Following on from the first day of the hike near Sapa in northern Vietnam, it’s time to conclude it with a part 2. We left it last time having just gone to bed in my homestay in the lower mountain village of Ta Van. In the middle of some incredible valleys and mountains, yes hiking in Sapa is a feast for your wandering eyes.
On day 2 we went from Ta Van to Giangtachai Village. It was a half day hike actually and once we arrived at that village it was time for lunch, a beer and a bus back to the actual town of Sapa. Here’s an overview of the entire day.
We left the hostel early morning after a fantastic breakfast, I said goodbye to my homestay hosts Joe and Ken and we first walked up to a church, easy and short upward ascent.
I initially thought it was a Catholic church but was intrigued when my Italian travel buddy Andrea told me it was actually a Protestant church so as a Northern Irish Presbyterian I grabbed an unusual photo opportunity. It’s not often I see a Protestant Church in the middle of such immense scenery.
The weather was hot and we veered down the valleys in epic sunshine. It was a relatively easy walk I must admit, nothing taxing and we took it really slow. We weren’t followed by any tribes on day 2 as we had been on day 1.
Despite being a completely different terrain, another continent and contrasting weather, the countryside reminded me of that on the Inca Trail in Peru.
There were cows on route and the next highlight was stopping at a waterfall. Neither my guide book, out guide Giang or anybody around could tell me the name of the actual waterfall which was a first, so if you know it leave a comment. We will call it the Giang Ta Chai Village Waterfall, although it was on the other side of the river, but it was beautiful.
The waterfall had a small pool at the top and we all went in for a dip, it was so clear and clean.
It was exactly what everyone needed. I’d estimate the time we got there to be between 11am and 12 noon, and we stayed for a while enjoying it as we knew the next village up would be our final stop.
I had my travelling Northern Ireland flag with me and it got an airing there, if you have followed my adventures on here you will have seen this flag before on numerous posts, from now on I’ll be putting them on their own website Travelling Northern Ireland Flag. If you know me well, you will know that this is one of the personal things I travel with. It’s nothing political – I’m just flying the flag that to me represents the country I come from. That’s all!
So we got in and had a swim before continuing the hike across a bridge savouring the last views of this picturesque region.
The next part of the hike was all upward and we chatted to a few local kids on the way before reaching our base – or the end point of the hike at Giang Ta Chai Village.
A massive pot of noodles with egg was put in front of each of us and myself and the lads cracked open a beer – the local Bia Lao Cai stuff.
It was a fantastic end to a great two days of hiking – and best of all it wasn’t tiring. The sort of hikes I hope I can still do when I’m 50! I want to personally thank all my travel buddies on this hike – they were just amazing people. Andrea from Italy described me as a “modern traveller” when I told him all about my note taking and my blog. I think he was right. I’m just about to head back to China tomorrow and blog and notebook will of course be part of my journey!
I won’t do a timeline for Day 2 like I did for day 1 as I’ve basically described it all there, it was a 4 hour hike maximum I’d say on Day 2. If you’re ever in Sapa, or even Hanoi in Vietnam, I thoroughly recommend hiking in Sapa. A tip off to my travel buddy Chaz too for recommending the hike to me in the first place. After lunch we got a bus back to Sapa – I was wedged in the front seat between the guide and the driver – a bumpy ride!
My fantastic travel buddies for hiking in Sapa – Singh, Chiara and Daniele, Stefanie, Laura and Andrea. (Honestly great, great people – hope to see them again someday)
Our guide – Giang
The Route – Sapa to Ta Van on Day 1, then onwards to Giang Ta Chai Village on Day 2.
The Company I used – Green Mango Travel (based in Hanoi – can’t link as they don’t seem to have a website)
My Videos from Hiking in Sapa:
Morning at our homestay in Ta Van, Vietnam:
The Protestant Church:
Waterfall Part 1:
Waterfall Part 2:
Crossing A Bridge:
Bus back to Sapa from Giang Ta Chai Village: