After Ha long Bay I was on my way further north to the mountain town Sapa. When you see pictures of Vietnam, Sapa always stands out with beautiful tiered rice fields, and lush greenery. I couldn’t miss seeing it. I packed some warmer clothes, jumped in the bus and away I went!
I set up a 2 night 3 day tour including home stays and trekking through APT travel. When I arrived I enjoyed a lovely lunch and then it was time to explore Sapa.
The best way to see Sapa? On foot. And with a guide who knows the route. When you set up your trip to visit Sapa you’ll likely be doing some trekking. Make sure you have good footwear. Runners or hiking boots are a must, as your days will be spent trekking an average of 15 km. You’ll also want to dress appropriately. I had met a few girls when I was travelling in the Mekong Delta and they were very cold while up in Sapa, they bought jackets and blankets etc while they were out there. When I arrived about 10 days after they were in Sapa it was hot and sunny. Being in the Mountains up north the weather can fluctuate, especially between January and March, they’ve even had snow a few times.
Our first trek was to the first homestay I would be staying at. It was 15 km and we went through many different villages and walked and talked with some of the locals. The trek went through rice fields, villages, streams etc. Was a hot day so there were a few breaks to stay hydrated.
A homestay is chance to rent a room with a local and experience life in their village. Often they’ll have several beds available to accommodate a few people at once. I find it to be a humbling and wonderful way to travel as you’ll be living in their village and seeing the day to day life of people that live in different parts of Vietnam. Usually they’ll let you cook with them or show you a more authentic version of life where you are travelling. I highly recommend it. When I get back to Vietnam I’ll extend my time in certain places so I can stay in one place longer with a family. It’s been my preferred method of lodging while abroad Vietnam and I’ve been lucky to stay in some wonderful ones.
Once arriving I was greeted by the hosts of the homestay. They welcomed us and prepared a snack of homemade garlic French fries. I met some of the others staying at the same place, and we were entertained by the young daughters laughing and playing. We helped make spring rolls as part of the dinner and the hosts put on quite a meal for us. Was a great evening with kind and gracious hosts.
The next morning before breakfast I was up early enough I walked to a waterfall that was nearby and climbed up to see it. There’s giant rocks surrounding it so I was able to sit right on it. It was a lovely and calm morning and I could relax and take in the moment.
After a nice breakfast one of the girls I met the previous night, Jeanette and I met our local guide who would be trekking with the two of us 17 km to the next homestay called Hong located in the village Ban Ho which is a mostly Thai speaking village. We trekked through bamboo forests, rice fields, villages, and down the mountain taking many breaks for pictures. Sapa is breathtaking and the views are stunning. Shom, my guide was wonderful and we all had a great day travelling through Sapas rugged terrain.
We arrived mid afternoon at the 2nd homestay. It was wonderful. The hosts were so kind, the place was perfect and even though we didn’t speak their language they were hilarious and great company.
We walked down to the waterfall an then enjoyed a great dinner with another couple from Paris. After dinner we played a card game and whenever someone lost they had to dance. It was a memorable night. It’s a beautiful thing when a group gets together not knowing one another, speaking different languages, from different places but everyone is laughing and enjoying their evening.
Sapa you were beautiful and I promise I’ll be visiting you again one day.