AsiaVietnamSapa

Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa Travel Blog

 › entry 215 of 247 › view all entries
Sapa, Vietnam - Chợ Sa Pa, or Sa Pa Market

If you’re looking for a culturally-rich place, this is the place to be!  You’ll just have to ignore all the tourists that are all over the place! 

We got in pretty early, after a long night on the train, and were immediately hounded down by buses heading for the town of Sapa, itself. 

You see, the night train we took, didn’t exactly take us directly to our destination, as we had expected. 

The last stop was in this small town called Lao Cai, which was about 50km from Sapa.  Not too far, but not close enough to walk, so what next?! 

Lift anyone?!!  :) 

Yeah, paying more money to get to our destination was out of the question, considering we’d already gotten slightly ripped off to begin with!! 

See, at the train station, tickets were sold TO Sapa, so obviously it’s understandable that tourists be somewhat taken aback when they arrive, and realize they still have to pay more to get to where they originally thought they had already paid to get to beforehand!! 

Welcome to Vietnam and the scams!!  Bitter?!  Nah!!  :)

Anyway, despite the loads of buses offering to take us to Sapa for an exorbitant price, we decided to get there on our own, by our own means .

Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny in Sa Pa
. . hitchhiking!!

What better way than that!!  And it worked out wonderfully for us, thank the Lord!!

We reached Sapa, early enough to get our accommodation straightened out and rent a motorbike to visit this beautiful place! 

We were really lucky because it’s as if Sapa was just waiting for our arrival. 

We couldn’t have asked for better weather, really.  It was a warm, sunny day, perfect for a stroll around the hills of Sapa. 

And W-O-W!!  The landscapes were magnificent!  All about, there are rice paddy fields that are unique to the region, considering its topography. 

So all around just hills and hills of rice.  Truly stunning! It reminded me a lot of Peru, but nope we were in Vietnam!! 

Overall, quite an unforgettable experience!  The sightseeing was absolutely great.

Sapa, Vietnam - Terraced fields in Sa Pa
 

The folks, as they’re so accustomed to having tourists visit, were a bit over-driven by money, and sought out every moment to con you out of it, somehow. 

A bit of a shame, really, because a bit of the authenticity of the place and its people was lost, as a result of that. 

And well, as for the food, let’s just say, we had had better in other areas throughout Vietnam!!  ;) 

But, all in all, we greatly appreciated the opportunity to have visited to this place, and I’d highly recommend folks coming to Vietnam, not to miss out on this extraordinary town! 

And so, on the road again for us!!  We headed out the same way we came in, and went about it the same way . . . hitching!

And besides the non-stop rain that drove us out of Sapa, the rest of the journey was great.

Sapa, Vietnam - Arnaud in Sa Pa
 

It was really our lucky day too, because we ended up catching a lift for a significant part of the trip down, and then on top of that we managed to get a ride right away to continue onwards and all the way to the border!!  Great!!

So, get ready for us China (Or should it be the other way ‘round?!), ‘cause here we come!!!  :)

Sapa, le pays du riz, dans les montagnes qui divisent la Chine et le Vietnam.

Pour y parvenir il nous aura fallu beaucoup de volonté et de détermination, pour la première fois, on prit le train pour arriver au pied des montagnes.

Pour rester dans les habitudes, grosses négociations avec des taxis ou des bus qui profitent de l’ignorance des touristes ; en disant par exemple que Sapa est à 3heures de route pour justifier les prix élevés, mais c’était mettre en doute notre faculté à sentir la tromperie, la grosse arnaque.

Sapa, Vietnam - Rizières de Sa Pa

Après quelques « quarts d’heures » de marche, la route vers Sapa se précise et les 25km aussi. Où sont passés les 3h de route prodigués par les taxis ?

Notre intuition avait été bonne, un camion nous amena jusqu’en haut en 2 temps 3 mouvements.

La tente allait de nouveau rester dans son emballage avec un grand désarroi, c’était une ville purement touristique où l’argent est la clé à toutes les portes.

On nous avait conseillé de louer une moto pour faire la visite du site et quelle réussite.

Dans les montagnes ce fut un vrai bonheur, des paysages à couper le souffle, une grandeur reposante, une verdure c’était tout simplement grandiose.

Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa village surrounded by terraced fields

Le soir, une petite promenade dans les rues de la ville nous permettait d’assister à une bagarre de femmes, 2 cuisinières de resto qui pour X raison se sont crêpées le chignon.

