Sapa

An overnight train ride from Hanoi, we made it to Sapa.

We booked a 2 day/1 night trekking adventure with Sapa Sisters. I couldn’t speak more highly of this company. We got to plan our trek with our guide Zo before we left Sapa, and the route difficulty was constantly flexible over the 2 days. We would often opt for the harder trail (which meant we got better views). Its always nice doing tours and meeting other travellers, however we loved having a private guide and getting Zo all to ourselves. She was the best! We had heard some homestays are basically a hostel in a village, but this was literally a room in Zo’s family home (which is what we wanted). It was clean and safe, and we felt very relaxed. Also – the food was amazing! A bit more expensive than other tours around, but it sounds like the guides get better pay with this company and for us it was worth any extra cost. Walking through the villages you see many of the other traditional homes, it was nice for us to see the positive impact tourism has had for Zo and her family. Her house felt quite nice in comparison.

Lets begin…

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Zo said photography is her hobby. 

We loved how diverse the trek was…through rice paddy fields (sometimes literally along the wall of a terrace), in bamboo forests, through small villages, along a river and up and down the muddiest hills I have ever experienced. On the first day we walked 12km, and the second we walked 7km.

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Bamboo bridges lead to water buffalos…
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Looking fresh and clean on day 1!

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These guys are loving life!

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We sat by the river for a while and when we left, this boy sprinted in to go fishing. 
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A family house by the river

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Zo picked up some ingredients to use for dinner and a sugar cane treat!
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Our homestay. We arrived at 3.30pm and spent the afternoon + evening chilling out with Zo’s family and relaxing outside with the view. 
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Zo prepares the sugar cane for us and her family.

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Language barrier? No problem!

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Zo and her family are Hmong ethnicity. She speaks Hmong, Vietnamese and English. On the right is an Anthropology student from Japan, who is living with Zo to study the Hmong people. We are ending the evening with shots of “happy water”. 
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We hit the mud again at 10.30am the next morning. What a leisurely trek! 
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Passing through a local house
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I felt like a giant next to our guide. 
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It was lunch time for the school kids so they are all heading home for lunch. 
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Bamboo forest. A very different experience than the busy bamboo forest in Kyoto. 

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After 2 days of trekking, with 10 minutes to go, it happened…
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Zo made me this beautiful flower basket after she witnessed my terror to find a leech on my ankle. So sweet!
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Often villagers will do the walk with you, in the hope of helping you if you slip or to sell you items. We were polite to them, but they never spent much time with us. 
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Before we got on motorbikes with some local men to get back to Sapa!

What an experience!

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Our route
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