Friday, May 18, 2012

Helen O'Brien * 2 pax | Sapa | Vietnam

Itinerary: Sapa Long Trails
Date: Apr 1 - Apr 9, 2012
Nationality: Britain - United Kingdom

We booked the Sapa Long Trek with Active Travel Vietnam with an additional 2 days visiting the markets at Can Cau and Bac Ha. The whole trip was excellent and I would definitely recommend it. 

We stayed at 4 different homestays which were like camping barns - comfortable mattresses, clean and warm bedding, and mosquito nets. All homestays had showers with hot water. The food was brilliant and abundant, with non-meat options provided for my partner, and quantities of homemade rice wine at 3 of them.
Our guide, Mr Loi, was excellent and, being from the Tay ethnic minority group himself, very informative about local customs and traditional.

The walking was through lovely scenery and interesting villages, covering a good cross-section of the local ethnic groups. The distances were definitely shorter than in the brochure - I would guesstimate 15km maximum as opposed to the 23km advertised.

It was a long drive between Sapa and Can Cau so that we arrived towards the end of the market but still in plenty of time to people-watch. This and Bac Ha market the following day are principally for the local themselves with only a minority of stalls selling tourist trinkets. They are mainly used by the Flower Hmong ethnic group who are beautifully dressed and take being photographed with a good humor.

Visit Apr, 2012

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