C’était un spectacle assez croquignol !!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sapa, Vietnam - Chợ Sa Pa, or Sa…
Sapa, Vietnam - Chợ Sa Pa, or S…
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Terraced fields in…
Sapa, Vietnam - Terraced fields i…
Sapa, Vietnam - Arnaud in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Arnaud in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Rizières de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Rizières de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa village surr…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa village sur…
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny & a couple …
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny & a couple…
Sapa, Vietnam - Black Hmong woman
Sapa, Vietnam - Black H'mong woman
Sapa, Vietnam - Stunning landscape…
Sapa, Vietnam - Stunning landscap…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa landscape & …
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa landscape &…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pas endless be…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa's endless b…
Sapa, Vietnam - Black Hmong Ethni…
Sapa, Vietnam - Black H'mong Ethn…
Sapa, Vietnam - Red Hmong Ethnic …
Sapa, Vietnam - Red H'mong Ethnic…
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny and a few R…
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny and a few …
Sapa, Vietnam - Bathtime for the c…
Sapa, Vietnam - Bathtime for the …
Sapa, Vietnam - 3 little black Sap…
Sapa, Vietnam - 3 little black Sa…
Sapa, Vietnam - Black Hmong granny
Sapa, Vietnam - Black H'mong granny
Sapa, Vietnam - Arnaud en train de…
Sapa, Vietnam - Arnaud en train d…
Sapa, Vietnam - Expert moulineur d…
Sapa, Vietnam - Expert moulineur …
Sapa, Vietnam - J&A with a typical…
Sapa, Vietnam - J&A with a typica…
Sapa, Vietnam - Le paysade de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Le paysade de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Vroom vroom!!
Sapa, Vietnam - Vroom vroom!!
Sapa, Vietnam - Walking the duckie…
Sapa, Vietnam - Walking the ducki…
Sapa, Vietnam - Boys will be boys!
Sapa, Vietnam - Boys will be boys!
Sapa, Vietnam - Les terrasses de S…
Sapa, Vietnam - Les terrasses de …
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pas terraced f…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa's terraced …
Sapa, Vietnam - Labosse à Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Labosse à Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Le paysage de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Le paysage de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Paisaje de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Paisaje de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa Village
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa Village
Sapa, Vietnam - Terraced fields in…
Sapa, Vietnam - Terraced fields i…
Sapa, Vietnam - Working the terrac…
Sapa, Vietnam - Working the terra…
Sapa, Vietnam - Les travailleurs d…
Sapa, Vietnam - Les travailleurs …
Sapa, Vietnam - Les couleurs du Vi…
Sapa, Vietnam - Les couleurs du V…
Sapa, Vietnam - ¡Una verdadera he…
Sapa, Vietnam - ¡Una verdadera h…
Sapa, Vietnam - ¡Qué bonito!
Sapa, Vietnam - ¡Qué bonito!
Sapa, Vietnam - View of Sa Pa town
Sapa, Vietnam - View of Sa Pa town
Sapa, Vietnam - Village on a terra…
Sapa, Vietnam - Village on a terr…
Sapa, Vietnam - On her way home
Sapa, Vietnam - On her way home
Sapa, Vietnam - Images de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Images de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Yes, those are gra…
Sapa, Vietnam - Yes, those are gr…
Sapa, Vietnam - Amazing how this b…
Sapa, Vietnam - Amazing how this …
Sapa, Vietnam - Hi ho hi ho its o…
Sapa, Vietnam - Hi ho hi ho it's …
Sapa, Vietnam - Allez, on rentre …
Sapa, Vietnam - Allez, on rentre …
Sapa, Vietnam - Vista de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Vista de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Break-time!!
Sapa, Vietnam - Break-time!!
Sapa, Vietnam - Patiently waiting …
Sapa, Vietnam - Patiently waiting…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa, rice paddy …
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa, rice paddy…
Sapa, Vietnam - Just imagine livin…
Sapa, Vietnam - Just imagine livi…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa workers
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa workers
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanita taking a b…
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanita taking a …
Sapa, Vietnam - Littel house on th…
Sapa, Vietnam - Littel house on t…
Sapa, Vietnam - J&A in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - J&A in Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa, pays des ri…
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa, pays des r…
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanita en Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanita en Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa at its best!
Sapa, Vietnam - Sa Pa at it's best!
Sapa, Vietnam - Le rider de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Le rider de Sa Pa
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny & some ador…
Sapa, Vietnam - Juanny & some ado…
Sapa, Vietnam - Good-bye Vietnam!!
Sapa, Vietnam - Good-bye Vietnam!!
Sapa, Vietnam - Francis Cabrel
Sapa, Vietnam - La copine de Fran…
Sapa, Vietnam - Robert qui lui mo…
Sapa, Vietnam - Arno qui essaye d…
Sapa
photo by: Paulovic