Monday, August 20, 2007

Hungry in Vietnam - The Road to Sapa

Sapa
My brother and I needed a break from Hanoi's motorbikes and some quiet time before our way down to Saigon, so we decided Sapa would be the perfect weekend getaway. Located in Northwest Vietnam by the Chinese border, Sapa's climate was heaven compared to Hanoi's extreme humidity.

Train to Sapa
We arrived in Lao Cai around 5 a.m. Completely exhausted from our 10 hour train ride, my brother and I were eager to get to Sapa for things like a hot shower and bed.

Welcome to Lao Cai
But before we could get to Sapa, we were confronted with this mess. Pretty much all train stations in Vietnam are major hubs for craziness. Families, taxi drivers, hotel touts, motorbikers, salespeople...you name it, they're there! It's just nuts. But for some reason, there's infrastructure within the craziness and we easily found our shuttle to Sapa.

Stuffed Backpackers
Literally stuffed into a shuttle.

Sapa View

Stairway to Cat Cat

Cat Cat village

Cat Cat paddies

Cat Cat waterfall
After checking into our guesthouse, Jeremy and I took a quick hike down to Cat Cat village. Located about 3km south of Sapa, Cat Cat was a nice breather from the hectic train passage to Sapa. Along our hike down to Cat Cat, Jeremy and I were joined by 6 or 7 Cat Cat village girls. All of them were very cute and sweet...well...until they were persistent in selling us bracelets and bags.

"You buy something from me? Promise???"

The girls continued to follow us and we were pretty much done with seeing Cat Cat village. It would have been a nicer hike if we weren't heckled along the way, but then again, we were the foreigners walking through their village.

Hungry in Vietnam
(previous entries)
Abandoned Building Pho
Pho Bo Dac Biet
Hanoi Street Market on Pho Gia Ngu

5 comments:

Christine D. said...

WOW, beautiful! With each Vietnam post, I get even more excited to visit there...someday. Great photos!

Jeni said...

Christine, go as soon as you can. Vietnam is growing so quickly due to tourism and outside investments. It's changing so quickly! MUST GO!

Chubbypanda said...

Do you guys speak Vietnamese? If not, how do you communicate and get around?

Steven said...

Sweet. Some day I'll go back to my parents house, knock on the door and ask if I can have my train set back that I left there when I was 4.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful blog...gives me the travel bug. I can understand the frustration of being hounded to buy goods. On a recent trip through Bali had an opportunity to head up to the volcano and along the way stopped in a small village overlooking terraced rice paddies. The only thing breaking the tranquility of the moment was the nonstop barrage of women and children hounding you to buy ANYTHING. Unfortunetly as our planet shrinks the chasm of poverty grows ever deeper.

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