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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sa Pa, Vietnam

Jan 12, 2017 - Soaking in Sa Pa

Unfortunately the rain really didn’t relent during our journey up to or our time in Sapa and the surrounding area. The journey up was mainly on a recently opened highway making the journey ‘only’ 5 hours long rather than the previous 8 – 9hours on the existing roads. Given the journey was on highway it wasn’t the most interesting (with the exception of the odd dead pig lying trotters up on the side of the road until we got to Lao Cai, a developing town right on the border with China. The town itself didn’t have a huge amount to see as we...

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Feb 13, 2015 - Friday: Silver and Love Waterfalls

So do you still have the energy to investigate some waterfalls today? That's what's on our docket for the day. Ha assures us we will love it. Meditation first: 8:30 - 9. Now we are ready, right? Our second to the last day at our beautiful Sa Pa hotel. As usual, the breakfast is a smorgasbord of muesli, fruits, rolls, and every kind of Asian food you can think of, so belly up to the buffet and choose what you wish. We are ready to go and it's only 10 a.m. It's quite a drive and the twisty roads are not making me sick this time. How are you...

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Feb 12, 2015 - Thursday: A Trip to the Villages Outside Sa Pa, Vietnam

We began our day in the usual way. I shall show you our hotel, since you might think Vietnam has no modern conveniences. Our staying in this hotel reminds us that, although we are far from our homeland, modern life is very near. Take a look at our beautiful hotel where we have breakfast each morning. Now we will walk out the door. Take a look to the left and right. Now walk a bit. Now it is time to leave. This day filled our hearts and minds with beauty, connection to nature and another culture, and appreciation for this trip. Sit...

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Nov 6, 2014 - Ao Nang/Kuala Lumpur/Hanoi/Sapa/Cat Ba Island

8 Days of bliss in Ao Nang, walking every morning and galloping home in time for breakfast buffet before 10am. Lazing around the pool, more walking, daily massages and sun-downers on our patio watching the huge karst in front of us change colour– that’s about it! Flew to KL and overnighted at Tune Hotel which is within 10 mins walk of the airport through walkways and a very complicated lift system. You can tell we’re getting soft – ordinarily we would have slept at the airport hugging our packs but 12 hours of wriggling in hard plastic...

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Short and Sweet

Sep 20, 2014 - Back in Sapa after trek

The rest of the trip was similar to the first day - lots of interesting women in traditional dress; lots of cute kids having fun; and interesting sights, sounds, and smells. The homestays were a little disappointing - I had expected more interaction there with the locals, but they pretty much ignored us. After trekking today, Mao gave me the option of either taking a bus or a motorbike back to Sapa. I chose the motorbike option. It was quite an interesting trip dodging potholes, water buffalo, other motorbikes, people and cars. My driver...

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Sep 18, 2014 - Sapa trek day 1

I'm sitting on the porch at a Black Hmong home stay in the valley below Sapa; and, yes, they have wifi here. The view is quite pretty here - the terraced hillside across from me rises up to the hanging clouds. Today I trekked about 12km with my guide, Mao. I never got good views of the high peaks, but the valley views were pretty spectacular. It was raining lightly off and on much of the day, but the trails we were on when we weren't on roads were pretty good for the most part - only a few really muddy, slippery parts. I am by myself with...

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Sep 17, 2014 - Sapa in a typhoon

I'd had enough of Hanoi for a while (still have another 2 partial days in between coming and going), so I decided to take a tour to the Perfume Pagoda about 60km from Hanoi. It's a complex of pagodas and shrines built into the karst (limestone) cliffs. It was an all-day affair with about 1-1/2 hours on the bus each way and a 1+ hour ride each way in a rowboat (almost all were rowed by women). To get to the Perfume Pagoda it's either a couple hour climb up steep, often slippery steps or a 10 minute ride on a cable car. Since everyone else in...

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Dec 26, 2013 - Days 130 & 131 - Sa Pa, Vietnam

Leaving Bac Ha early on Christmas day, I had decided to head back to Sa Pa where I knew the wi-fi would be good enough for the family Skpe-time!. The journey back to Lao Cai was not the best as, with a previous bus-ride, the locals did not travel well and three of them were sick on the way. Unfortunately, there were no plastic bags to hand so they just vomited onto the floor...can someone remind me why I thought that a trip like this was a good idea? The only good things about this trip were that it was a lot quicker than the journey to Bac...

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Dec 23, 2013 - Days 125 to 128 - Sa Pa, Vietnam

Arriving in the hotel on 20th December after the mammoth trip from Shagri-La, the first evening was spent getting clean, sorting laundry (ah, the joys of travel) and finding a bite to eat. The first thing I noticed about the town was the number of western tourists; this is quite a change from the last few weeks, when I was sometimes the only foreigner I saw in some towns. Sa Pa old town is definitely set up for tourists, with nearly all of the businesses on the streets being one of hotel / restaurant, trekking shop, massage parlour or...

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Dec 8, 2013 - A Truely Global World

By the time we got to the homestay last night my lungs were burning and my nóse was running and I probably had a little fever. All I wanted was a little Mummy love. When the tour guide told us his phone had hotspot wifi I was ecstatic to open my tablet and hopefully find an email from FancyNancy5ster telling me she loved me "oodles and caboodles"! Sometimes you just need those old childhood comforts. So we are are sitting at the outdoor table being haggled by dozens of women and children to buy whatever they are selling and I zone them out...

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Dec 7, 2013 - Trekking in Sapa

So I got back to the hostel in Hanoi around 6pm Friday night, giving me just under two hours to shower, re-pack, send off laundry, and get to the train station for my night train to the northern mountains in Sapa. When I was planning my journey one of the places I was most excited to go was to trek in SaPa. So even this peaky runny nose, that's a reminder of partying too hard while constantly on the go, was not going to keep me in the city! While recently becoming a pretty popular tourist destination, Sapa is still fairly remote and only...

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Nov 11, 2013 - Sa Pa

Well, we made it back to Ha Noi, the driver was a bit more cautious than on the outward journey, so made it more pleasant. We wandered around a bit, found somewhere for dinner then got a taxi to the station. By this time it was starting to rain, so the storm was closing in on Ha Noi. We finally boarded the train, sharing the compartment with a young German couple. A bit more comfortable than the previous overnighters, but the train still rattled and rolled along the track. What a night! The train did really rock and roll, it felt as if we'd...

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off we go!

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