While traveling you visit places that leave you speechless. I feel lucky to travel the world and come across places that I’ve never even imagined to experience. Sa Pa is one of those. Up north in Vietnam, about 6 hours away from Hanoi, there is this beautiful area that you can’t even believe is real. The mountain scenery is incredible and it feels like you’re dreaming. In three days we hiked with a small group through the rice fields from village to village, staying at locals and experience the true Vietnam lifestyle. Our amazingly friendly guide Cho Cho explained things on the way, never failing to smile.

Day 1

In the afternoon we arrived in Sa Pa and were immediately brought to a nice hotel for lunch. Since we had a few hours of hiking ahead of us, it was important to eat well and stay hydrated. While eating my creamy pumpkin soup I FaceTimed home, a great way to start my trip in the mountains! I felt energised and ready to go.

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After a few hours of climbing and hiking we arrived at our first guesthouse. They were already preparing a feast for us: spring rolls, rice, tofu and beef. If there’s already one thing I love about Vietnam, it’s the food. Of course, happy water was our little desert. It’s a very strong rice wine. Well, it actually tastes and smells like pure alcohol.. after a few shots it was time to take a fresh shower and go to bed since we had a long hiking day ahead of us!

Day 2

Having slept like a baby, the delicious banana pancakes were already waiting downstairs. Luckily, the happy water we drank the night before didn’t hit me too hard haha! The sky was clear and it was a great day for hiking again. Off to the next village!

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It was nice when we came to the village since we were all pretty tired from the hike. Again we had an amazing meal with the local family to end the day. We all got to bed pretty early to just chill and sleep. I was watching Netflix and all of a sudden I felt something close to my ear. It scared me so I stood up and saw something crawl away from my bed. What the hell was that?! I turned on the flashlight of my phone and found what it was.. a cockroach!

We used a box to set a trap for the cockroach and luckily it crawled in so I could set it free outside. Since we had some garbage in the room I decided to do a final check before going to bed. And wouldn’t you know: another cockroach! It ran away and we couldn’t catch it.. I threw all the trash outside in the hope that these bugs wouldn’t come inside anymore. After this thrilling adventure we all went to sleep.. hoping that we would be rested in the morning.

Day 3

Our last day in Sa Pa, noooo! Before heading back to the starting point with the bus, we had a small walk to a waterfall. Swimming was allowed, but I didn’t bring any swimwear.. so I decided to just jump in with my boxers. The water was absolutely freezing!

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After these three days I felt nothing but intense happiness. Sa Pa has been one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen on my trip so far! Unfortunately it was time to head back to Hanoi. But the other amazing thing was waiting: Halong Bay!

Stay awesome ♥

— Simon

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