A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Sapa vs. Hong Kong for Food, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Sapa or Hong Kong?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Sapa and Hong Kong can help you decide which place is right for you.

Sapa

Sapa is a cultural, scenic, and fascinating town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the food, hiking, and shopping.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a glamorous, diverse , and compact city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Sapa and Hong Kong: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Sapa or Hong Kong?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Hong Kong than Sapa. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Hong Kong is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Sapa attracts visitors for its hiking and small town charm. Sapa is famous for its stunning village and mountain trekking, beautiful rice paddies, and colorful weekly markets. Hong Kong is famous for its modern skyscrapers, colorful waterfront, lush parks, and amazing dim sum. It is also well known for Victoria Peak.

How is Sapa different from Hong Kong?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hong Kong and Sapa. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Sapa or Hong Kong?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is great for its historical sights. However, Sapa is not a good destination for its sights and museums.

Many visitors head to Hong Kong specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city's skyline is one of the most famous "landmarks", but you'll also want to visit Victoria Peak, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Avenue of Stars.

Sapa offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While the many nearby villages are filled with markets and culture and have the feel of living museums, there are few actual museums in the area.


Is the Food Better in Sapa or Hong Kong? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Hong Kong has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The city's population is famous for its frequency of dining out, and the prolific diversity of restaurants is obvious from the moment you arrive. There are street food stalls and night markets, as well as luxury award winning restaurants. The city holds tight to its culinary traditions, but fusion restaurants are creeping in as well. Some of the most famous Hong Kong foods include dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and roast goose.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Sapa. The area's food highlights the local agricultural scene with lots of meat, fish, and vegetables. If you want to check out traditional Hmong cuisine, Thang Co is one of the most common dishes. It's a soup that has a strong smell and is prepared with local herbs and meats.

Is Sapa or Hong Kong Better for Nightlife?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is great for nightlife. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for nightlife and partying.

Many people head to Hong Kong for the nightlife scene. The city lights up after the sun sets. You'll find a diverse range of activities in the evening with everything from night markets to concerts and parties. There's a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary activities, particularly around Lan Kwai Fong. Many of the most popular venues are found around Central and, like everything else in Hong Kong, the venues are full of energy.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Sapa. While you don't visit the area for its nightlife, there's a big backpacker scene here so you'll likely find a crowd looking for a good time. The town has a night market and there are plenty of bars that cater to the tourists.

Is Sapa or Hong Kong Better for Beaches?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is great for its beaches. However, Sapa is not a beach destination.

Hong Kong is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. You actually don't have to travel far from the city center to find a relatively quiet, sandy beach. The different beaches on Hong Kong Island are relatively close to each other, and each has its own atmosphere. If you need a break from the heat and the crowds, then a beach day is a fun option. Hong Kong's natural coastline give way to popular beaches including Repulse Bay Beach and Shek O Beach. Each offers a number of amenities and dining options.

Sapa is not a beach destination.


Is Sapa or Hong Kong Better for Hiking?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Sapa is an unbeatable place for its hiking trails. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Known for its hiking, Sapa draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. Trekking is, by far, one of the best ways to experience the area's beauty. You'll pass by scenic rice paddies, walk along mist covered mountains, and stumble into fascinating villages. Many people hire a local guide to guide them. This helps the local economy and offers insider information.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Hong Kong. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful viewpoints, making it easy to enjoy a day in nature. The hikes will offer impressive views and dramatic rock formations. Popular hikes in the area include The Peak, Dragon's Back, and the Violet Hill and Twin Peak hike.

Is the Shopping Better in Sapa or Hong Kong?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for shopping. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its shopping opportunities.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Hong Kong. There is a high concentration of shopping malls in the city, and you'll likely find yourself cutting through malls to access different parts of town. The city is arguably one of the best shopping cities in the world. Popular items to purchase in the city include designer clothes, handbags, electronics, jewelry, watches, and tailor-made suits.

Sapa is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Many villages have a weekly market that is very fascinating to explore. In addition to local food items, there are often locally made handicrafts that make great souvenirs from your travels.

Is Sapa or Hong Kong Better for Families?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its family-friendly activities.

Hong Kong is one of the most popular family destinations. In addition to its many fascinating cultural experiences like visiting the markets and historical landmarks, this city also has a diversity of kid-friendly entertainment options. The most obvious is Disneyland, but there are also other amusement parks and aquariums like Ocean Park. Make sure you check out the Symphony of Lights in the evening and head to The Peak Tower during the day.

Sapa is a very kid-friendly town. Many people arrive via an overnight train, which is an adventure for the whole family. Once you arrive, your kids will experience a local culture that is uniquely its own. You can participate in a homestay and enjoy meals prepared by a local family. There are also many kid-friendly hikes through the surrounding mountains.


Is Sapa or Hong Kong Better for Couples?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for romance. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its romantic activities.

