Our memorable day 1 exploration of Northern Vietnam ended with train ride to Lao Cai where we start our Day 2. We arrived into Lao Cai train station at 530 am. And we were met at the station by our friendly guide, whom is a local here in the area.
Lao Cai is a province of the mountainous region of Vietnam located at the border of the province of Yunnan in China. It is one of the two important cities within the province together with Sapa. Lao Cai is a well known key trading post which later become famous for its tourism.
We started the morning with breakfast in the restaurant just located next to the train station. Simple breakfast where we were given choices of Pho, pancakes or american fusion breakfast. As there were 6 of us, we had the opportunity to try all 3 type of breakfast as we had different preference for breakfast. A perfect way to start our adventure of the day.
After filling our stomach to our heart content, we head off to our first exploration of the day where our private can drove about 2 hours from Lao Cai to an area call Bac Ha.
Located about 76 km away, Bac Ha is a remote district in the Lao Cai province. Bac Ha is the capital of the region where Flower Hmong, one of the 54 minorities of Vietnam are located.
Our exploration started with the exploration of Bac Ha market, a colourful market that takes place every Sunday. Bac Ha Market is famous for its originality and authenticity of the traders that are still preserve. Here in this market, one can find almost everything. From fresh market selling fruits and vegetables to food and snacks of the minority ethnic to handicrafts and most interestingly, the sell of the live stocks i.e puppies and buffalo. This is also the place where local gathered and dressed in their costume. Indeed interesting and colourful.
After our exciting and education exploration of Bac Ha Market, we head off to our next stop, Ban Pho Village.
Located near the town of Bac Ha, Ban Pho Village is located on a mountain cliff. A fantastic place where lots of trekking is required, the village is located among the mountainous area. Ban Pho Village is famous for its ancient populations of Mongolia Bac Ha where most of the households in the area are from Mongolia.
We started with a hike up into Ban Pho Village where we are able to see the common livelihood of the villagers. To our delight, we were fortunate to be witness a group of youngsters playing in the village. An interesting game of kicking up the shuttlecock looking type of item and anyone who failed to kick it will be punished by the rest of the players. It is so entertaining to see how these kids of different age group are able to play so well together.
The hike around the village was indeed education as we are able to see the simple live of the villagers. And although they are lacking in material possessions, they are very hospitable and contented with their live. A truly eye opening experience for city folks like us.
A truly amazing morning exploration, we ended the activity for the day with a satisfying lunch before taking the slightly over an hour drive to Sapa.
Arriving into Sapa, we checked into our hotel, Sapa Highland Hotel, our home for the next 2 nights for our exploration of the Lao Cai and Sapa province. An early night for us after a good chinese dinner in Four Season Restaurant, since our sleep on the night train were an eventful one.
Stay tune for our Sapa exploration.
Our memorable holiday to Vietnam is arranged by the friendly and helpful team at Hanoi Boutique Hotel