Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sapa - a day in pictures

Day 11 - Friday, November 15
Distance - 0 kms = total for day ~ 0 hrs = rest day
Trip Odometer =  888 kms
Route - Sapa Day!
Hotel - Sapa Paradise View Hotel  ($55US x2 nights)
Weather - Misty wet plus pea-soup-fog.

Sapa is one of the main stops on Vietnam's infamous 'packaged-tour'.  Travellers generally take the overnight train from Hanoi, spend a few days in Sapa and surrounding area and then get back on the night train to Hanoi.  (Ah-hem *clearing throat* we arrived to Sapa on motorbike in style of course ;)

Sapa is nestled high in the mountains at 1650m which makes it a great spot for hiking and trekking on clear days.  Tour groups take willing participants all over the valleys along small pathways weaving their way up and down the hillsides.  Many people spend time in homestays with various hill tribes in the area.  Local hill tribe people are scattered through town in their super colourful traditional clothing.   Sapa is well set up to accommodate all types of tourists with whatever they desire.  It was socked in on our rest day which aided in our decision to lay low for the day and to check out the town on our own.    

Complimentary breakfast at the Sapa Paradise View hotel was great, but unfortunately the 'paradise view' was non-existent.  We woke up later, relaxed, strolled down to the restaurant for breakfast and then decided to walk around town.

The night before, we had enquired about the hotel's laundry service and one of the managers at the front desk gave us a large plastic bag and said to drop it off at reception.  All our affairs were in order, so all we had to do was check out Sapa.

We had both heard that Sapa was a go-to for cheap, outdoor knock-offs and we had a few people at home in mind for some Xmas gifts.  Unfortunately, we didn't have a ton of space on the bikes.  We managed to find a nice North Face jacket for Amanda's father back in Canada and I managed to find a small, fleece layer and a pair of shoes rather than walking around in my wet Keens.

Now, I'll let the pictures do the rest... our day in Sapa:

Cho Sapa - Sapa Market

Triumph Street Triple, an unlikely place for this bike...

The picture above was hanging in our hotel room... this was supposed to be the views from our Paradise View window.  In actual fact, our views from the window were below:

It started to clear later in the afternoon - the same view in the picture above and below...

Later in the afternoon, we were served another fruit juice smoothie, and more crazy-cake...

The Sapa Paradise View Hotel also had a restaurant (where we had our complimentary breakfast) and one of the managers told us about their traditional 'hot-pot' which we had only heard about, but never sampled.  We decided it was time to try out the Vietnamese hot pot and we had these two wonderful girls helping us out.

Later that afternoon - our laundry was delivered back to our room, all freshly folded and the rest.  We enjoyed our hot-pot supper and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Next day - we headed from Sapa up to the Tram Ton Pass - Vietnam's highest mountain pass.

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