Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trekking Northwestern Vietnam

By Audrey
A knock on the carriage door. The scent of fresh coffee being poured into cups. The gold duvet wrapped around my body. Thick fog hanging over the sleeping hills. The halt of the train pulling into Lao Cai – a train station which lies only 1 kilometer away from the Vietnam-China border. A little van chugging uphill as it follows the curvature of the mountains.

That was my introduction to Sapa and I felt like I was falling into a dream as opposed to waking from one.

There was something magical about traveling all night aboard a train and waking up to an entirely different landscape in such a remote part of the country. How was this still Vietnam? But that’s the thing about this country, it has one of the most diverse terrains; you can be in a bustling city like Hanoi fighting scooters for a little trekking Sapa in one day, and then you can find yourself wandering the streets of a small hillside village the next.

Sapa won me over with its mountain views and small town feel on the first day, but it was things like pumpkin soup, water buffaloes roaming the streets, gnocchi Bolognese, fresh mountain air, and strawberry tea, that made me want to linger. (Yes, most of my reasons are food, but trust me, this town knows what it’s doing in the cooking department.)

Here are a few photos from my time in Sapa:

Trekking Sapa
Stunning terrace field
Sapa Vietnam
Enthralling scenery
Sapa, Vietnam 2
H'mong woman plays with her daughter
Sapa Vietnam 3
A man balances two baskets on the back of his motorcycle




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