Alla inlägg den 23 juni 2017

Av Magnus Ekstrand - 23 juni 2017 13:55

So today we yet again had a private driver to drive us to some of the scenic points of the area. This happened to be the Love and Silver waterfall as well as the Fansipan mountain. The Love waterfall was the first and it was a really nice view. There was alot of walking, which was after yesterdays trekking a bit tedious. But never the less being out in true nature with no sound of cars and civilazation made for a good mood. Even the roadtrip to the waterfall had been scenic as it was a bit further up the mountains than Sapa itself. The silver waterfall proved to be easier to access but also very enjoyable. There was also a market with stands occupied by local minorities outside the waterfall. These people seemed alot calmer about acquiring customers and I could browse at ease. The mostly sold the same things and I ended up not buying anything.

Lastly we went to the cable car that had been recently built(2 years ago) that would take us up Fansipan mountain. Visiting the place you could very well tell that it was newly built as nearly everything about the place was flawless. We ended up eating at the resturant that was probably a bit on the high end, but the prices was still reasonable compared to Sweden(almost everything is...). After this we went on the cablecar to the top. It soared above the valley and then entered the clouds itself. Sadly it didn't go above the clouds and we found that the top of the ride was still heavily clouded. But we set about exploring anyway. Actually the reduced sight and the way it changed and shrouded the buildings made for some very cool effects. After the top(3143 m) we went back to the hotel and had a shower before leaving with the buss to Lao Cai where our night train would depart. As I was checking my bankaccount I found a message from the bank itself saying to contact them imedietly. I also found two separate transactions to the same website in america, both for about 120 SEK. Calling the bank I found out someone had tried to withdraw 8000 SEK and 5000SEk(which I didn't have on the account). After those purschases they also had barred my creditcard. Hearing that my card had been compromised of course made me feel uneasy. But also loosing only 250 SEK made me kinda happy about it. I will be borrowing money from Martin during the reminder of the trip. We only have hotel, food, some souveniers and drinks left to pay for anyway. And also this might've easiely have happen earlier in my trip which would've caused alot more trouble. I will probably have a new card by the time I get back to Linköping. So all good I guess.


Path to "Love waterfall"    

The waterfall itself     

They guy that had a bath in said waterfall, did so alone however, partner status unknown  

Some of the way to/from the waterfall required some sure footing, and good shoes. I haven't been using anything except my sandals and they have worked out fine for everything so far.      

View from Silver waterfalls  

Market just outside Silver waterfalls  

10 point question, what are they selling? :)  

View on the road when going to the cable car.    

Temple just outside the cable car station.  

Inside the cable car station, was very neat.  

Lunch! The waiter insisted on taking a picture.  

Aaand take-off!    

On top of the mountain. Was chilly(autumn i Sweden perhaps)  

Felt storylike walking in the mist/fog/cloud   


Gong and a temple in the background.

Inside the temple  

Stairs, stairs and some more stairs...  

The top :D, they also had flags that you could borrow, we ended up taking alot of pictures here but I'll spare you from all of them.

Going down, also stairs!

And going back by the cable car, was about a 20 minute ride

Outside the cable car station these were danceing and playing music. Sadly we could not stay since we already agreed to be picked up at as set time. But I sneaked a photo atleast.

So tomorrow we will be back in Hanoi and will check in to a very nice hotel. We will mostly do shopping and meeting up with friends(Max from Sweden, Emilie from France and Esther from U.K) All in all some easy days to end our journey here in Vietnam.

Av Magnus Ekstrand - 23 juni 2017 04:40

So we arrived to early. The train stopped in Lao Cai which is a village close to Sapa. I was a bit curious on how we would actually get to Sapa from here but it didn't take long until we had a ride for 50 000VND(which is nothing). Directly after being let of by the buss about 4-5 women came surrounding us, asking our origin and how long we'd be staying an so on. The insisted on taking us on trekking tours and when I asked the price and then said that we'd time to think they followed us around a while longer. Only when I'd said no in every polite way my imagination could come up with did they relent. And instead started asking if we would not buy some of their wares instead. This being our first encounter with these women ment that I still had patience to say no yet another 4-5 times.

The hotel allowed us to check in early and also set us up for a trekking tour. I figured we rather trust the hotel than the first person we met in town. The tour was amazing. The nature of Sapa is exquisite and I also found very little littering. For the day we were joined by Lisa and Jackie from Australia as well as Emilie from France. Our tourguide Cu was very polite and had plenty of information. More than that we were also joined by "minority women" from the villages we travelled thru. They didn't do much except some sparce conversation and help us down when the road was too slippery. In each respective village they did however expect you to buy a "minor thing" from them and the prices they started at was laughable. I found however that some of the wares was really nice and if you did some hagglnig you could get a semi decent price. However I am not to fond of these kind of practise, it seemed like a convinient way for these people to knock some money of the tourist. Also whenever this happen Cu happened to disappear for the duration the harassment took place. It was a well set up tourist trap. But even the armies of small children trying to sell their bracelet(each child you had to say no to at least 2 times) and the women(which you had to say no to at least 5 times or straight out ignore) could not ruin the day.

After walking for about 14 km a bus from the hotel picked us up and drove us back to town. We ended up walking the streets with Emilie and had dinner before she left for her night bus to Hanoi. After this we spent most time at our room. Martin had gotten a cold and I was also a bit low on energy so just relaxing for awhile was really needed.


View of the valley of Sapa before we started our walk.  

Ricefields in different levels.  

Water buffalo was around in plenty. Seemed friendly enough tho.  

Our fellowship of the day. Here we are followed by the Hmong women.  

Closer view on the ricefields.  

The path was sometimes very slippery, and sometimes also very steep. Made sure to tread lightly and carefully.  

Our guide for the day, Cu.  

Local river that we ended up following for a time.  

Lisa(left) and Jackie(right) with Hmong gifts in their hair.  

Martin, Emilie and me.  

Whereever I go i think I will never end stopping to watch chickens, puppies and other young animals. They are just too cute.  

More of the valley of Sapa.      

Mountains in the background made for some nice views.      

River grew bigger the further we went.     

Back in Sapa itself, exploring the minor streets and watching people go about their everyday life. There was alot of construction(more than usual) going on. Almost every quarter had a building being built.

So tomorrow we will go to see two waterfalls; love and silver waterfall. If the weather is good we will also go to the highest mountain in Vietnam - Fansipan.

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