Shepherd Entertainment takes you on a tour of Sapa in Vietnam, the biggest city of the mountains along the Chinese border.
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Sapa is the biggest city of the mountains along the Chinese border. Vietnam rise in the east side of the Indo-China Peninsula. Its shaped is like a lengthened X, the local people see it as a reclining dragon. The country is boarded by China, Laos and Cambodia from the land and Sian Bay, South China Sea and Tonkin Bay from the sea. The land of various surfaces can be divided into five regions. The Delta or the Red River originating in China, which is a 3,000 square kilometer, triangular in shaped plain. The north highlands, with various sized mountains and highlands in the highest peak of Vietnam, Fan Si Pan, the middle highlands, the lower ranges of which are covered by jungle, the . The fertile Mekong Delta, the area of which is 13 times as big as the Delta of the Red River and the narrow coastal plain.
Now, the rivers and on the plains rice is grown, but other agricultural work is also done here. The most under populated area is the central mountain range covered by jungle. The density of population in the two big cities is quite high, with the industry of the country concentrated here. The mountain range on the north-west part of Vietnam is famous for the mountain tribes living here. Among others Hmongs and Daos, who are easily identified by their colorful costumes and unique jewels.
Many people come here to climb the highest peak of the country. Two Hungarian climbers had shared their experience with the readers on the internet. Fan Si Pan with its 3133 meters is the highest peak in Vietnam. It can be climbed from Sapa, which is a small town in the mountain, near the border of Laos. It's inhabited mainly by tribes dominated by Hmongs and Daos.
Everything got off to a good start. We arrived from Hanoi on a night train, from here we went on by bus to Sapa. The sky was clear, the countryside was beautiful and we didn’t have to bargain with the bus driver as the price of the ticket was acceptable. In the afternoon, we stated to organize the trip. According to our information, we could hire a guy for $6-$7 a day. We thought we would ask neither for a porter or accommodation, we would take tin food and sleep on a tent. But at the travel agency, there is a routine that is for $75 they take you buy jeep to the gate of the mountain, the past, from where you can walk up to the shelter, they bring you luggage, give you hot food and drink. Then the next day, you can climb the peak. Then they’ll furnish the shelter and back home. Instead of this, we went to the nearest village to find somebody who is willing to guide us to the peak. We were able to make an arrangement with somebody. In the morning, we have to arrange some documents, admission tickets to the National Park, and insurance. About half past nine, we’ve left to the Pass. It was spitting with rain but it wasn’t very cold and there was very little fog. We’ve covered the first 10-yard kilometers on the concrete road to the Pass where the gate of the mountain stood.
Meanwhile, we took pleasure in the view, although it was raining more and more heavily. Near the Pass, we admired the silver waterfall. The gate of the mountain was made of wood and there was a building, where one of the workers of the National Park checked our documents, wishing us a good trip, he cleared the way for us. By this time, it was pouring down and fog descended, where we ran into the cloud, anyway, we couldn’t see each.
Whether we visit the Dragon’s Landing Bay or climb Fan Si Pan, or admire the patties of the silver waterfall, we’d like the weather to be clear an pleasant, especially we want to take photograph and video. So it's very important to choose the best time to travel to Vietnam.
In Europe, those who can afford it, go on holiday at least twice a year, and if they don’t like Winter Sports, they escape from the rough European Winter.
In Indo-China the weather is the best at the time when it's the worst in the continent. There's tropical monsoon climate here, meaning that only two seasons alternate each other. In the summer months, it's unpleasantly hot and there's a lot of rain, it rains almost everyday. It's hot in winter too, but the weather is more pleasant and drier. As the embassy they say, as a matter of fact, there's no good or bad to visit Vietnam, when one region is soaked by rain and it's cold or invariably hot. In the other regions of the country, the sun shines nicely. In the southern part of the country, two seasons can be distinguished, the rainy season last for May to November, the dry season, last from December to April. In the middle regions of the country, the weather is dry from May to October, and rainy from December to April. The weather in the mountains is somewhat cooler. At night, the temperature may fall below zero. In the north, cool and wet winters alternate with hot summers.
Vietnamese cities are carries to rise by the narrow high buildings painted in various pastel colors. The simple facades in various streets are called Neo-Greek by architects. And we can truly recognize a look of streets in Athens. However, they weren’t created to be similar, but of an economic necessity. The price of property here is relatively high, which why these houses have a small bound space and are expanded upwards.
In Vietnam, several Christian churches can be found even in small country towns. Giao Phan is the heritage of the French colonial past.
The City Sapa, just like Chiang Mai in Thailand, is known for its night markets. From evening to dawn, the streets and squares turn into a huge marketplace, where we can buy incredible things. Because China is so close, we can find goods common at the Chinese markets, like electronical appliances, clothes or shoes. Those who want to climb mountains or hike can buy sleeping bags, hiking boots, Wellingtons, tents, Mackintosh, juror’s stick, but second hand military equipment can also be bought.
We should concentrate on the carvings, embroidery, goldsmiths work in pottery of the local mountain tribes, instead of the goods available all over the world. Their consumer goods and ornaments don’t get of either the country of the province, so they can be bought here only. Chinese tin food, spices, soup powder, fresh vegetables, fruit, and sweets are sold here.
Like in the house in Thailand, here to we can find brandy with a snake in the bottle. Asian people think this drink has curative powers. There are also versions of the scorpion or a caveman, ginseng root or sewed can be found, the silver waterfall in Vietnamese, Thac Bac can be approached from Sapa. We can get here by asphalt road, on foot, or by taxi. But there are also hikes, which include the price of the admission tickets organized by travel agencies. From here, we can climb Fan Si Pan but we have to hire a local guy and devote at least three or four days.
Average tourists are eager to know the members of the mountain tribes. We can buy some really beautiful of craftsman and have our pictures taken with them. Thy glad they show us how they make and embroider their table cloths, clothes, caps, and bags. We couldn’t take a more unique souvenir for those at home and we can show in the photo fest some videos how and where they were made.
Hoang Lien, the nature reservation is a visitor center. Some tribes who have been here are the relatives of Karen and Mayo’s of North Ireland. Hamongs can be identified by their blue clothes, joust by their shaped foreheads. Yaos live in South China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, about 50 to 60 thousand of them. They're the traders of the mountains and their habits show Chinese influence. Most tribes are of Tibet in origins, which ancestors left the country for religious or political reasons, and settled down in the neighboring countries, where they mix with the people living there, mainly with the children of other mountain tribes.
Some ethnical groups are a mystery, even from anthropologists. They used to live mainly from agriculture and they often open. As a result of their so-called clearing-burning agriculture, they migrated from their habitation every 8-10 years. Today, there are more craftsmen and traders among them than farmers. And more and more people can live from curious tourists.
Water buffalos are muscular and shiny black. Farmers wear the same cone-shaped raffia hats as their ancestors. Bamboo huts are shaded by palm trees and it's impossible to describe the colors of the sunset. The exoticism of the east walks through everything, so it's impossible to take a bad photo.
The tribes direct the water of the mountain springs in bamboo pipes down to their huts, standing on poles, which are equipped with all modern conveniences. The water of the river is ice cold but clean and is suitable for drinking, cooking, and washing.
The fish from the fast flowing rivers are the prey of the male members of the tribes. The mountains provide the local people not only with fruit and mushrooms, but also firewood.