Sapa Trekking and Homestay
In March (2016), I had the pleasure of traveling around Northern Vietnam. It was one of the most surreal, rewarding experiences of my life. The picture above of is of Mama Zhu, a Sapa hill tribe woman with one of her many babes. I took an overnight bus to Sapa and upon arrival, was chosen by Mama Zhu, Mama T and their family to follow them to their home stay in the mountains. The trek was grueling, and I was unprepared for the climb with hardly enough sleep, water, or proper equipment. The journey took nearly 12 hours. We arrived at a small village, surrounded by rice fields and partially hidden in an early-evening fog that served to make the experience all the more mystical. As the sun was going down, my fellow weary travelers and I were treated to the most delicious homemade pho and spring rolls that you could ever possibly imagine. Our hosts then proceeded to get us high and drunk on rice wine, which appears to be the villagers favorite evening past time in the isolated, primitive village they call home. We slept on blankets in their humble wooden cabin-like home. The roof was patched together with mismatched planks of wood that allowed the inhabitants access to a spectacular view of the virgin sky and stars. I woke up sometime in the early hours of the morning, it was dark but I could still sense the ever-present mist that encompasses the villages in the mountains. I stumbled outside to the hole in the ground that served as the designated outhouse. I encountered 2 geese, 2 puppies, 1 cat, and an unidentified large insect on my way there. The following morning we were treated to bananas, crepes and eggs before we made our way back down the mountain, concluding one of the most incredible journeys i’ve had thus far.