Blogs from Lai Chau , Northwest, Vietnam, Asia


Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau November 20th 2018

Arrived in Vietnam after 25 hours without sleep but to be fair the flights, although long were pretty good. Welcome to Vietnam- an evening in Hanoi in the rain! First impressions were therefore a bit muted but the traffic!!!!! I have never seen so many motorbike bikes weaving in and out of traffic as if there were no other vehicles on the road and somehow not crashing - it has to be seen to be believed. And that’s before we tried crossing the roads! But we got to the hotel in one piece and of course because we hadn’t slept for 24 hours we had an early start to get to Sa Pa the following morning - ouch Quick wander and an early night. Next morning set off on a 5 hour trip to Sa Pa, ... read more
live music in SA Pa
Ready for the off
Scooting about

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau December 20th 2015

12-13th December We took the night bus from Hanoi at 10am and arrived at Sapa to meet our guide at 4am, the bus was full of people going to do the trekking so unlike most buses no locals, a better atmosphere. Most slept through the journey, but I'm sure there was a manage trios going on at the back. You have no idea what is going on the buses as limited English, as we pulled up in pitch black I realised we were an hour and half early so got some sleep. When the guides arrive there's a quick scuffle as you change and wet wipe and even clean you're teeth and start to trek with a bunch of strangers. All part of the fun We met our guide pang pang, 33 years old with 3 ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau December 13th 2015

We arrived here after visiting Sapa, we took a sleeper bus from Sapa......this was a long ass haul of 8 hours through the night! We had such a ball ache booking the sleeper bus back and ended up waiting in the unfriendliest travel agent we had ever met, who refused to close the doors in 6 degree heat! We actually thought due to the language barrier (we only learnt to say "how much" and "OMG that's too expensive") that we were never going to get back to Hanoi! Eventually the bus came and the grumpy tour guide tried to take our bus passes off us so we couldn't board the bus (which Aimee and Bec fought with him so hard)👊🏼. We spent the next 8 hours getting back to Hanoi, for a 4 hour wait to ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau June 1st 2013

Friday night was certainly not my best night for sleep. The overnight train from Hanoi to Sapa groaned, creaked and jolted it's way through the night, finally arriving in Lao Cai two hours late, at 7.30am. Lao Cai is the capital of Lao Cai Province and shares the border with the city of Hekou, in the Yunnan province of Southwest China. I had already paid for a private transfer to Sapa, about 32klm away, and the driver was waiting outside the main exit of the railway station with his sign. Once again he was a Trails of Indochina Tours representative and he had a good vehicle for the hour long trip and we wasted no time in getting on the road. I was dropped at the door of Family Guesthouse in Sapa, my accomodation for the ... read more
Sapa View
Sapa Surrounds
Two Black H'mong Girls

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau November 23rd 2012

28 October to 3 November 2012 – This is the second part of my 14-day trip to the North West of Vietnam. The photographer and I got a bus from Sapa to Lai Châu town. It was my third visit to Lai Châu province over the past 3 months. When I first came to this province last July, I didn’t expect I would visit this province so many times this year. We planned to visit Pa Há and Pa Tần, but ended up going to Pa Há and Dào San. Both communes were new to us and it was possible to take a local bus from Lai Châu town. The reason why I chose Pa Há was that on my last visit to Lai Châu province last September, I talked to a H’mong man sitting next ... read more
Road from Pa Há to village of the Dzao people
A Hà Nhì ethnic minority woman in Dào San
Thịt nhím (porcupine meat) in Pa Há

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau October 11th 2012

19 Sep to 26 Sep 2012 – I was back to Lai Châu province. I just visited this province a couple of months ago and it was my first ever visit to the 60th province of Vietnam in my list. When I was in Lai Châu last July, it rained all the time, so I couldn’t go to Mường Tè, although I already saw the bus going on the route. I decided I would go back on my next trip to the North West. Mường Tè was my priority destination on this trip. Whenever the Vietnamese say “Mường Tè”, it always means a place far away in the mountain which is very poor and remote, although it’s located only 620km northwest of Hanoi. The travel companion and I went to the bus station at 5:30am, but ... read more
Tả Phìn village, Sìn Hồ commune
Sunset on the way to Sìn Hồ
At Tả Phìn village in Sìn Hồ commune

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau August 4th 2012

When we first started organizing our trip to Vietnam ( mind you it was about 2 weeks before we got into the plane) we were told by many not to go in August. One overseas tour agency even tried to convince us to go in Febuary instead. Those comments were very disconcerting but at one point during the 14 day countdown Jeff and I decided that neither rain nor heat would dampen our fun. I have to admit that I was rather uptight about going up north especially since everyone was asking us if we had been vaccinated - which I had totally forgotten to do until it was too late! I was even more uptight by the fact that there was so much rain in Hanoi and I had read a blog from a women ... read more
JEff before a very long train ride

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau July 27th 2012

This is Part 3 of my 7-day solo trip in the North West of Vietnam by local bus and motorbike. Wednesday afternoon (July 18) - I missed the bus from Mù Cang Chải to Than Uyên at 12am and another bus would come 4 hours later. After waiting for a couple of hours, I decided it was enough and I would travel by motorbike (40km). The landscape on the way was so beautiful as I was passing by mountain rainges, terraced rice fields and houses of the H’mong ethnic minority people. I also saw waterfalls and streams going down from the mountains. When I got to the end of Mù Cang Chải district area, I saw a board with the words “Lai Châu”. It was an emotional moment because Lai Châu was the 60th province in ... read more
Landscape on the way to Than Uyên
Propaganda in Lai Châu town
Highway No. 32 to Than Uyên

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau April 9th 2009

Our flight was delayed and we arrived in Hanoi just in time to get to the travel agency, get a quick bite, and then off to the Victoria Orient Express. Our memory of Hanoi has changed. Although we arrived in the dark, the city was vibrant and frenetic. When we were last here, there were two routes to the city from the airport. One a toll road and the other was the general road. At that time, the toll road was vacant. Now it is the central passage and is no longer a toll road. Unlike Saigon, Hanoi has narrow roads that are also filled with throngs of weaving motorbikes. After a brief ride to the train station from APT travel, we boarded our sleeper car. Our mahogany birth was small and cozy. Alex and Ariel ... read more
cozy conditions
breakfast on the Victoria

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lai Chau March 21st 2009

March 21 So I arrived to Lao Chai this morning and after the mayhem of getting a mini bus to Sapa(many drives different prices depending on your barging.) I was crowded by people leading me to their hotel. I checked a few out before I found a sweet cheap place and awesome view of the valley. When I was being lead to the hotel a local village woman began to follow us and talk to me a little. These local women are all over the place selling things. Anyway, I went in the hotel for at least 1/2 hr and when I came out she was there waiting. I think she wanted to lead/follow me to her village. But I didn't want to trek today, I just wanted to check out the town n the radio ... read more

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