Sapa Journals

Forget the Alps, Give me Sapa!

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A December 2006 trip to Sapa by Ishtar

Bamboo Hotel Photo, Sapa, Vietnam More Photos
Quote: We were giddy with excitement just at the thought of being back in Vietnam, and we would push further north than before.

Bamboo Hotel

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Hotel

Bamboo Hotel Photo, Sapa, Vietnam
Quote:
I am still confused about the name of this hotel. It may have been the Green Bamboo Hotel at one point and the main sign on the facade still says "green". It's one of the best known in the area, aside from the luxurious Victoria, purportedly a 5-star. The Bamboo Hotel is the last of a string on Cau May and although quite large, it is not as architecturally striking as some of the others. Go up about 4 steps and you're nose to nose with the reception desk. It's a no-frills entry-way, and had it not been recommended by our trusted agent, Aurora Travel, I would have probably executed 180 degree turn. They are qu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 29, 2006

Bamboo Hotel
Cau May Street, Sapa
Sapa, Vietnam
020-871-075

Bamboo Bar & Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Bamboo Bar & Restaurant"

Bamboo Bar & Restaurant Photo, Sapa, Vietnam
Quote:
You may need reservations in season, but this is December, and only the die hard trekkers are out. And us, of course. The restaurant is by all means the best feature of this hotel. It is very spacious, clean, with incredible panoramic views of Mount Fan Xi Pang, and the gorgeous valley below. A veranda hugs the entire length of the restaurant, and dining alfresco is encouraged but few courageous souls actually ate outside. Even on sunny days, people were just focusing their cameras on the balcony. Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10:30am, and there is a lunch as well as a dinner menu. It is certainly not customary for us to stick around the hotel for meals, especially with so many restaurants l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2006

Bamboo Bar & Restaurant
Cau May Street
Sapa

Nature Bar & Grill

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Restaurant | "Nature Bar & Grill"

Lunch in Progress Photo, Sapa, Vietnam
Quote:
The Nature Bar & Grill first caught my attention the first time we ambled on Cau May Street. The words which were heart warming were "the roaring fire" which they claimed awaited inside, presumably from a huge, central fireplace. I made a mental note, and mentioned it to Chuck as we walked. A day or so later, as we were both sniffling, but determined to get lunch outside the hotel, I reminded him about the allure of a fire place, and in the Nature Bar & Grill we went. Well, it seems that at one time, this great big fireplace was there, as one of the many ways this establishment wanted to emulate the eateries one is likely to find in the French Alps, along with a lot of ornate woodwork...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2007

Cho Sapa

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Attraction

Foot, anyone? Photo,
Quote:
Cho Sapa is not just a market; it’s a gathering place for Vietnam’s tribes which serves both economic and social functions. Aside from its vivid colors and enticing aromas, the market is the best place to observe human interactions. Here, the H’mong tribe is predominant, together with its many subdivisions. It is identified by women’s wear (men are now wearing western style clothes) which is chiefly black with large patches of hand embroidered work. Look at a H’mong woman’s hands: they are blue, and it’s not from the cold. Using indigo dye, the girls learn how to embroider at a very tender age. They usually wear a headscarf, but always have black leg bands, which are embroidered in reds, greens, blues...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 31, 2006

Getting to Sapa - the Best Way

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Story/Tip

Ratraco Train Ticket Photo,
Quote:
Though you can get to Sapa by various means, the train for me remains the most comfortable and sensible way to get up there. It seems that along our journey, we met a lot of people who took the train and were extremely disappointed in either the accommodations or the timing. All you need to do is a little bit of research, or at best, just follow my advice. Most people depart for Sapa from Ha Noi, and though there are trains that run during the day, I’d recommend that you take the train that leaves at 11pm. It will take about 7 hours to get there, thus you’ll get a good night sleep and you’ll be ready and set to go when you arrive. Obviously, this also does alleviate having to spend the night in a...Read More

About the Writer

Ishtar

Ishtar
Bayside, New York

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