In Cloud Nine
Trip Start Jan 15, 2011
14Trip End Feb 08, 2011
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After a nice day in Hanoi, we took an overnight train to the former French hill station of Sapa. Sapa is in the northwestern highlands of Vietnam very near the Chinese border. There are many highland hill-tribe people to include the H'mong and Red Dzao here and Sapa is the market town for all the surrounding areas. We spent yesterday exploring the town...in a cloud. We are literally in a cloud here and were ot able to see many of the amazing vistas for which this town is known. So we figured, let's climb above and see what we can see.
We arranged for a jeep to take us to the trailhead, and a guide to assist in pathfinding in hopes to reach the top of Vietnam's highest mountain, Fanxipan Peak, which registers in at 3,143 m. It is usually done in 2 or 3 day trips, but the elevation gain from the trailhead is only 1500 m and the round trip is only supposed to be 20 km, so we figured we would give it a shot and hope conditions on top were knot too hairy. It was a wet but fun trip and we did in fact climb above one set of clouds and into another. In between we got to see some of the Tonkinese Alps. On top it was not snowing, but we were blasted by heavy winds and freezing rain and sleet. Something we never would have imagined in Vietnam. Our H'mong guide did not speak much english but was a very nice fellow.
Tomorrow is our last day here and we will ventured by night train to Hanoi where we will celebrate Deb's birthday. Then on to Cat Ba Island near Halong Bay. Cat Ba is reportedly Vietnam's adventure sports capital so we will see what we can get into.
Bry and Deb