After completion of our volunteer program in Hanoi, Vietnam, we visited Halong Bay which is undoubtedly Vietnam’s one of the most spectacular natural wonders. We booked a 3 day tour of Halong Bay through a local hostel. Spending two nights on a boat and cruising through tiny islands coming out of calm waters was an incredible experience.
On our Halong Bay tour, we also stopped by an island and explored some natural caves. The caves were illuminated with bright colours which added an artistic feel to the naturally beautiful sight. Our guide pointed out a famous rock that looked like a dragon’s head with red eyes. After finishing our cave tours, we hopped back on our boat and went around the bay for an adventurous canoe trip. Entering a tiny canoe right from our boat and canoeing through small islands was another unique experience.
After getting back to Hanoi, we travelled to Sapa, a small foggy village in the mountains of north-western Vietnam. It is a hidden gem located in a highland district of Lao Cai Province. As soon as you get off the bus, you can literally feel the fog and cool temperature of around 10-15 degrees Celsius.
If I had to describe Sapa in one word, I would have to say: peaceful. The village had a beautiful vibe, with its rice terraces, waterfalls, hill tribe villages, and the purity and simplicity of the lifestyle of the native people. We went on a hiking tour of nearby villages to explore the local culture. Because of the fog and misty weather, our tour guide had to give us special boots so that we could walk safely on the muddy trails. Despite the mud covered shoes and a long hike through rough slopes, the journey was absolutely worth every single slippery step.
Since Sapa is situated at an elevation of around 1500-1600 meters, summer months are the best months to visit this beautiful village. If you visit Sapa during May to August, you will experience a lot of rain. And during winter months the temperature drops below 0 degrees with occasional snow falls.