Sapa, Vietnam 2013
It was an impulse decision by my dad and I to venture off into the mountains like this. Along with some uncles and cousins, we drove several hours north of Hanoi to a small town in the mountains named Sapa. The roads were not for the fainted hearts; they were long narrow 2-lane roads that wrapped the mountains like a snake, filled with semi-trucks weaving through.
We spent the several days days wandering through their small villages filled with endless rice terraces, teeming streams, and muddy trails. Sapa is known for its Hmong ethnic minorities, who have reside in this region of Vietnam for generations (in addition to parts of Laos and China). Most would walk over 10 miles from their homes in the mountains to come to town for work or sell handmade crafts in order to sustain themselves.
Life was… simpler here. I don’t know how to put it, but the village life was definitely enchanting and captivating. Perhaps in lieu of sitting through traffic and experience all of my first-world problems, I would rather lay on a water buffalo, tend my crops, and breathe in this mountain air everyday. Haha, this is all me speculating, of course, I’m sure they have their challenges and trials as well.
There wasn’t really any kind of special motivations to make this far trip to this small town. We just wanted to take a break from city life, thinking motorcycles, air pollution, people screaming on the streets… things like that. This trip about reconnecting with nature and learning about a simpler time in life.