From Sapa to Bac Ha

The train for Lao Cai starts at 10.00 p.m. and takes all the night to make 340 km. The rails follow the Red river and go up and down through beautiful valleys. The train go very slowly, maybe too slowly. This is the region of "montagnards", the name comes from the French domination but it is still in use for more than 50 ethnic groups living on the North Mountains close to China and Laos. Vietnamese people don't like montagnards for their old alliance with French and then Americans, that's why they are called "moi" which means savage. From Lao Cai we went to Sapa. This is the area where you can find the best markets all over Vietnam. The scene is really great, green mountains, and flowered among famous for its beautiful clothes. Women have clothes with vivid colors and silver rings and bracelets. Men and Women are very small. They are very hospitable and they will invite you to see their house maybe it's an excuse to sell you something but it's ok.

The train for Lao Cai starts at 10.00 p.m. and takes all the night to make 340 km. The rails follow the Red river and go up and down through beautiful valleys. The train go very slowly, maybe too slowly. This is the region of “montagnards”, the name comes from the French domination but it is still in use for more than 50 ethnic groups living on the North Mountains close to China and Laos. Vietnamese people don’t like montagnards for their old alliance with French and then Americans, that’s why they are called “moi” which means savage. From Lao Cai we went to Sapa. This is the area where you can find the best markets all over Vietnam. The scene is really great, green mountains, and flowered among famous for its beautiful clothes. Women have clothes with vivid colors and silver rings and bracelets. Men and Women are very small. They are very hospitable and they will invite you to see their house maybe it’s an excuse to sell you something but it’s ok.

In Sapa we rent a motorbike to reach Bac Ha. It’s hard but also one of the best experience in Vietnam. The pictures show our trip from Sapa to Bac Ha but you have to make the trip to feel and live wonderful emotions. The Sunday market in Bac Ha is the most important of the area. Bac Ha has one of the most interesting ethnic markets in Vietnam and possibly everywhere in South East Asia. It is the occasion for the various local ethnical groups to gather in huge crowds to exchange the last news, gossip, shop, and eat a copious lunch of course pho bo a typical Vietnamese soup. There is a sea of color, everyone seemed excited. Discussion for a good price is a habit…I “fought” a lot…Absolutely when in Vietnam don’t miss this region.

The best time to visit is spring. The weather in winter can be cold and foggy in Sapa, with temperature occasionally below freezing. Summers can be very rainy. Sapa is quieter and cheaper during the week, as during the weekend (Friday and Saturday night) a lot of tourists are coming from Hanoi to visit the Saturday market. The markets in Bac Ha have are less visited by tourists and more colorful.

The most convenient (and possibly cheap) way to visit Sapa is to book a tour in Hanoi for lazy guys. If you prefer to travel independently like me, this is quite easy. Lao Cai is 330 km from Hanoi. The trip on a bus takes 13 hours. There is a train which runs three times a day between Hanoi and Lao Cai in 10 hours, and which is a better solution, especially if you can save time by taking an overnight sleeper. Hard sleepers or Soft sleepers as you prefer.
From Lao Cai, it is 38 km to Sapa. The trip can be done on a public bus (if you are able to take it because they prefer that travelers take shuttle so they pay more), or on shuttle. From Sapa, it is 93 km to Bac Ha A mini-bus does the trip between Sapa and Bac Ha daily. The trip takes 3 hours and costs. It is possible to visit Bac Ha as a day trip while being based in Sapa, or reciprocally. We did the trip by motorbike a wonderful and broken-back experience. There are lots of hotels in Sapa (average price $10). Bac Ha isn’t as developed as Sapa.

written by -a-l-b-e-r-t-o- on 2008-04-27 in #world #locations #colorful-clothes #mountain #nature #market

More Interesting Articles

  • London Fashion Weekend

    written by blondielocks on 2014-10-13 in #world #locations
    London Fashion Weekend

    Vodafone Fashion Weekend in London is the must-go-to event for all fashion lovers in September. There are fashion shows on the catwalk, talks with industry professionals, shopping (anything from bags to clothes to necklaces), and, if you so wish, you can even get your hair done at a very low price on the day. It's the complete TLC package in one event.

