Sapa – The Roof of Indochina

Ok, just spent the last 3 days in Sapa valley in northern Vietnam, trekking in the mountains. Truly beautiful. Took a lot of photos, so i’m pretty much just going to post a load of pics and make some comments. Went with Phil (the RAF bloke), an American brother and sister, and a Taiwanese woman. Also, a load of these pics were actually taken by Phil, his camera is much better than mine and he’s got a natural eye for a good shot.

We took a night train up to Lao Cai (no pics because it was already dark when we got on and got off), and then took a bus up into the mountains themselves.

Sunrise in the mountains. You can see the clouds of mist we’d driven out of a few minutes before. We were a bit worried because people who went there just before us said they saw nothing but mist, but we had universally beautiful weather.

Breakfast in Sapa town.

Once we actually started trekking, our first real view of the scenery.

Phil and Hiep our guide looking out over the scenery. Hiep was pretty cool, though he seemed to spent most of his time chatting up the local ladies. He was a charmer. Obviously VC. Note Hiep’s classy umbrella usage.

There were water buffalo literally everywhere, lounging around. Up here they only have one growing season, and they only use the buffalo for ploughing, so 9 months of the year they’re just chilling.

River valley with bamboo bridge.

These ladies followed us until lunchtime on the first day, asking us our names and making ornaments for us out of grass. Then when we got to lunch they seemed to think we owed it to them to buy a load of stuff off them. Not good. The Taiwanese woman bought literally everything they had to sell, she was mental.

Nuff said i think. Photo by Phil.

Ditto.

And again. This is an awesome pic, you can just about see Sapa town perched on the hill in the distance.

Our homestay on the first night. Couldnt ask for better.

Food at the homestay. It was lovely too, and then they insisted we drink copious quantities of rice wine. Hiep also told us they soak the local apples in the wine and make an apple flavoured version so we got him to break it out and that was gorgeous. The alcohol definately helped the fact that it was freezing there at night, hence why i’m wearing 2 t-shirts, a shirt and my shemagh in this pic…

Walking on the second day. Photo by Phil.

Through the bamboo forest.

Across the paddy fields.

And across the suspension bridge to be picked up by minibus. These things were fine with one or two people, but once you got a load on it was bouncy as hell. Fun though.

Then we took the bus back to Lao Cai and caught the sleeper train back to Hanoi.

Highly unflattering shot of me on the sleeper train. We bought a load of the rice wine off the homestay people and we’d drunk a bit by then, so thats my excuse…

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~ by zendog888 on 03/11/2010.

6 Responses to “Sapa – The Roof of Indochina”

  1. Always be on guard when the natives offer you their local fire water. They have sticky fingers.

  2. pics look awesome…i am very, very jealous 🙂

  3. Hey glad to see that you are having a cracking time out there…:)

  4. You seem to be drinking every day…you are your mothers son.

    • Thats part of the problem though. I’m getting drunk way too much, got hammered last night and spent all day today just recovering. Seems a waste of a day so i’m going to have to tone it down a bit i think. Got some good pics of last nights drinking though so i’ll probably post those later!

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