My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

August 11, 2016

In the terrace rice fields

And towering green mountains

I found my oasis

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

The clouds wrap around the mountains

And cradle them

Like a newborn baby in a blanket

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

Permanent foot prints mark the path

Where nature will never grow again

Forever banned

We will never feel its wrath

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

Strong Hmong Women

Carry their babies on their backs

In a colorful blanket

Like an adorable, make-shift rucksack

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

Vibrant butterflies

Twist and turn in the air

Their fluttering breaks the silence

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

The peaks of the mountains

Reach towards the sky

Which one is the tallest and the bravest of them all?

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa2

The elaborate designs

On the costumes of the Hmong Women

Symbolize effort, creation, beauty, and talent

That stand vivid against the sky

And the different tones, hues, and shades around them

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa4

They speak in a language

So different from Vietnamese

And dress

So beautifully

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

Their culture is so different

From yours and from mine

Girls marry at 15

Boys marry at 17

Then wait a few years

To continue the blood line

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

I spent a few days

At Mama Mu’s house

With her children, her dogs,

And her spouse

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

She fed me traditional dishes

Of vegetables and goat

I even made the mistake

Of eating its intestinal juice

With that, I will never gloat

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa4

Deep in the mountains

And the valleys

Of Northern Vietnam

I found

Serenity

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

I found

Tranquility

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

Living with their family

I learned

Happiness

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa

I learned

Patience

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa4

I learned

Simplicity

My Trek & Homestay in Sapa4

HOW TO GET TO SAPA

Sapa is easily reached by Hanoi, either by train or by bus. You can book a train or a bus ticket at many hotels, hostels, and travel agencies in Hanoi. The bus from Hanoi costs $10 (5 hour ride), while the train is a bit more expensive and takes a bit longer (8 hour ride for $25). The train will drop you off in Lao Cai and then you will need to get a one hour van to Sapa. Most buses will drop you off in Sapa.

HOW TO DO A TREK/ HOMESTAY

You may be bombarded with local women asking to take you on a trek and homestay when you get off the bus and walk around town. Feel free to say no until you figure out what’s best for you.

I did a trek and a 3 night homestay with a local woman named Mama Mu. She is a wonderful cook, her children are adorable, the accommodation is comfortable, and she’s the sweetest woman I’ve ever met. If you would like to book a trek and homestay through her (I highly recommend it!) then contact me and I will give you her phone number.

Most homestay’s will also involve a trek to their house through the mountains, the rice fields, and the valleys. Typically, they’ll carry your bag to their house for you so you don’t have to trek with it. My homestay was around $18 a night, and that included breakfast and dinner every day, two treks, rice wine, and accommodation.

WHERE TO STAY

If you don’t want to do a homestay or trek, I recommend staying in Go Sapa Hostel. Although you have to walk up a hill to get to this hostel, the views of the mountains are spectacular. They have free green tea throughout the day, free computers, and it’s around $5-6 a night.

WHAT TO DO

I recommend renting a motorbike and driving the Tram Ton Pass, over 20 kilometers away from Sapa. The fresh mountain air, cascading waterfalls, and infinite valleys makes this one of the most incredible drives you will ever take.

You can also visit Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall, both on the way to the Tram Ton Pass.

WHERE TO EAT

Baguettes & Chocolate

Their scrambled eggs were light and fluffy and some of the best I’ve had in a long time. They also serve apple and goat cheese spring rolls and a wide variety of delicious desserts (get the tiramisu!)

Little Sapa

Their vegetable curry and tofu in tomato sauce was delicious, as well as their fried noodles with chicken. This is one of the cheapest places to eat in Sapa as well.

Sapa O’Chau

This social enterprise boasts authentic and responsible treks around Sapa. They also have delicious breakfast options (the fried eggs, baguette, and mushrooms were phenomenal) and delicious fresh coffee and tea. Try their Sapa O’Chau tea, it was my favorite!

10 comments

  1. Comment by tpetriano

    tpetriano August 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Great photos and beautifully written. I love your description Hmong culture and countryside!

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica August 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you so much Tom! :]

  2. Comment by Janet Sunderland

    Janet Sunderland August 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    This made me smile. Thank you.

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica August 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you for reading Janet! :]

  3. Comment by Diego Guzman

    Diego Guzman August 14, 2016 at 4:35 am

    This looks like SUCH an amazing experience! WOW!!! just judging by the photos, I can tell you must have had the time of your life. So inspiring

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica August 14, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you Diego, thank you! It was truly amazing and I’d recommend it to everyone! :]

  4. Comment by Jessica

    Jessica September 30, 2016 at 11:06 am

    What time of year did you go to Sapa?

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica October 1, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Hi Jessica! I was recently in Sapa at the end of July/beginning of August of this year :]

  5. Comment by Jessica

    Jessica October 1, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    How was the weather? We are looking at going in July/August/beginning of September next year (not quite worked out the schedule yet! so not sure which month as we plan to do Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos for the 10th of july to the beginning of Sept) and I heard it was rainy season and it wasn’t the best time to go. But it looks find from your pictures! lol

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica October 11, 2016 at 1:12 am

      The weather was great during that time! It rained here and there which was fine (much needed in that heat, haha!). The weather in Hoi An was beautiful while I was there in the middle of July. Sapa is a bit chilly (I was there in August) but again, it was a really nice break from the heat. Ahhh that sounds amazing, you’re going to have so much fun!! 😀 Let me know if you have any more questions :]

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