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Tuesday 8 Apr 2003
Sapa, Vietnam

More Boy-racer antics

Took the moto again today for the bargain price of 4 dollars with petrol! This time I went south to visit the Zao and Tay people!

Some parts of the road were so impassible that I had to get a few local tribal kids to help me lift it across gaps in the road.. for a fee of course! Doh!

After driving around (and transporting local villagers plus kids around on the back seat! for FREE I might add!) for hours I finally made it to the Tay village of Ban Nho where a pretty little waterfall formed the base of a large river (full of kids swimming). All the women here were picking up rocks in buckets from the river and bringing them back to the quarry... some pretty damn hard work by the looks of it... I tried to be inconspicuous about taking photos but (as with all tribal people) they are VERY camera shy! Basically if you want to take the picture of a tribal person you can just jump in front of them and take a snap because if you ask their permission they will refuse flatly. Im a selfish git, but hell its their fault for looking so photogenic

Ive decided to book one of these Sapa treks today (although I DID notice everyone eyeing me enviously as I speeded on down the track, while they were stuck on the old sore feet - I reckon there will be a load of people tomorrow hiring bikes!). The trek is a walking tour of the villages (essentially what Ive been doing on the bike) but with the added bonus that you can stay the night with a local family!

The trek starts tommorrow and finishes on Thursday. Ive made sure to head to some of the villages that cannot be reached by motorbike including the very secluded Xaon people. The Hmong people get a bit on your nerves after a while since they are constantly trying to hawk their goods (and their phlegm) at you from Shirts to Ganja while you do your best to take photos of the scenery!

Im back to Hanoi on Friday so youll hear from me then.

Than Bia!

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