Sapa Train tiect – Lào Cai, is a province of the mountainous Northwest region of Vietnam bordering the province of Yunnan in China. The province covers an area of 6,383.9 square kilometers and as of 2008 it had a population of 602,300 people.
Lào Cai and Sa Pa are two important cities within the province at the border with China; the former is well known as key trading post and the latter is hill station famous for tourism, in the Northwest region of Vietnam. Lào Cai is also the capital of Lào Cai Province and shares border with the city of Hekou, in the Yunnan province of Southwest China. This border town was closed after the 1979 war with China, since reopened in 1993, has become a major tourist centre between Hanoi, Sa Pa and Kunming (China). Sa Pa is notable as a hill resort and market centre for the local ethnic Hmong, including the Red, Black, Green and Flower Hmong. Located across the Muong Hoa Valley from Vietnam’s highest mountain, Fansipan, the city is sometimes referred to as the “queen of mountains”
Lào Cai has many historical sites, natural caves and produces agricultural specialties such as Bac Ha plums.
In a 1929 survey conducted in the area, the vegetation (flora) and fauna (mammals) recorded by the French biologist Delacour who accompanied Theodore Roosevelt were unique to the region in northern Vietnam.