As I said in my previous post, I took the night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. The train left Hanoi at 9pm and arrived in Lao Cai about 5am. I shared a comfortable four berth cabin with an Australian couple and an Asian lady who never said a word, so we never knew where was she from.
Took approximately two hours by mini-bus to reach Sapa.
Opposite to the hotel’s entrance there was a large group of girls from the Black Hmong tribe waving at us and trying to sell stuff.
Very cloudy, very foggy, very difficult to get nice landscape shots, some of the pics were processed in a way to minimize the fog effect.
After check-in at the hotel I started trekking guided by a local girl from the Black Hmong tribe.
A big “Thank You” to my kind and very knowledgeable guide who was kind enough to take me to her family home in her village. Thank you Si.
Past the local primary school we arrived at Ca Cat village very close to Sapa.
It felt like being in a magical place, these are real people from real tribes, way better than the sad “human zoos” the tourists see in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai in Thailand.
Just walking in and around Sapa gives plenty of photo opportunities but nothing compares with the experience of being there and getting to know the amazing people from the different tribes.
I also went on a 30kms hike with Si, some of her relatives and her friends. Sapa despite the many tourists going there still is a beautiful location to explore.
Now lets see some pics taken in the centre of sapa.
I was unprepared and I was too close hand holding the 70-200mm when I saw this little girl dragging her pet mouse…
At some point I run out of Vietnamese currency, It was late and I could not find a place to exchange some US dollars. The lady pictured above was kind enough to take me to a far restaurant where I exchanged the money at very good exchange rate. At the end I had to insist several times for her to accept a tip.
Joe, a very intelligent young lady, very funny full of life. It was a delight to chat with her during the evening when there was nothing more to do.
She wanted to improve her English to become a guide and earn more money that way. I really hope all her dreams will come true.
As I had spent a couple of days in sapa, I decided to skip the Sunday Sapa Market and on Sunday Morning I took a mini-bus to Bac Ha.
I will write about it in the next post…
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