First Moments in SAPA…
Category : Vietnam
The first moments of SAPA were actually very interesting (now a little comical). We arrived in town around 3:30am but were able to stay in the bus a while longer due the fact a trekking guide for some other people on the bus was running late. It was very foggy, dark, and cold. Here we saw through the fogged windows there were many colorfully dressed women who a lot of them had young children strapped to their backs. The first thought in our minds “what the heck are they doing here alone with the little babies in the middle of the night??” They didn’t smile they looked cold and kind of pissed off (we would be pissed of too if we would have to wait in a freezing cold for an extra couple of hours for tourist to get out of the bus LOL). We looked at each other with very confused and concerned expressions. So we just lay back down inconspicuously and waited as well. Later the driver announced that it was time to exit the bus. They came surrounding the bus jumping, and peaking back through the window at us. This was exciting and scary at the same time and almost felt like it was going to turn into a scary movie. We were sitting in the way back, so we made sure we will take our time to get out of the bus this way we can let everyone else let be the first victims (LOL).
As soon as the front bus doors opened they had a big smile on their faces, were yelling “Hello,” “Trekking?” “Home-stay?” and surrounded everyone like a swarm of bees looking for honey. We assumed then that they were some of local Hill Tribe ladies that we read about who are offering trekking tours and home-stays at their villages. It was very overwhelming at first, which made us a little resistant and uncomfortable. Two of them were very sweet and nice and had great smiles. We had an instant connection with them so they marked us with handmade bracelets and told us that these will let other tribe women know that we already have been taken. We had the first night booked already so we took a picture with them so we could remember who they are (yes we actually took a picture ! Women from the same tribes look exactly the same LOL) and would find them later if we will decide to have a trekking/home-stay experience with them. We said our good-byes and headed to our Hotel. Now as we look back we both agree that entering SAPA was one of the more unique introductions entering a town that we have had.