Sa Pa Day 1

Go back to Huu Lung Day 2.

Go back to Vietnam.

Sa Pa

Sa Pa area.

The train ride was reasonably comfortable even though I couldn’t fully stretch out without opening the door to our compartment and letting my feet hang out into the corridor. A predawn arrival and we were herded into a minibus with a million other tourists. Holy shit what did we sign up for? Things improved considerably once we reached the town of Sa Pa in the mountains of northern Vietnam. The tourist herd dispersed and then totally dissipated once we started our 16 km hike through the valley. Our local guide hired via Sa Pa Sisters Company was a witty and rambunctious young woman named Lo Mao who is from the Black Hmong Tribe. People we encounter never fit any sort of preconceived caricature that we might have in our subconscious and of course Mao was no exception. After spending two fun days with her (and other female guides later on), I am almost certain that Vietnam might be headed for female leadership in a decade or so. The trek took us up and down rice paddies and through villages and ended at Mao’s relative’s house where we spent the night and enjoyed some excellent home cooking – by far, the best food of the trip until that point. A touch of happy water – this one with a nice, fruity finish – rounded out the evening with the family.

Photos

Lao Cai

Lao Cai train station the following morning (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

The town of Sa Pa in the north of the country (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Starting our 16km hike with our Hmong guide named Mao (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

A resident of one of the villages we passed through on our trek (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

First rural sights after leaving Sa Pa town (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

The beginning of a fun day (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Our guide Mao, Shirley and a couple of women from the surrounding villages who joined us for the first half of the outing (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Some wildlife (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

The passenger woke up for a short while (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Staff meeting (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rice paddies (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Giant bamboo grove (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

More wildlife (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Along the trek (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rice paddies (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Village life (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rice paddies and some farmers’ houses (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Hello beautiful (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rice paddies (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

We hiked past a Hmong wedding party (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

We asked Mao and taking photos was apparently just fine (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Hiking along a berm that separates the rice paddies (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

A nice setting for a party (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

One last look at the wedding (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Indigo plants are an important part of the Black Hmong culture. Got a bit of a demo from Mao. The green did eventually turn dark blue and stayed with me for a week (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Views of the valley (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Lunch stop at the midway mark (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rice paddies and a water buffalo (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

A relaxing mud bath (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Well, hello (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Some flora (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Horses (not so common in the area) and water buffalo (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Shirley and Mao (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

A traffic jam along the hike (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

The valley (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rice paddies (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

A school building (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

More…rice paddies?

 

Sa Pa

Along the trek (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Mao and Shirley (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Mao and Shirley (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rice paddies (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Solid!

 

Sa Pa

On the valley floor (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Rural valley outside of Sa Pa (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Lunch (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Heading down into Mao’s family’s area and our home stay (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

Mao providing the key beta (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

A puppy and his older brother at our home stay (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

The junior was hating it (Nov. 2018).

 

Sa Pa

We’re not taking him home, K’.

 

Sa Pa

In Ly Su’s house during our home stay (Nov. 2018).

Go to Sa Pa Day 2.

Go back to Vietnam.