Sa Pa, Vietnam
Trip Start Sep 04, 2007
25Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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After showers and lunch, we had a guided trek through Cat Cat Hmong village where we saw many of the ethnic minority people going about their daily lives. We saw indigo and hemp plants, a huge barrel of indigo dye (many women have blue hands), the inside of a village home (woven bamboo walls and dirt floor), numerous rice fields, and drying tea. Our hike looped through Cat Cat Falls, a former French-built 192Os hydro-electric plant.
Sa Pa is a very touristy town and the local Hmong and Red Dzao women took advantage of this to sell their beautiful handwork
Matt decided to guard the laundry and look after his cold while the rest of us did an 8- hour trek through the mountains and valley to Ban Ho Village. After a long, hot day, we were relieved to spend the night in a traditional family home with 11 guests and 3 guides. The following day, we were happy to have only a 2-hr. trek to the spot where a 30-year-old Russian Jeep drove us back.
1 Matt lost his dong and David thought he saw a local Vietnamese man pick it up! (dong is Vietnamese money.)
2 When the rest of us were trekking to the Ban Ho Village Homestay, Matt took some clothes from the drying rack on the hotel patio, thinking they belonged to Gail and David. It turned out that he took the Hotel owner's intimate underwear
3 As we wandered around the bustling streets in SaPa, David said an old Hmong woman approached him, gesturing with her hands secretly by her waist. She wanted to sell him Opium or Hashish! What?! Did she think he looked like an old Hippie?
4 On the drive from SaPa to Dien Bien Phu, our van driver stopped at a popular tourist restaurant for lunch. We all chose a dish to share and he placed the order in Vietnamese. When the order came, we were shocked to see that they brought 4 of every dish! Even though we indicated not to set them on our table, the server continued to set them on the next table until it was filled with plates of food! Of course. An argument took place, which we won. I don't know how they thought five people could possibly eat so much food!
5 In Dien Bien Phu, David and Gail were walking down the street, heading to the market. Suddenly. A tiny, old woman rushed up to Gail in a very friendly way, rambling excitedly in Vietnamese. She smiled, grabbed Gail's arm and pulled her down to the woman's level. Then, she kissed Gail on the neck! (see the photo in Dien Bien Phu's upload)