Sa Pa, Vietnam
The train delivered us this morning in a small town named Lao Cai. Most of us slept a total of 2 hours, but the adrenaline of seeing this area kept us moving. Our small bus took us up through the clouds on windy road to an altitude of 4500 feet; that is where our Victoria lodge is located with a view of the Ssoa village. We had a very deserved delicious breakfast so we could have the energy to walk 4 to 5 km in the mountainous rice fields We started our trek very early; dressed in our colorful ponchos as it was pouring and foggy. We could still see the majestic beauty of these very layered rice paddies. It is now harvest season which last one month. There is no irrigation, so Mother Nature does all the work in it’s magnificence, and the process is returned back to earth. We met the Hmong people; originally from Tibet and northern China. It’s a tight knit community of people who live and work together. Almost no one goes to college, but they are very happy and family is what matters. We walked through the windy pathway in the fields, visited a farming family, walking with water Buffaloes while the farmers were harvesting. Quite a sight!. They definitely don’t live like we do! We had lunch at the bottom on the rice fields in a very very local restaurant. The food was also very local; chicken, venison, fish and duck with sticky rice all from their farm or the Red river running through this valley. Then we were presented with a entertainment dancing show with young women from the village. It was no Vegas but it was so sweet! All of us even participated, Just like when we were children. We came back to the hotel in the early afternoon. It was raining so hard but a few of us decided to go shopping in town for anything with handmade quilting from the Hmong people. I talked to a 21 year Hmong woman, already with child( she spoke Perfect English since she had been a Sapa guide) She walked up the hill (8 km) everyday with her 3 month old baby on her back to go sell her own quilted clothing. She was grateful to do it.. That’s why everyone is thin here! They eat simple food, walk a lot and have great attitude. I walked back to the hotel uphill like a Hmong and fell asleep so early in our beautiful Victoria lodge.