The wintry beauty of Sa Pa

 Lensman Nguyen Van Thi has often traveled to the hilly resort town of Sa Pa to capture the allure of winter.

Snow covers the pagoda complex on Mount Fansipan where the Great Amitabha Buddha statue is situated.

The photo was taken in early February 2021 as Mount Fansipan, dubbed the "Roof of Indochina", was blanketed with snow.

Built in 2015, the bronze statue is 21.5 meters tall and made from thousands of bronze pieces five millimeters thick. Its pedestal is decorated with a dragon and flowers. The statue sits at an altitude of 3,075 meters above sea level and around nine kilometers southwest of central Sa Pa.

Bich Van Thien Tu Temple on Mount Fansipan.

The temple, which has a main central section flanked by two smaller ones on either side, has spacious courtyards where the devout offer incense and luxuriate in the fresh air and view of Hoang Lien Son Mountain nestling in the clouds.

Sunrise over a cloudy landscape on Dec. 27, 2020 in Hau Thao Commune, one of the few places left in Sa Pa that remain pristine. In the distance stands Ham Rong Mountain at a height of 1,850 meters above sea level.

Clouds float over Hau Thao Parish in Hang Da Village of Muong Hoa Commune.

Covering 6,000 square meters, cross-shaped Sa Pa Stone Church was built in 1895 by French missionaries. The stones of the church are cemented with a mixture of sand, lime and molasses. Its colored glass windows depict the life of Jesus.

In the front of Sa Pa Stone Church is the spacious courtyard where local ethnic groups gather to exchange goods. Due to the impacts of the pandemic, the area is no longer as crowded as before.

A tourist sits alone in the cold winter night at Sa Pa Square, opposite the Stone Church in December 2020, with only a few nearby shops open.

Red Dao women in traditional costume dry corn to make corn wine, a specialty of the northern mountains.

Many ethnic minorities live in Sa Pa, with the largest being the Hmong, Red Dao and Tay. Visitors can stay overnight in village homestays to learn more about local cultures and lifestyles.

Women harvest tea on O Long tea hills against the backdrop of pink cherry blossoms.

Visitor numbers are kept small to help preserve local tea cultivation, with visitors requested not to litter, damage the tea trees or pick their flowers.

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