Sunday, May 19, 2013


When we arrived to Sapa the morning of May 6, we were in a haze. The night train is not the way to travel if you want some sleep but it is unfortunately the recommended way of transport. We arrived at around 5:30am and then had to drive another hour up the mountain to reach Sapa.

Driving up the mountain there was already great scenery

There were blue skies at 6:30am...

But it started to rain before we went on our hike...thus this poncho

We weren't able to check in at the Sunny Mountain hotel yet so with not much sleep...

We headed off on our hike

To the sights of beautiful rice terraces and mountains

In every direction

Not a self portrait for once!

Capt'n is looking crazier and crazier these days

Another view of the rice terraces

We then went to Cat Cat Village of the Black H'mong people

It was a muddy and slippery hike

Paul is always one step ahead of me

We saw some pigs - I was tempted to throw some angry birds at them
We walked downhill through a bamboo lined walkway
And made it to the Cat Cat waterfall

And got to watch a cultural performance

Pretty flowers and Cat Cat waterfall in the background

Paul was singing in the rain

It eventually cleared up after our hike...this is the view from our room

Also the view from our room

The sun was setting and we finally decided to head out for some dinner

The next day we had some more hiking to do before another night train! The 4km the day before had nothing on this 6km hilly and steep hike down to the south east of Sapa along the side of Muong Hoa valley to Y Linh Ho village (of the Black H’mong). The final 2km was down to Lao Chai village, through terraced rice fields to Ta Van village of the Dzay minority people.

We were followed by the Black H'mong ladies

They would ask our names, where we are from and try to sell us trinkets

There were a lot of them

We got to see some really pretty scenery!

Panoramic shot still doesn't do the view justice

Paul ahead of me...he says he thinks I'm right behind him but I'm busy taking pics
Some local kids hanging out

The baskets were full of trinkets

We saw more piglets that I thought were really cute

More beautiful rice terraces

We had a lot of people on the hike with us to take pictures of us

More hiking - look how tall Paul is next to the H'mong ladies!

It wasn't as hot in the mountains as it was in Ha Noi so long sleeves were tolerable - plus no sunburn and less bug bites

More terraces as far as the eye could see

I was really scared I was going to fall - it was super steep down this hill

This is the same hill, looking up

Tiring but really good hike!

Oink Oink

Pretty waterfalls in the distance

This poor kid was wobbling all around

Paul was getting tired of taking so many photos together

We had to cross this bridge
Panoramic view as we were crossing the bridge
The scene to the left of the bridge

H'mong ladies

Paul looking out into the middle distance - his favorite thing to do

This was the view from where we had lunch

I like how the little girl is looking at Paul

After lunch we had more walking to do...

But still more pretty scenes to capture

Rice fields

Self portrait

More mountains and terraces

Little house on the prairie

We also ran into Foghorn Leghorn

We made it to the train station for another sleepless night

Night train #2 back to Ha Noi


  1. Paul is a man H'mong ladies. Billy&Esther

  2. Is it just me, or does that bridge look dangerous and you look like your going to fall off?


    1. It felt a little dangerous...thankfully we did not fall off!

  3. Hi Christine & Paul
    Our daughter is going on a school trip this month, part of which treks from Sapa, through Y Linh Ho to Ta Van Village; did some flying around with Google Earth then found your blog. It has given us a great feel of what she will be going into, thanks.
    So when do you think 'the' bridge was built, & what is it made out of?

    1. Hi Warwick,

      How great that your daughter gets to go on such a journey for a school trip! I'm glad you found our post helpful. Just a few more travel tips in case your daughter is interested...when the Black H'Mong ladies followed us around, they often asked us if we'd like to purchase anything. If she does, great but she should know that by doing so, she will attract others to try to sell to her. It was hard for us to say no because we wanted to help but it's impossible to help everyone. In any case, some of them will ask, "maybe later, you can buy something?" which in turn most respond nicely with a "maybe." But they take this literally and will follow you all day because you "might" buy something. So, if you're not interested, just say "no thank you" when they first ask.

      Regarding the bridge - Paul thinks that it is built of concrete with a steel frame, under 5 years old.

      Hope your daughter has a great time!

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