Right before Sa Pa I came across a crossroads, with one road leading to Sa Pa’s city center (to which I actually intended to go to) and a road leading just into Sa Pa. For some dumb reason I chose the second road and walked into Sa Pa, and then also walked out of it again. I figured that if I would just keep walking, that I would come accross another road leading back to the city center, but I didn’t. Instead the road led into the Valley. At some point I came through a traditional Hmong village. In this village I found some stairs leading even deeper into the valley. Along the stairs were stalls with traditional colorfoul Hmong arts and crafts, which were a joy to look at. I followed the stairs along the stalls down and down and down, untill I reached the river at the bottom of the valley. Two rivers came together at this point and at their crossing was this very nice bamboo village, with houses and waterwheels using the power of the fast flowing rivers. At the point where the rivers merge there was this magnificant waterfall (Cat Cat falls). It was a really nice surprice and incredibly unexpected! So nice to take a wrong turn now and then 🙂
After going all the way down into the valley, I also had to climb out again. I took an alternative road out of the valley and as soon as I reached the mainroad a motorcyclist stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride. As I had already walked some 12k I accepted the lift and let him drop me of at the Jade Hill. From there, a cable car leads up to the top of Fansipan Mountain, the highest mountain of Indochine (some 3000 and somewhat meters high). For work related reasons I had to make the ride, so I bought a ticket and minutes later I found myself in the very transparant cabin with some 40 Vietnamese who all found me very interesting again while I was just praying that the thin cable that supported the cabin would not snap, that the machinery wouldn’t malfunction and that the cabin wouldn’t start swaying for some funny reason. Cablecars are just not really my thing. The views from the cablecar were great though, but at the top of the mountain it was crowded, foggy, windy and cold. So I found myself in the cable car back to Jade Hill again pretty fast.
Another motorbike took me fromJade Hill to Sa Pa where I had a late lunch and from there I walked back to the resort for a short nap. After the nap I had dinner and worked on today’s blogpost. Then, just right when I was about to end my day, I was invited by the hotel owner to join the family dinner (even though I just finished my dinner). So an additional table was put next to the table that I was sitting on, some chairs were rearranged, food was served and within 10 minutes I found myself having traditional Vietamese hot pot with some 15 Vietnamese. It keeps amazing me how incredibly hospitable the people are!
After about an hour and 9 shots of rice wine I excused myself to finish my blog en then go to bed. I hadn’t even sat down on my bed yet when one of the Vietnamese girls from the dorm asked me whether I wanted to talk to here, because she wanted to practice her English. So we talked a bit. About Holland and about it being flat and below sea level. And about black and white cows that are famous in Vietnam for their milk. And about cheese and wooden shoes and windmills.
And now my blog for today is finally finished 🙂 meaning that at some point I was able to end the conversation in a friendly manner.
Tomorrow a car will drive me and the bike back to Halong, which will take some 8 to 9 hours. Today was a really nice day!