A spur of the moment decision made me decide I want to see Sapa for at least a day. Yes, yes I know it is not enough (sue me) but this was all that I had and weirdly I don’t regret it much.
Yen helped us to book our return tickets to Sapa via a tourist bus. It probably cost us $30. The bus picked us up in a shuttle from our hostel at the old quarters’ and drove around to pick a few more people up. This was my first time in a sleeper bus of this kind. Of course we have night journeys but not buses where I can actually lie down comfortably. Now if you are tall this might be a little crammed for you. But for a 5’3″ person I was more than happy with the space.
A very comfortable (but with smelly feet odor) sleep followed as our bus hauled through the night. At 4 am my sleep broke by a halt and we were told we have reached our destination but can sleep until there is enough light outside. Few hours later we all stepped out and find ourselves surrounded by Hmong ladies willing to take us for a tour or homestay. Some alret had their tours booked and some, like us, had just a day. We moved to Hotel Sunrise to freshen up and start our day trip.
All freshened up but hungry, my friend and I looked for some breakfast. It was heavily fogged and overcast too. Made me happier about our decision to stay only a day.
We grabbed some hot breakfast and went on to explore the town. It was the one of the most scenic hill station and reminded me of Mount Abu in India – quiet ambience and no traffic.
But man it was cold! Raining and cold. Tas and I only had windbreakers on. We actually wrapped our blankets around and wore them as our jackets. Things you gotta do to survive and not spend money on a jacket for a day. We did get ourselves some gloves. So if you are going to Sapa at any time of the year : Warm clothes are must!
Anywho, with less time in hand we picked out the things we really wanted to see and one of them was a nearby tribal village. So we hired motorbike each and were off to see the Cat Cat village. It is very touristy but with the time and shitty weather – this was the best we could do. You can see this by yourself actually. So it’s not necessary to go there with a Hmong lady who will try their best to sell you a tour. Also they will try to sell you jewelry. Be the judge yourself if you really want to buy those. I won’t discourage you but would advise you to check a few and only then purchase.
The entrance will cost you 50k dong and you have to walk through the village to explore it. I had never seen rice terraces before so I was kind of overly excited to see them finally. We have rice fields in my country too and they are pretty, but no terraces. Luckily the fog had lifted and left the town in mild breezy weather.
Back in the town centre for lunch, we went to a place called “Mango” which I had looked up on TripAdvisor. If you are in a new city and confused about where to eat always turn on “cheap eats” option on TripAdvisor and trust me you will land in the best options. We had some steaming beef fried rice there. It was really good for both the taste and portion. So Mango you get a 5 🌟 from me.
As I have already mentioned we had decided on the things we want to do beforehand. So Tas and I were off to Fansipan Legend – a cable car ride to the highest Indochina summit. Of course you can trek your way up there if you have the days and energy. But trekking was never our thing neither did we have the time.
700k dong for a ride did seem a bit too much but for the experience I had I don’t regret it a bit. These photos will explain why.
Well we did think we would not have to climb any stairs but we were wrong. At such high altitude there was very less oxygen. The air was super dry and it was so cold and windy that even our blanket jackets were not working.
So we climbed up and finally reached the peak of 3140m – the highest peak of Indochina region.
Although rushed but I did this with a friend who I figured I love more than I thought I did. I honestly couldn’t have a better companion for this and as a matter of fact for the whole of my Vietnam trip. We laughed, swore at each other but made it through the depleated oxygen levels and awful cold.
Currently I am at a place where it is very hard to get enough internet to even check my emails or messages. I had to climb a hill at 6.30 in the morning to get this post published. Hence please don’t hate me if I am taking forever to post my reviews on Vietnam.