Adding on to yesterday’s post about my “best of” gallery of Vietnam photos, here is a little bonus. For a while now, I have had my photos of Sapa, Vietnam sitting on my hard drive, ready for uploading and just waiting for the opportune moment. Well, today seems as opportune a moment as any. So, let me present you with my photos of Sapa, Vietnam.
Sapa is the mountainous region in the Northwest of Vietnam easily reached by an overnight train from Hanoi. Sapa town is the jumping off point for an area populated by colourful hill tribes in minute villages. The landscapes are lovely and the people are beautiful, especially if you have the chance to get to know them a little bit. I wish I could have stayed longer to develop better relationships with the people and see more of their lives.
Also, a longer stay would have allowed more opportunity to visit more remote villages where tourism had not yet had such an impact. Most place s I went, the initial reaction of everyone there to a foreign presence was to drag out all their crafts and hawk them relentlessly. I don’t begrudge them but it did get annoying at times. But when I got the chance to spend a couple hours with a few local Black Hmong girls at the Sapa market, we connected a lot more than if they had just been trying to sell me souvenirs.
The trip was full of other adventures including:
- that overnight train ride where I got to practice my French with a family that shared my cabin
- visiting the locals schools and playing with the kids
- landing face first on a muddy road after a motorbike accident
- desperately scrambling up muddy slopes to try to get out of a valley and make my train back to Hanoi
- being force-fed rice whiskey at a local wedding and the resultant drunken bargaining with the locals and inevitable stumbling around muddy paths
- playing pool with kids on the world’s most crooked billiard table
- hitching a ride with german tourists in decommissioned Vietnamese military vehicles
- market trips, weird lunches inside the houses of the locals, an ostrich, watching mists roll in and out in seconds, etc.
Have a look at the photos here.