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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa March 15th 2014

I've been in Sapa in the far north west of Vietnam for nearly a week now ... it's so nice to leave my stuff unpacked in my very comfy hotel room ... it's begun to feel like home after moving every few days before this. As I've posted on Facebook, the place has been in cloud the majority of the time, but I did fortunately get some nicer weather for a two day homestay trek I did. We could actually see the surrounding mountains and rice fields! My companions on the trek were three friendly Germans - Serena, Bjorn and Jan. And 3 others who did the first day as a day walk. The seven of us had about 8 local ladies following us nearly the whole first day. As anyone has been to this part ... read more
Cafe in the Clouds...
Sapa Town
Our Motley Crew

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Bac Ha March 9th 2014

Hi everyone, Well, its been a while since blogs so I have a lot to catch up on. I am writing this sitting in a little village on the wooden balcony of a fairly basic homestay with the sounds of roosters crowing and pigs snorting around me! Of course there is no wifi here, so I’m writing this to post later. The village is in a mountain highlands area of north west Vietnam very close to the Chinese border. It’s famous for its ethnic groups in their colourful traditional costumes and today is the weekly market so I’m looking forward to walking up there after breakfast. I saw a few ladies working the fields in heavily woven and colourful clothes on my ‘guided walk’ around the local villages yesterday. It was with a local English student ... read more
Maylee - my student guide
A quick way to get drunk
Homestay Bed

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest January 19th 2014

Laos, for being one of the 5 communist countries in the world, is amazing. The scenery is spectaculour with magnificent mountains and rivers, and again, lovely people. Turbulent past what with Vietnam war etc..most heavily bombed country in world with yanks dropping a B52 load of cluster bombs every 8 mins for 9 yrs during Nam. Now they pick up fragments still and make jewelry out of the aluminum ! Also still riddled with land mines still causing death and injury. People poor, hard working but happy and kids always smiling, playing with simple bamboo toys and stones etc. Went on hefalump trek followed by washing them in Mekong and being washed by them! Awesome experience. Village visit in Vang Vieng, during which we stayed with local peasant family, we were split into men, 3 to ... read more
Bananarama
Gee up
You can take a horse to the water..

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest December 15th 2013

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest December 15th 2013

I loved the boats more than anything else, though the landscape was pretty amazing. The legend says it all: a dragon fell from the sky, for some reason, and its spikes on its spine spread through Halong Bay, now a World Heritage Site.... read more
Halong Cave Bay
kayaking
Side View Rotting Dragon

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa November 18th 2013

After a few hectic days in Hanoi we decided to go for something a bit different and go to a bit more of a quitter place and do some hiking which we hadn't done for a little while. We had been recommended a place called Sapa in the north west of the country in the mountains not far from the border with China, here there are a number of tribes which have kept their traditional ways and still live in small villages and wear their traditional clothing, so we thought this would be pretty cool thing to do as we hadn't yet seen any of the tribes in Asia. With trying to save a bit of money where ever we go we decided to get the night time sleeper train from Hanoi to Lao Cai which ... read more
Sapa
Jade
On the long trek to the Red Dzao Village

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau November 17th 2013

And so a few more weeks into my Hanoi Holiday and I've found the time and energy away from my vietnamese classes on the weekdays to embark on another provincial escapade during the weekend. Last time round i headed south towards Ninh Binh, so this time round I decided to head west towards Mai Chau. Now although I'd never been there before, thinking about the destination brings back some memories because I still remember looking at the map and wondering whether I could go there en route during the Lao-Vietnam border crossing I did late last year, from Vieng Xai to Na Meo. That was a painful, near 10h bus ride through the winding highlands, all the way to Thanh Hoa, Unfortunately, the detour to Mai Chau was not possible, or at least not on the ... read more
Pom Coong Village
Old Vietnamese Banknotes
Mai Chau Market

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa October 14th 2013

ENGLISH TEXT BELOW --- Auf dem Weg nach SAPA machten wir einen kurzen Stopp beim Lao Cai. Hier kann man zu Fuss über einen Brück ins China gehen und spezial war noch, dass auf der vietnamesische Seite so einen Grenzstein zwischen Vietnam und China gibt. Die Vietnamesen waren alle ganz Stolz und machten 100e von Posen neben und auf dem Grenzstein. Verrückt ;-). Danach ging es weiter bis in die Berge von Sapa. Weil sie nicht mit uns gerechnet hatten, reservierten die Vietnamesen schon im voraus ein 6er Zimmer. Aber das war kein Problem für sie und so checkten wir zu 8 wieder mal in einem 6er Zimmer ein. Da wir am Mittag keine Pause gemacht haben, gingen fast alle Vietnamesen inklusive Jan um 15:00 ihren Mittagsschlaf nachholen. Viet und Vy machten sich auf dem Weg ... read more
an der chinesischen Grenze
eine Brücke nach China
überall sieht man Menschen von versch. Bergvölkern

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa October 5th 2013

Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October 2013 Very crowded bus of we tourists from many hotels arrived at the train station. We assemble around our guide and he hands our our tickets. Some confusion over wether Mark and I were in the same sleeping cabin, but we were assured we were. Train station bedlam. People everywhere, locals selling every type of food you can imagine to have on the train, tourists with guides, locals getting frustrated with tourists. Overall I felt very overwhelmed. We arrive between two trains and us and a Polish couple were told to "stay there", which was on the tracks between two trains, while our guide took all the others off. We had many helpful people coming to try and help us, but our guide said to stay here so that is ... read more
View from room balcony, quite hazy but clearer than the following day
hotel
Looking back over Sapa

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh » Mai Chau September 14th 2013

Moc Chau Während wir auf Jan's Visa warteten, packten wir die nötigsten Sachen für einen 2 Wöchigen Ausflug und liessen den Rest bei Hang und Sa stehen. Auf dem Weg Richtung Moc Chau genossen wir die schöne Landschaft mit Reisfeldern, Bergen/Hügel und die verschiedene Einheimischen. Wir haben in Vietnam bereits so viele Zuckerrohrdrinks getrunken und nun haben wir zum 1. Mal die Pflanzen selbst gesehen. Wir waren uns nicht einmal sicher, bis wir die Verkäuferin gefragt haben. Man muss das Zuckerrohr zuerst schälen, bevor man es benutzen kann. Wir haben ein ganzes Zuckerrohr für 10000d gekauft. Die Verkäuferin schnitt es in kleine Stücke für uns, damit wir einfach den Saft heraus kauen können. Auch sahen wir, dass sehr junge Kinder (ca. 6 oder 7) schon die Büffelherde bewachen. Ganz kleine Kindern werden in einem Korb hinter ... read more
Blick auf unseren Weg
Jan geniesst die Aussicht
Mai Chau von oben




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