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My Thoughts on Sapa, Vietnam

My Thoughts on Sapa, Vietnam

December 2019 · 2 min read

The town of Sapa can be described as a mountainous village in the northwest region of Vietnam’s Hoang Lien Son mountain range. It’s a very remote region best known for its beautiful scenery and unbelievable rice terraces carved into the steep slopes of the Hoang Lien Son mountainous region. About 5,000 meters above sea level, the clouds give the town a grayish tinge as the mountains penetrate the tops of their formation.

Sapa has undergone serious transformation the last 15-20 years, becoming quite commercialized, especially in the town center. It probably was once a small mountainous village, but as more and more tourists began to travel to Vietnam’s remote regions to explore its picturesque beauty, the town transformed following the trends of time.

The small villages throughout Sapa still have the real feel of Vietnam, but the main town area has been completely altered to meet the demands of the high volumes of tourism. Today, this area, in my opinion, can be depicted as a serious tourist trap. Not my kind of scene.

The smaller, quant villages is where the real funk lies. Commercialization and urbanization in a country like Vietnam is not necessarily a bad thing, but for travels sake, it kind of takes away from the underlying authenticity which a traveler expects.

Hanoi was the real deal. Haircuts on the street, preparing food and washing dishes in tubberware containers, motor bikes with a weeks worth of supplies bundled up and strapped on with ropes. That’s the kind of cultural purity that really puts things into perspective. You don’t see that type of stuff where I come from.

Hanoi would definitely be a place I go back to. You could spend months and months there and still see something new everyday. However, 30 days would be the maximum allowable time I could spend there because of visa restrictions. I thought coming to Sapa would be a lot different. Hopefully escaping the capital region will make me feel a bit different about Sapa. Today, our plan is to rent motor bikes and explore the remoteness and authenticity of the village life of indigenous locals.

Stay tuned for more from today’s excursions 📍🇻🇳

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