Here I am finally in Vietnam, the place that has taken over my travel daydreams since almost a year. And this country does not disappoint. Having spent a few days getting to know Hanoi, wandering in the lanes of the Old Quarter, dodging the many motorbikes, stopping at quaint cafes for a Vietnamese filter coffee or a Bia Hanoi, hanging out by the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, fighting the urge to hoard up on very reasonably priced ‘The North Face’ winter clothes and ‘Nike’ trainers and staring in wonder at the three million dong dresses at the fancy boutiques, I took the overnight express train to Lao Cai and finally made it to Sapa.
Sapa has been the stuff of my dreams and in reality is even more gorgeous than I could ever imagine. I am here for two weeks volunteering with a wonderful organization called Sapa O’Chau, a trekking company and cafe that has used its resources to set up a hostel for young adults from the disadvantaged Black Hmong community of Vietnam. I will be talking about them more in one of my upcoming posts. Sapa is the coldest place in Vietnam and has some of the world’s most scenic trekking routes, think lush green fields, terraced farming, waterfalls and rivers and routes that take you through many tribal villages and offer you a glimpse into the colours and cultures of the different people that live around the area, such as the Black Hmong, Flower Hmong and the Red Dzao. There are also beautiful village markets where you can sample local street food and buy spices, unique handmade clothes, bags, scarves, trinkets and handicrafts among many other things.
Here’s a little sneak peek of my Vietnam travels so far, enjoy!! 🙂