Back to the Motherland: Hiking Through Sapa

a landscape with a hill and trees


After another 4-5 hour drive back to Hanoi I was pretty tired, but we had booked a back-to-back excursion and headed straight to the train station to board an overnight train to Sapa which is in the mountains.  Based on reviews from Tripadvisor, we selected the Sapa Ly cabin and were pleased with the accommodations.  We had paid a little extra to book an entire 4-person cabin to ourselves and thought that it was money well spent rather than spending the night in bunk beds with two strangers.  The train station in Hanoi was a complete zoo, and I would recommend getting there at the last possible moment to avoid the crowds.  Also, be advised about scams where someone will just grab your luggage from you and “help” bring it to your cabin.  Once there, they will demand an ungodly amount of money for the 2 minutes of work.

I actually slept better than I expected on the train, and we arrived bright and early in the morning in Sapa.  From the train station to the main town is about an hour long drive through some pretty windy roads, and was a nauseating way to start the day.  But after we arrived and settled in, Sapa quickly became my favorite place on the entire trip.

Because we were in the mountainous region, there are a lot of cool hikes, and we did two different hikes over the next couple days.  Each day we had a different guide from one of the local Hmong tribes.  It was really refreshing to get out and walk around, and Sapa had some of the most picturesque views I’ve ever seen.  Overall, I would highly recommend this trip to anyone that visits Hanoi.  It’s actually very efficient to visit, since you end up spending a night on the overnight train each way there instead of staying in a hotel.

a high angle view of a valley
a group of lions lying on the grounda view of a landscape with trees
a group of people posing for a picture
a group of ducks in a puddle of water

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