|Mists swirl up the valley|
I will be writing this blog post somewhat like a synopsis of events that transpired in Sapa. In order to do this best I will be writing about each day separately. Let's begin... at the beginning...
|Duc and I, chilling in Moon|
We spent the rest of the day walking around Sapa, stopping regularly to sit and take in the amazing views. We chatted with some of the local H'mong women who gave us wristbands then meandered through the market to see what was on offer.
|A view down on the rice paddies|
|The river and rice paddies|
We spent our third day in Sapa relaxing. After breakfast at Duc's we headed into the market to get some fruit then back up to the balcony at our hotel where we sat and read for most of the day. I took the opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world a bit and actually watched the news for the first time in Vietnam. It was good to see what was going on in the rest of the world and it felt refreshing to reconnect a loose connection. It came loose the next day again, but it was good while it lasted. After a very relaxed day we headed down to the bia hoi joint, sat with the locals and relaxed some more, this time with a beer in hand.
The final day in Sapa. We were catching a night train back to Hanoi on this day and had to catch a bus at 17:30 to get to the Lao Cai train station. Time was limited so we rented motorbikes for the day and headed north, further into the mountains. Jeremy Clarkson said the road between Hoi An and Hue was the ride of a lifetime. The pass out of Sapa is better. The road may not be in the best condition, but the views are magnificent and the switchbacks and curves are incredibly fun to drive on a motorbike. All in all the pass is about 50 kilometres long and winds up and out of Sapa before plummeting down towards the Chinese border. We rode for hours, stopping to take pictures of the many waterfalls which cascade down the mountain side, and eventually ended up in a little village at a crossroads. It was at this little village that we were served the worst coffee in Vietnam, but it didn't matter we were loving being on the bikes. We were a little nervous about missing the bus so we headed back. Driving those roads once more was exhilarating and the bikes came alive on the steep roads. It was a bit of a battle driving up the pass as the bikes seldom managed to get over 40km/h even at full throttle, but the drive was unbelievably good.
|The drive of a lifetime|
We arrived back in Hanoi this morning and headed to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where we saw old Ho's embalmed body. It's a crazy place and no pictures are allowed so I can't share the experience with you, but it was really strange seeing the man this country has deified. It was an almost surreal experience walking through the mausoleum and being able to look at the perfectly preserved body of a man who wanted to be cremated.