My train reached Lao Cai at 6A. A bunch of people from different trekking groups, boarded my mini-van bus and we spent an hour getting to Sapa. The road was winding and the driving was a bit rough. At one point, one of the passengers was sick and need to get off the bus to take a rest. ..
Falling asleep last night, to the sound of nature’s bugs and crickets felt relaxing. Nature noisy, but completely devoid of urban sounds. My rest was good, the bed was comfy and I was out the moment my head hit the pillow. Next morning we all gathered for breakfast– it came as a generous mound of pancakes, bananas and fruit! By 10:30AM, a new wave of Hmong were perched, sewing, waiting at their stakeout of the …
There must be a mistake, I thought. I went to the front desk of Emotion Hotel (aka Trekker’s Central) and asked why I would have another overnight stay in Sapa. While I really enjoyed Sapa, I was eager to experience the trekker’s high and unadulterated mountain-village life…
On my trekking tour, I wanted to take a pee break before we entered the gulf of the valley and into bush squatting territory. My guide Kuh, led us to this local roadside rest stop where we could relieve ourselves and maybe pick up a snack for the long haul. There was a low cost admission price to use this
Not far from my hotel, where D Phan Si Road off-shoots onto a smaller street, D Tue Tinh, you’ll find Sapa market. It’s a local market of tobacco, produce and meat and a bit of a spectacle for unsuspecting tourists, as you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the local delicacies that tempt the village palate. For vegans and vegetarians, you may not want to enter the meat section– it can feel pretty hardcore
My flight was only 20 minutes late, but the $8 Vietnam Airlines airport shuttle took over an hour. Here, reputable businesses are often replicated by scam businesses scouring ways to scoop clients by holding plagiarized signs. It was hard to trust I was boarding the correct shuttle van at the airport. Anyways, once in the Old Quarter in Hanoi, I’d board my trekking tour for Sapa! Night train to Sapa…oh, yeah! I was very excited.
For the female solo traveler, Vietnam shouldn’t be an intimidating or scary country to travel. Commuting between main cities is easy and cheap via public transportation. And if it’s an attraction, you can bet there’s a budget tour for it, as tour operators are everywhere, vying for your business and ready to assist your travel needs.