On the Road Again – to Sapa
On Sunday I finished teaching in Ho Chi Minh. I am on the road travelling again. Planes, trains and automobiles!
There are quite a few places and things I need tick off my list before returning home and the first is Fansipan, the highest mountain in Vietnam.
In the northwest high lands it’s quite a trek from HCMC. Plane to Hanoi where I managed a short wander round the streets surrounding the station before it got too dark.
I love the vibrancy of markets, trying street food and the hustle of people’s daily lives. I didn’t enjoy the increased presence of ‘dog’ as a edible item. It’s so awful seeing their unmistakeable shape I can’t bring myself to take a photo.
An overnight train journey was comfortable enough but even in a sleeping car I frequently bumped in to wakefulness.
The train ends at Lao Cai, with a further 50 minutes or so to the hill town of Sapa. The mist clung to the hills for most of the journey and I was doubtful I was going see a mountain let alone climb one. You could say it was rather home from home. But it was only 6.30 am and by 8, when I’d had some breakfast the skies cleared to blue.
Rid of the tropical feel of the south I had a pleasant practice walk to make sure my legs still worked. Down to the village of Cat Cat. Ultra touristy with plenty of stuff to buy. From North Face hiking kit to ethnic fabrics and clothes.
Cat Cat. village
The tourist ‘end’ point being a fairly photogenic waterfall which did make the hike worth while. Though it was wonderful just to walk in clean air surrounded by hills.