dinsdag 6 november 2012

Sapa


    Despite its commercialization during the last decade, Sapa is still a must-see on any northern Vietnam itinerary. On a clear day you will treated to views of steeply terraced rice fields, towering verdant ridgelines, ethnic minority villages, raging rivers and astounding waterfalls.
    Nestled high in the Tonkinese Alps near the Chinese border, Sapa was built as a French hill station to serve as a respite from stifling Hanoi summers. These days, weekends are still the biggest draw in this bustling small town. Visitors from the capital flock to Sapa for a glimpse of the famed Saturday night "Love Market", treks to local hill tribe villages, or an ascent of Vietnam's highest peak, Mount Fanxipan.
    Some eight ethnic groups inhabit Lao Cai province: Hmong, Dao, White Thai, Giay, Tay, Muong, Hao and Xa Pho. The most prominent in town are the Red Dao, easily identified by the coin-dangling red headdresses and intricately embroidered waistcoats worn by the women; and the Black Hmong, distinguished by their somewhat less elaborately embroidered royal blue attire. Many of the locals that frequent Sapa - especially the women and children - can speak surprisingly good English and are incredibly friendly. One to four-day treks are offered by several outfitters. Guests usaully sleep in the traditiaonal village homestays. [source: footprintsvietnam.com]

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