Typical Sapa house and the village at the bottom of the mountain: Village beauty salon:
Erik and a friendly village boy:
Some women, who live on the mountain, wait at the top for tourists, and they help guide you the whole way. These women, especially the one on the right, held my hand most of the way down the very steep, slippery, and muddy trail. They were awesome. After the hike, they asked us to buy their goods, and I was more than willing. I was amazed by these women's strength as was our guide. They hike up and down the mountain several times a day,in plastic sandals usually carrying a child or a large load on their backs. When we took pictures of them, they begged to see the playback so they could see themselves. We crossed the raging river on this rickety, bamboo bridge: For lunch, we stopped at a village guest house. If you take a multi-day trek, you spend the night in guest houses. The working part of the house is on the ground floor and the sleeping area is above like a tree house. The lunch was brought from town by our guide, since our stomachs couldn't handle the local food. We drank a toast with the host: his home-brewed rice liquor served out of a recycled plastic water bottle just like when Anthony Bourdain visited Vietnam. Us with the host: Walking along the road in Sapa: For our return trip to Hanoi, we rode on the train operated by our Sapa hotel, which was supposed to be the best train. We had to share a cabin, so we actually prefered the first train, however the Victoria train had a lovely dining car.
Overall, our trip to Vietnam was one of the best vacations we ever had.