For those traveling as a couple, Hong Kong has plenty to offer. This city is filled with luxury hotels, beautiful parks, and impressive restaurants. For a romantic evening, check out the Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after the sun sets.

Sapa is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy experiencing unique cultures and hiking through stunning mountain settings will love a trip to this mountain town. While the tourists have definitely discovered the area, there are still places that have a local vibe with traditional Vietnamese markets and homesteads.

Is Sapa or Hong Kong Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Sapa is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Sapa. Like much of Southeast Asia, this town and the surrounding areas are solidly on the backpacker trail. You'll find cheap places to stay and tours that cater specifically to the budget and backpacker crowd.

Hong Kong is a good town to visit for backpackers. The city is more expensive than many places, but cheap eateries and free activities are abundant. Many backpackers stay in the Tsim Sha Shui area of Kowloon. This is where you'll find the frequently talked about Chungking Mansions. Times are changing though, and you'll find more hostels on Hong Kong Island these days as well.

Is Sapa or Hong Kong Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for times when you don't have a car. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its public transit.

With a huge network, the transit system in Hong Kong can get you around easily. Land transportation includes the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, minibuses, and tramways. There are also ferries that connect the different parts of the city.

Sapa has a few public transit options. There are public buses through the region. If you're hoping to visit nearby towns for their market days, an organized tour or private guide is a good option.


Is Sapa or Hong Kong a more walkable city?

Sapa
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for its walkability. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its high level of walkability.

Hong Kong is a very easy city to get around on foot. The city has many parks and walking paths that connect different areas.

Sapa is a very walkable town. Trekking is, by far, the best way to experience the area and all of the beauty and culture that it has to offer.

For even more information, also check out Is Sapa Worth Visiting? and Is Hong Kong Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hong Kong or Sapa?

How long in Sapa or Hong Kong?

Both Sapa and Hong Kong have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Hong Kong than in Sapa. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Sapa, and 3-7 days is enough time in Hong Kong.

Families should spend more time in Hong Kong than Sapa. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hong Kong, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hong Kong than Sapa. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hong Kong that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Hong Kong than Sapa if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Hong Kong.


  • How many days in Sapa or Hong Kong? Ideal Length of Stay
    Sapa 2-4 
    Hong Kong 3-7

One day in Sapa or Hong Kong?

You'll find food and shopping around the town of Sapa. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Hong Kong is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Sapa or Hong Kong?

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the cultural destination of Sapa. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Hong Kong is a fun place to experience. It's also a great beach destination, too. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


Five days in Sapa or Hong Kong?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the scenic town of Sapa. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Most people head to the area for the hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Hong Kong is a glamorous big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

A week in Sapa or Hong Kong?

Sapa is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city where you can fill many days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Vietnam, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Vietnam.


Which place is cheaper, Hong Kong or Sapa?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Sapa is $35, while the average daily cost in Hong Kong is $160. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Sapa and Hong Kong in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sapa $12
    Hong Kong $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sapa $24
    Hong Kong $150
Compare Hotels in Sapa and Hong Kong

Looking for a hotel in Sapa or Hong Kong? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Sapa


Hotels in Hong Kong


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Sapa Hotel Prices and Hong Kong Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sapa $9.27
    Hong Kong $8.73
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Sapa are as follows:


  • Short Motorbike Ride
    $1.18

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Hong Kong:


  • MTR (for 2)
    $2.82
  • Local Bus
    $2.82
  • Ferry Ticket
    $0.26
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Ticket
    $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Sapa or Hong Kong?

Prices for flights to both Hong Kong and Sapa change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Sapa $16
    Hong Kong $33
Typical Food Prices in Sapa

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Sapa:


  • Casual Dinner (for One)
    $2.68
  • Quick Breakfast (for Two)
    $2.16
  • Coffee (for Two)
    $2.36
  • Western Dinner (for Two)
    $7.84
  • Pho Soup
    $0.59

Typical Food Prices in Hong Kong

For Hong Kong, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner for 2
    $12

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sapa $6.04
    Hong Kong $95
Typical Entertainment Prices in Sapa

For Sapa, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • CatCat Village Tax
    $1.57
  • Ta Phin Village Tax
    $0.79
  • Walking Stick
    $0.20
  • Paddle Boat Rental on Sapa Lake (1 Hr)
    $3.15

Typical Entertainment Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Hong Kong's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Peak Tram
    $7.68
  • Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
    $24

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sapa $8.06
    Hong Kong $21
Typical Alcohol Prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Sapa are as follows:


  • Two Beers
    $0.98


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sapa and Hong Kong, we can see that Hong Kong is more expensive. And not only is Sapa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sapa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sapa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Hong Kong would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Hong Kong than you might in Sapa.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Sapa Expensive? and Is Hong Kong Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Sapa or Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has a larger population, and is about 50 times larger than the population of Sapa. When comparing the sizes of Sapa and Hong Kong, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.