Sapa Mountain – trekking and homestay


Face of Day Minority in Sapa Mountain. The round spot on her forehead is caused by the use of a buffalo horn to eliminate “wind” to cure headaches. The air in the horn is burnt to create a vacuum and then placed over the spot. This results in blood being sucked to the skin surface.

Her indigo dyed clothing is made from fibre of marijuana plant. The plant is first dried and then the dried stem is torn by hand into strings to be weaved into cloth.

Each lady has roll of marijuana strands that she split into strings to create finer strings.  On their back is a basket that contains their things like a backpack.

These ladies will follow a group of trekkers in order to relate to them through socializing without soliciting sales, only by lunch time they will excuse themselves to go home. Before that they will persuade the trekkers to buy some items. Having established relationship it is difficult to say no.  We may not realised that their retailing skills are far more superior and sophisticated than most others.

This is the homestay where we spend the night

My fellow trekkers and Guide

My group comprises of Dutch girl Linda, British Sufian, Patrick and William.

The 1st day trek is for 14 kms but my group of twenties choose the difficult route downhill through padi fields and trails to save 2 km and challenge themselves. Luckily it is a fine and sunny day. The next day it rains and the route is wet, muddy and slippery. The trek takes them to a waterfall and ends with a steep incline down hill. Our young people experience difficulties. For myself I choose to take the metalled roads and established trails.

The homestay is quite interesting, food provided is pretty good and we sleep on mattresses on the attic with mosquito nets. The host offers home made maize wine that our group finish within a couple of hours.

Getting to Sapa Mountain and Bac Ha Sunday Market

Take a night sleeper from Hanoi to Lao Cai. The train ride is not entirely pleasant because there are 4 persons in a cabin and I end up with 3 locals. On the way up my cabin happens to be on top of the wheels it is noisy, jerky and lateral movements. On the way back to Hanoi my cabin is located in the center of the coach, it is less noisy and the bed goes up and down vertically. It kind of rocks me to sleep.

 

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