After our amazing time in Hoi An it was time to make our way to Sa Pa. In order to do this, we needed to fly back out of Da Nang and into Hanoi. From Hanoi we took a bus up into the north toward Lao Cai and finally to Sa Pa! Everything was fairly simple to navigate and the entire time we felt extremely safe and confident.
Sa Pa is a very small town located in northern Vietnam and well known for its beautiful rice fields. The plan was to only stay in Sa Pa for 2 nights. We arrived in the evening and quickly got settled into our spot. Rainier was able to find an awesome spot in these bungalows at the top of the hill. When we arrived at the bus station, the entire town was covered in rolling fog that gave it such an eerie and ominous feeling. The bungalows were so nice and it was a great setup, however…. I will preface that we had a bit of a different experience due to the weather. It was so damn cold out. We were all bundled up and thankfully were given heated blankets, however, we were so reluctant to get out of bed!
We booked a walking tour with a local family to take us through the rice fields. It was an incredible experience! It consisted of these 2 ladies, a grandmother and a young daughter (child). They were such a great group to take us around, and wow they could move quickly. As I mentioned before it was rather foggy, cold and slightly rainy, so it setup the prime situation to be soaked.
It was a few hours worth of hiking, and quite a bit of it was navigating through the mud and trying not to fall. At one point, Rainier to a step into the mud and ended up coming out without her shoe. We couldn’t stop laughing at this young girl that was trying to help Rainier along the way and having no issues with the terrain. You can see some of the pictures below and how this young girl was casually navigating the slippery steps with a struggling Rainier. It was such a comical experience with beautiful views. We ended up stopping in a village to get something to eat and were bombarded by local children trying to to sell us anything and everything. I suppose it’s all apart of the process, and they are trying to make the best of the tourism.
It must have been about 3 to 4 hours worth of hiking, but it was completely worth it. I’m sure the pictures on a clear day would have been incredible, but there was something really magical about the fog rolling across all the different layers of rice fields. Each moment we would stop to take some pictures we wouldn’t want to move and just continue to enjoy the moment.
Overall Sa Pa had such a great experience with amazing views and extremely friendly people. This was a well worth stop off in the trip.