Home arrow Trip Emails arrow Vietnam

One of my favourite things about Vietnam and indeed Laos, Northern Thailand and South-West China are the Fourth World peoples that live in this area. They are are originally nomadic peoples that came from the Tibetan plateau and have distinctive costumes, cultural traditions and features that make them fascinating to be amongst. We headed up to the North-West town of Sapa in a long ride in an old Soviet-built Minsk jeep. The suspension was non-existent and the windows hardly opened giving us a bum-breaking, 40C (104F) 12 hours of dusty fun. It was wonderful to be amongst the Hmong and Dzao peoples in Sapa. While the town is well on the tourist trail the traditions are so strong with these peoples that the impact is not as great I one might imagine. Saturday is market day in Sapa and local villagers pile into the town to buy and sell goods and catch up with friends.


From Sapa the girls caught the train back down to Hanoi while I caught the jeep up to Bac Ha, another market frequented by the extremely colourful Flower H'mong. They rival the colours of Guatemalan markets.