Don't feed the Hmong
- feejer 17th April 2012 at 11:14 am #92072
Wow. I had heard Sa Pa was touristy but this is ridiculous. Hordes of Black Hmong and I mean HORDES haunting your every step, camped out waiting for you to exit your hotel or restaurant of choice etc and following you down the road to the point of having to get pissed off at them. Of course you expect some of this when traveling the world but these people pester you to buy more EVERY DAY CONSTANTLY to the point of making you want to leave. It was probably great 20 years ago but now avoid this place like a bad rash as it is ruined IMO. Nothing here except a big pain in the ass.
Rod PageParticipantRod Page 17th April 2012 at 11:38 am #128843
Sorry to read that this was your experience, particularly after the joys you’ve had elsewhere up north. Appears you will not be in Khau Vai today for the Hillside Love Festival. Look forward to reading your report in due course as I’ll be back up that way in September. Trust matters improve.
DavidFLKeymasterDavidFL 17th April 2012 at 4:10 pm #128849
Sapa is a pretty amazing place & experience. Despite the ethnic zoo I’d still like to go back there.
Keep the power on
TonyBKKParticipantTonyBKK 17th April 2012 at 6:50 pm #128850
Davidfl;278458 wrote: Sapa is a pretty amazing place & experience. Despite the ethnic zoo I’d still like to go back there.
Aha! Wow, thanks for the link- fantastic RR that somehow I missed.
I see what you guys mean about the “hordes”…
I suppose that could get pretty annoying after a while…
Still, looks like a place worth checking out! :happy1:
feejer 17th April 2012 at 11:17 pm #128852
After thinking about this a bit more I would reckon that since this is the end of the dry season and the start of the wet, the tourists probably begin to stay away in the coming months. This may mean the tribes are “stocking up” and hence most aggressive and PERSISTENT to get as much $/Dong as possible now. Also, as Rod said we have had prior to this probably as authentic experience as I could ever imagine up in Cao Bang and Ha Giang provinces. So perception was a bit skewed and a bit shocked at how commercial Sa Pa is compared to the rest of our stops, HUGE contrast and a bit unprepared for it. The 34 and 4C North out of Cao Bang all the way to Lung Cu were fabulous and motorcyclist dream roads for sure. Plenty of authentic/untouristed locals to interact with along the way as well. A great ride/trip so far with Sa Pa being a low point and just not for us. YMMV.
KenYamParticipantfeejer 18th April 2012 at 10:57 pm #128885
Rod Page;278463 wrote: Feejer – pleased to read your most recent post. Sounds as though you were out past Meo Vac – mind blowing stuff.
When you get around to your report an update on road conditions would be invaluable.
As far as road conditions the only stoppage we had was on the 4A between That Khe and Dong Khe and it was only for about 10 minutes. But there was a strong ammonia vapor in the air which made it quite unpleasant. Not sure what was going on to cause it but we almost had to retreat back 100 meters or so until they allowed us to pass through. Everything in the far North (Meo Vac/Dong Van) is open and clear. Of course as you know, the roads everywhere up here continuously go from tarmac to rutted/rocky patches every 300 meters so impossible to sustain any speed or make distance anywhere near what might be expected in the midlands or South or the GT for that matter.
The roads NorthEast of Cao Bang (3, 205, 206, 207, 211) are all open but VERY slow going on the 206 due to rutted/muddy conditions and heavy, heavy truck traffic throwing up vast amounts of dust. They are those hulking 6-8 wheel drive Siberian transcontinental beasts and there are many of them up there at the moment so bring an ATV dust mask if venturing up that way before the rain really kicks in.
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