Sapa - Among the H'mong
Trip Start Dec 04, 2007
56Trip End Feb 26, 2008
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Once on the road we climbed out above the grey haze and the air got a lot better. We were in mountainous country. This area is home to many Vietnamese minority populations. We have stepped up to a $25.00 a night hotel called Sapa Summit. I liked it,as it was higher than most in town and we had a great room on the top floor with a wonderful view of the valley enshrouded in "fog" below.
We walked through Sapa Town the first afternoon, looking at the small lake in the middle of town, the market, and the old french colonial buildings. The French had built over 300 building in this hill town during their occupation of Indochina. Later, the Chinese invaded and destroyed most of them. The Chinese and the Vietnamese have had a troubled history in this area.
The second day we hired a driver and a guide who took us on long hike through three villages on minority populations. We drove outside of Sapa and parked along side the road. Then we hiked down into a valley which was terraced into rice paddies on both sides, We descended into the valley and crossed the valley floor, encountering Black H'mong and Red Dao people as we walked along
The few women, kids and one old woman walked with us. The constant chatter was "Where you from?" "You buy something from me?, What's your name? You have babies?, etc, etc.
The constant sales pitch, diminished somewhat mid day, only to intensify at the end of our long march. All in all it was a great day among the Hmong and Red DOA People. e got a glimpse of village life, and the working paddies that had been constructed over generations of families of workers. Here in the mountains, they are only able to harvest one crop of rice per year. They manufacture cloth and embroidered goods to supplement their income.