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March 7 - Sapa

VIETNAM | Monday, 7 March 2011 | Views [350]

Sapa is known for its dramatic scenery.  The mountain sides are covered with rice paddies and this area is home to many hill tribes.  The elevation is about 5000 feet but with the dense fog and raw weather, my impression was more of a base camp feel.  We could not see more than 20 feet and had to use our imagination to see the stepped rice paddies flowing down the mountain sides.

With it being mostly foggy and rainy in this area, the trails were slick and very muddy.  Thank goodness the local girls and women come out to not only sell their wares, which is the same (bags and jewelry) and they all say, "Buy from meeee...", but to give a strong hand to guide us up and down the muddy and slippery trails.  We didn't walk very far but took a lot of effort and concentration with the cow paths being what they were.  My hiking shoes were blocks of mud when I finished and all the shoe shine guys were on me like glue.

I ended up wearing the same sweaty and muddy clothes for 4 days and today they should come back like new.

We did have a pleasant homestay in a village and watched our 2 guides cook a feast over the open fire for the 4 of us.  We all sat around the fire to keep warm and for entertainment from 4pm to 7pm when it was pretty much bed time.  Not a whole lot to do other there in the fog and cold.  We all slept great in the mountain air.

I hear the time to go to Sapa to see the scenery is in June July but then the bulk of the tourists go and I don't know if I could handle all the tourists and all the locals imploring "Buy from meeee, buy from meeeee".

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