While there are a number of places to visit in Vietnam, the rice terraces of Sapa should be right at the top of your list. This beautiful region near the country’s northern border with China boasts breathtaking natural scenery, not to mention significant cultural importance. The region of Sapa is home to many ethnic groups, including the Hmong, Red Dao and Giay people.
Our three day trek started with a short walk down to the nearby Cat Cat village after arriving in Sapa. The walk through the village provides a small insight into what homes and life looks like for ethnic groups of the region. The walk culminates at the Tien Sa Waterfall by a small abandoned French military station. This walk is a nice little entree before the main course.
On day two, we set out from the town of Sapa with our guide and also several local women tagging along with the ever-so-subtle intention of selling us stuff along the way. Still, they were friendly and the fact that they walk the long trails through the terraces every day to earn a living is quite impressive. It was on this day that we were blessed with the breathtaking views out over the mountains and terraces – the reason I had been determined to visit this place.
In the afternoon, we arrived in small village where we would stay overnight with a local family in Ta Van Village. After a cheap massage and a few beers, we sat down to a peaceful meal cooked by our friendly, albeit shy hosts. With no English, they mostly kept to themselves in the small back room in which they lived. This left the four of us sharing the huge main room of about 20 beds.
The next day we would set off on a trickier trail eventually down along a waterfall that would bring us back to Sapa. It was remarkable to me that despite heading back to where we came from, we were treated to more spectacular vistas from our hiking trails. I have to say, it’s easy to walk all day when you have views like these.
Have you visited the rice terraces of Sapa? Do these photos of the Sapa Terraces make you want to visit? Share your experiences in the comments.
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