A very memorable day!

Bac Ha Travel Blog

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We got up at 4:30am today because we thought it was 5:30!!! The time difference from here to Canada is 12 hours except for daylight savings time when half the year its 12 hours take away one...so my friend still had her clock in the old time and would just add on an hour (which I did the whole trip too!) but my other friend didn't know this so when the alarm went off she told us it was 4:30 and we had to get ready. So we got all ready and it was awhile before we realized!!
We couldn't get back to sleep either... instead we looked out the window at the scenery going by. We got off the night train around 5:30am, luckily we had gotten ready earlier because it was kind of an all of a sudden thing... We went out of the station to a restaurant right across the street for breakfast. We had noodles with onion and stuff kind of like Mr. Noodles here in Canada.
Then we went for a long bus ride to a market far back... it took a long time. We had to get out of the bus at one point because of a tree blocking the road. We just looked out the bus window at the beautiful scenes that we past as we went further and further up this mountain to a market that our guide was telling us about. It was a market where the minorities worked.. they weren't used to seeing tourists.
Finally we arrived at this place where the market was. It was a small village. When we got off the bus and began to walk through the market everyone stared at us. Some laughed and pointed. It was very strange.
Due to the long bus ride and my bladder issues I really had to go to the washroom but apparantly there were none and my guide told me I wouldn't like the washroom. I said I didn't care... eventually I went with my friend and we asked an old woman that we saw near a house. She didn't speak english but somehow she understood. She made a signal for me to follow her... I wasn't sure if she even knew what I wanted but I followed her to the back of her garden and then she pointed towards her pig pen.. I slowly walked over wondering what was going on but then I saw her bathroom, which was a little out house type shed right beside a pen full of little pigs.. there was no toliot though, just a hole in the ground.
While I was in there my friends had a photoshoot with the woman. I have to mention that this was a Photography trip that I was on.. which is why we are so into the pictures all the time, but who wouldn't be in such a beautiful place!!
After the market we went to a place and got bagged lunches and then set off on a very very long boat ride down a river to a cave where we walked around inside... there were many waterfalls along the way as well. It was nice but took too long.
Then we set on a hiking excusion which would eventually lead to our tour bus.
Along the way we passed some homes and a school where all of the children waved to us. We all began to notice that most schools and most buildings of importance are painted yellow here.
It was a long trek and everyone was very hot... we came to the top of our hill where we got on our buses.
We then drove higher and higher up into the mountains... it feels so remote, like a whole different world.
We saw some mountain side homes and the hills... so beautiful. The people here are so cute too, especially the older people.
The scenes we saw were like something from a movie. I am amazed by it. The people here live so differently from us and I wonder what they do all day and in their spare time.
Our hotel that we are at now is called Sao Mai Hotel. It's sunny and birds and rosters are singing. There are balconies rather than hallways and we can see out at the village. At 4pm we are going on a bike ride and then to dinner. This is like bootcamp...so much excercise!
Imagine if you filled your life up like this everyday??

We just went on the bike ride... there were a few trecherous hills, quite difficult and I almost didn't make it.. some people turned back..but I pushed on. I didn't want to go back, but afterwards it was mostly downhill... and there were some beautiful views along the way, we passed a school and the children were walking home and would try to race us up the hills while they were running and we were biking and they still won. It's a nice village. I really like it.
Now we finally get to have a shower after this day of a lot of sweating. We're meeting in the lobby at 7 to go for dinner. I don't even feel tired even though I've been up since 4:30 and walking/biking up hill all day.. I have taken SO many pictures today!!
Now I hear pretty, loud flute music from outside and I just realized that I forgot to put sunscreen on my face before the bike ride... I think I am going to have a sunburn!
They have banana juice here. I want to try some.
They don't have the internet where we are now. It's a village. It's very cool.. only pictures can really explain it.

At the dinner we went to our guide took us down the street to this place, it was a tiny building that could be compared to a shed in Canada, well maybe a bit nicer than that.. but very plain and I think the chairs may have been plastic lawn chairs. There was a dog wandering around under our table for the whole meal. I don't mind that kind of thing. There were a group of men in the next room laughing and talking and drinking beer.
We weren't even sure what we ate for dinner. Some people wondered if it was dog meat.

We went to bed at 9 because we thought it was 10.

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Bac Ha
photo by: marg_eric