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    69
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Must go place for Sapa!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Whether your in Sapa for a few hours or a few months, I highly recommend visiting Sapa O'Chau Cafe. It's not just a cafe that provides delicious all day breakfast and refreshing beverages, it has a great selection of treks to chose from. The treks are fun and run by really friendly people. Saoa O'Chau is a non-profit organisation, the money made goes towards Sapa O'Chau school. It's the only legal trekking/ guide business in Sapa and they have the most welcoming and humble staff ever. I highly recommend going there.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sapaochau, Manager at Sapa O'Chau Cafe, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
Dear Bridget A,

Thank you so much for this great review and wonderful explanation of the Sapa O'Chau project as you saw it.

We are really exited about the recent improvements at our Cafe. We have also just got our trekking operation listed in the Things to Do category of TripAdvisor, so now our guests can review us there too.

I have to correct one thing though. We are not the only legal trekking company, but we are the only one legally owned and run by the Sapa's ethnic minority people themselves. In fact, Sapa O'Chau Travel LTD is the first ethnic minority owned and run international tour operator in Vietnam!

Thank you for supporting our social enterprise.

Best regards,

Shu Tan and the Sapa O'Chau team.
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“This NOT a restaurant or even a Cafe. It is a Trekking/Guide business”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

DO NOT go out of your way to visit this place if you want something to eat. While they do some tea it does not qualify as a cafe by any stretch of the imagination. It's rating as the no. 1 restaurant in Sapa is a joke and it should be classified as a trekking business.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sapaochau, Guest Relations Manager at Sapa O'Chau Cafe, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Dear laurencewise,

Thank you for visiting the Sapa O'Chau project - the first ethnic minority owned business in Sapa!

90% of our reviews are for our Trekking & Homestays service. We agree with you that our rating as the no. 1 restaurant in Sapa is misleading and we have been requesting TripAdvisor for over one year for an additional attraction listing in the Things to Do section so that our guests can review us more appropriately.

Sapa O'Chau is a social enterprise with 3 main parts: A) A responsible Trekking company B) A free school for disadvantaged ethnic minority children C) A community Cafe.

I would like to affirm that we do definitely have a cafe and that what we provide there is a wide selection of drinks, from fresh fruit smoothies to rich hot chocolates, tuna mayo sandwiches to ham and cheese crepes. Our full menu can be found on our website.

We have recently hired 2 new cafe staff (graduates of the Hoa Sua hospitality vocational training school for disadvantaged youth), built a new kitchen, and renovated our guest bathroom.

So I would say: DO go out of your way to visit this place if you want to have a drink or snack from our all day breakfast menu, Do go out of your way to find out about our no. 1 tours, and Do go out of your way if you want to "Come to Sapa and leave more than just footprints..."

Best regards,

Peter Gilbert and the Sapa O'Chau team (O'Chau means thank you)
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Reliable trekking company (Trekked with Sho)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

This is a review from a Singaporean

We knew we could hire a guide from the market or from the hotels we stayed in for a lower price but we decided that we should trek with someone reliable either Sapa Sisters, TOM or Sapa O Chau as we didn't wanna have a bad trekking experience when we travelled all the way to Sapa.

Sapa O Chau offers lower prices than Sapa Sisters and TOM and it also gives back to the H'mong Community. I was told that money it earns goes back to their community through the building of schools. I saw many volunteers there and I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that most of the money goes back to the community. I was told by my guide that Sapa Sister also does the same, just that the money Sapa Sisters get goes straight to the guides.

I did a 2D1N homestay trek (28km option) with Sho, our famous international guide who was featured on 3 TV programmes in 3 different countries. One in Singapore. She had 8+ years experience as a guide and I'm surprised she still has a decent enthusiasm as a guide (You know some of them become numb and get bored going thru the same old stuff again to different people). That 28km trek only scares us in numbers. It is much easier than I thought. We started at 930am and ended the trek at our homestay at 230pm at Lao Chai village.

The homestay was very nice and clean and there's even a bathtub. The owner is very hospitable and made us very sumptuous dinner. She also offered us rice wine and made me drink 2 shots which I could not decline. After which, we stayed at the dining table to have a good chat with Sho and the owner about the lives of H'mongs which was very enjoyable

Sho showed us many plants that we, Singaporeans, who lives in concrete jungles do not see during our trek and was happy to explain to us about the lives of the H'mongs.

Trekking in Sapa is beautiful because you get to cross many rice terraces and streams and waterfall. The views were breathtaking, picturesque, panaromic, beautiful. It is a pity I am not a professional photographer and took photos only with my compact + handphone but they are already so pretty.

I'm very glad I trekked with Sapa O Chau , Sho and I will easily rate it 8.5/10.

Tip: There will be local H'mongs in traditional uniforms following you oonce you start your trek. They follow you until your lunch location and demand/persuade you to buy something from them. I disliked it and I felt that it was sort of like guilt trapping me to buy something from them. However, I know their lives are hard so I paid 200,000 dongs and got a litttle something from them. I saw some people handing them money instead of buying something from them (I know its controversial in doing this but your call)

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sapaochau, Public Relations Manager at Sapa O'Chau Cafe, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear sgslinger,

Thank you so much for this fantastic review.

It's especially fantastic to know that your guide gave you the Sapa experience you were looking for. Sho is a wonderful young woman and loves her job. I look forward to reading this review to her.

Best regards,

Peter Gilbert and the Sapa O'Chau team.
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Lethbridge, Canada
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Excellent trekking company”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We did a one day hike with this company and my husband and I really enjoyed it. Our guide, Lu, was vey friendly and spoke very good English. We walked through some of the villages and around the countryside. It was beautiful but my only wish was that we had a bit more interaction with the locals. The lunch stop was good and you gt a choice of what you want to eat. I would definitely recommend this company.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sapaochau, Guest Relations Manager at Sapa O'Chau Cafe, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you for you review. It's great to hear you and your husband enjoyed your trip. We will pass on your kind regards to 'Lou'.

Best wishes,
Sapa O'Chau team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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