What we say:
If you've already scheduled a trek elsewhere, there's no need to squeeze this into your itinerary. But if you've got an idle day on your hands, the weather is fair, and you're up for an excursion, this is an easy and very worthwhile option.
There's no real consensus on what to call the falls — some call them the Cat Cat Falls (Cat Cat is just the Vietnamese transliteration of the word cascade) while other call them the Sapa Falls.
To get here, just head down Fansipan Road and keep going. Shortly after Sapa Goldensea Hotel you'll reach the ticket booth where you'll be asked for 20,000 VND. The road creeps along the edge of the mountain with some beautiful views.
After a few downhill kilometres, you'll find the entrance to Cat Cat Village marked by a gate, easily spotted in a cluster of cafes and restaurants. Proceed down the steps, through the rice fields, to the village and falls. There are no shortage of cafes, stalls and dirty children on the way.
You can take a dip by crossing the bridge near the falls and sliding down the embankment on the other side. Not the most spectacular falls in the world, but it's a very pleasant way to spend half a day.
On the other side of the bridge, there is a Fairy Stream which can be visited if you've got the legs to add it in and it's possible to extend your walk further with a trip to Xin Chai village. Some agencies charge for this trip, but that is sort of unnecessary — it's just about impossible to get lost.
To finish up, continue past the falls to along the path to the entrance gate, about a kilometre further on. From there, you can walk back, or take up one of the motorcycle taxi drivers on their offer of a ride — usually about 50,000 VND per person. If you're on a motorbike and not keen on walking, blow past the Cat Cat gate and continue down to the entrance gate where you can park and walk to the falls, 1km each way.
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