Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sapa, Vietnam

We took an overnight train to get to Sapa, known for its verdant rice paddies and ethnic minority groups.  Everyone says, "You HAVE to go to Sapa".

Somehow we ended up with our own berth on the train car, complete with two sets of bunk beds.  I'm not sure if it was by chance or if we paid for it, but it was a lovely introduction to "training" in Vietnam.

Sapa is in the Northwest corner of Vietnam, and remained untouched during the Vietnam War.

The first thing we noticed upon arrival was that we were severely underdressed and had under packed.  Also, the green rice paddies were more brown.  I guess all those pictures I had seen online hadn't been taken in December.

Our first stop was to the nearest shop to pick up some North Face (Fake?) jackets, hats and gloves.

We had a special time nonetheless.

We opted to take a two day journey around the area led by a Hmong tour guide.  Her name was Lisa and she smiled and laughed the whole time.  And she had epic earrings.

We spent the days being followed by village ladies, marveling at how some people still live like the American Pioneers did, watching ladies weave hemp cloth and dye it with indigo, make rice wine, and hull rice.

I bought a bracelet from a lady I still wear every day.

The time was too short, and the pictures don't do the experience justice.

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