Trekking in Sapa
long night on the train
from Hanoi to Sapa did not get much sleep even we were in
the train started from Hanoi 8:30pm. We were expecting the train
to reach Sapa at 6:30am but it reached there just after 5:00am
and the train conductor just give us 15min warning! It was
really disaster! We were so tire and half awake all time when
the conductor loud announcement of reaching our destination in
15min time really making the entire carriage in chaos!.
Best part was my 2 elder boys who over the night took out a lot of stuffs from the luggage a what really make the who thing worst was my elder so trying to squeeze himself in to a really tight jean which was about 10 of the 15 minutes we have! Hahah..later found the pants was belong to his brother which he insisted was his!
We got out of the at the Lao Cai railway station at 5:10am I guessed too tire and too rush to really figured out and it was cold morning ! Our carriage was very far from the exist and the trip from train to exist was really unpleasant on uneven platform in cold morning while you still have sleep from last night! And at the exist the we need to show our tickets my gosh at the gate still need to check if you have ticket????? Luckily I always kept my tickets at my backpack front pocket just in case during the night need to show to conductor. Got out the exit and our guide for Sapa was waiting for us and we have to walk around 5 min just to reach our transport to Sapa, another 2 hour road trip.
Man the van was cold we are tire and freezing in the van, did not talk much cuz we were really really tire and dizzy from the train ride. But still remembered our guide Yong telling us that the town Lao Cai is only 10yrs old they build this town just for the tourist to Sapa. We did not have much time to have a look at the town, anyway the place was dark! Hey who really want to wake in cold 5am? Unless you are necessary like our guide and drivers.
The 2 hour drive was not very present too , the road was bumpy and the boys in the middle of no way asking for toilet and they have it at the road side!
Finally! After 2 hour of van ride we reach our place where we going to stay one night, Holiday Sapa, not a bad place and it was cold and we are the first group arrived to the hotel and luckily they have the room ready for us. The guide told us to meet him 15 min later after checked in the room. And at the end every one want to fresh out from the train ride and toilet break and so on by the time we were ready was 8 plus in the morning. We walk about 15min to the place to have our first breakfast in Sapa and this going to be our place for meal which the tour agent have arranged for us .
The place was very cozy with a wire place, but no fire and we found a live chicken in the fire place. The breakfast was a western, guess because the trip we arranged was designed for western tourist but we glad to have that at least at lot of energy in the breakfast.
Our guide announced that today we going to the trek 10 km and which supposed to be the mid-range trek, but we did know that with the rain it became a very difficult trek in our life. Yup! It was raining just right after we finished our breakfast and this rain lasted 2 days for the whole time we were there!
The trek started up with a easy 30min walk from Sapa downhill and we meet a lot of H'mong women who were trying to sell us anythings, and at the stop we before we turn to the muddy road a big bunch of H'mong kids trying to sell us bamboo walking stick because they know it going to be slippy in the rainy day.
We were not ready for the trekking in rainy day, at the Sapa the guide brought us to a shop to rent some boot as the trek was going to be wet and muddy, we were barging hard with the shop to get 5 pairs of boot but at the end both my mum and youngest sons bought new pair of boat at the rest of us rent the boots . And my wife insist not to get one pair because she could not find one to fit her but also do not want to spend the money, at the end she slip 3 times and one time with me trying to help her and I nearly dropped myself in to a grove.
On the way there were a lot of live stock, pigs, ducks, pony, buffaloes, goats and dropping for the animals hahaahhha.... Actually if in the sunny day the place it very pictorial but too bad we were in the rainy day and very foggy too could not see much and took much pictures of the place we passersby.
According to Yong the native tourist will only be here during the summer which they escape from the hot Hanoi, but foreign tourists like us will like to visit during December which we did not see much Vietnamese tourists. Summer the scenic here are more pretty then what we had.
After much work we reached our destination at the Lao Cai village 4 hours later, and our lunch were sitting there cold waiting for us. It was western food again not the native food but after we seen what other groups having from the kitchen we glad that we have our food ready by the restaurant where we have our breakfast!
Well the place was very beautify while we were still at the hill top, petty fields and river plus the rain hahahah.....We were all wet and we are yet to visit some village homes and see how H'mong lives their normal life! We went to a quite well do home which agreed to let us visit and quite similar to what we seen in National Geographic Channel or Discovery Channel they are friendly and also trying to sell us some of their handy craft .
Walking out of the village the van was there to brought us back to hotel, boy we were glad to be back to hotel and took our hot shower. We really could not walk much, and that night I brought all our wet laundry to a laundry which quiet a cost.
And got some water proof pants for me and my 2 boys cuz did not find much for the ladies and I got one not too bad rain coat too! One word of advice if you are there and raining it is good to spend US$4-8 for a rain coat which at least give you some comfort not those US$2 can offer, and remember to cover your backpack even it is water proof after long 4 hrs trek all will be wet like my one.
After finished our dinner we were thinking to have a walk to the upper part of the Sapa but hey the rain and tiredness really killed us and actually turn in quiet early for the cold rainy night after we have some fun at the hotel lobby fire place.