  • Two Days and One Night in Vibrant Sapa

    written by choidaehan on 2015-05-13 in #world #lifestyle #locations
    Two Days and One Night in Vibrant Sapa

    For three months last year, I traveled to 11 cities of eight Southeast Asian countries. My first destination from my hometown of Seoul was Vietnam. After 10 days in Hanoi, I joined a group tour to Sapa, an area known for its hill tribes. This is a photo story of my two days and one night in this remote but vibrant place.

    1
  • LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    Are you ready for an adrenaline rush? A little while ago, we teamed up with the snowboard and film-making collective Yougofirst and gave them a LomoKino and some film rolls to play with. After a season of crazy riding, jumps and tricks, they have finished their latest movie HETEROTOPIA which features footage shot with our 35mm movie-maker. We had the chance to catch up with Vid and Matic from the collective about the new movie and their experiences shooting analogue on the slopes. It's also our pleasure to showcase the movie here!

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • LomoAmigos: The Ting Tings Go Analogue!

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-09-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos: The Ting Tings Go Analogue!

    The Ting Tings are a musical duo from Manchester who have more pop hits than you can shake a stick at. They are most famous for their 2008 hit "That's Not My Name" which got even the stiffest of people shaking in their seats. The Ting Tings are back with a brand new album called Super Critical. They are big film fanatics (check out their website for proof) so we gave them a Sprocket Rocket Camera and a bunch of film to document their life in sunny IBIZA.

  • A Culture Trip with the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-26 in #gear #lifestyle
    A Culture Trip with the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens

    The Minitar-1 has really been everywhere - from theme parks to theaters and mountain tops to historic sites. It is definitely one adventurous cultural explorer!

  • The NYC Sardina Art Hunter Exhibit Grand Opening

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-08-07 in #events
    The NYC Sardina Art Hunter Exhibit Grand Opening

    We asked some of New York’s hottest designers to lend their talent in designing some of our La Sardina DIY cameras, and we are very excited to share their masterpieces with you. Join us and see their reimagined La Sardinas along with the photos that they shot using the fun, easy-to-use cameras.

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • Photo Stories: Buddhist Monk by khunkrabi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-10 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Buddhist Monk by khunkrabi

    In addition to its beautiful natural landscapes and exotic vibe that draws tourists from all over the globe, Laos, largely a Buddhist country, is also home to a remarkable sight not seen just anywhere else in the world. Lomographer khunkrabi recalls his experience.

    1
  • The Supercraft Ladies Design Their Own La Sardina DIY

    written by zonderbar on 2014-08-13 in #people #lomoamigos
    The Supercraft Ladies Design Their Own La Sardina DIY

    If you love to craft or design things yourself, you can draw a lot of inspiration from these two creative women. You may have already stumbled upon Sophie and Catharina on the web, be it at hello handmade, workisnotajob, superwork, supercraft or their youngest project, lemon books.

  • Lomopedia: Praktica MTL 3

    written by cheeo on 2014-09-08 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Praktica MTL 3

    Built tough and shoots well, the Praktica MTL 3 is the camera of choice for photographers who are rough on their gear and who expect nothing less than reliable when it comes to SLRs.

    4
  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Station Noir: Black and White Photography in the Summer

    written by melwyn on 2014-08-29 in #lifestyle
    Station Noir: Black and White Photography in the Summer

    Summer is full of color so using black and white film might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet the summer sun works out beautifully on black and white film. Like to give it a try? I've come across the best light at the train station during rush hour!

  • Teufelsberg: The Architecture of Espionage

    written by wil6ka on 2015-03-04 in #world #locations
    Teufelsberg: The Architecture of Espionage

    The spying globes on Teufelsberg are the not-so-secret insider tip for Berlin’s urban ruins and interesting freak show architecture. Even if you’re reluctant, one thing's for sure: the “Devil’s Mountain” is just plain awesome. The torn-up globe structures of the former military territory are just waiting to be conquered by lomographers… so what are you waiting for?

    14
  • Introducing Ondu Handcrafted Pinhole Cameras - Where Superb Craftsmanship and Creative Photography Meet

    written by shhquiet on 2014-11-25 in #news
    Introducing Ondu Handcrafted Pinhole Cameras - Where Superb Craftsmanship and Creative Photography Meet

    We are incredibly excited to announce that the range of Ondu Pinhole Cameras is now available in the Lomography Online Shop! Right in time for the holiday season, these beautifully handcrafted pinhole cameras come in a wide selection — from pocket size to large format — and are made from premium carpentry quality wood.