Sa Pa is a city in the Yen Bai province
of Viet Nam. At first aboard it is a city surrounded by mountains, in
fact the highest in Viet Nam, One of them is the Fangipan (3143m) and
it is possible to make a trekking to go there, the excursion is about 3
or 4 days and you need a local guide.
In fact the train from Hanoi stops in Lao Cai and you need to
take a bus or taxi to go to Sa Pa (48km). It is also a city who lives
with the rythme of arrivals of tourists and departs of Trekkings to
visit the villages of minorities.When tourist are outside Sa Pa for an
excursion, you have a normal city with only local people. When the
tourist come back from excursions the city becomes a big market.
If you are intended to go to Sa Pa, dont buy a tour in Hanoi or take
care about all conditions in the tour. My own experience can help you:
Some vietnamese friends help me to buy my package to go to Sa Pa, so I
could negociate anything, normally the Tour start in Hanoi, a guide
with a Taxi take you from Hanoi to the railway station, in my case i
was the guide with is own motobyke who guides me to the train station,
there I was in a sleep car not very good, arriving Lao Cai, normally a
guide will take care of me in fact in Lao Cai, there are many guides
taking care of many groups, they put me in some minibus and this
minibus left me in the hotel in Sapa, the hotel was not of the quality
that they announce me in the tour, the breakfast was not very good.
After that the owner of the hotel propose me to go for a trekking with
a guide who dont speak english and dont known about local
costumes, he only guide us on the way. Fortunately for us a group of
Monk girls follow us all the time and they explains us all about
minorities. In order to thanks them we bought some souvenirs.
At 12 we arrive to the village Monk and we take lunch it was announced
a picnic, in fact it was a vey poor pic nic with some vietnamese
after that we continue our trekking to a Dao Village, this time a group
of Dao womans go with us and we shall buy some souvenirs too. The
prices are cheap.
During the day one friend from hanoi contact a relative in Sa Pa, he
contact me and becomes my guide in Sa Pa.
The next day I have a particular guide, she is a nice girl from the
minority Dao, her name is May, we go for a trekking to visit the
village Cat cat and the waterfalls near. It was a wonderfull an sunny
day. We buy and eat suggar cane. One tourist look us and says: Vietnamese people eat bamboo.
you can stay
in one village Mong or Dao and share some days with them.