Oh Sapa, Sapa! How we fell in love with you and your people.
After taking the night train from Hanoi, it was a real change in pace and climate to be up in the cool mountains of Sapa close to the Chinese boarder.
Time to dig out the sensible footwear and wet weather gear…
Our guide Mr Hong took us on a walk through terraced rice paddies and rural villages.
There are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. The largest, Viet, accounts for 86% of the population. Up in Sapa we met people from the Hmong minority group who number around 1 million people. The Hmong women wear very distinctive, colourful woven dress.
We walked through several Hmong villages and our guide introduced us to some of the local people. We were shy at first but found that smiling and a merry ‘xin chao’ (hello) helped break the ice.
A Black Hmong lady. The Hmong are divided into groups by colour according to their design of their clothes.
The children were especially friendly and came running over to wave at us all along the route. We didn’t see any other tourists on our walk which made the experience extra special.