Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Trekking Around Sapa

The view of the misted valley was stunning. We left to do the 12km trek with steep inclines and declines. Dong forgot the walking poles (which Cora had reminded him of twice the night before and once in the morning. He ran back and got a couple. And boy was I glad that we had them on the trek.

We were quickly followed by an entourage of local women. I guess they help tourists stay on their feet in hopes of tips.

The paths to the valley were narrow, sometimes steep and muddy. The views of terraced fields were gorgeous. Pigs, water buffalo, geese, dogs and chickens were everywhere.

It wasn’t easy going but we did surprisingly well. We noticed a number of tourists along the way that had fallen into the mud. Fortunately, Dong took pity on us and took a shorter and less strenuous route.

Finally we descended the mountain and crossed a suspension bridge into the small Black Meung village of Lao Chải where we had lunch. They asked us if we wanted some happy water (rice wine) or to try a bong (with tobacco) but we declined.

Dong didn’t need to ask, a car was waiting after lunch to take us back to the hotel.

It was a white knuckle ride up the mountain with its many hairpin turns, shear drop off and narrow road with two way traffic. I was happy when we arrived at the hotel.

Cora and John stayed at the hotel and I did a bit of shopping then returned and cleaned myself up.

We were picked up and taken to Lao Cai city where the train station is. It was also a bit hair raising with curving narrow roads, two way traffic and more drop offs. Our driver liked to pass other cars and trucks.

It was arranged to drop us off at a restaurant next to the train station. We walked around town a bit before going back to the restaurant for supper. 

We then caught another overnight train back to Hanoi. I had a real challenge getting up to the top bunk so I stayed there all night until we arrived. The beds were much more comfortable than the ones we had going to Sapa.

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