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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

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest August 28th 2013

We traveled to Sapa to summit the highest peak in both Indochina and Vietnam, called Fansipan. Located in northwest Vietnam, the mountain climbs 3143m/10,312ft along a steep and moderately strenuous path to a prominence of over 1600m/5300ft, denoting it an ultra prominent peak. Heading to the top, most tourists will likely begin in Sapa. We arrived in Sapa from Hanoi in the early morning to chilly and drizzling weather, which, in truth, was a godsend at that exact moment since we’d spent the last month or so in extreme heat and humidity. It’s a nice little mountain town, with charming French colonial architecture and, when much of the mist had blown by later in the day, scenic views of the mountainous countryside. At times, the sun would slightly shine through the clouds; the terrain, which included ... read more
Hmong women
Hmong women
hmong woman

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

With the typhoon on our heads during the weekend we started having serious doubts whether to go to Sapa or not. The last thing we wanted was to get caught up in the rain while trekking. But then on the other hand we thought that since we were here already, we couldn’t just skip it right? Then there was another matter that needed attention – should we go on our own there or book the whole deal through some agency and if so, which one then? I have read so much about the scams in Vietnam that at this point I was thinking that everyone was trying to scam us… And once you see some big differences in prices between the offers around, the cheap ones surely look very attractive but then what’s the guarantee that ... read more
terraced rice paddies around Sapa
local Red Zao woman
us trekking around Sapa :)

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu August 1st 2013

Rain , Rain and Rain! The northwestern Vietnam was recently effected by heavy rain but I can not delay the trip from Hanoi via Dien Bien to Laos. The night bus left My Dinh station - Hanoi while some streets at this area was flooded. There were no much passengers since many locals were afraid of the roads conditions. My but trip went smoothly, delivered me to Dien Phu Town. But it was no bus from this town to Laos today. My destination in Laos is Pakbeng , Oudomxay province, 350km from Dien Bien Town. I took this trip several times and known the road conditions quite well. Many bus companies do not want to serve the passengers due to the bad weather. Luckily I found one pick up truck from Asianventure Tours based in Vietnam ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 26th 2013

Today, another guy Martin (Austrian) joined us in our dorm. We all went for breakfast and Martin and I went out walking. Another beautiful sunny day. I looked tanned compared to martin. He told me he burns easily and I could see he was quite pasty. Arriving back at our hostel around 3pm, Martin and I chilled in our dorm for the rest of day, me reading and he was uploading all of his photos from the rest of his travels. Heading out again a few hours later, Martin and I got chatting to a lady named Lenka and we went to the market foods inner together. She seemed to know a few of the locals there as she had eaten there before. I only fancied vegetable fried rice...it was soaked in oil so wasn't great. ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 25th 2013

After arriving in Sapa at 7am, I got off the bus where a bunch of Sapa Moung women greeted me asking if I had a place to stay. Sapa is known for their ethnic minority tribes who can provide home stays. They all speak very well English. I didn't have a home stay planned, but one woman gave me a bracelet which meant she had her stamp on me (apparently). I found the sapa backpackers hostel which was very cheap to stay and comfy. I arrived with a Swiss guy called Alexander, however I had missed him off the bus as he got a motorbike...lazy. I just asked the locals and they pointed me in the direction. I dumped my bag in the dorm I was given, then Alexander and I went on the hunt for ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 22nd 2013

Wow breakfast of rice, greens and roasted pork belly just amazing!! I slept incredibly well by the window listening to the quiet sounds of Ta Van after the noisy tourists went to bed!! The family have organized the bus to Lao cai which I didn't as I thought I would just hop on one but not that easy apparently. Somile's mother and sister came for me after breakfast to take me on a trek and it was a sad farewell to Ju and her family who made me so welcome and let me spend my time with them. I will definitely go back and stay with them again. We set off and luckily it was not raining this morning but it was hot!!! This time I had a 10 kilo pack on and my bag and ... read more
View when I commenced walking
Yes they are making me follow!!
The view from the top

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 21st 2013

I was surprised when I arrived in Sapa, I expected there to be hundreds of tribal women trying to take me to their village. Ah no, just a few men offering motor bikes!! And and I nearly forgot it was pouring with rain and cold. What did I have on shorts and a singlet - oops something the guide book neglected to say!! Anyway after the bus trip I decided I needed a drink, just tea!! To try and work out where now. I decided a three hour trek in the rain was not going to work. I had found a place on the internet in Ta Van that had a home stay and so I bought a jacket ( unbelievably expensive) and an umbrella. Lucky I had a plastic poncho that I have carried everywhere ... read more
First view of Ta Van
Flooding river in Ta Van
Hill tribe women doing embroidery

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 21st 2013

Just really wanted to add some more photo's as I just loved this place, the food and the family!!... read more
Breakfast Ta Van
Dinner in Ta Van
My Guides Somile and Ju




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