Welcome to another edition of ‘let’s look at green rice terraces’ . . . .
I make no apologies for my boundless delight in cataloguing the delights of Northern Vietnam. It really is some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen.
The endless rice fields are broken up by the occasional little hamlet with corrugated tin roofs and mud banked walls.
But even high in the hill of Sapa you can still hear to incessant, and annoying, drone and pop of the ubiquitous moped – the plague of Vietnam’s roads!
The fox sums it up – I really do feel lucky to be here and experiencing this wonderful country again.
A slightly nerve wracking river crossing to be negotiated just as the rain starts to fall . . .
We are going to stay overnight with a local family of the Dzay minority
We will be having a cooking class to learn how to cook some traditional Vietnamese food too.
We’re nearing the homestead just as the heavens really start to open!
After a good nights kip at the wonderful Sapa Vista Hotel we’re all set to start our two day trek into the rice terraces of Sapa.
I have been waiting for this moment for 10 years! Ever since I returned from my first trip to the south of Vietnam I have been a trifle obsessed with the verdant terraces of the North.
And here they are!! Every bit as amazing as I had hoped.
We start off in a group but then head off on our our with our diminutive local guide, who tells us her name is Cuckoo!!
She’s a tiny ball of energy, bouncing from rock to rock like a nimble mountain goat as we struggle to keep up!
Cuckoo is from one of the local hill tribes, as are most of the guides.
Meaning she has an impressive knowledge of the area, plus seems to know everyone we pass!
As we visited Sapa in late April, the rice planting is just starting, meaning that we didn’t get to see the fully green terraces.
But the vivid lime green areas you can see are where the tiny new rice shoots are starting to grow.
At this time of year the terraces are full of water, which when hit by the sun, are almost blinding. Hence their name ‘broken mirrors’
Tiny clusters of houses cling to the terraces, almost in the middle of nowhere and add to the charm of this amazing area.
We’re heading for our evening rest stop in a local hill tribe homestead. More to come!
I am finally dragged away from the fantastical Bac Ha market and we’re on our way to Sapa, our final destination for the day.
Enroute we visit one of the many traditional hill tribe villages to get a sense of what life is like in the green hills around Sapa.
This is Trung Do village of the Tay minority. Situated in the stunning verdant hills, it is a very simple, basic even, way of living.
The villagers main employment is farming and livestock and you can find animals everywhere! Many of which will end up at Bac Ha market.
The landscape in this rugged terrain is simply incredible. It’s one of the greenest places I have ever visited.
Here’s some very grainy footage of some of the amazing scenery as we wind our way upwards to Sapa.
We can already start to see the rice fields, laid out in little squares and terraces.
And a photo stop at a viewing platform gives me the first proper panorama of the rice terraces, something I have wanted to see for over a decade!
Absolutely amazing! And there will be LOTS more where that came from!
But for we now we can sit back and relax in Sapa with a cocktail and a view to treasure forever!!