True off-roading in Sa Pa, Vietnam

On Monday night, we took a night bus to Sa Pa, Vietnam. We organized a trip through our hostel (Central Backpackers) and were happy we did, everything is so much easier when it’s organized for you and it was a great price! The sleeper bus itself was hilarious – Makayla and I had a lot of fun exploring its features before we fell asleep for the night. 

We had a good sleep and while the bus ride wasn’t too long (10pm to 3ish am) the bus driver let us stay on the bus til around 6am in the bus station, which was really nice! He woke us up with really loud music and we got a shuttle to a hotel, where we had breakfast. 

Around 9am our guides came to pick us up. It was a collection of women and young girls who were wearing traditional clothing and led us through the rice paddies. Sa Pa is one of those places that looks amazing in pictures but is more beautiful than you could imagine in real life. 

We walked and walked – for 12 kilometres! While the walking wasn’t challenging, there were some slippery spots in the mud. It was also a very sweaty endeavour with 12 people in our group! 

Our homestay in Ta Van was really cool! It was more of a hostel run by a family with 2 floors and an open concept. We even had mosquito nets over our beds! And the best part, the homestay had a puppy! We ate a delicious Vietnamese dinner then hung out with the other people in our travel group all night. 

The next morning, we trekked through the bamboo jungle for 2 more hours to the Giang Ta Chai waterfall. There were butterflies everywhere and the rice paddies were so green. I’ve never seen vegetation that green before! It was amazing. 

A kaleidoscope of butterflies and me

We took a 4pm bus back to Hanoi and got in 2 hours early! Thank goodness this option was offered to us when we checked in at the hostel, as online the only option was to take an 11pm bus to get back at 3 or 4 am. 

Sa Pa was amazing and worth the visit. We felt that 2 days was enough but if you’re super into trekking you could probably stay much longer and trek from village to village. 

We had to kill some time today in Hanoi before our flight to Hoi An. We went for $8 foot massages (such a steal) then had lunch at a delightful restaurant called Noodle and Roll. It’s right in the backpacker district, we both had beef with noodles: 

Finally, on recommendation we visited Cong, a coffee chain in Hanoi and had Coconut Coffee. If you visit Vietnam please give this a try! It’s coffee with coconut ice cream slowly melting inside of it and Makayla and I both agreed it’s the best treat we’ve had on the trip so far! 

Now, we fly to Hoi An for the old town and the beaches! Relaxation and a private room, here we come. 


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