Sapa// question for thursdaysd

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Hello thursdaysd: I noticed in another posting you mentioned visiting Sapa. Could you post some info about your trip there? Am interested in the trekking opportunities and the local/tribal markets. I am planning on visiting in 2013. I appreciate any advice you can give.

Sorry for the delay in replying, I don't check here every day.

First, the train trip up was almost the worst night train experience I've ever suffered through, and I've done over 40 nights. I was in a Livitrans compartment, but it was much noisier than the regular ones on the north-south routes.

Second, I was a bit unlucky with the weather, and didn't get a very good view of the mountains for most of the time. But when I did, it was great.

Third, the nights were COLD (I was there in February, 2011).

I went to the Sunday market at Bac Ha, and it was certainly interesting. I didn't do a lot of trekking, just through some of the villages, but if that's your main interest I'd say there would be plenty of opportunity, you just need to be clear with whatever agency you choose exactly what you want.

I booked through Tonkin Travel, but you don't really need to use an agency for the train and Sapa hotel. However, you will need a car and driver for getting around once you get to Sapa, and I think you will need a guide for trekking, so it's probably simpler to use an agency.

For my, alas, totally unedited photos, see - password vietnam, photos #35 - #289.

Sapa has been well and truly discovered, you might consider Mai Chau instead.