Thursday, July 18, 2013

On the Road to Sapa

Hullo bears and not-a-bears! I am back in Vietnam and on the road again. We flew from Luang Prabang into Hanoi and the next evening we were on a night train to Sapa. The night train was pretty neat and comfortable...

I got the upper bunk again! Yay!!!  After a 10 hour train ride, and an hour long bus ride, we arrived in Sapa in the early morning and...

It is gorgeous!!! Look at those mountains!

When you can see them between the clouds of course!

Sapa is known for its rice terraces that are built on beary steep hillsides. They certainly are beautiful.

Mama says they are verdant... I think she swallowed a thesaurus! Let me look... verdant... verdant... ah yes.... verdant means - "of the bright green colour of lush grass". Yup, that would be the hillsides of Sapa!

I got to hike up and down hillsides and saw all sorts of things like...

Water buffalo having a mud bath! They sure seem to like that, although I'm not sure why. Little bears certainly do not like to wallow in mud holes!

But little bears do like verdant hillsides! (Did you see how I used that new word in a sentence??? I is a smart little bear who is a quick study!)

Oh my goodness... the green is just amazing!

We also stopped at a waterfall in our trek through the countryside.

The water was super clean and clear and I almost wanted to take a swim. Almost, but not quite... little bears don't do water either!

Heh-heh... this is my Australian look!

Oh look, it's a Hammie-coloured butterfly!! This one sat super still for its photograph. Its body looks a bit like a red pipe-cleaner.

I also saw tonnes of these stacks of reed-like things. I finally broke down and asked Mama what they were... they are hemp stalks! The ethnic minority here, the Black Hmong (pronounced Mong), grow hemp for its fiber. They weave it into fabric for their clothes, which are beary fancy.

Here are some Black Hmong sitting on the sidewalk. There clothes aren't really black, but a deep indigo. Did you know that indigo comes from a verdantly green plant? Neither did I!

That's our guide on the right with the white sneakers. Her name was Sa and she was 16 years old. She was super helpful!

Well... that's Sapa... beary beautiful although a bit cloudy and rainy most times.

I had fun here and would highly recommend this place for a visit! It was a bit cooler than the lowlands, being up in the mountains at 1500 m elevation. Mind you, I didn't see a single bee here, so I don't think it would be a good place for a little bear to live... just to visit!


  1. I know Indigo!! It's my favourite colour!! In watercolours, it can go from a very light silvery grey to a Sky At Night Almost Black!! You can find it in Africa too.... used there mainly for dyeing fabric!

  2. More beautiful photos Sandy! It sure would be fun to take a cool dip under that waterfall!

  3. Beary beautiful Sandy!

    I do like your Australian look, a beary jaunty look!

    What a cool looking butterfly!

  4. Wow! Great pictures again! That butterfly is amazing! And that waterbuffalo looks a bit like a hippo :-)!

  5. @Beanie - Yes!! You would know indigo very well... it is a beary beautiful colour - like a starry sky after sunset!

    @Jerry & Ben - Oh yes, I considered the waterfall but it was a bit too strong for my little bear swimming ability (which is zippo).

    @Buttons - Thanks! The butterfly was super cool!

    @Hammie - Hmmm... I guess those buffaloos do look a bit like hippos, minus the horns of course... they sure are big!