Sa Pa & Hanoi
Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
144Trip End Mar 16, 2011
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Where I stayed
Homestay in a village
Overnight train from Sapa to Hanoi
Troy was surrounded by about 5 young girls at one stage and I yelled out "Hey Troy, you are with all your girlfriends", and one yells back "No he is too old", it was so funny. We walked around the markets for a while and I saw a little girl sitting on her own so I took a photo of her. She wouldn't of been even 2 years old and she says something to her mother nearby and then I get a mouthful from her and she yells back at me "$1 for photo", No I said and walked off, holey crap that child didn't look old enough to talk, obviously they learn at a very young age to charge any tourist for money, little shit I say! It started to rain so we went back to the hotel and waited for our guide. The touts would hang outside the hotel door like bees waiting to pounce on you. The rain eased and then met up with Zi (aka cheeky monkey), she was cute.
Our trek started in Sa Pa town and then we went through Yunh Ho, Lau chai (Hmong), Ta Van (Zay) our homestay, then Giang tachai (Zao) and back to Sa Pa town. We started walking for a while through the Sa Pa town and then started walking through the countryside
After a nice hot shower and change of clothes we met the family. They had a gorgeous baby girl and I wanted to pinch her (as usual). We relaxed for a while and then met up with another group that were staying with us at the homestay. The bed was great, very comfortable and the doonas were amazing, so warm and quite heavy but they were heaven! We wanted to put them in our backpacks.
We had a huge dinner with people from NZ, USA, UK, Belgium and Argentina
We all had an early night, it was rather cold so the doonas were amazing, so nice and warm.
29 MARCH 2010 - We spent having pancakes for breakfast and then went for another couple of hours trekking with our dirty jeans, this time it was rather flatish and walked up a hill to get to the main road. We got up the road to a very run down cafe and had lunch - a soup with egg and noodles and vegetables. It was nice. We sat around for a few hours getting hassled by touts as we walked around the markets. It was a pleasant surprise to get a tap on the shoulder and I turn my head and the elderly lady we shared our cabin with on the train says hello. I didn't pick straightaway where I knew her from, Troy says she was on the train with us. Her hello was a big smile, it was nice be greeted by her and her husband
30 MARCH 2010 - Its now early in the morning and our driver didn't turn up so we had problems with that trying to find him and no one wanted to help. Eventually someone rang them and told him to take us to Hanoi guesthouse and they would pay for the trip, we already paid it in our tour. We got back to our hotel where we spent several hours waiting for our room. While I was using the internet I turn my head and the guys across the road were bonging on, smoking a big bong and I thought Cool....and I felt that crap (tired) that I (Mary) felt like joining them. So I grabbed my camera and decided to go for a walk to try and get a photo of them without been noticed, it wasn't that easy, it was so early in the morning. I eventually got a photo of them, its just an ordinary thing to do here really. While I was walking around taking some photos an elderly lady stops me and asks me by sign language and using hand gestures around her mouth and looked like a shape of a bong? I was quite sure she was trying to ask me if I had a bong
We had breakfast early and we got hold of Tony and Mary's Mum via skype but communication wasn't great so conversation didn't really happen but nice to see them on the computer. We got to our room 202 on the 1st floor about 9am where we have been all day, catching up on diaries, getting clothes washed and doing up this blog which takes up a lot of time. Troy went out to buy some pastries which are dirt cheap and now we will head out for some dinner. We had dinner pizza, chips and coke for about $8. It seemed strange seeing a familiar faces turn up at the restaurant, a guy and a girl that were staying at the homestay. We stay overnight at Hanoi Guesthouse again tonight and on the road tomorrow morning.
To sum up some far, Hanoi is a CRAZY but very interesting place, lots of noise, action, dirt and grime, shops, heaps of piles of broken bricks, pavements and rubble all over the place. An action packed place from food sellers selling the most weird looking food to people bonging on, touts, kids weeing wherever they want, crazy drivers, horns beeping constantly, fairy floss sellers on bikes, crappy icecream, cheap food, gorgeous kids, most people are friendly and helpful and the craziest drivers I have ever seen so far.
To sum of Halong Bay just simply stunning, Cat Ba Island nothing exciting where you can get a haircut, pedicure and manicure for $1 USD each and hire a scooter for $3 USD and well Sa Pa is just another world out there
31 MARCH 2010 - Today we will start our open bus trip down south. We just need to remember, keep our eyes CLOSED.