Beautiful Scenery up in the Mountains of Sapa

Sapa Travel Blog

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My tourguide on the mountains of Sapa
The train ride to Sa Pa, was a long painful one, with the lack of sleep and a late night (12am) the journey the next day was a tiresome one. On the train I met 2 French fela's and a Spanish chick, all travelling on their own. I can't remember their names exactly as they all had the european accents. The girl was Marielle (not sure on the spelling though), and the fela's was Jacque's.

We arrived the following morning at 6:00am, and we all went our own ways as we all had different tour companies and so fourth. The bus to Sa Pa from Lao Cai took an extra 1 hour, and pretty much for the whole journey I was asleep.

Upon arrival, I was wizzed off to GoldSea Hotel, which was a 2 star joint and a not too shabby place.
Black Hmong Tour Guides waiting for the tourists to take a breathe
I was later informed that they wanted me switch my day tours around, and do the 2nd day first, whilst the 1st day the following day. I declined the suggestion and said I would prefer to have a bit of rest beforehand, and also to tour around with the single tour guide.

After breakfast, I felt revitalised and didn't rest, instead I went walking around the small town and saw some very interesting outfits worn by the local minorities, the Dzao and Black Hmong. I was hawked into purchasing some bags, some neck hanger thingies no idea... but they would look good as wall hangers hehe.

Anyhow I hurried back to the hotel, as it was nearing 1:30. At the hotel, my tour guide Ga (pronounced Za) was waiting for me. Ga was one of the locals from the Black Hmong minority group, and she spoke some pretty good English considering she's only been learning from tourists over the last 3 years.
Black Hmong selling here handicrafts
I was really thrilled that my tour guide wasn't just another Vietnamese, as this gave the minorities a chance to make a decent living and to benefit from the hoards of tourists flocking to see the region of Sa Pa.

Our first day included a walking tour to 2 villages in Cat Cat, the Cat Cat waterfall and the generator left by the French. The hike down the mountain was a decent hike, but as soon as we reached paths that went upwards, I was like arghhhhhh, the lack of sleep kicked in straight away! The Black Hmong, wears pretty much all black and lots of different home made jewerelly.

The village was a small village, and most of the inhabitants were probably at the markets or on the fields. I paid a quick visit to a local house, and walked around the house giving little gifts to about 10 kids.
Guess Who
I managed to take a photo of the grandmother, but as you will find out later on... it's all gone.. sigh...

The waterfall was a beautiful sight as it contrasted with the many rice paddy fields, and the little villages you walk by. We continued on and this is when we started hiking upwards.

After the remaining neck of the hike, I met 2 American's and I didn't get to ask for their names. We quickly took photos of each other and continued our journey back upto our hotels.

The very next day was the day hike to Lao Chai, I realised that the following days trip was an easy one!!! hehehehe. We trekked through rice paddy fields, descending to the base of the mountain, and then walking around little villages, along rivers and streams and up mountain ledges... It was trully amazing even though 90% of the time your eyes are on your feet to make sure you dont step off the side, or into the water hehehe.
Dzao lady selling her handicrafts

It's good to see that the local ethnic minories are just hawking locally made products rather than imported goods. It clearly shows that the money are going and staying within the local communities. But just like at Angkor, the unpleasant site of kids hawking items is simply depressing and not natural.

The views of the valley was absolutely breathtaking, and is indescribable. The ethnic minories, were a tad bit catered to tourists, but were always willing to shed a smile if you bought something in exchange for a photo. I took SOOOO MANY BLARDY FUCKING PICTURES... and GUESS WHAT ALL FOR FUCKING NOTHING... CUZ OF THE FUCKING DODGY VIETS

SORRY.. I'm just pissed off.. can't take this shit no more....
2 Bad News in the few days... has pushed me over the TOP... OMFG ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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My tourguide on the mountains of S…
My tourguide on the mountains of …
Black Hmong Tour Guides waiting fo…
Black Hmong Tour Guides waiting f…
Black Hmong selling here handicraf…
Black Hmong selling here handicra…
Guess Who
Guess Who
Dzao lady selling her handicrafts
Dzao lady selling her handicrafts
photo by: Paulovic