Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sapa & Surrounding Hill Tribe Villages in Vietnam

Sapa is a little hillside village located in midst of the Hoang Lien Mountains of Vietnam, which border the north western frontier with China. It was founded by the French as a station to enhance the communication trough out the area, and thanks to that, it is easily accessible from Hanoi , Vietnam’s Capital, by an overnight train (approximately 9 hours).

Sapa has a French atmosphere clearly manifested in the urban architecture of the place. The town is completely tourist oriented but it is not artificially manufactured. Amongst the Occidentalized architecture of the hotels, restaurants and cafes, you’ll see lots of women elegantly dressed in hill tribe fashion speaking strange dialect and behaving as they always do, which means that Sapa has also a mixture of truly authentic hill tribe lifestyle. Sapa is the gateway to the many surrounding hill tribe villages of North Vietnam and the place to go if you’d like to experience their culture, traditions, behavior and way of life.
They get the benefit of your visit, you get the benefit of their willingness to open up and show you their existence; it is somewhat touristy but it is also a win-win situation, and the only possibility for this encounter to take place.