After many problems with the bike we finally arrive in Sapa , the famous city located in the north Vietnam. Thanks to the rice terrace this city attracts thousands of backpackers from all over the world.

It is raining cats and dogs, as they say in English.

We arrive just in time right before get the monsoon rain typical in this season and in the tropical countries. Heavy, hard, dense, noisy rain. We already taken enough water for the day, and everybody know: driving by motorcycle with wet roads is not the best. Lucky we find some towel at the side of the main road, here there is a kiosk selling skewers and other grill food. Meanwhile, we ask around where we could stay the night and we meet Tang, a local tour guide who works in the culture department. Tang is friendly and funny. We chat, we drink together and he tells us which one is the best way to eat skewers: wrap the meat in a mint leaf, dip them in a sauce and eat them in one bite. So good!

Unfortunately the hotel rooms that Tang offers us is a little bit too expansive (by Vietnamese standards, 7 Euros each is a a lot!), so we decide to go in a hostel called ” Sapa Hostel 2 “.

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We spend two days doing nothing. We relax and make plan for the next three days. Finally we decide to go a few days in one of the famous Homestay.
Sapa, in addition to the rice terraces, is known for the various ethnic groups living in several villages around the city and you can recognize them for the clothes they wear and the facial features, thin and sharp in a round and warm face, hard to describe. For example, the Hmogn have decorative and eye-catching costumes, energetic colors (if you go to Bac Ha market you can see a lot of them). The Dao dress in red. The Tao instead, wear a dark blue suit, less decorated. There are many others group, but unfortunately it’s hard to remember them all. These ethnic groups live mainly off agriculture, but in recent years they also use the tourism for get some money. Sleep in one of their homes, the Homestay it costs about 30 euro a person for three days (in the price, also includes guided walks among the rice terraces, lunch and dinner).

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Our guide and host is called Mamamua and she is from Tao’s group.

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Mamamua lives in a wooden house on two floors, built entirely by her husband. To reach it you have to pass by a winding path that passes through the rice terraces, a little bit bigger than half a meter. It’s dark and get in her house with the bike is not easy and of course i fall down in the ditch, unbalanced by the weight of the backpack. The entrance of the house is located in front of a rice terrace, just walked in the house you find yourself in the living room: a large room with only a wooden table in the middle, in your left the bedrooms and on the right the kitchen. The kitchen is just four stones placed in a circle where the food cook on the fire, a small sink and a pantry. On the upper floor there are other rooms. Easy house but with all the essential.

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Mamamua explains how they built the rice terraces: with a hoe you drag the ground and make these steps on the hillside, creating pools that fill with water. Huge, surreal synergy work between man and nature .

In addition to growing rice, with her family she grows corn and raises many animals.

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We eat rice with pork, tofu, cooked vegetables, spring rolls and other delights, and after a good meal we prepare for bedtime. The next day he would have a long hike.

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