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Venturing Into The Heart of Sapa’s Village Life: A Change in Perspective

Venturing Into The Heart of Sapa’s Village Life: A Change in Perspective

December 2019 · 2 min read

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Rented a motorbike yesterday and took some ventures into some of Sapa’s smaller, more rural villages. It was nice getting outside of the city center, venturing a ways into some of the remote areas, where in the city, you would never see the types of things we saw. Bamboo huts with tarp overlays on the sides of winding roadways, rice terraces carved into the slopes of mountains, and farmers hard at work in the fields from sun up until sun down. This is real life in rural Vietnam.

Upon arrival in Sapa, it has been very evident the uncanny amount of construction taking place here. It’s as if the area still wants to retain its primitiveness, but at the same time, build things up in order to catch up with the current times. The high demand for construction taking place goes to show how much tourism can alter a once remote and rural mountainous village. As mentioned before, not necessarily a bad thing, but this place kind of reminds me of Santorini, Greece. The island once had a local feel, but with an undertaking of tourism came a massive uptick in commercialization. Last year, when I was in Greece, a local said to me,

“Santorini is no more. The island has been ruined for good.”

Sapa, in my opinion, has a very similar feel. Renting a motor bike, however, allowed us to escape this feel and experience the hardships of what Northern Vietnam’s mountainous village life is all about. It’s tough to see being from such a privileged country, but this enables a whole new perspective to form.

The village life was real. Just like the city life in Hanoi we experienced. Although very different in nature, the lifestyles in each place are on a, ‘by any means necessary’ basis. Anything to do to survive and make a living; this is the way of life for many in Vietnam.

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