A Travellerspoint blog

Sapa town, 09:25 Wednesday

fog so thick you could cut it

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(the Hmong guide for the Cat Cat Trekkers)

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(half of the Cat Cat Trekkers)

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(the other trekkers from Antwerp, Belgium)

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(a small Hmong village - on our trek)

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(trekkers enjoying sugarcane, delicious!)

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(The Cat Cat Trek - it's a long way down, and even longer going up)

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(celebrating after the successful Cat Cat Trek)

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(the Sapa school yard)

Took the train last night to Lao Cai, and arrived right on time at 05:30 in drizzle. The Hanoi train station was confusing to say the least, and when I saw Westerners, I went over and asked them if they knew what the deal was. I was talking to Don and Pat from Toronto, and since we were both on the King Express to Lao Cai, we ended up talking half the night away with their compartment mates (another guy from Ontario and his Aussie wife on a RTW trek). My compartment mates didn't show up till the last second (for a moment I thought I had all 4 berths to myself). They were a Vietnamese/Belgian family, but we really didn't converse much till the early morning hours. The train was excellent (a tad warm since it was heated, and we were headed to the hills).

When we arrived, there must have been 50 name cards held up, and mine was among them. We were herded aboard a large bus, and sent on our way to Sapa (Don and Pat among the passengers). My hotel, the Anh Dao, is wonderful - for $13. I get a beautiful room, balcony, fireplace and breakfast included. I chose to eat down the hill the first day at the town's bakery - wonderful apple tarts with my mini fried eggs, fatty bacon, bread and 2 cups of milk coffee.

After the feed, I started walking round town - looking in handicraft shops, etc. This is the minority, hill-tribe section, and the women still wear traditional costime. They also know the tourist trade well, and if you look at the handicrafts longer than 30 seconds, well, you'd better buy or else they will follow you down/up the hill. I'm now high in the town at the city tourist office where I bought a town map for 20K VND, and I'm using their great, wide-screen computers for free. It's in the 50's here and still very thickly fogged in at 09:40. I think I'll sign up for a one day trek for tomorrow - just hoping that it clears. I did glimplse a few rice-terraced hills as our bus came in, and perhaps I'll have pics in the near future.

Who knew there was San Francisco weather in tropical Vietnam (I'm sitting here in nylon rain jacket, long sleeved T, shorts and my ever present Viet flagged hat.)

They just brought me a nice hot glass of tea - very nice of them.

Posted by Daawgon 12:03 Archived in Vietnam

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