Hello hello!!! As most of you know, for me #travelislife. I recently took a trip to Vietnam with Intrepid Travel Group for the southbound route. This was my first time doing a travel group however, I was not alone.
Long story short my friend Jovial has a friend name Tiana who loves to travel just as much as I do. Tiana and I both asked Jovial to go on a trip with us and she turned us both down. Something about she loves her kids and was going to Disney World and then Dubai with her family. I guesssss she gets a pass. However, she hooked the two of us up and we took it from there.
After some planning, we were booked and ready for Vietnam. We decided to leave arrive 2 days prior to our trip starting so we could go out to Sapa and see the rice paddy terraces in Sapa.
Here is where our adventure started…
We were notified that our Sapa tour pickup time from our Hanoi hotel would be between 6:40 & 7:15 am. At 6:35 am we sat down for breakfast when no sooner than 2 bites into our eggs, concierge approached us and told us our ride had arrived. He then offered to talk to the driver to give us 10 minutes to finish our breakfast and come back around to pick us up.
Well, let’s just say the driver came back to us and said you sit right here and eat breakfast and good luck getting to the bus that is supposed to take you to Sapa. We quickly let him know no need for all that we were coming with him. No sooner than we had our breakfast wrapped up and was out the door that guy was already cutting around a corner on foot. I’m pretty sure he looked back with a face that I said: I wish they would still be in that hotel.
We took a 6 hr bus ride from Hanoi to Sapa for a 2-day trek. It included round trip transportation, hotel and tour guide.
The bus we rode was like one I had never seen, 3 rows and 2 levels with seats that recline into a bed. We were assigned to the top level of the bus where we had the joys of watching our driver play chicken with oncoming traffic.
Shortly after arriving in Sapa we had time to eat lunch and check into our room before the trek started.
Let’s just say I can now check ‘trekking’ off whatever list I put it on.
This trek went on for 4 hours and was at least 5 miles. We walked through local villages, saw mountains, rice paddy terraces, and waterfalls. Don’t get me wrong nature was as beautiful as it always is and overall I enjoyed it. However, the trek was not to be taken lightly.
The gotcha gotcha was that our trek was in a downward direction the entire time. Yeap, that meant to get back we had to go back UP.
It felt like forever going back and with each step, I felt my body wanting to tap out but I wasn’t going out like that. I had come way too far to give up.
At the top, we stopped to purchase water and there were others in the group that looked as though they wanted to purchase oxygen.
After 5 or 10 minutes, our tour guide made the announcement that another 10 minutes of walking we’d arrive at a van that would take us back to our hotel for the day. That was all I needed to hear to get back up and be on my way.
Ohhhh but wait there is one more thing to get to this van. We have to cross this bridge. A bridge that free flows in the air. Which means as you walk across, it sways in the wind.
So when it comes to heights I can manage in most situations but of course, this was one that I couldn’t.
This bridge wanted to shake halfway across and I had a me, myself, and I situation going on. I stopped right in the middle and started to go down. I believe my legs truly gave out and I could not go any further until the bridge stopped moving.
I’m telling this story now so yes, I made it across.
Back at the hotel, the tour guide let us know she would return tomorrow at 8:30 am for the ‘long trek’.
I’m sorry, come again. What was she calling what we just did?
She proceeds to tell us the route and in all the words she spoke I heard the same walk down, further, and 6 hours.
From there I was able to make a decision. No thank you on day #2, she wasn’t going to see me. My friend was thinking the exact same thing.
So right after she waved goodbye with a see you tomorrow, we went inside the hotel to make arrangements to be on the first bus rolling back to Hanoi. Especially after the guy at the front desk confirmed that it is about 6 hours and just over 8 miles.
9:30pm we were lights out and 8am the next morning we were headed back to Hanoi to meet up with our travel group at 6pm for a welcome orientation before kicking things off for the next 10 days on our Southbound Vietnam tour.
You have to stick around to hear the rest of my adventures in Vietnam.
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