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”.
Signboard informing visitors of the dos and donts on their way down to Cat Cat village.
Black Hmong girls/women chasing western tourists to be their tour guide.
Girl: Hello! Where you from?
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.
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.
Bridge on the way to Cat Cat village. It really shakes, especially when a buffalo uses it.
A source of protein for Cat Cat village residents
Tien Sa Waterfall, Cat Cat Village
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
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.
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.
Black Hmong elder with his buffalo, on their way back down to Cat Cat village
Black Hmong elder with his buffalo and grandson, on their way back to Cat Cat village
Sa Pa Town
A Sa Pa resident’s backyard. What a view to wake up to each day!
View from our hotel room. Not bad for USD 30 a night!
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.
Sa Pa Market. The lady with the red headgear belongs to the Red Dao minority tribe.
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.
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
Black Hmong lady
Black Hmong ladies and a French family in front
Group of Black Hmong on their way to Sa Pa town
Black Hmong lady and child
First glimpses of Lao Chai Village
Lao Chai Village
Our visit coincided with the time of the corn harvest.
The corn husk clearing crew
Heading back towards Sa Pa
Back In Sa Pa
Heading Back To Hanoi
Other photos taken during this trip,