Day 1 in Sapa: Dense fog covers the mountain village


I took the night bus from Hanoi to Sapa, together with some 30 Vietnamese, 12 hours. Left and right of the corridor stood each two daybeds that somewhat reminded me of dental chairs. After all “beds” were reserved, the remaining passengers took a seat on a small mattress on the floor. So I lay next to a nice Vietnamese woman (men and women were strictly separated, when they were not a couple), wrapped in a sleeping bag and didn’t bother me about on and off snapping of the light, the music or the conversations of the Vietnamese until late at night. No, I already got used to it. In this moment I realize that Vietnam has really hardened me. But I could not get used to the loudest snorer in the bus, lying just behind me. And so I haven’t slept a wink at night. But meanwhile, I even get along with lack of sleep quite well. Finally arrived in Sapa, I was curious if the rows of all travel reports were true: “Sapa- a must-see!”, “Great Landscapes!”, “Unique!” When I opened the balcony door of my hotel room, I was looking forward to a wonderful view of the mountains scenery. And guess what I saw was truly unique: A white blanket of fog covered the whole mountain village. I just saw my hand, but nothing more. Shortly thereafter, I walked to the Saturday market with a group of other tourists. On the way, I made the acquaintance of a 19-year-H’Mong girl carrying her baby on her back and she just walked two hours from her home village to the market. When I was about to buy something, suddenly there was a whole host of other H’Mong women of all ages around me and backed me up against a wall with their lifted goods. Now, I was really not able to negotiate anymore. So I bought a small bag from the young mother for too much money, but in return I got at least a friendship armband. Then I took the quickest way into the next best café to shake off the mob. Opposite the café the office of the tour operator Green Sapa was located. There, I booked a tour to Love Waterfall in the National Park and to Silver Waterfall via Xe Om. What melodious names! On the way to Love Waterfall we wandered over rough and smooth, and sometimes right through the water. On the way back to the village my driver and I have tried to catch up with the fog, unfortunately without success. Whenever I had used the camera and wanted to pull the trigger, the white bank of fog has pushed into the picture. I was hoping for better luck on day 2… Translated by Caterina