Hey all! Oh wow, it’s almost October and I’m just now writing about Sapa. I’m so far behind on these posts. Anyway.
Lately I’ve been finding myself thinking about my past travels a lot – maybe because all the countries I’ve been to have been so different from my own, and now I’m in New Zealand, which often feels just like Canada. In particular, I’ve been thinking about Thailand and Vietnam a lot.
What is one of the most beautiful places you’ve ever seen? For me, Sapa is one of those places. Nestled far, far north in Vietnam, Sapa is home to many small tribes. Almost all these communities follow very rural lifestyles, with farming being their main source of food.
There are no grocery stores or K-Marts in sight.
The uniqueness of this area attracts a lot of tourists, but it’s a very confusing maze of rice fields. You can, therefore, get guided walking tours of the area that can last from 1-7 days. We personally went with the 2 day option, because we wanted to do a traditional homestay, but not have it take up a whole week of our time. Our tour guide’s name was May, and she guided us through two days of maze-like, boiling hot trekking.
At the beginning of the day, May took us to two beautiful waterfalls seperate from our trek. One of them was the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen, called the Lover’s Waterfall.
After this, we started our trek through the fields. It was two days of about seven hours of walking, with beautiful views like these all along the way.
At the end of the first day, we arrived at our homestay. There were pigs, dogs, ducks, and roosters outside, and ladders leaders up from teh dirt floor to the beds inside. It had a very authentic feel to it; apparently many companies will provided more luxury ‘homestays’ to appease guests with luxury expectations, but I think we got the real deal. Our hosts were a very kind family who welcomed us, and even made extra dishes to accomodate my vegan choices!! It was honestly the most amazing meal I had that whole trip.
All night tye offered shot after shot of ‘happy water’ (sake) and in the morning they made us a lovely breakfast. We concluded our trek at 3PM the next day, ate at a local restaurant, and headed back to Hanoi.
I would put trekking through Sapa very high on anyone’s Vietnam itinerary – there is culture and society there that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.