Bài viết tiếng Việt: http://daringsolotrip.com/vi/phieu-luu-sa-pa-trip03/
► This article is my travel diary, telling about the my adventures in Sapa in 10/2015, what I saw, where I went, my activities, my experience honestly, no fiction. Everyone has a different trend to discovery, hope these information in my adventure can be useful for you.
– Activities: Sightseeing, find out the local culture, hiking Fansipan peak, motorcycling.
– Transportation form: Train, bus, motorcycle.
– Costs: $ 150
– Gear & tool : 50 % of the full. (14 kg including light food)
————————– SUMMARY ——————-——-
— Day 1: Hanoi – Laocai – Cocleu – Sapa – Tram Ton
+ Sightseeing Hanoi, go to Lao Cai by train
+ Sightseeing Coc Leu local market, Red river
+ Walking around Sapa town 3 rounds, collect information from local.
+ Trying to self-hiking – Fail, a lot of people stop me,
+ Buying tour ticket: 2 day from Tam Tom point
— Day 2: Sapa – Tram Ton – Camp 2800m
+ Meet 2 girls – good fellowship
+ Go hiking, listen to stories from Hunter H ”Mong (ethenic pp)
+ Find out local culture.
— Day 3: Camp 2800m – Tram Ton – Sapa
+ Leave the group, go to the Fansipan peak first.
+ Hear stories about the love market, the weekly market, H Mong weeding
+ Sightseeing Hoang Lien Son Mt
+ Meet the owner of tea shop, learn, experience adventure from the owner
— Day 4: Sapa – Rock Cave – Den village – Sapa
+ Rent bike
+ Contact with local children
+ Beautiful creatures with the valley of the Sa Pa
+ I don’t know, Giang a lunch special at the fung
+ O Quy Ho Pass – not done
+ Back to Lao Cai city
———–Overall: Adventure 03: average 5.2/10
– 7/10: Adventurous
– 1/10: Daring
– 8/10: Cultural
– 9/10: Friends
– 2/10: Profession
– 4/10: Effort
3.1 Day 1: Hanoi – Laocai – Cocleu – Sapa – Tram Ton
– I was in Hanoi one day, visited some relatives, some places in Hanoi such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Tay Lake, Trang Tien Icecream, Long Bien Bridge, The Cathedral of Hanoi, Hanoi University of Technology, Hanoi National University. In the afternoon, I bought a train ticket to go to Lao Cai, the clerks were cute and enthusiastic for guide :D. I did not think I was in rush cause Hanoi has many places where I have not explored.
– Early morning, I arrived to Lao Cai station, it was cold, I did not think it will be, so I just wore a shirt. Outside the station, there were a lot of cars go to Sa Pa, some of them asked me in English, others by Japanese, Korean. 😀
– I walked from the Lao Cai bus station to Pho Moi station about 500m to took the bus to go to Sa Pa because I wanted to visit Coc Leu Market. I asked motorbike driver for the bus information.
– Coc Leu Market, I had to say everything is available here, the border market like this is easy to business, the price is lower and there are any kinds of stuffs, almost from China. I walked over some housewares store, the versatile ax- hammer that 130K VND at Dan Sinh Market, but it sold 70K VND here. It was early morning, the fact that I just walked around without buying anything made some shopkeepers gave me an ugly stare. I loop through both Zone A and Zone B at Coc Leu Market, then I went to the eating area, ate a bowl of rolls noodle, asked the shop cook about specialty in Lao Cai such as dried buffalo meat, chestnuts, bacon, “thắng cố”.
