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Tai Phin Village

29

May
2014

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In Vietnam

By kanannie

Exploring the Land of Fairies and the Red Dao People

On 29, May 2014 | No Comments | In Vietnam | By kanannie

If you really want to explore Sa Pa and the surrounding area, you need to get a motorbike. My first attempt at driving Kanako on the back of a rental motorbike in Phong Nha almost resulted in a couple of scraped knees and an early divorce, so we decided to hire motorbike drivers in Sa Pa to ensure the longevity of our marriage.

Black Hmong motorbike

A happy Black Hmong family on a motorbike. Boo didn’t look this happy when I was driving.

Unlike most travelers to Sa Pa, we decided to spend almost a week there. We like to be out of the city as much as possible and it’s not always easy because transportation is less available and less reliable when you’re leaving major cities, so when we have a chance to get out, we try to stay out for awhile. It gives us time to relax, recharge and, most importantly, catch up on Game of Thrones. OH. MY. GOD. THE. VIPER.

Sapa mountain pass

Wouldn’t you rather be here than in a dirty city?

Daenerys

Daenerys riding around Sa Pa. She’s my favorite, in case you didn’t know.

Finding a motorbike driver, also known as xe om, is easy in Sa Pa. They’re all hanging out on the corner of the main square waiting for people to come by and there’s a big board with prices to popular sites so ignorant tourists like us won’t get ripped off. The more proactive drivers roam around the town asking tourists if they need a motorbike. We decided to use the services of one of these guys to visit the two main waterfalls in the area, Silver Falls and Love Falls. The ride itself is worth the money. The unobstructed view of the mountainside on the back of a motorbike is stunning and the mountain air is refreshing as long as you’re not unlucky enough to get stuck behind a water buffalo that just dropped off a steaming turd. I’d also pay that money twice over to avoid the vomit-inducing minivan ride on the same road.

motorbike driver

Our happy driver enjoying a plum on the side of the road.

Girl on motorbike

Our other driver snacking on a hard-boiled egg. She’s a speed demon.

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This is the only way to travel in Sa Pa.

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Thank god the oxen didn’t try to mate with us.

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Don’t be fooled by their peaceful demeanor. They won’t hesitate to drop a turd in front of your motorbike.

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An ox costs about $2000 USD and is a very valuable asset.

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