Let me start by telling you about the train to Sapa in whatever deluxe version cabin they decided to put me in after having overbooked the earlier train.
I was on a 2nd class train from HCMC and that was pretty bad. On this one it was absolute lush!!! Slept so well, so much space, treats available, wow! I don’t usually brag about stuff like 1st class transport but after an awful night on a 2nd class cabin and a good one in a deluxe cabin… trust me, it’s worth the money.
I also met Thaddaios & Benazir Yianni and Steve and we all just chatted till 12am, which was probably not wise on my part considering I had a 3 day trek to do as soon as I arrived, so it’s a good thing I slept like a baby.
Thad and Benny are from the UK (with a variety of backgrounds that they told me about and I forgot), and have been travelling since May. Benny works for the NHS (long live the NHS > national health service in the UK) and Thad works in music production. It was so good to hear about the experiences and the places they’ve been to and what they’re up to next. It made me realise I really need to take more time to travel. Thank you so much for listening to me talking for hours about how much I love my job and just other random stuff. (I talk too much, I know).
I arrived in Lao Cai and was picked up by Sapa OChau and began my 3day trek. It was one of the best experiences of my life, all described here.
After coming back from the trek I only really had one day to explore the city. I changed my hostel last minute to the Sapa Capsule and that was a very good shout.
That night I went for a massage (my legs were not happy bunnies) and had some delicious food.
The next morning I walked around in town. Honestly I’m starting to think I need to move to a mountain village. I feel so at home in places like Sapa. The same way I felt at home in Queenstown (NZ) or Zurich (Switzerland).
Not a lot to report, the majority of my days were spent trekking those beautiful mountains, however, one person I did not mention on my Mai’s blog post was Ismael.
Ismael is an amazing 71 year old man from Israel. He has 4 children and 13 grandchildren and usually travels for 3-4 months before returning home. His wife stays at home since she doesn’t like to be away from her grandchildren for more than 10 days. I think what impressed me the most was how funny Ismael was and how he ensures he stays active even after 65! I mean… he was up in the mountains hiking away and probably did better that I did! Ismael… thank you for sharing your stories, your smile and for showing me that realistically age does not matter!