Our last stop in Vietnam

Trip Start Jul 12, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, September 21, 2003

We're at the end of our 5 or so week journey up through Vietnam, in the small mountainous town of Sapa. The views of the lush green mountains are so amazing, it really is beautiful countryside. There are people from different hilltribes who inhabit the area wandering around the streets, predominantly H'mong people in their indigo dyed outfits and large silver hoop earrings. There are also Red D'Zao people with red material wrapped around their heads and colourful outfits and jewellery. Most are selling cloth, jewellery and even opium, and add alot of character to the town.

We spent one morning heading down a winding road out of town, to a village called Cat Cat and to a nearby waterfall. The sad fact that minority groups here (and elsewhere in the world) have been turned into a tourist attraction was evident when we reached a type of checkpoint where we had to pay to enter the village. Of course people like us might be encouraging this - we were there after all, but something about it didn't seem right. The scenery was great however, and the waterfall was beautiful. After tackling the steep hills and slippery steps leading down to the water, we wisely decided to catch motorbike taxis back up into town.

Later that day we went to a massage place which had an eye-catching sign promising 'with enthusiastic and careful person - have a good time!' and 'we can make you feel bettr'! - how could we resist?! Unfortunately Steve doesn't enjoy massages anywhere near as much as I do so it was his first and last time! The girls focussed on pressure points that made many of the customers yell and grimace in pain, and they seemed to find Steve's reactions particularly amusing. Late last night we ran into them on the street and they giggled as we walked past!!

We've spend alot of time at our guesthouse cafe as it's up really high (it's a major workout just walking up the stairs leading to it!) as it has the best view of the valley and we keep meeting up with the same people and comparing tales.

Tomorrow morning we're heading to China with Effy and Keren from Isreal - updates on the mysterious land that awaits us will be sent to you soon!
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