I was in Hanoi for a work-related trip with my husband and we only had a weekend to visit something in Vietnam, so... we chose for Sapa! We took the Sapaly train in Hanoi at 21:50 hrs. We wanted to have a private cabin for us, thus, we had to book an entire 4-bed cabin because the 2-bed VIP cabin was fully booked. The cabin was very cosy, simple and sober, but cosy. The trip was an adventure, my first time in a night train, and... I couldn't sleep too much but it didn't matter. I had energy enough to face the busy day in Sapa! We arrived around 6am at Lao Cai and the bus to go to Sapa, which we had already booked via our hotel (Pinocchio hotel), was there, waiting for us. We arrived at Sapa around 1h later and the bus stopped in front of our hotel. We checked in directly, the staff in the hotel was really nice, and we decided to book a tour to visit some villages in Sapa from 9:30 am to 5pm. The tour was 14$ per person, including bus and lunch. We went to Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - TaVan. At the beginning, it was soft but after the lunch.. uffff, it was hard because of the slippery way going up and down through rice fields. It was beautiful and fantastic!!! the only negative point was the constant 'buy for me' that you have to listen to during all the way. It doesn't matter if you buy things, you will be asked to buy more and more, endlessly. In the afternoon, we decided to take it easy and visit the shops around and have the dinner. There are many many restaurants and a large offer to have a nice meal (and from 50000 to 150000 dong, or so). The next day, however, we decided to do some trekking by our selves. We like the feeling of discovering the nature without guiding but since we didn't have to much experience, we chose an easy option: going to Cat Cat village. It is close to Sapa, about 30 min walking distance, going down of the hill but.... going down means that afterwards, you have to go up again! anyway, we went down until reaching the beautiful waterfall and then, we continue a little more following the river. The trick to find this path is to go very left to the house that is close to the high waterfall. There is a small indication saying 'toilet', go there (upstairs), and then, take the small path on the left. You will discover a beautiful and lonely path that will take your energy, that was real trekking! Then, we came back and visited the Sapa market, full of food, spices, clothes, everything. My advice: buy dried mushrooms and cinnamon tea (tra que)! In that evening, at 5:30 pm, we had to take the bus to Lao Cai and the train to Hanoi.... and end of the trip! A unique experience that I really recommend! It is safe and beautiful and it takes only 1 night in Sapa (2 days!). Enjoy!!!!
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