Vietnam Trip Day 5 & 6 : Sapa

IMG_9143, Terraced paddy fields
Terraced paddy fields in the hills around Sa Pa.


Visit to Cat Cat village

Cat Cat is a village of the Black Hmong people, located in a valley below Sa Pa. Historically, the Black Hmong were recognized by their indigo coloured outfits. Nowadays (we were told) the outfit is more of a tourist magnet. One of the backpackers we met was telling us about seeing one of the Black Hmong ladies slip on the traditional outfit over her western outfit, prior to heading down to the village.

With the influx of large number of tourists plus being the nearest ethnic minority village to Sa Pa town, Cat Cat village has become more “touristy”.

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Signboard informing visitors of the dos and donts on their way down to Cat Cat village.

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Black Hmong girls/women chasing western tourists to be their tour guide.

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Girl: Hello! Where you from?
Tourist: England/France/…
Girl: Where you from?
Tourist: (this time speaking slower) England/France/…
Girl: You want me show you my village?
Tourist: (politely) No, thanks
Girl: Then you go shopping from me?
Tourist: (smiles politely)
(similar scene repeats)

Motorcycle passes by and then stops..
Motorcycle Driver: Hello, you want motorbike?
Tourist: (smiles politely) No, thanks
Motorcycle Driver: Ok, maybe later.
(points towards his helmet)
Motorcycle Driver: Remember my name.. Bono/Jack1/… (then drives off)

We opted to walk. The view is best viewed on foot.

IMG_9136, Terraced paddy fields

IMG_9144, Terraced paddy fields

IMG_9151, Terraced paddy fields

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Corn

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More terraced paddy fields. Whilst in Sa Pa, we were told that end of October / early November is a good time to visit, as it is almost harvest time, when the fields are all yellow.

IMG_9144, Buffaloes grazing
Buffaloes grazing

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Bridge on the way to Cat Cat village. It really shakes, especially when a buffalo uses it.

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Another “bridge”

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A source of protein for Cat Cat village residents

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Tien Sa Waterfall, Cat Cat Village

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Black Hmong woman touting sovenirs. She got angry and actually said something unpleasant for not buying anything. Fortunately we didn’t quite understand her language :)

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A few of the residents of Cat Cat village, Sapa. Unlike the other kids we had photographed, the taller one was very wary of having her photograph taken.

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On the way back uphill from Cat Cat village to Sa Pa town. Tip for visitors, bring along some candies if you wish to ask them to pose for a photograph.

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Black Hmong elder with his buffalo, on their way back down to Cat Cat village

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Black Hmong elder with his buffalo and grandson, on their way back to Cat Cat village

Sa Pa Town

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A Sa Pa resident’s backyard. What a view to wake up to each day!

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View from our hotel room. Not bad for USD 30 a night!

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Cat Cat View Hotel. Read somewhere before that most hotels in Sa Pa give away some of their proceeds for the welfare of the villages nearby.

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Sa Pa Market. The lady with the red headgear belongs to the Red Dao minority tribe.

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Sa Pa town. Almost everywhere we went, we’d see Black Hmong women chasing tourists to be their guides to their villages nearby, or to sell souvenirs which look more factory made than genuine hand-made/hand-woven handicrafts.

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Black Hmong and Red Dao women in Sa Pa Town. Hidden behind is a middle-aged western tourist.

On foot from Sa Pa towards Lao Chai village

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Black Hmong lady

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Black Hmong ladies and a French family in front

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Group of Black Hmong on their way to Sa Pa town

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Black Hmong lady and child

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First glimpses of Lao Chai Village

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Lao Chai Village

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Our visit coincided with the time of the corn harvest.
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The corn husk clearing crew

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Heading back towards Sa Pa

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Back In Sa Pa

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Nature View Restaurant, Sa Pa. Good food. We had almost all our meals there.

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Must try their “Sa Pa Pizza”.

Heading Back To Hanoi

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Tickets

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A resident of Lao Cai.

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Train coupe on Ratraco train.

Other photos taken during this trip,

3 thoughts on “Vietnam Trip Day 5 & 6 : Sapa

  1. Very nice. It’s like a documentary film. You can easily make it in a book form. It will help lot of tourists also help promoting tourism in Vietnam. All of these are ‘work of art’.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Nice pix, thanks for sharing. Although I have ever been there 4 years go but still touching when seeing those pix again.

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