A Typical Vietnamese Village   Leave a comment

First day in Vietnam.  It’s funny my immediate thoughts were of the Vietnam war with American as I crossed the border which incidently was a bridge.  One side was Chinese passport control the other Vietnam.  It was like some prisoner exchange from a Bond film.  First activity in the new country was a trek from the outskirts of a village called Sapa. Due to the amount of recent rain fall what should, technically, have been a simple trek became a little more challenging.  There was so much mud and water on the paths!  The landscape was spectacular though.  Like the Lake District on steroids.  It did make me quite homesick.   What was interesting out in the sticks was how poor the average Vietnamese person is.  We were greeted by smiling, but grubby, kids who waved and wanted our empty plastic water bottles.  Adults in rags in the fields harvesting rice and old ladies selling postcards and embroidery.  One lady told me she was 45 years old.  It was either poor English from her or she had done way too many papers rounds.   One village, we passed, through had 7 mobile phone shops, just like a UK high street.  I’ve attached a walk through of the village on video on this post to illustate a typical village.  The last hour of our trek was in a downpour, just to compound the terrain problem.   The beer at the homestead and amazing meal soon made the trek worth it though.  Getting my walking boots off and flip flops on was blissful.  We slept in the loft at the  homestead on mattress, on the floor, underneath mosquitonets.  I slept well that night.  Next morning, after a breakfast of pancakes, we climbed for a couple our hours out of the valley to meet our mini bus back to the Sapa.  I don’t want to be to graphic, but I have never sweated so much as I did on that climb.  It was very very uncomfortable in the heat and the humidity.  It was also an excercise in water conservation.  After a clean up back at the hotel it was off to Hanoi……  Click here to load the video walk through it may take a while to load so open in a new tab and it to load. 

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

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Posted 17/10/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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