Archive | October, 2012

Vietnam, Sapa – Hiking and Rice and Everything Nice [Part III]

27 Oct

Our final day in Sapa was G’s favorite…

Mostly because he had finally met his match – the sweetest and feistiest H’mong girl who helped her mom lead us through the rice paddies fearlessly.

Our final day in Sapa was my least favorite…

Mostly because I had to hold-on for dear-life as we slipped and slide-d our way down the mountain.

(Frustration.)

Yes, indeed, to get down the muddy slopes of Sapa, I had to be fully supported (body, mind and soul) by a sweet old H’mong lady who was about 1/2 my size and had approximately 100 times my strength.

Don’t judge!

Each of us foreigners was equipped with a pint-sized support system…

This coupling happened to be my favorite:

Anyway, once we got the hang of mud-skiing, we were able to relax, look up, and start noticing the magical views around us.

We crossed over bridges…

Hiked through hidden valleys…

Learned how to die clothes using indigo leaves (thanks to Cou, our FANTASTIC tour guide for the day)…

Met some new friends…

Saw some more perfectly sculpted rice fields…

And finished it all off with some pho…

(and a smile)

Guess it wasn’t such a bad ending to our trip after all.

Vietnam, N & P – we love you! Thanks for a perfect vacation.

***

For more information about Sapa, including details about transportation, tour guide and accommodation, see earlier posts about our trip here: PART I and PART II

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Vietnam, Sapa – Hiking and Rice and Everything Nice [Part II]

23 Oct

Hi friends!  

So sorry for the delay, but I’ve finally returned to Seoul after an intense few months of work + business tripping and I’m SO happy to be back to my bloggy world.  I’ve missed this.

Now, let’s go back to Vietnam.

***

Day 2 in Sapa, we awoke to a sunny skies and a lazy breakfast on the porch of Dat’s home.

 The morning was spent running around with Dat’s two cutie kids as we stuffed an obscene amount of banana pancakes into our tired bodies.

Overall, the home-stay was an extremely positive experience- we ate delicious local food, drank mysteriously powerful “Vietnamese happy juice,” slept quasi-comfortably on a mattress protected by mosquito netting,

and most importantly, had a great time with Dat’s family.

When we finally had our fill of pancakes and babysitting, we packed our bags and headed onward and upwards (seriously, the whole day felt like a long and humid incline) to the heights of Sapa’s rice feilds.

The photos really don’t do it justice – so you’ll just have to believe me – the views were utterly breathtaking (and not only because we were utterly out of breath).

We hiked over rice paddies and through small villages – meeting beautiful people and soaking up the sublime scenery along the way.

6 hours later, we (barely) reached the end of the hike, DRENCHED in sweat, exhausted, and ready for a long bath and a good meal (read: strong drink).

Luckily, we had booked a room at the AMAZING Sapa Rooms Boutique Hotel for the night, which provided everything we wanted and more. (Do not forgo their watermelon cocktail – I am STILL dreaming about it.)

(Photo found here)

Dat kindly dropped us off at the hotel, pointed us in the direction of a magical shoe store that took our hiking boots from mudfest 2012…

to brand spanking new (for all of $2!!!!)…

and told us to expect a much easier hike tomorrow.

SPOILER ALERT: Lies, lies, lies!

(Note to self: When planning an itinerary with a tour guide, do not insist on doing the hardest hikes the area has to offer.  Dad – I blame you for this!)

Tune in this week for the grand finale of our Sapa adventures- where things get muddy(-er).