A Travellerspoint blog


Sapa to Dien Bein Phu-Vietnam Days 69-70

War is bad

sunny 35 °C

Well spent most of yesterday (4/10) on a bus from Sapa to my current destination Dien Bein Phu,the bus was packed with locals and and they goods literally jammed in like sardines,the route crossed the highest road in Vietnam then dropped back into the valley and we basically followed a couple of rivers for a while before crossing another mountain pass before once again dropping into the valley to Dien Bein Phu

Glad I took a bus in the daylight to do the trip,we were truly in rural Vietnam,small villages and there inhabitants going about there day to day life,pulled up few times and the look on some people's faces when a westerner jumped off the bus was pretty funny,got asked to have my photo taken a few times and also again today,must be getting off the backpacker loop a bit ,been a struggle to find English speaking people,so have been using the phone and Google Translator quite a bit !!

Dien Bein Phil is quite important to the people of Vietnam ??,as below.
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the decisive engagement in the first Indochina War (1946–54). After French forces occupied the Dien Bien Phu valley in late 1953, Viet Minh commander Vo Nguyen Giap amassed troops and placed heavy artillery in caves of the mountains overlooking the French camp. Boosted by Chinese aid, Giap mounted assaults on the opposition’s strong points beginning in March 1954, eliminating use of the French airfield. Viet Minh forces overran the base in early May, prompting the French government to seek an end to the fighting with the signing of the Geneva Accords of 1954.,the Geneva accord basically split Vietnam into North and South and this led to the Vietnam War which Australia got dragged into late

That is really short version,worth googling it to read a bit more,tomorrow bright and early catching another bus into Laos ??,so that is me done catch you in a couple of days when I find wifi again !!Weather is hot and humid must be mid 30's add the 76" humidity and feels well in the 40's

At the A1 hill which is one of spots where the Vietnamese dug in and today is a bit of museum,couple there getting wedding photos taken,thought that was strange as the scenery was not that nice !!

Posted by Richard Indo 02:13 Archived in Vietnam Tagged hot Comments (0)

Sapa Vietnam Days 64-68

Another day another umbrella

all seasons in one day

Well what to say,went on 2 day trek with some local ethnic people down into the bottom of the valley and back out the other side and the scenery was mind blowing,there are 5 ethnic groups around Sapa all wearing traditional clothing which adds to the experience

This part of Vietnam ?? has the highest mountain in Indochina, Fangispan at 3100 odd metres so the mountain ranges are all ways in the background and drop down to valley floor with much of mountain side terraced for rice and other crops and some strange herbs were growing wild !!

Got back from trekking late in the afternoon in the rain, and that was the way it stayed till late the following day,so have ended up staying a couple of extra days as there is cable car that takes you just about all the way to the summit of Fangispan ,this cable car is pretty unique in that it holds a couple of world records,the longest 3 cable type and also the longest of its type about 6 Km in length,once arrive at the top you need to climb up steep stairway to the summit and those 500 hundred stairs were hard,had to have few breaks

Today was easy day getting organised to move onto Dein Bien Phu which is close to the Laos border and is also where the French were defeated in 53 during the Vietnam revolution plan to spen a couple of nights there then cross into Laos,it is only a 250km trip tomorrow but is expected to take 8-10 hours,but as it is through the mountains the scenery should be good,catch you in few days

Posted by Richard Indo 02:22 Archived in Vietnam Tagged mountains Comments (0)

Sapa Day 62-63


all seasons in one day 33 °C

Well arrived in Sapa yesterday afternoon and spent what was left of the day wandering around and getting my bearings,luckily Sapa is quite small so it did'nt long

The beauty of Sapa and the local area is the scenery,located in a very mountainous area of Vietnam with mountains towering over terraces of rice and vegetables, Sapa it self is around 1500m above sea level with peaks near by rising to over 3500m

Today was another excursion on an underpowered scooter which must of been flogged consistently due to its life as a hire bike,but any way me and the bucket of bolts had a leisurely ride over Tran Tom Pass the highest road in Vietnam at 1900m this mountain is all so a divide for the weather,Sapa side cold and wet other side dryer and much hotter,stopping constantly to look at the water falls and vistas

Tomorrow of trekking for 2 days and 1 night,hope there are no hills involved,but don't like my chances ?

Posted by Richard Indo 03:21 Archived in Vietnam Tagged mountains Comments (0)

Halong Bay-Hanoi Days 57-61

Bloody Rain

all seasons in one day 36 °C

Well completed a 3 day /2 night trip to Halong Bay,got picked at Hotel by mini bus at 0700 and after the compulsory stop half way at a tourist shop for a rest break we arrive in Halong bay at 1230,then straight on the the boat the is home for the next few days the "Christina" boat was luxurious with terrific food and amenities

So we cruise out amongst the 1000's of of island with clear blue skies,not knowing what we to look ,the area is world heritage listed and understand why the scenery is amazing,visited some of the local villages which are basically little house all tied together and floating on drums,then that evening the weather changed

Got woken through the night to torrential rain and basically it continued to rain for the next 48 hours and didn't stop until I returned to Hanoi,the bay even when sunny was quite hazy and with the rain and low cloud it getting any decent pictures difficult

Spent another few days in Hanoi getting some paperwork sorted and trying find a new lense for the camera,which eventually did find and seems to be taking better shots but time will tell

Left Hanoi this morning for a 5 hour bus trip to Sapa which is north of Hanoi and is in the mountains,elevation around 1000m with some mountains close by over 3000m,plan to do some trekking and then into Laos

Posted by Richard Indo 01:33 Archived in Vietnam Tagged scenery Comments (0)

Hanoi- Day 48-56

Theses shoes were made for walking

sunny 33 °C

Well for the last week I have been in Hanoi in the old quarter and it is crazy,the traffic,the amount of people,the lack of road rules and so many other things

The weather has been hot and humid most days have been in the mid 30's with feel like temp of 41-43,so have been smashing down water like it's going out fashion,been averaging around 7 km each day walking around and site seeing,so today I have worn out my 2nd set of foot wear,hopefully will be able to get these flash leather Jesus sandles resoled!!

I have been based in what is refered to as the old quarter which is like a rabbit warren with little alleyways darting off every each way, all the streets and alleys are lined with little shops selling just about anything you could think of, some street blocks seem to have a theme such as they will all be selling shoes or paint,the one near my hotel sells pots and pans

Have enjoyed my stay here,some cheap food and cold beer but tomorrow bright and early I am off to Halong Bay for 3 days to do a boat tour

Posted by Richard Indo 02:23 Archived in Vietnam Tagged hot Comments (0)

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