– About 9 am, while waited for the bus, I was sitting on the pavement and read a book. I had to wait for more than 20 minutes to take the bus (a car has 29 seats, quite clean). The bus driver was a humorous person who was kidding a beautiful Hmong girl. Poor him, that girl got married
– About 9:40 am, I got to Sa Pa, the bus parked near Sa Pa Church. A lot of people offered me for Homestay, hotels, souvenirs, … I got some information from motorbike driver to get to Fansipan peak without booking a travel tour. But all of them were unwilling to answer my questions, they showed me the travel agency near the park where sold the Fansipan peak tour, they said I have to buy a tour to go to the Fansipan peak Mountain because there were rangers so you could be fined cause you without access license. I felt very inhibited, I afford to climb by myself, brought a lot of equipment. I thought I just need to do procedures with forest management, buy a ticket to get into, and then I can do everything by myself without hiring a tourist guide or poster. Finally I went to the tourist information center, tried to ask anyway without purchasing the tour that I can get into the forest, I met two tourist guides, they looked at each other and told me very seriously that there was no way, only local people who have lived there can take on that area only. They showed me where to buy the cheapest tour, gave me a map.
– I walked around it where two guides showed me, went into the tour operator to asking price, service, … Indeed, this place was the cheapest (only 1,150K ). I said I will be back later. I walked around the Sa Pa Lake, then found a canteen for lunch. I asked the bartender a lot about Fansipan peak hiking. Although they responded me enthusiastically, but it looks like they looked out of the troublesome of that, they told me should buy a tour ticket.
– Finish eating, I bought some light food and drinking. I sunbathed in the central square. It was midday, but still quite cold. I sat near some motorbike driver to ask them for more information about hiking. Finally, I found one who had a good idea. He drove me to the Management Office of Hoang Lien Son Mountain, then I talked to some people there to buy a ticket to visit but not through any travel agent, so only about 400-500K, (tour ticket 1,150K).
– I pleased them to allow me into one of the teams on morning tomorrow, but she refused it, telling stories to scare me. She said many people get lost in the Mountains, some people died, someone gets lost until now. Few year ago, there were two young Americans, hiking without the tour, get lost, by using satellite phone call to his family in American and then his family called for local authorities in the States, and called to the US Consulate in Vietnam, and then to the People’s Committee of Lao Cai province, then to the Hoang Lien Son’s Management Office. They thought it will have a helicopter to rescue, so they found a clear place to waiting for. But 2 days after, when rescuing team arrived, they were depressed, hungry and cold.
– I felt a bit fear after I had heard it, but I still took a motorbike taxi to go to villages near the foothills toward Tram Ton with trails going up. We went quite far and then I told him about 2 American boys, he heard and did not want to keep going on, he said me should back to town. I got off to walk alone up the Mountain towards and asked people along the road and even it takes 4-5 days to arrive, so it will be much more interesting. He felt annoying if I walk, he returned to inform police men about me. I found what he was saying is true, if I had troublesome, he would also be in charge a part. Assuming I slid up Fansipan peak by myself probably my outcomes would be like Aiden Webb. For a normal person like me, should not do crazy things with Hoang Lien Son Mountains.
– About 16:30 pm, I found 70K Dormitory room a night. I pushed the door into the room and saw 2 girls are change clothes, glanced once and said sorry, they laugh. They were France, I guess. I went down and chatted with that motel’s owner for a while. I asked the questions I met when I had walked around Sa Pa from the morning. Why do only women and children out in the street to sale, but the men do not or less? It is cold, so how babies feel when they are on their mother’s back? And so on. I share my knowledge about the ethnic people in the Central Highlands that I know about wedding cultures, matriarchal family, traditional stories in Jrai cultures. He also shared what he knew enthusiastically.
– According to him, Hmong men are very happy, they just need to work hard before they want to get marriage and during the harvest season, left his wife run out of all. Even if he go home after having a party and get drunk, then he can sleep on the road and his wife has to hold an umbrella to cover him until he wakes up. The children used to adapt with the weather soon, even if he just is newborn, his mother also let him get out with her. When they grow up a bit, they have to carry big loads, so they often look small but they have quite big and strong legs, including women. He said in the beginning people came from others place get here to live, there are a lot of weird things like spells or magic, so they are so afraid when they see the local people, but day by day, everything get lose little by little, he don’t remember at all
– Let my bag in the room, I went out for dinner. The Ta Van little girl told me where I can find a delicious food with the local dishes. I had a hot bamboo shoots soup, pork, vegetables. The food is more than rice. After that, we strolling again, she showed me where was attracted place there. Now, I almost forget everything.