Getting a bus North to Sapa was a surprisingly pleasant journey, especially after reading reviews saying how dangerous the roads were! It was an experience – they use their horns instead of indicators and overtaking seems to be the national sport…
We got off the bus having not booked a hostel – this gave Hannah a nervous tick so we found a café, grabbed a cup of Vietnamese coffee (known by travellers as Vietnamese crack… it’s seriously good) and a sandwich and looked at where we could stay. As we walked through town, dozens of women in traditional dress, many with small children strapped to their backs, struck up coversations with us in the hope of becoming our tourguide the following day. Their costume was colourful and practical and all were really friendly and spoke good English.
The first evening we spent in Sapa town itself. Rather quaint but somehow something felt missing. This town was really nothing more than a mid-way stop for tourists to the villages in the rice paddies up the mountains.
(Amphitheatre in the town square looked out onto the mountains.)
The next morning we got our taxi to a homestay up in the mountains. We were welcomed by Miku and Zizi, the owners of the house we were staying in, who were from the local village. The view from the house and the road below was amazing… mountainsides covered in layered rice paddies.
At one point on our walk, we were joined by a group of girls from the village who directed us to a waterfall and practised their English with us; when we declined to buy bracelets from them, however, they lost interest and Blake lost his groupies…
At night time, the temperature dropped. It was very cold indeed, so for the first time on our trip the jumpers and scarves came out! We played some cards and hit the hay early and luckily the duvet was lovely and warm.
It was foggy to stay the least. Just for reference, google what Sapa looks like usually – a stunning green paradise of rolling hills and tiered paddies. Nevermind. No trekking today but with 5 puppies, 3 dogs and 2 young children, unlimited coffee and a library of card games between the many guests, we made the most of the day (wearing jumpers and scarves of course).
We were sad to leave the next morning. This is now one of our favourite places in the world. The family made us feel so at home, the puppies provided endless entertainment, the food was the best we’ve had in Vietnam and then there was the coffee…
Warning: the following is an extremely long list of photos we took of all the cute animals at Miku’s and who gave us warm cuddles for two days straight – look away now if you don’t want your heart to completely melt from cuteness overload.