I’m a good sort of tired. I rode my third night train last night up to Sapa. It is the main tourist town in the north. Yet, it’s small and excellent. I’ve lucked out to blue skies in a place that I’ve been hearing for weeks is cold and wet. The main part of town is about three blocks long and it is swarming with women in traditional hill tribe dress trying to sell you crafts. But it’s not like the husstle of other places. I made friends with two different ladies. They are just super happy and positive people. It’s really nice. Of course their dress is awesome looking too. And the majority of them speak decent English which is a huge difference from the typical Vietnamese person that is trying to sell you something.
Everyone goes “trekking” here. Often times with home stays. Today, I pulled together my own most excellent hike by leaving the tourist path and going on my on through rice patties, along a beautiful river and past small communities. It was most excellent. And I saw no other tourists.
Tomorrow I really want to rent a moto and ride out to this other part of the country side. So that leaves the possibility of a home stay the night after if I still feel like being in Sapa. I did get invited to home stay with multiple of the nice women that I talked to today. And I was welcomed in to a very typical house on my hike. Dirt floors, no furniture, a big barrel of homebrew “beer” (it looked like something else). That would be a traditional home stay, and I’m not sure I really need to do that to grasp what poverty is. The home stays that tourists stay in are different, typically buildings built specifically for the purpose.