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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Lao Cai, Vietnam

Mar 13, 2018 - Steven Day Two/Three

I can call it day two even though this is Friday morning here because we have a printed itinerary and I have notes! The problems blogging while traveling like this – moving every other day, visiting daily life of a sort and sites of local value with local guides – are two: we are seeing and experiencing so much most of our time and energy goes into that and in our free time we're eating meals or talking or sleeping or finding the usual ways to relax (books, showers, sitting in peace on an outside bench), and (2) the great thing about...

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Vietnam & Cambodia

Feb 14, 2015 - Saturday: A Village Market

Good Morning Vietnam! Alarm goes off at 6:45; I'm showered and ready for breakfast by 7:10 a.m. How about you? This is our last day to have access to Wifi for a while. This makes me nervous as I know catching up will likely be fraught with start-overs due to lack of good Internet. (Indeed that happened so many times.) Packed up and ready to go by 8:40 with our suitcases in the bus, we feel great. We are to pick up Ha once we are in Lao Cai, a 45 minute drive away. The twisty mountain roads take our breath away, literally. Ellery has...

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Feb 11, 2015 - Wednesday: From Hanoi to Lao Cai to Sapa

You know how when you do not get a good night's sleep and you feel like chicken feed all day? Well, that's how all three of us felt. We were worth nothing today. The train ride rocked us back and forth. That felt kind of good, but the train stops every so often and the conductor announces for the entire train's occupants to hear what the next stop is. That woke me up every time. It took me till one to fall asleep, and when the announcement for a town came at 3:15, it completely woke me. I was awake until the final call at 6 a.m. They expect...

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Dec 20, 2013 - Days 123 to 125 - China to Vietnam

After a couple of days stuck in Shangri-La due to the snow, I HAD to catch the night bus on Wednesday 18 December in order to be out of China before my visa expired. So, it was with not a little trepidation that I set out on the local bus to the main bus station in the early afternoon. Fortunately, the bus station was busy, which was a good sign. The time came to board the bus and I really didn't know what to expect. As I found out, Chinese sleeper buses have three rows of double bunk beds down the length of the bus and a couple across the...

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Jul 5, 2012 - Sapa

Immediately following my visit to Halong Bay I hopped on an overnight train to the city of Lao Cai, which lies directly on the Chinese border. From there I traveled 35 km (20 miles) by bus to the town of Sapa, Vietnam. Sapa is located almost 5,000 feet above sea level and serves as the hub for backpackers in the rugged hills of Northern Vietnam. There are numerous hiking trails in the area including a trek to Fansipan Mountain, which at more than 10,000 feet is the highest point in Vietnam. Because of the altitude, the temperature in Sapa...

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A Whole New World

Feb 21, 2012 - A Good Day in Hanoi

I woke up feeling pretty ill, so I finally gave in and took some pills. 2 extra hours of sleep later, and I was MUCH better. Wahoo! We did spend more time out it Hanoi today, and it was actually enjoyable. We did it all by foot, turning down many many offers of pedicabs and motorbike rides. Walking is much nicer! There were a lot of positives-- lunch at the Ladybird, where we shared a burger and grilled, pork-wrapped shrimp (delicious!); walking down specialty streets, some just with hardware shops, some just with frames, some with flowers,...

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Jan 8, 2012 - Muong Hum Market

We continued on to Ban Ho (Tay Village) where the Muong Hum Market is located in the Lai Chai province. This was the only day we had sun and a partial view of the sky and mountains. We never saw Fan Si Pan mountain. Our driver and translator conferred at length and decided we should stop and look at the view as it was probably going to be the best that could be had. One can see from my photo that during our time in north Vietnam we drove above, through and below the clouds. It is easy to understand why outfits are so colorful against the...

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Jan 7, 2012 - Cancau Market Lao Cai

The Can Cau Market in the northernmost part of Lao Cai Region was the most melodic and colorful of the markets we visited. Populated predominately by Flower Hmong, one wandered thru the China sourced ribbons, beads and textile pieces ready made for assembly for the colorful costumes the women wore. The intense concentration and care in piece selection told us this was a very important shopping day. It appeared that the outfits were pieced together mostly from mass produced product. The small individual touches made each outfit different and...

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Oct 7, 2010 - Sapa

Well it has been a few days since our last post and we have seen and traveled in Vietnam a fair bit. After our frist couple of days in Hanoi we made our way to Sapa, which involved an over night train and a bus to get there. We did manage to get a sleeper car for our train portion but as you can imagine it is not the most comfortable sleep imaginable. As with most of the beds we Vietnam we were not suprised to find that the beds were not at all soft. Tour operations in vietnam can sometimes be a unique blend of organized and fly by the seat...

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Aug 6, 2010 - Sapa, Vietnam

Back now in Sapa after the 3 day trek and I thought I'd cheer you up with a reply to all your emails earlier than you expected :-) Just had a much-needed shower and will hopefully be collected from this stunning(!) hotel for the bus journey back to the train station for the return train trip to back to Hanoi around 6pm I think. What a great few days! :-) Saw some amazing scenery and traditional mountain village life. Also met up with quite a few different nationalities. Really funny to think that I have been the only English native speaker...

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May 18, 2010 - Sapa

Jour 15 Nous arrivons à Lao Caï puis à Sapa au matin. Après avoir trouver notre chambre au 7ème étage d'un hôtel, nous visitons la ville, et son marché. Nous sommes enchantés par la vue de toutes ses rizières et de ce qu'ils appellent les "minorités ethniques" toutes vêtues de leurs habits traditionnels. Elles vous tiennent le bras et ne vous quittent plus de leur chant mélodieux : " by for me, by for me..." Cela pourrait être très épuisant mais elles ont tellement le sourire que cela reste charmant. Elles parlent un peu toutes les langues...

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Mar 8, 2010 - Sapa

Next we head further north up into the mountains above Hanoi. The night train is still unbelievably (albeit lightly) air conditioned even though the temperature has dropped to around 10 degrees. From Lao Cai we take a bus up the winding road to Sapa and the temperature drops even further. First stop in town is to find a room with a heater that actually works and buy some wooly hats and gloves to keep us warm. We had big plans to visit some of the local markets in the area and head out off the beaten track but our plans are foiled once more...

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Trip Journal


Team FroJo 2010

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