Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 4 of Hanoi Trip

22 July 2008, after having breakfast, we said bye-bye to Soi & Sao.
The difference of wearing sport shoes & boots, HuiYing & PeiChi could step into the river.

Passed through the lush greeneries paddy fields.

3 hours car ride, we reached Cocly Market area. The car stopped us here. Duong wonder how could we climb up to the hill of Cocly because the construction of water dam had destroyed the road.
When we looked up to the hill, the people who climbing up were like ants moving. Is it possible to go up?
At first, Duong asked the villagers to drive us up by motorcycle but the villagers rejected because they were worried that the motor couldn't even go up and it's dangerous to carry passengers up. So, we had to walk up by ourself. The bridge was just enough to fit 1 person to cross at a time. We had to hold the string and step aside when someone passed by.

It's easy job for the villagers to walk up & down the hill to do business on Cocly Market.
Why do the people choose the hill to open the market? The people carry their merchandise up to the hill every Tuesday to Cocly Market do to business. There's a flat land on the top of the hill which is very suitable to open a market.

Half an hour later, we finally reached Cocly Market.

We had some cold drinks at the market.
Colourful handicraft/souvenir in this traditional market.
This ethnic market is a place for trading and exchanging local goods and products, as well as a meeting place for young people.

Spending one hour here, rested enough. Now, we were ready to go down again.
Going down the hill was much more easier.
So windy down here, so happy we'd finished the trek.
A boat ride up stream of Chay River.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we were transfered to Lao Cai. Duong booked us a room to let us refresh ourselves before getting on the night train. Duong emphasized to us that we should pay the driver some tips before leaving.
Our dinner in a local restaurant which is near to the train station. Baby corn soup, Chicken with lemon grass, Grilled pork, French fries, Mixed vege and watermelon.
Departed from Lao Cai to Hanoi. The train was so noisy because this time our cabin was very near to the wheels.

My Yearbook Photo

Passed by Cheryl's blog and got this funny Yearbook Yourself website. Start playing with it and came out with this funny photos from 1960s to 2000.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Making of Day 4 Breakfast in Sapa (Hanoi Trip)

Morning of 22 July 2008, Soi prepared us breakfast. There were pancakes, bananas, sugar and honey, serving us coffee or tea.
Soi showed us how to make the breakfast ourselves. First, place the piece of pancake on the place and pour the sugar on top, then honey on top. Cut the banana into slices and arrange on top.
Fold it to make a row.
Ready to cut this row of pancake into slices to serve.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 3 of Hanoi Trip

21 July 2008, nearly 4:30am the train officer knocked on everybody's cabin, telling us that the train would be reaching Lao Cai train station (near to the Chinese border). We were told to meet the Sapa tour guide at the entrance of train station. Mr.Duong brought us to the Chau Long Sapa hotel to refresh.
Later on, he explained to us about our journey from Sapa town to Lao Chai, then Tavan home stay which required 5 hours of trekking.
had a western style breakfast before starting our trekking.
After feeding, it's ready to go!
At Sapa town, there were many Black Hmong (Black Cat) following the tourists. They just want you to buy their souvenirs. So, their strategies were making friends with the tourist first.
Duong was worried that PeiChi & HuiYing's shoes because they didn't brought their sport shoes but slippers. Finally Duong recommended them to rent boots from the shoe shops for a day. The boots are good for crossing river.

Awesome greenaries of the paddy fields in Sapa. Passed by the petrol add-on machine from shops.
The local people in Sapa.
The Black Hmong who came out for selling, were well trained, speaking only the particular phrases, eg: What is your name? where are you from? how many bro/sis do you have? I followed you, you buy from me? you take photo, you buy from me...... They kept following us from Sapa town until Lao Chai's picnic lunch. Duong taught us how to said 'I don't want to buy, TQ.' with the tribe's language which sounds like this 'Chi Zuat All Chiarl'.
Along the path, the Black Hmong picked up the leaves/grass around them and built us many kind of shapes from the leaves, like horse, love shape, etc.
We had our lunch over the bridge, picnic beside a local restaurant.
After lunch, we continued for more walks along the dirt path.
Our home stay destination was getting nearer & nearer......
Couldn't stop snapping photos along the path.
So many little animals, so natural, so beautiful.
It was not cold during the summer in Sapa.
The rice terraces paddy field.

Yes, we'd reached the Tavan village.

Rest & have cups of tea.
Our host (Soi) asked her hubby (Sao) to cook us some fries, then she brought us to the river nearby for fun.
The river was freezing cold. It's just nice to put our tiring legs into the river.
Back for tea time, Soi prepared us fries.
Night party of the village began. Soi cooked us her local dishes and invited us to drink their rice wine.
More and more villages & tourists nearby came over to join in the fun. We were almost got drunken, it's hard to stand up straight at the end.
The foreign tourists spoke very good mandarin, they were working in Shanghai almost 8 months and got travel to asia countries. One of the vietnamese kept repeating this phrase to get close with everybody - '你好,我好。大家一起吃个包。'. What a joyful night, luckily we've chosen home stay, rather than hotel.