Adequate twin room with private bathroom for only VND 150,000.- or US$ 7.20 per night. Indifferent and honest staff; zero English.
Overnighting in Lao Cai, a much frequented transit destination for travellers/backpackers on a journey between Hanoi and Sapa, listening to their shockers on the subject of Sapa (e.g. about the cheeky culture of toutism with very creative and interesting scams, about aggressive selling practices, about an unpleasant multi-tiered pricing which is encouraged by Vietnam's corrupt communist government, about skilled teams of professional pick pockets and con artists in the streets and about wide-spread petty theft in the budget hotels), a commercialised human zoo stocked up with quite a few of Vietnam's ethnic hill-tribe minorities (H'mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Tay, Hoa and Xa Pho) and a tourist hotspot where money is the new drug of choice, and, this time, deciding to find a more pleasant alternative in the rather unhurried and more relaxed mountain town of Bac Ha, only c. 70 km to the east of Lao Cai.
Taking the first public bus at 06:30 a.m. from Lao Cai’s bus station straight to Bac Ha (c. 70 km, 2 ¼ hours, VND 60,000.- or US$ 2.90 per foreigner), a convenient and less touristed base to explore Vietnam’s rugged northern highlands and traditional hill-tribe villages.
Click below for more blog posts about our travels in North Vietnam
09 Nov - 14 Nov 2012 Bac Ha
25 Oct - 08 Nov 2012 Hanoi
03 Jul - 04 Jul 2010 Dien Bien Phu
30 Jun - 03 Jul 2010 Sapa
25 Jun - 30 Jun 2010 Hanoi
Click below for a summary of this year's travels
Recommended books - click below for your Amazon order from the United States: