Vietnam
Tỉnh Lào Cai

Here you’ll find travel reports about Tỉnh Lào Cai. Discover travel destinations in Vietnam of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

110 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Vietnam - Sapa Day 2

    May 22 in Vietnam

    Today after a great breakfast with the family we left to continue our trek. It was to be 14 kms today and so we organised Mu to get a motorbike to take our back packs to the next home stay! Much better idea and we also decided to stick mainly to the roads to avoid me falling down again. Good plan if it had if worked! We walked for about three hours and went to Mu’s house where she cut pineapple for us. Mu works as a guide and her husband stays home and looks after their son. Apparently men think it’s good to marry a guide as they make money.
    The Vietnamese people work so hard in difficult hot conditions. Most of the rice paddies are for their own use not to sell and families help each other in getting the paddies ready. The children have to take the water buffalo out to eat making sure they keep off the paddies. It’s hard hot work for all the family. The local tribe women sell their work and sometimes this is the only money the family gets. I am truly amazed at their stamina.

    We stopped for lunch and met up with some other trekkers from Australia who gave me some drugs! Just panadol and Ibroprufen to help me get through. Maybe that was the problem I was feeling fit and pain free for the next part of our walk. We walked along the road past lots more paddies and the views were spectacular. On the last part of the trek we went off road and headed down hill into the valley where the home stay was. Only 30 minutes left and ‘bang’ my knee gave way and I did a somersault with my knee ending up twisted under me. I thought I was in trouble! Managed to stand up with help from Mu and a local lady and they helped me down the last bit of the track. Most embarrassing as there was a heap of trekkers following and watching the old lady - me - fall!

    Made it to the home stay with my new local lady friend helping, and of course I then had to buy something from her for helping me!

    Home stay is good but different from staying at the local house where we were the only tourist, here we have 11 other tourists. Still good to swap stories and experiences. Lucky our luggage turned up ok and we could have a much needed shower. Ate still more food and went to bed early but didn’t sleep until I found a fan to cool us down. Tomorrow looks like being a rest day for me, I’m stiff and sore and my knee keeps giving way! sucks being a cripple.... but wouldn’t have missed this for anything. Love the people, food and the culture .
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  • Day9

    Vietnam - Sapa

    May 21 in Vietnam

    We arrived in Lao Cai at 6.00am after a great trip on the train, very relaxing and a good sleep. Much improvement on the bus I took 5 years ago.

    We were met at the train station and drove the 30hair raising kms overtaking on corners and driving at break neck speed! Still we arrived at the office of the Sapa Sisters trekking and were given breakfast. Met our guide
    miss Mu and we headed off. Took about two minutes to realise that my light pack was too heavy and it proved to be a hassle from the start. We went down our first track and there the trouble began, the track was steep,skinny and wet and muddy from the rain the night before. Mu had to take my pack after I fell twice on my bum and the pack was so heavy I couldn’t stand up. Thank goodness for the two local women who tagged along to sell us handicrafts because they held my hand and helped me down every difficult bit. Don’t think I would have made it without them.

    On the track Mu pointed out an indigo plant that is used to dye fabric for weaving and showed me how to get the dye out. Now I had a very muddy bum and indigo hands. Pete was busy keeping his own feet and all he could do was look on and laugh as I slipped down the hill on my bum! Very helpful haha! Still once the hard bits were over I managed and the views were amazing. We walked 10kms today through some rough and difficult terrain and by the time we stopped for lunch Pete hated me and I hated me! Both of us agree that we are probably a bit old for this type of trekking.
    Though we did get a round of applause when we made it up a particularly difficult hill.

    The heat was what made it difficult apart from the terrain, it was a relief when we had some light rain. We had lunch at a local house where we were entertained by a piglet knocking the chickens cage to get the rice. Very clever piglet.

    We were staying at Mu’s sister in laws house with the family and got a real insight as to how these people live
    with their pigs, chickens, cats and dogs. The whole family came for dinner and we drank happy water (rice wine) with them and met Mu’s son and husband. Communication was hard but we did learn how to say cheers every time they said just one more! Great experience, both exhausting and amazing. Lovely evening and they gave us our own room and made sure it was really comfortable. No showers and a squat toilet but amazing food and people. We were in bed by 7pm after and exhausting but incredible day.
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  • Day36

    Day 36 - Sapa Trekking

    October 15, 2017 in Vietnam

    Today we went on a 6 hour (about 13 mile) guided trekking tour through Sapa and the surrounding villages. The beginning and end were through some rugged/steep/rocky/muddy trails - going up to the ridge in the beginning and down into the valley at the end. At a couple of spots, we were pretty much rock climbing and at one point we had to climb over a tree through a muddy landslide. After I had a minor slip towards the beginning of the hike (and accidentally grabbed onto a fence covered in barbed wire to catch myself), Tim and the trekking guide and one of the other village ladies that was following us, were very helpful guiding me any other time we reached a rough area (even though I insisted I could handle it). But most of the walking in the middle was on decently maintained paths through mountain villages where they farm on the terraced mountainside. We passed by a ton of animals roaming free along the paths and in the villages - pigs, buffalo, cows, chickens, ducks, dogs. There were great views of tall, steep, lush green mountains, recently harvested rice terraces, waterfalls, villages, and the valley below. It was an awesome day.

    After the trek, we took much needed showers, I took a nap, and then we went out for one of our best Vietnam dinners yet - veggie spring rolls, beef fried noodles, and curry chicken in a coconut with fresh mango juice and a couple of beers! Tomorrow is our last day in Sapa and it will likely be our first (and maybe only) day of bad weather of the trip (this should be the last rain storm before the region's dry season officially begins). So we plan to get massages, do some shopping, eat a pho lunch, and a fish hot pot dinner!!
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  • Day100

    Sa Pa

    February 27 in Vietnam

    Even geen getoeter, stinkende uitlaatgassen en opzij springen voor roekeloze bromfietsers: Sa Pa brengt mij terug naar de natuur en weg uit de drukke stad. Het stadje ligt op 5 uur rijden ten noorden van Hanoi in het Hoang Lien gebergte. De gigantische rijstterrassen op de bergflanken en panoramische uitzichten zijn de redenen van mijn bezoek hier. Ik kies voor een tweedaagse trekking in de dorpen en het platteland rond Sa Pa. Onze gids is een lokal en gaat traditioneel gekleed. Elke stam hier heeft zijn eigen handgemaakte, traditionele kledij, elk met zijn eigen kenmerkende kleuren. De meisjes zien er allemaal erg kleurrijk en opgekleed uit. Ik voel me al bijna “underdressed”😅.
    Er werd ons reeds verteld dat februari niet de ideale maand is om Sa Pa te bezoeken. De mist en de regen zorgt er soms voor dat de ervaring letterlijk in het water valt. Aangezien er eind oktober geoogst is en er pas opnieuw wordt gezaaid eind mei, zijn de terrassen ook eerder bruin in plaats van weelderig groen. Maar wat ben ik blij dat dit me niet heeft weerhouden om toch te gaan. Ja, de mist zorgde soms voor een spelbreker: soms zag je niet verder dan drie meter voor je...En ja, die ene regenbui veranderde het pad middenin de rijstvelden in een levensgevaarlijke, modderige glijbaan...Om dan nog maar te zwijgen over mijn door en door natte broek...Maar wat was het dat allemaal meer dan waard, wanneer de zon door de mist brak en we eindelijk zicht kregen op de oneindige schoonheid van de valleien en de rijstterassen. Zo’n 15 kilometer per dag door weer en wind wandelen doet een mens herleven. Met een frisse neus en stijve beentjes keer ik terug naar de stad.
    Dat de terrassen mooier zijn in de zomer geeft niet zo, want ik kwam toch al terug naar dit mooie land, nietwaar?😏
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  • Day35

    Day 35 - Sapa Arrival

    October 14, 2017 in Vietnam

    What a wild day! We woke up early (5:40), got ready, packed, ate breakfast (the hotel set up breakfast an hour early for us), and hopped on the sleeper bus to Sapa. I had no idea the sleeper bus meant basically individual beds! It was awesome and super comfortable. The ride to Sapa was beautiful, through the mountains with views of the rice terraces and waterfalls.

    Once we arrived and got off the bus in Sapa, our host (well, the homestay taxi driver) was waiting with a sign that said "Courtney". This is when things got interesting and our (my) first minor mess up happened! We were supposed to be staying at a nice hotel, with a private balcony and beautiful mountain views, right in Sapa Town. I had been looking forward to this place for months. As the taxi driver drove out of the town and down through the mountain, I started to get a little confused, but wasn't too worried about it (and he didn't seem to speak much English so there wasn't much we could do). Then the ride continued for about 45 minutes through rocky roads, lined with all sorts of animals - cows, ducks, chickens, pigs, dogs. We ended up in the middle of nowhere at a place called Heavenly Homestay. I recognized the name from some emails but the place didn't seem right at all. We checked into our room and I tried to figure out what happened. I pulled out our little notebook with all of our bookings and travel documents and, sure enough, our Sapa hotel was called "Botanic Sapa", and I had jotted some notes about the terrace and the views and being right in the middle of town. That's when I realized what had happened. Back in April, when I was first looking at hotels, I had emailed this homestay about availability, since it was so highly rated. He didn't get back to me for several weeks, at which point I had already booked the other hotel. I deleted the email and forgot about it. Well...2 weeks ago, he emailed me and said he wanted to confirm our Sapa booking for the same dates that we were planning to be in Sapa. I just assumed it was our hotel and told him yes. Then about a week ago, due to the weather forecast, we switched around our Vietnam plans. I emailed him back and asked if we could switch dates and he said it was no problem. He had his driver pick us up and we ended up at the completely wrong place. We considered just staying there, but the weather isn't great so there would be nothing to do, and we were hungry and there was nowhere to go, and there was a chance of flooding and we really didn't want to get stuck there for a week, and there was absolutely no wifi/service and my mom would freak out if she didn't hear from me for a week. So, it was basically all my fault for not paying attention, but we were in the middle of nowhere, not where we wanted to be, and the host was really nice about it and had the driver take us back to the town (not for free this time). Our really nice hotel that I was excited about was full since we were here on the wrong dates, but they were also really nice and gave us a full refund even though it was passed the refundable date. We found another (cheaper) awesome hotel right in the middle of town. We don't have our beautiful terrace with mountain views, but it is foggy and cloudy anyways so it's not a huge deal. It all worked out in the end, just had a couple of hours of stress. We knew something would go wrong at some point, so it could have been much worse!!...sorry...that was a long story!

    Anyways, after we checked in, we checked out the town. It's really cool. Full of restaurants and shops and bars, with both locals and tourists everywhere. We wandered around for awhile, got pho for dinner, then settled down at some outdoor seats on a busy corner right on the lake for some beers. Now, we need to rest up - Sapa trekking tomorrow!!
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  • Day37

    Day 37 - Last Day in Sapa

    October 16, 2017 in Vietnam

    Today was fairly uneventful. It rained (mostly just a drizzle) on and off all day. We hung out at the hotel a bit, walked around the town a bit, ate quite a bit, and got massages! Still a fun and relaxing day.

    We didn't take a single picture today, but here are some more from yesterday's adventures!

  • Day50

    Sapa, Vietnam

    February 28, 2017 in Vietnam

    In Sapa verbleef ik in een homestay. Samen met een paar andere toeristen uit Duitsland en Denemarken hebben we twee wandeltochten gemaakt door de rijstvelden. De eerste dag was het nogal mistig en hebben we niet veel van het uitzicht gezien. De tweede dag daarentegen was prachtig. De rijstvelden gecombineerd met de lichte mist gaven hele mooie uitzichten.

  • Day47

    Sa Pa, Vietnam

    March 25, 2017 in Vietnam

    "Sa Pa".. Nun ja, wie bereits im letzten Footprint beschrieben, mussten wir erst einmal von "Dong Hoi" hier her kommen. "Sa Pa" liegt im Norden Vietnams, gleich an der chinesischen Grenze und ist damit der nördlichste Teil, den wir auf unserer Reise besuchen. Da es keine andere Verbindung gibt, blieb uns nichts anderes übrig, als wieder mit dem Zug zu reisen. Dass das Zugfahren ein Abenteuer für sich ist, haben wir ja bereits berichtet. Diesmal dauerte unsere Zugreise allerdings ganze 21h mit Zwischenstopp und Umstiegszeit (während der wir etwas zum Abendbrot essen konnten) in Hanoi. Da der Zug jedoch nur bis "Lao Cai" fährt, wir aber direkt bis in die Provinz "Sa Pa" wollten, da diese auf dem Gipfel des bergischen Umlandes und in mitten der Reisterrassen liegt, weswegen wir in erster Linie in diese Region wollten, mussten wir von Lao Cai aus noch mit einem Minibus die Serpentinen hinauf. Bis wir schließlich in Sa Pa ankamen, waren bereits 25h vergangen uuuuund.. es regnete in Strömen! Diesmal hatten wir keine Unterkunft über das Internet gebucht, sondern wollten uns vor Ort etwas suchen. Super Idee, wer konnte wissen, dass wir ausgerechnet im Regen ankommen. Nachdem wir drei/vier Unterkünfte angefragt hatten, fanden wir schließlich eine nette Bleibe. Zwar hätten wir an unserem Anreisetag noch genügend Zeit gehabt, die Umgebung zu erkunden, aber da es mittlerweile zu donnern begann, waren wir gezwungen erst einmal im Hotelzimmer zu verweilen, um am Nachmittag wenigstens einen kleinen Spaziergang durch den Ortskern zu machen. Leider verhieß der Wetterbericht für die nächsten Tage nichts gutes und Sa Pa blieb während unseres dreitägigen Aufenthaltes bis auf einen kleinen Augenblick in Wolken und Nebel getaucht und so auch die Reisterrassen! 😒
    Um nicht im Hotelzimmer zu versauern, planten wir für den zweiten Tag eine kleine Wanderung zum "Cat Cat Village", in dem noch Mitglieder verschiedener ethnischer Gruppen, wie zum Beispiel der "Red Dao" wohnen. Wie wir aber bereits bei unsere Ankunft feststellen mussten, hat der Tourismus hier mittlerweile die Oberhand und so belagern einen die Stammes-Frauen bereits auf dem Weg zum Dorf und wollen etwas verkaufen. Und auch am Eingang des Dorfes angekommen, wird Eintritt verlangtes, ein großes Schild mit der Aufschrift 'Tourism Area' steht zur Begrüßung aufgestellt und es reihen sich die Verkaufsstände aneinander. So wirklich einladend war dass nicht, sondern hat uns eher abgeschreckt. Der Tourismus hat eben auch seine Schattenseiten und nimmt diesem wahnsinnig schönen Land an einigen Stellen den Charme. Wir entschieden uns gegen einen Besuch im Dorf und schauten uns lieber so noch etwas in der Umgebung um. Auch am dritten Tag und damit unserem Abreisetag, unternahmen wir noch eine kleinere Tour zum Abfahrtsort der "Fansipan Legend"-Seilbahn, da dieser auch etwas höher gelegen ist. Die Fahrt mit der Seilbahn fiel allerdings aus, da es auch auf dem, mit 3143m, höchsten Berg Vietnams regnete und man aufgrund der Wolkendecke keine frei Sicht hatte. Da hätten sich die 60 Dollar pro Person auch nicht gelohnt! 🤑
    Also ging es im Anschluss zurück und ab in den Minibus, der uns zurück nach Lao Cai brachte, wo wir in den Sleeper-Bus umstiegen, der uns nach "Halong" bringen sollte. Damit waren die Tage in Sa Pa leider nicht wie erwartet, sondern kalt, nass und ungemütlich. Wenigstens haben wir unsere Regenjacken somit nicht um sonst mitgenommen. Nur an langen und warmen Klamotten fehlte es tatsächlich, somit half nur ein mehrteiliges Schichtsystem. 😅
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  • Day82

    Sapa ist so schön ☀️

    January 25 in Vietnam

    Eigentlich hatten wir Sapa zu Beginn unserer Reise durch Vietnam geplant - aber da dass Wetter zu diesem Zeitpunkt sehr schlecht war, haben wir die Tour verschoben. 😊

    Und das hat sich absolut gelohnt - wir haben nun das allerschönste Wetter in Sapa erwischt! 💗

    Wir sind von Can Tho nach Ho Chi Minh City gefahren🚗 , von Ho Chi Minh City nach Hanoi geflogen ✈ und von Hanoi mit dem Nachtbus nach Sapa gefahren 🚐 (volles Programm 😁....).

    Es war ein sehr langer Tag und wir waren fast 24h unterwegs - aber es lief alles ganz reibungslos. 👍

    An nächsten Tag haben wir mit einem Guide (wieder ganz alleine 👍) eine Trekking Tour durch Sapa - Suoi Ho - Matra - Ta Phin gemacht. 🌿

    13km sind wir gelaufen und sind an Dörfern, Reisfeldern, Bergen und jede Menge Tieren vorbei gelaufen. 🏡🏔🐂

    Es ist so bewundernswert wie traditionell und mit wenigen Mitteln in den Dörfern gelebt wird - was die Menschen hier täglich bewältigen müssen, unvorstellbar!

    Trotzdem sahen die Bewohner glücklich und zufrieden aus - und sie waren so so herzlich. 🙏

    Es war so schön zu sehen, wie die Kinder in der Natur spielen (ohne Smartphone & Co.). 💗

    Die Kinder sind einfach zuckersüß und die Landschaften hier ein Traum! 😍
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  • Day83

    Heute haben wir nochmals eine Trekking Tour gemacht und sind an Teeplantagen, Reisfeldern und zwei Wasserfällen vorbei gelaufen.

    Es war wieder einmal traumhaft schön! 💗

    Nach 2 Tagen Trekking liegen wir nun beide mit Muskelkater im Bett. 😁

    Gute Nacht ihr Lieben! ✨

You might also know this place by the following names:

Tỉnh Lào Cai, Tinh Lao Cai

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