Getting among the H'mong

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Jan 25, 2010

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, January 11, 2010

We had very little sleep on the train to Lao Cai. The tracks have not been updated since the French built them about 100 years ago and to say the train rattled is an understatement! A bleary eyed Mike & Kym after our 9 hr train ride
We arrived in the early morning about 5am and were met by our guide Vung, who saved us from swarms of taxi drivers marketing their services.
Arrival @ 5am & met by our guide VundLao Cai station - about 30 km from Sapa

We made our way up the mountain and about 30 mins later arrived at the very swish Victoria Hotel in Sapa.

Fortunately breakfast had been arranged for us at the hotel so we tucked into soups and omlettes in front of a fire. The temperature was about 10 degrees lower than Hanoi and the weather reminded Mike of downtown Manchester - cold and drizzly.

Our room was ready after breakfast so we freshened up before heading out to the Muong Hoa valley. A view down the Muong Hoa Valley

After taking in the spectacular views over the mountains and rice fields we visited Lao Chai village, where Vung guided us through the homes of Black H'mong people. Black H

The H'mong are tenacious when it comes to spruking their handicrafts to westerners and followed us for miles. Mike was having none of the crazy prices and kept them at bay with stern NOs.

The next village (Ta Van) was the home of the Giay minority.local Giay minority

These folks have a more commercial approach to life and have well established businesses in handicraft trading. Their houses reflect their relative success and are made from brick (some even have TVs!)

Vung dropped us back at the hotel and we ordered 'beef' burgers for lunch  (beef is a loose term for either cow, buffallo or horse - these particular burgers tasted like a mix of all 3). A post lunch stroll downtown ended when the weather turned cold and cloudy and we headed back to the hotel for a swim and sauna.
clouds rolling into sapa around middayour walk back to the hotel
We finished the day with a quick earring shop, a couple of Sunshine cocktails and a piece of local Sapa trout.

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Mark Delbridge on


looks like you are getting into the local custom. leave some beer for other tourists.

Liz Hart on

go Kym,

how are the "facilities"!!!!!!!!! and shopping opportunity's????? x x Lizzi

Michelle Cooper on

I Particulary like the hygenic butchers with the umbrella to 'refridgerate' the food!!! It looks exactly like I imagined it to look after all the war films I've watched!! Bet you are having a fab time - can't beleive Michael was on his mobile phone in one picture!

Ruairi O Connor on

You guys are SOOOOOO lucky, you are turning the tables on us now!!!

sev on

How much per kg for 'Fluffy' (as in Fluffy the Dog) at the Butcher's stall?

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