Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

SAPA (Part 3) - Adventure Continues & Friendship Grows

Previous stories are in these links:

SAPA (Part 1) – Girl's Story

SAPA (Part 2) – The Adventure

Yukie, my new Japanese friend living in Sapa has been so nice and always accompanied me and Heny during our trip in Sapa… Thanks to her, we were introduced to Minh, a very nice local tour guide who becomes our new friend too…

Snacks for breakfast @ hotel

We enjoyed Sapa, made new friends, and wanted to have more fun… As to continue our trip, that Sunday morning, Heny and I walked to the same meeting point to meet with Yukie and Minh... 

Town Square @ Sapa

Church @ Sapa

In front of us, there where Sapa town square is… It is a big square in front of the Catholic Church and is used as open market on Sunday for the minority people.  This town square seems to be a popular meeting point for both locals and tourists.

Church @ Sapa (front part)

The church is a simple building which was built in 1930. 

Church @ Sapa

Church @ Sapa

In between the town square and the church, if the square is in my back and church is in front of me, there is a passage on the right side with many small vendors selling souvenirs.  That passage goes to the local market.

Local market @ Sapa

Ham Rong (Dragon) Mountain

Ham Rong means Jaw of Dragon.  The way to get there is basically to walk passing the church, where behind it, there is a road leading to the mountain.  It is not far and doesn’t need sporty effort -J

Shops along the way climbing up @ Ham Rong Mt

Mushroom for sale at the shop @ Ham Rong Mt

We paid entrance fee of 70,000 VND per person.  This place is called as a resort and well-known for the locals.  The highlight of the place, I should say, is the viewing area at the top the mountain where we can see the view of Sapa.  Come here for this reason…

Along the way walking to the viewing area, we will pass Orchid Garden, there is another viewing area where we can see Mount Fansipan (if there is no fog), then we continued walking and see big garden with colourful flowers.

Trumpet flowers?

They look like grapes

I was not interested in dropping by at that particular shop but… Heny and Yukie seemed so keen, so I followed them.  It’s a place where we can rent traditional outfit for photo shoot! -J  Okay girls…

Do I look like minority people?

Good timing, we arrived at the hall to watch the traditional performance.  There were too many people, it wasn’t easy to take pics…

One of the dances

Traditional music instruments

At the end of the show, spectators are invited to come to the stage & participate

Walk continued, we went to pass Heaven Gate 1 and 2, then we saw flowery garden and from far we can see the Jaw of Dragon.

That's the Jaw of Dragon

It took sometime to take this pic, as there were too many people!

Still we continued climbing up to the viewing area, perhaps this is the area which is called as “Cloud Yard”? 


Sapa looks white in fog… Is it really Sapa?  It could be Switzerland!  Funny, I have never been to Switzerland, but in my silly imagination it is Switzerland in winter -J

Baquette et Chocolat

Ce restaurant s'appelle Baguette et Chocolat.  C’est une ecole "Hoa Sua" pour les jeunes en difficultés. 

I noticed this restaurant when we were passing with our motorbike from Thac Bac waterfall to Sapa Town.  It is located in a big road for Sapa’s standard, and occupying a white house. The cute French name attracts my attention.  Therefore, Heny and I had lunch there in our last day in Sapa.

Inside the restaurant, see the cute fire place

Restaurant decoration is mostly white: white wall, chairs covered in white sheets, the cushion is red though.  There is fire place, cute...  The restaurant’s mission is to support the unfortunate youth. An NGO is running this restaurant and hotel.

Lasagna @ Baguette et Chocolat

Majority food is western and a bit of Asian food.  It's so tempting to see the selection of cakes displayed.  Beef lasagna and vegetarian cream pasta were good.  Standard taste for the cheese cake. In overall, food is good and like cà phê sữa đá (ice Vietnamese coffee with milk).

Good bye Sapa…

We arrived at Lao Cai train station around 6.15 p.m. and the ticketing office i.e. waiting lounge at Livitrains was still closed.  Train is scheduled to leave at 7.30 p.m.  We needed to exchange our train voucher (Sapa to Hanoi) with original ticket.  Lesson learnt: I should have exchanged it when leaving Hanoi train station.

I asked one person and was confirmed that I had to wait at Livitrains office, just wait, the guy will come…  I asked a girl who seemed to be a tour guide holding Livitrains flag, she also waited for Livitrains guy. She does not speak English at all but she laughed when I said; Nếu em đi gặp anh ấy, tôi cũng muốn đi gặp anh ấy.  My Vietnamese language at least has reached the survival level-J  Before 7.00 p.m. the ticketing officer arrived and we got our tickets.

Sapa trip is my farewell trip to Vietnam.  This trip would have never been this memorable without trip companion, Heny, and nice Yukie and kind Minh. Thanks for the fun and friendship… I enjoyed this trip very much and it seems they enjoyed it as much as I did! 

Beautiful Romantic Sapa

Another 8 hour train trip from Sapa to Hanoi, an hour from train station to Hanoi airport, a few hours waiting for our flight and two hour flying time from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City… Home sweet home…

Ho Chi Minh City in cloudy afternoon, it looks like Gotham City

Yes, it’s a home for the time being.  Time is clicking too fast… It’s been almost a year living in #HCMC… I knew it by the time I am happy and settled,.. it’s the time that I have to move to new place… 

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