Existing Member?

running away Traveling south east asia, china, australia, new zealand and america. wherever the mood takes me!


VIETNAM | Monday, 29 September 2008 | Views [753] | Comments [3]

really wreaked!

really wreaked!

well aoife and i left hanoi on the goverment sleeper train to lao cai, and then to got a bus to sapa. the train was quite small. with our bags on our back we couldn't turn around in the hallway, so had to back up like a big truck. we finally figured out what beds we were sleeping on and try to settle ourselves down for the long journey, (i was on top ha ha) and wondering what roomies we would have as there were another 2 beds in the cabin.

guess who walks in but shay. the guy we met on the first day in hanoi. we let out a big hello. (i guess we were suppose to travel together) it was good to see him and funny all the same time. funny for him to be in the same cabin as us. as there was so many. so we caught up on what each other and what we had been doing over the last couple of days. the fourth guy was a vietnamiese guy that was sharing the cabin with us. poor guy, we were quite loud. now the goverment trains aren't that comfy. but do-able considering it only cost 12 euro but i have to say an experience.

we arrived the next morning in to lao cai quite early, about 7 in the morning. shay negotiated a good deal for us to get to sapa. along the way we saw our first rice fields. but of course they were on the mountain side and what comes out of my mouth but 'step irrigation'. aoife just looks at me and says well who was listening in geography. ha ha

when we finally got there we all decided to look at the same hotel. looked at a beautiful corner room in the mountainview hotel. if you go there make sure you get 302 or 402. it was cheaper for us to all stay together as there was a double and single bed in all the rooms.

of course it started to rain and continued to rain quite heavily all day. so unfortuately didn't get much done the first day. got onto a crap internet source which keep losing what ever i wrote, so i like wrote the same thing like 3 times. aoife and i played scrabble at a cafe. she whipped my ass. and shay taught me a turkish game called pish pi rik, quite good. kinda like snap but more grown up with stratagy. we ate a local resturant and i got taught how to hold my chopsticks from a laughing local. and played cards and had drinks at a local bar. ok we did more than i thought.

on the second day,sat, we took a tour with the hotel to pha long market, which was a remote market near the chinese border. we were so close we had to take our passposts with us just incase we wanted to flee i guess. the journey was long about 3 hours, but the scenery was beautiful. took loads of pictures but most of them are from a moving bus so hope they come out ok.

the market was very interesting. our tour was the only tour there and i don't think they see loads of foreigners there. and met a lovely girl susie from melbourne. got some one to visit when i go there. ha ha we ended up being on show. some local guys were taking pictures of aoife and me and susie instead of us taking pictures of them.

we stayed there about an hour, and had lunch on the way back and also saw the friendship bridge between china and vietnam. in all it was an interesting tour. especially when the tour guide kept hitting on me and asking me out to dinner. ha ha

we all went out for indian that night. (me, aoife, shay and susie) my suggustion. was good but not enough food i'm used to so much that you eat it the next day. well that didn't happen i think we all cleared our plates.

on sunday, shay left for a 2 day walk, which aoife and i decided that we didn't want to do. so we went for a walk with susie instead. she got a business card of a local h'mong girl called pang (pronanced pang) from the black h'mong tribe. so she was called to be our guide. we were trying to stay away from the villages as much as possible as they were so touristy. the walk she brought us on was FAB. perfect really.

we climbed quite high and didn't see another tourist till we climbed back down and the scenery was fanastic. we got wet for the first part as it was raining (well we were walking in the clouds) but it kept us cool. then it was really sunny by the time we came out of the clouds. we ate lunch that we bought at the market, which was bread and fruit, in pang's granfathers house. her grandfather is a shaman, so he is able to chase away spirits from our body. he wasn't there so unfortuately i'm still the same.

pang's cousins were there, and we watched them embroider by lightbulb. they were making new clothes for themselves for the new year as everyone wears a new outfit then. the houses are very rustic. just a shed really and then the the corner you see a big t.v and dvd player. and they all have mobile phones, and considering how hilly it is there, they have better reception than we do.

after our long hike and making it back to the road we still had a way to go to get back to sapa, so we decided to get xe lo's back which are motor cycles of course. but we had a driver we just had to sit down and hold on and in some cases we had to hold onto our helmets as they didn't fit properly. it was great fun. got to learn to ride a bike now. highlight number 1.

the evening was then spent getting our train ticket back for the next day and an early night as we were wreaked after all that.

monday we woke up to sore legs. really sore. and it also turned out to be a gorgous day, almost to nice. very hot. we arranged for pang to bring us on another trek but one that wasn't as long as the day before. along the way we gathered a couple of locals girls from different villages trying to get us to promise to buy some of their wares, later of course. not realising that we were actually hiking towards her village so she had time to wait. so we had tag alongs all the way to the village and of course they then tried to sell us their stuff when we got there. now the embroidery was gourgous. but didn't like the fact that they followed us all the way there and of course i have no room in my bag. poor aoife had a bad time, first she sprained her ankle and she got her first bug bites. hasn't a good day for her

got xe lo's back to sapa again. and the thrid thing for aoife she burned her leg off the exhaust getting off the bike on the wrong side. was a good day for me and exhausting but didn't top the hike the day before. we then had to say good bye to susie as we were getting the bus back to lao cai to get our tourist train this time. we allowed ourselves some luxury.

Tags: fab, sapa, sore legs, trekking







Hey Trish and Aoife, hope the legs are gettin a good workout!! Glad to hear that all is goin well so far. Do be careful of "Shay" You never know....
It sounds like a fantastic place, very scenic. No news, oh ya I have to pay tax man over €1,000!! Its not been a good week.
Enjoy it,the dreary days and weeks of work continue at home.
Wishing I was there.
Take care Girlies,
Trish and Dave

  Trish Maloney Oct 7, 2008 5:22 AM


nah shay is a nice guy, you tend to bump into the same people as we are starting to notice. sure the german couple from halong bay story we meet them first in sapa and then halong and then they were actually staying in the same hotel in hoi an. just got to know shay abit better.

  glimmerwing Oct 9, 2008 2:09 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About glimmerwing

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


Near Misses

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Vietnam

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.