20.01.2013 - 20.01.2013 10 °C
Last night's train journey was pure luxury (for us anyway)! A lovely four cabin berth which we shared with a nice Australian couple, a proper western toilet, and a TV in our cabin that was showing episodes of Mr. Bean!! Amazing!! Had it not been for a load of men down the hallway "partying" all night, we both probably would've slept very well!
On arriving at the train station in the morning we were a mere 3km from the Chinese border! It was a 30km drive from the train station to our destination of Sapa!
Layers (lots of layers) were in order for today. It is cold here in Sapa! Plus we've become accustomed to warm weather so have turned into complete wimps when the temperature drops below 20 degrees.
We spent the morning walking around the town, looking at the market stalls where Jo bought an awesome woolly hat, stopped for hot chocolate then decided to walk down to Cat Cat village. Cat Cat village is about 4km down hill from Sapa. We had some very friendly local ladies join us for the walk down. Inevitably they tried to sell us some of their handmade goods at the end but we politely declined. They gave us some miniture horses made out of straw anyway. Very sweet!
Whilst walking through the village down it's many steps we were followed by a young boy who was after Jo's water bottle. The bottle was filled with Berocca so obviously Jo wasn't going to give it away. Over the course of about five minutes he attempted to grab the bottle several times and his whining got louder and louder until eventually his temper tantrum errupted into him punching Jo in the kideys!! At this point I used my "teacher voice" to tell him that if he didn't stop, I would go and find his mother. I don't think he understood what I said but he scarpered pretty quick after this!
The rest of our walk was pretty but unfortunately ruined slightly by every local person trying to get us to buy stuff from them. We eventually arrived at a nice waterfall where we admired the view for a few minutes before finding a couple of motorbikes to take us back to the town. These motorbike taxis are known locally as xe om. Efficient, quick and just a little bit risky owing to the lack of helmets!
We were both craving a shepards pie for dinner after having read on Lonely Planet that an English pub in the town serves it (we needed warming up after our hike!). Unfortunately the pub no longer served cottage pie (fail Lonely Planet, fail!) so we opted for an Italian instead. The garlic bread and salad were delicious but the lasagne was mainly a bowl of melted cheese! Think we'll stick to Vietnamese cuisine for the rest of our stay here in Sapa!