Got the overnight sleeper train to Sapa from Hanoi which took 10 hours… Was the coolest thing ever. We had a cabin for 4 of us and it was quite luxurious. Had all our sleeping stuff, a night light and electricity – very luxurious compared to what we were expecting. We arrived in Lao Cao at 5am and then took the scariest one hour bus ride up to Sapa. It was zero visibility and the driver never slowed down and overtook on bends, we were happy to arrive at our hotel! On the first day we took a walk around the town, it’s much bigger than I expected it to be. You can tell it’s quite touristy in the summer months as there are lots of western restaurants and massage places and bakeries… Although hardly any tourists now as it’s so bloody cold. In the afternoon we walked to a waterfall in Cat Cat village. In Vietnam there are 54 groups of people and we went into the home of a Black H’mong family. Was strange just walking into someones house.
Then on Wednesday we trekked to our homestay… Well that was an adventure! Some Black H’mong women came with us and if it wasn’t for them we would have spent most of the time on our ass. These tiny women in wellies were so strong. It was really muddy and slippery and loads of steep drops and climbs… But was really fun. The surroundings are so beautiful – lush green hills and tiny villages scattered everywhere… Although we spent most of the time looking at the ground trying not to fall over. We arrived at the homestay in the afternoon and were so happy to get there. That evening we played games, chatted and ate lots of Vietnamese food cooked by the family.
Thursday was another trek and we thought that would be ok because the day before was so hard… How wrong we were! EVERYONE spent time on their bum or knees on Thursday. Everyone was covered in mud… Thank god for waterproofs! Was really hard but so good. Eventually made it to another waterfall, which was very beautiful. The whole trek took about 4.5 hours… My legs, back, knees and just about everything else are feeling it today. Then we went back to the homestay where the family prepared another amazing meal for us. Although it was really cold, we had an amazing time and the beds (thick mattresses with thick blankets) were really cosy. The family were so kind and welcoming and it was so great to have been invited into their home. Although the people in the villages don’t have very much, they’re extremely happy and willing to share with you, it’s such a lovely environment to be in. And the children are GORGEOUS.
After arriving back to the hotel in Sa Pa on Friday, we went to Love Waterfall Although we got a car, there were still about a million steps to get there. Was worth it though because it was really beautiful. We had to drive really high up to get there and were in the clouds – near the highest point in the whole of Vietnam. I was feeling a bit queasy so I bought a can of coke at the arrival point
We then stopped off at another waterfall a bit further down but this time you could see it from the road. Some of the group went up to the top to see it but the rest of us stayed at the bottom. Out of nowhere a group of about 8 children between baby age and 7ish ran up to us and started grabbing for the coke. Basically, I got mugged by a group of children for my soft drink! Was quite sad though because they were all by themselves and in the rush to grab the coke on of the smallest boys who must have been about 3 fell over and wouldn’t stop crying. Lisa picked him up to soothe him and he eventually stopped crying but it’s such a dangerous environment for them. Another little girl who could have been no older than about 4 had her baby sibling strapped to her back.
We then went back to the hotel in Sa Pa, had dinner and I FINALLY WASHED MY HAIR AFTER 5 DAYS! I felt so happy.
Yesterday we had a lazy day because it was absolutely pouring down with rain – we were so lucky it was only like that on the last day because the trek would have been almost impossible with that rain. We went to a bakery and had some cakes (brownie for me whoo) and then after lunch we went for a massage. It was then time to go back to Lao Cai to get the sleeper train to Hanoi. Slept like a baby and felt a bit disorientated when I was woken up by shouting because we had arrived.
Love to all xXx