Sapa Travel Blog› entry 84 of 117 › view all entries
Well, gone are the days that I could say that I had never seen a dog being cooked in the street before. Sapa has quickly become my favourite destination in Vietnam, but I haven't half seen some stomach-turning things in one day.
The two of us hired a different guide (Thanh was busy, so we got his mate, Khanh, instead, who was also great) to take us on a trip around the minority villages of Sapa. His English was unbelievable and he was very knowledgeable. The first thing he educated us about was the culinary delight that is dog. As we headed down the road, I saw the makeshift abertoire out of the corner of my eye. Obviously, it made my stomach churn (but not enough that I couldn't take a photo).
Soon enough we were accompanied by a Black H'mong lady (from one of the local villages) who was, despite no request, keen to help me along and ask a few questions using her basic English - for a tip, of course (the gold digger). She said she was only 37, but she looked about a hundred to me. Much to Liz's amusement, she kept trying to hold my hand as we went over rocks or streams - to the point that I became uncomfortable and had to decline. Anyway, my luck wasn't in; Khanh told me that her big earrings meant that she was already married.
We passed through unbelievably beautiful scenery as we crossed through the Black H'mong village of Lao Chai, then on to the Red Dao village of Giang Ta Chai. I asked one woman for a photograph and she hid her face, demanding money for the privilege. I took a photo, gesturing that I would pay her after. She demanded five times the amount, making loud, almost comical shrieking noises to show her disgust at only being given 1,000 dong. The funny thing was, while she was protesting, I took a couple more, much better shots, of her manic whining. Khanh found it most amusing, which wound her up a bit more, and she ended up half-heartedly chasing me down the road, to all our amusement - even hers, I think.
Once back in Sapa, we visited the weekend market. If I wasn't already sick of seeing dead dog, this time I saw bits of every animal - pig hooves, cow legs and others that I couldn't identify. Still, it was the pile of dog odds and ends that made me want to leave as soon as I could.