*Meeting Glenn, who introduced us to the 'international local crew' and most importantly our first introduction to a BIA HOI CORNER - quite possibly the greatest ever idea.
*Walking the endless rice fields with H'mong ladies
*Bathing in the freezing waterfall
*Being constantly full from so much food - constant eating saying "one more, one more"
*Eating Chicken Blood - kind of like Jelly, with mint and some other ingredients
*Getting absolutely wasted with the local people on the last night, Alcohol definitely breaks down all language barriers- we where all singing and talking jibberish and passing out everywhere, (i was well passed out by 7.30pm)
PEOPLE TO REMEMBER – Glenn, Claudio, Yourn (Jon), Kate, Johnathan,
Staying 4 days / 3 nights with the local Black H’mong People. Beautiful and friendly – and extremely authentic.
Up in the mountainous hills, which allows for a forgotten cold air to descend upon you and a constant fog which is fresh and beautiful. Incredible rice fields as far as the eye can see! Local hill tribe members of both H’mong and Red Zao constantly approaching you with the phrase, “buy from me; buy from me, maybe later? Maybe later” Funny women, and a lot of fun to talk with. Don’t simply say no, I don’t want and definitely don’t say ‘maybe later’ – because they will find you!. Simply be honest and say, “I don’t want to buy, but I will have a chat with you”, - and for the most part they are happy to oblige and they are so much fun to chat and muck around with.
Went to the school and participated in a few simple classroom activities. Predominantly Hmong students who all simply want an education. School is very basic, with all participants, including Teachers volunteering their time.
One particular day, which was ‘Clean up the world Day’, we went around the Lao Chai Village and all the students got in with the teachers, and volunteers, and we picked up as much rubbish as possible. To be fair, it was nothing in the great scheme of things, but the important lessons, I believe will forever be instilled with these students, and even some of the villagers around that saw how hard, their children and cousins and fellow tribe members where working to clean up. Positive Day!
The swathe up: SAPA
Brilliant place, could be one of the best of the trip! Could not recommend Sa Pa anymore - to anyone who is interested in looking for a perfect mix of the comfortable laid back western life, or really get off the track, and live with the locals in there homes and participate in everyday life. DO IT!