A beautiful mountainous town in northern Vietnam
Sa Pa overlooks the terraced rice fields in the mountains of northwest Vietnam. In this photo essay , Irene Lim writes about the beauty and tranquility of Sapa but also narrates the story of its poor but resilient children.
Over night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. Comes complete with wifi, free flow of wine and snacks.Train was really close to the houses along railway track. Can practically look into someone's room when the train passed. Train is quad sharing but 2 is most comfortable since it's not spacious. Bed is comfortable and clean.
Overnight train to Lao Cai, then it's 1 car ride to Sapa Eco Palms resort.
Meal in Eco palms. Fabulous local and fusion cuisines. Simple customisation or special requests are readily accepted. Service is excellent.
. Eco palms resort. There are only 5 huts with ensuite bathroom. The hut at lowest point is the room we took. It has the best view of the terrace
Evening stroll around the mountain, soaking in the beautiful vastness, accompanied by a few children walking down the same path
Visited the village school higher up the mountain. We had brought colour pencils and books. But when we arrived at Eco palms, we were told that these children really needed milk. These children are very small boned due to calcium deficiency and malnourishment. So, on the day of the visit, we purchased cartons of milk.When we arrived, the children were taking a nap. We didn't want to wake them up.
These children are left in the school because their parents are all in the farm working, trying to make ends meet. A girl and her brother on the main road who followed us on foot to the school with all our supplies. She looked like she was barely six but had the gaze of an adult. Sometimes life gives you no other choice but to grow up fast.
We asked these teachers what we should bring the next time we visit. They said clothes. As these kids are so poor, their clothes are all torn and tattered. Some warm clothes for the winter would be nice too
Hmong peddler in Sapa Town, at the Sunday market
As the sun set in Sapa, we bid goodbye to this beautiful town and its resilient children.
Irene Lim visited Sapa in March 2016.