A Travellerspoint blog

Vietnam

"I’m so hungry I could eat a horse"

Well you can, or a dog if you prefer…

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View Just a big holiday on ClareAndTom's travel map.

We’ve obviously been having too much fun whilst travelling as our blog is now two months behind. To try to catch up, we’re going to document our five and a half weeks in Vietnam as more of a picture story. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. Here goes…

As soon as we crossed the border, Vietnam felt different to China. We could read the signs, people could speak English and it was clearly poorer. We were also pleased to see that people really did wear conical hats and carry live pigs around on the back of mopeds!

Vietnam was one of the countries we were really looking forward to visiting because of the varied scenery, good beaches and interesting sounding food. You can certainly eat a wide variety of things – we saw horse and dog meat for sale in the markets, and eggs with chicks inside being eaten on the train.

We got the bus to Sapa, a former French hill station. The surrounding countryside was stunning – lush green rice terraces clinging to the mountain slopes.

Sapa town was full of women from minority tribes wearing traditional clothes.

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It was cold, wet and misty when we arrived and the great views into the valley were hidden by cloud.

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We walked down to Cat Cat, a touristy but interesting village where Black H’mong people live. We passed rice paddies, small boys herding buffalo, and animals running around. We stopped at a waterfall for lunch where we had some snacks cooked over charcoal.

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The next day we went to Bac Ha market, where Flower H’mong people flock every Sunday. It was a riot of colour and interesting to see so many people in traditional dress.

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The fabrics are mostly hand embroidered and very elaborate.

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We tried the local corn wine, sold by the litre and apparently so potent it can ignite.

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There was a livestock section with buffalo for sale - £700 seemed to be a good price for one of these beasts.

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Pigs were sold and bundled, squealing, into bags.

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There were lots of puppies for sale – we hoped they went to good homes and not to the dinner table.

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Tom needed a haircut and got one at this outdoor barbers for 90p. The barber was supplementing the income from his day job as a maths teacher.

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The end result was a little severe.

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There was lots of ‘meat’ for sale. Most of it seemed to be fat or offal.

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After visiting Bac Ha market, we went to a local village and saw rice being harvested. On the way our tour guide serenaded us with a Westlife song, “Take me to your heart”. It’s not one we’re familiar with, and based on his rendition, we won’t be buying the single either.

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We got the night train to Hanoi. We realised that the Chinese night trains were quieter, faster and, surprisingly, cleaner.

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Posted by ClareAndTom 08:38 Archived in Vietnam Comments (1)

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