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Paul Dudley | profile | all galleries >> 22 Overseas Adventures >> Vietnam 2007 >> 2: Around Sa Pa tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

1: Hanoi | 2: Around Sa Pa | 3: Bac Ha Market | 4: Halong Bay | 5: On the way to somewhere else | 6: Villages for Ceramics, Silk or Furniture | 8: Tam Coc: A rowboat through caves | 7: Phat Diem, a very Vietnamese Cathedral | 9: Hué – Kings, Wars and Recovery | 10: South from Hué | 11: Bach Ma National Park | 12: Hoi An | 13: Nha Trang | 14: Buon Ma Thuot, an elephant, and a waterfall | 15: Saigon | 16: The Cao Dai Great Temple | 17: The Mekong Delta | 18: Saigon Water Gardens

2: Around Sa Pa

The trip from Hanoi to Sapa: A 10-hour overnight train trip, passably comfortable but with noisy rattles and overstressed toilets, arriving at Lao Cai, close to the Chinese border very early in the morning. Still dark. Meeting our local guide and driver at a small restaurant near the station. Vietnamese coffee and breakfast. A one-hour drive along a winding mountainous road with a stop for photography, just enough light for it. The Cat Cat Hotel at Sapa. Our itinerary had mentioned "100 steps up to the hotel" but the hotel had been warned about the 75-year-old Australian with a recent heart attack, so we were given a room across the road, with only 42 steps up. Wonderful views from our balcony, changing all the time. Mists in the evening, cool at night. Pullovers needed when walking to restaurants in the evening. Still had 137 steps up to the dining room for breakfast. Discovered the local form of hot lemon-and-ginger-and-honey drink for breakfast, worth the steps.

Activities for tourists around Sapa typically involve a lot of walking. In deference to my recent heart trouble, we managed to arrange jeep or car transport for the more strenuous or uphill bits. And on our last day at Sapa we had a car trip out to Tram Ton Pass, not on our itinerary but worth exploring further.

Another side trip, to Bac Ha market, a long drive back past Lao Cai, is documented in the next album.
The train to Lao Cai
The train to Lao Cai
View from hotel balcony - Nearby gardens
View from hotel balcony - Nearby gardens
View from hotel balcony - the valley below
View from hotel balcony - the valley below
View from hotel balcony -  evening
View from hotel balcony - evening
View from hotel dining room, breakfast time
View from hotel dining room, breakfast time
Street scene
Street scene
Wrinkly oranges for sale
Wrinkly oranges for sale
Sa Pa Market
Sa Pa Market
Flower sellers
Flower sellers
Wrapped roses
Wrapped roses
Trainee Vietnamese Driver
Trainee Vietnamese Driver
Forestry building
Forestry building
Bridge at old French Hydroelectric Station
Bridge at old French Hydroelectric Station
Boys, Bridge and Bamboo
Boys, Bridge and Bamboo
Waterfall at old French Hydroelectric Station
Waterfall at old French Hydroelectric Station
Water buffalo
Water buffalo
Buffalo on a valley farm
Buffalo on a valley farm
Almost-Australian type house
Almost-Australian type house
Interior, Sa Pa Church
Interior, Sa Pa Church
Interior, Sa Pa Church
Interior, Sa Pa Church
Sapa Church
Sapa Church
Lake fishing
Lake fishing
Lake fishing
Lake fishing
Small parked boy
Small parked boy
Public shampoo
Public shampoo
Washing chickens and clothes
Washing chickens and clothes
Knife sharpener
Knife sharpener
Pig roaster for tourists
Pig roaster for tourists
Valley scene, near Cat Cat Village
Valley scene, near Cat Cat Village
Valley scene, near Cat Cat Village
Valley scene, near Cat Cat Village
La, our Hmong guide
La, our Hmong guide
Rice fields in valley
Rice fields in valley
Hiding under table from tourists
Hiding under table from tourists
Flooded rice fields
Flooded rice fields
Once upon a time there were ....
Once upon a time there were ....
On edge of terraced rice field
On edge of terraced rice field
Farm buildings in valley - 1
Farm buildings in valley - 1
Farm buildings in valley - 2
Farm buildings in valley - 2
School room in valley village
School room in valley village
Four small  boys in a creek
Four small boys in a creek
Children's Chalk
Children's Chalk
Rice fields
Rice fields
Rice
Rice
New School
New School
Besieged tourists
Besieged tourists
Waiting for a bus
Waiting for a bus
Dzao people
Dzao people
Looking for customers
Looking for customers
Disappointed saleswoman
Disappointed saleswoman
After unsuccessful evening at love market
After unsuccessful evening at love market
Orchids at Cat Cat Hotel
Orchids at Cat Cat Hotel
Foyer and junior employee, Cat Cat Hotel
Foyer and junior employee, Cat Cat Hotel
Doves at home
Doves at home
From the road to Tram Ton Pass
From the road to Tram Ton Pass
On the road to Tram Ton Pass
On the road to Tram Ton Pass
Tram Ton Pass
Tram Ton Pass
From the top of Tram Ton Pass
From the top of Tram Ton Pass
Buffalo at Tram Ton Pass
Buffalo at Tram Ton Pass
Road sign at Tram Ton Pass
Road sign at Tram Ton Pass
New building
New building
230-volt bathroom wiring
230-volt bathroom wiring
Sa Pa township, from our hotel balcony
Sa Pa township, from our hotel balcony
The highest mountains in Vietnam
The highest mountains in Vietnam
View from our hotel balcony, evening
View from our hotel balcony, evening
Sunset over Fansipan
Sunset over Fansipan