The Hard Sell in the Hill Country


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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa
July 24th 2007
Published: July 24th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

The Hard Sell in the Hill Country

 Asia » Vietnam » Sapa By HenryT
July 24th 2007
Henry Dunbar
We rode an overnight train into the Hill Country of Vietnam and spent two days in the regional hub of Sapa. Like Sri Lanka, it was beautiful and lush, only with rice paddies instead of tea bushes. One negative aspect is that the place has become a Class A tourist trap. The local Hmong and Dao tribes descend on the village daily to meet the bus loads of tourists from Hanoi and persistently try to sell their wares. Their English is pretty good, but they don't know the phrase "No thank you, I don't want any." And while I can accept that this is price for being a realtively well-off traveler visiting a poor country, it got to be a bit much. The amazing part was that this just wasn't in town, but also out in the countryside. On both days in Sapa, we went on multi-hour treks through the hills and each time singles and even groups of ladies followed us, holding up bracelets, bags, hats, and even blankets for us to inspect and purchase. Most would leave after about 30 minutes of constant "no thank yous", but almost immediately another group would pick us up.


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25th July 2007

Hey guys
What a wonderful journey!!! Your pictures are absolutely beautiful!! Especially the ones fromyour latest entry. I've been reading from the start but just figured out how to send a message. Take care. Elaine

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