Day 6 is Friday and we spend the day in the hospital, I spend the day giving photography tutorials. I hope the volunteers and staff that attended enjoyed the day I had a good time anyway. We finish up at 4pm, and we have the afternoon to ourselves as we will be picked up at 8.30pm to be brought to the train station for our overnight trip to Sa Pa in Northern Vietnam practically on the border with China. It is about 380 km from Hanoi and we will leave the station at 9.50 and are due to arrive at Lai Chua at 6am. The train has 4 bunks and is quite comfortable so Brian, myself, Mai and Anh head off all with our cameras hoping to have some fun.
Day 7 we arrive a couple of hours late in Lào Cai , we are next stuffed into a minibus. Men, woman kids and baggage are all jammed in. The bus driver is no slouch either and to be honest you would be better to have your eyes closed with the overtaking manoeuvres he takes along the winding roads to Sa Pa. We arrive after another hour, quick book in to hotel and breakfast and we head straight out. Sa Pa is a surprisingly big town with a lot of building and construction. Parts of it are really nice with a lovely lake in the middle of it. But you can tell that tourism in particular trekking is a huge business. Bus loads of tourists and trekking shops filled with North Face in particular.
We are taken on the back of motors bikes to the outskirts of the town for a walk to an ethnic village. Fortunately the morning is glorious with plenty of sunshine though the clouds roll in later. We walk out of town and see the familiar stepped fields for which Sa Pa is famous. We walk through the village and the views are spectacular although the locals dressed in local costumes are particular annoying, trying to sell you their wares. After a while it becomes tiresome. But the walk itself was fascinating and on the way back to the hotel picked up some bargains on North Face which is made here.
Some photos from the day.
That night we have one of the best meals in Vietnam and that says a lot as nearly all the meals have been good, some lovely salmon, raw that you soak for a minute in lemon, a cooked salmon dish and loads more. After dinner we head around the village for a look around and to visit the night market.