Sapa – Local Life in the Countryside

After the ride on the night train, a chilli milli day in Sapa followed. The area is not very far away from China. During breakfast, at one of the Phu soup places, we met Mama Cho [Mama Chu]. She invited us to hike to her village the next day.

My voice was back and I could not wait singing and plaiying again! Jippiii.

I have to note, that many Vietnamese people use iPhones.

Playing gutar on the train:

In Sapa:

Still, very tasty:


The next morning. Melli and I went to the church at 9.30 a.m. to meet our guide Mama Cho. She was waiting there already and we could start the adventure immediately. We started walking out of the city and suddenly it went pretty much up hill. After some walking, the landscape turned into a beauty of green, formed from mountains covered in clouds. Later we took some nice pictures. After two hours we reached a restaurant. Interestingly, at this restaurant they had not only good food but it was also equipped with the families bed in the common dining room. Another three hours walking through the greens, Mama Cho brought us to her village where she, her five children and her husband live. It became a great home-stay experience.

An amzing shot taken on the way:

The family of Mama Cho grows their own chicken, gooses, fife pigs and three porks.

Their house was built within a time of two years. I can tell you, cosy is different. The house is built on a solid concret fundament, the walls are built from strong wood and they have a roof on their head. There is a fire place to cook, no smokestack. And overall, there is not much more inside, well not to forget the hard beds. But I like the house for its wooden structure.

We got to know the two daughters of Mama Cho. Their names where “Tche” and “Sansa”. They are around 16 and five years old. She told us that one of her daughters will show us around in the rice fields in a moment. We waited at the house for them. Then the two of them arrived. We were kind of flashed when the five year old daughter “Sansa” started walking with us leaving her older sister behind. The little girl showed us the way to get to the rice fields, walking in front of us. We picked up a friend of her. Sansa was talking all the time, stories over stories in Vietnamese. No colue what she was talking about. 🙂 Instead, we enjoed a beautiful view. Ten minutes later, the older daughter “Tche” joined us  for some nice playing in the rice fields.

Mama Cho, who is always smiling, prepared some delicious dinner in her kitchen. For you guys in Europe, it is warmly recommend to check out this Vietnamese cuisine. It is delicious!


The evening ended with some self-made rice liquor. It was quite strong and had some smoke flavour. Mhhmmm. …We went to our beds in a different room that could only be entered from the outside. The same like last night, there was no proper bed for us. It was like some wooden planks covered with a 3 cm thin mattress filled with cotton or something similar. Anyway, the rice liquor made us sleep like babys. Haha.

Mama Chu’s husband and I, after we shared 0,5 l of rice liquor 🙂

The next morning, we got up from our intermediate hard beds to enjoy some great breakfast. Mama Cho made scrambled eggs for us,… using ten (10!) eggs for two people. Bread, salted meat (which is slated to a very acceptable level) and some green cooked leaves. Delicious. We went for a walk with little Sansa and Mama Cho to some different rice fields. Three people were working there. What a hard work they do. After we had grabbed our backpacks from the home-stay, we went for another two hour walk down into the valley, passing more rice fields. In addition they grow sweet corn here. If you smile at one of these field workers they will always smile back at you. The children wink with their hands and give you a very true hearted smile. So cute! Mama Cho was offering to buy some lunch. We had to skip it, since we were still full from the breakfast. We hugged and said farewell to Mama Cho.

This shot of “Sansa” was taken in the morning when we visited the workers at the rice fields:

While walking from the viallage back down to the main road:

Mama Cho:

– _ 🙂


A bus picked us up to bring us back to the city of Sapa. We took our big backpack which we had left at the hotel previously and jumped on the bus to Lào Cai. Then, we had some early dinner and some beers close by the train station where we should leave at 9.10 p.m. back to Hanoi. This time we booked the soft beds adding 5€, making it 17€ a ride. Walking to the train, we met two young girls from Canada with their backpacks. They said that these soft beds where not comfortable for them. So they booked a different rate. $70 per person! What? I was flashed. This might be how the name “flash packer” has once been created. Haha. What about you? Are you a backpacker or a flash packer?

Well, our soft beds where still not really soft. The cotton mattress just grew from 3 cm to 5 cm. Another night train experience.

We are heading to Ha Long Bay – hop on!


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