Coming Sapa, Vietnam (Part 2)


I have always been a country girl, regardless of continent. If I have not seen the countryside I do not feel that I have seenthe true country. This definitely applies toSapa and Vietnam. Although other tourists have found this gem, it is one of the few places where you have to use little imagination to understand what Vietnam used to be.

Red ZiLocal lady of the Red Zi tribe

The train journey and the trek set us in good stead for a great night’s sleep back at the Bamboo hotel. At 9am the next day we were driven through the valley into Loa Chia. Here we were joined by many new friends from both the Black Hmong and Red Zi tribes. This walk was definitely more of a leisurely amble and I’m in no way exaggerating when I say it was even more beautiful than the scenery of the day before. That is something that they have certainly got down on this extension they certainly know how to build you up to a grand finale, so however good you think it is on that train journey the first morning you get woken up, just keep in mind it gets better. After our walk through the local villages we ended up at a resort for a well deserved lunch where we were treated to a mountain of gorgeous Northern Vietnamese specialties and entertained with a display of some traditional dance and local instruments.

Best food in Sapa

>> Coming Vietnam: Ta Van Village in Sapa

After lunch we were transferred to the famous Topas Eco Lodge, the reason why so many people make this extra trip to Sapa and it does not disappoint. It has individual huts looking out onto the panoramic landscape of the mountainous padi fields. For me it is the best view I have had on all of my travels from a room. It was simply breathtaking! You can choose to enjoy this view with a cold Hanoi beer or take another walk around the grounds on the buffalo trail. Words do not do this place justice and I fear nor does a photo. You just can’t beat seeing it with your own eyes.

Chinese border & educational gifts

The next day we had a gentle walk to a local school, and we were escorted by the Red Zi tribes women. This was so interesting to see how the schools worked, what they looked liked and to experience the journey local kids have to take on a daily basis. This walk took us 3hour round trip. Unfortunately the kids were on school holiday, but we did get to meet the teachers who were preparing for their return, we gave them the stationary we had purchased in the super market in Hanoi a few days previously. They were so appreciative, it was an incredible rewarding experience to be part of.

Sapa love market

After walking back to the Eco lodge we had all worked up a sweat and a healthy appetite. Out local guide suggested we go back to Lao Cai and have lunch there as there was a great value restaurant he recommended. As a group we made the decision to rent one room out at the bamboo lodge so we could use the shower before boarding the train in the evening. This cost us $5 USD each, and it was worth every last penny!

As a little extra our local guide suggested that on our way down to the train station we have a quick stop at the Chinese border. This was a great little extra that none of us were expecting.

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