142 00 Prague, Czech Republic
tel: +420 244 092 416
NileGuide Expert tip:
To get to SAPA, take the metro to Zelivskeho or Depo Hostivar, then take the 208 bus to the "Tiskarska" stop, which is only about 50 meters from the main entrance. Because SAPA sells wholesale goods, visitors are sometimes asked to show a trade license (Zivnostensky List) upon entering. This is usually only an issue if you come by car, as anyone buying wholesale would need to transport goods to their place of business. Owing to this, the main gate by the bus stop sometimes has barriers. However, if you walk up the road alongside the SAPA market complex, near a field, you can enter through a barrier-free gate without any problem. Don't let this information deter you from going to Sapa: it is practically unheard-of for visitors to actually be turned away.
Many people don't realize that the Czech Republic has a substantial Vietnamese population. Many Vietnamese immigrants speak fluent Czech and run clothing shops or grocery stores within the city. The main retail center for Prague's Vietnamese community lies in the south of Prague. Called SAPA, after a northern Vietnamese tribe, this area offers a glimpse into an entirely different face of Prague. As you enter the area, a welcoming message is inscribed in both Czech and Vietnamese. Here, you can haggle for handmade items and very cheap clothes. Additionally, you can find a wide range of traditional Vietnamese ingredients such as lemongrass and fish sauce. While in "Little Hanoi," notice the pagoda-like temple and enjoy the Vietnamese pop music blaring from some massive speakers. Most of all, though, don't miss the chance to enjoy some cheap and delicious Vietnamese culinary specialties like pho, meat and noodles swimming in a light broth.