Well, when I first packed for this big chunk of travel in Southeast Asia, I didn’t anticipate trekking through the mountains of northern Vietnam in pouring rain and freezing temperatures…..but travel surprises happen! Thankfully fake North Face coats are available for about $15 USD here, so I remedied the situation quickly and am now fully prepared for the chilly weather.
On Tuesday, after a relaxed last few days in Chiang Mai, I flew to Vietnam to kick off my nearly three weeks of travel around the north of the country. After a day spent wandering through the vibrant but hectic city of Hanoi (dodging motorbikes left and right!) I hopped on a train north to the Sapa region, where I spent three days trekking through the mountains to small villages with an amazing guide named Li from the Black Hmong tribe.
Weaving in and out of hills of rice paddies under hazy mountains through remote villages, trekking in Sapa was a truly unforgettable experience. I know this sounds super geeky (hey, it’s me) but the setting reminded me of something out of a fantasy novel – we felt like the Fellowship of the Ring as they headed towards the Misty Mountains on some epic quest. Even though we had pretty terrible weather on the last day, my group and I still had a blast – it added to the adventure!
This week I’m heading out to explore more of northern Vietnam. The rain and cold continues, but I don’t mind. I’ve had such amazing luck with weather in my travels, I’m due a little gloom! It gives me an excuse to sit in Hanoi’s quirky cafes drinking yummy Vietnamese coffee all day.
Have a fantastic week!