While in Vietnam my girlfriend and I decided to go on a trip to the Hill Tribes of Sapa. The mountain valleys of Northern Vietnam are the homes of colorful people from the mountain tribes across Asia. During this interesting expedition, a tour guide took us to visit the famous H’ mong and Red Dzao, people who have lived in seclusion from the rest of the civilized world for hundreds of years. We noticed that most of them still wore traditional clothing, and also observed ancient customs.
We also hiked across hand-made bamboo bridges and valleys enveloped by steep mountain sides, and covered with rice terraces. We also visited the Folklore market, a popular market located in Bac Ha.
First Day-Journey from Hanoi to Lao Cai by train
On the first day, the tour guide picked us from a hotel in Hanoi at about 5 pm. There were three other tourists in the tour van. We headed to a local train station, and then boarded the night train that was heading to Lao Cai.
Since the journey lasted throughout the night, we were advised to sleep on the Vietnamese beds. The beds were quite short, so we couldn’t fit on them properly, because we were taller than the average Vietnamese people.
Second Day -Arrival in Sapa-Visit to the Black H’mong
We disembarked from the train when we got to the Lao Cai train station. We boarded a tour van that took us to Sapa. Along the way, we passed through thick forests, and terraces winding up the steep mountains, almost resembling giant staircases.
When we got to Sapa, we disembarked and started on a 7 km hike, heading to the Y Linh Ho village, the traditional home of the Black H’mong people. We noticed that they had dark teeth, permanently stained as a result of chewing the betel palm seeds almost daily.
Third Day-Hike to Red Dzao Village
On this day, we took a 10 km walk to the village of the Red Dzao people. We noticed that all of them wore red head scarves. We hiked across bamboo bridges that crossed wide streams infested with crocodiles, and in the process, had panoramic views of mountain ranges and beautiful sprawling valleys. Although we could not communicate with the locals in English due to language barriers, they were very polite and friendly, to the extent of offering us lunch.
Fourth Day-Journey Back to Hanoi via Lao Cai
During our journey back to Hanoi, we visited a mountain village with a very busy market known as Bac Ha. Most of the women were dressed in bright pink, green, red and blue clothing. The products in the market included vegetables, red meat, chicken and other agricultural produce.
Thereafter, we passed through the Ban Pho town where the locals joyfully waved to us. At 6 pm, we boarded a train that took us back to Hanoi.
Fifth Day-Arrival in Hanoi
The train got to Hanoi train station at about am, whereby my girlfriend and I took a taxi back to our little hotel. This marked the end of our 4-day tour of the Hill Tribes of Sapa, in Vietnam. Since we had a great time, we intend to go back on another tour of the same place towards the end of this year.