Stories from the Suitcase...Sharnanigans

We're introducing a new idea for Fridays here at Girl With A Suitcase.  Most people have great travel stories that they'd like to share.  We want to know the good, the bad and the ugly!  Inspire other people to see different parts of the world or share what's special in your neck of the woods.

This week we've got Sharni from Chronicles of Sharnia sharing her stories from the suitcase.

1. Destination?

Sapa, North Vietnam

2. What time of year did you travel?

We were there April / May - it was quite cold there which was refreshing after the overbearing humidity of Hanoi. The only downfall of being in beautiful Sapa in these months was that the mountains that surrounded the town were not visible a lot of the time and covered in thick mystical fog, which, in itself was a pretty magnificent sight.

3.  Who did you travel with?

My partner and (as I soon found out in Sapa) the beginnings of my son Monte (we found out we were pregnant whilst in Sapa).

4.  How did you get around?

We got to Sapa via overnight train from Hanoi - which was an experience! While there we walked - heaps of trekking, travelled by motorbike, scary bus trips around windy mountains and jeeps. Lots of up-mountain walking - great for fitness.

5.  Food?

Sapa is very touristy - we had some tasty Vietnamese cuisine but also had great pizza!
Dave had the pleasure of going on a trek with some locals, they took him to a village where he ate congealed ducks blood (masquerading as jelly) when he found out what he was eating, he was too polite to stop. I am glad I was feeling poorly that day and did not attend!

6.  Trip Highlights?

While we didn't climb Mount Fansipan - we did do a mini trek and it felt like we were on top of the world looking down on creation. Karaoke with the locals, walking around Cat Cat Village, the scenery was incredible.

7.  Trip low point?

Both Dave and I were hospitalised. Dave with food poisoning - me from pregnancy and possibly food poisoning. The hospital beds did not even have sheets. We were very vulnerable and the language barrier made this very challenging.

8.  What would you like others to know about your destination?

Sapa is a pretty town North of Vietnam about 30kms from the Chinese border. It is  worth a visit.

I was turned off by the fact that the Hill Tribes that live there are the drawcard to the town - and supposedly these guys that live in traditional ways in the mountains of Sapa are used as a selling point.

Very touristy. Beautiful scenery, a little bit magical.

Anonymous –   – (January 22, 2010 at 2:31 PM)  

I am so in love with that magical is that?

Mandy –   – (January 22, 2010 at 2:34 PM)  

I would love to go to Vietnam....

Darinka –   – (January 22, 2010 at 2:37 PM)  

How dreadful to have food poisoning then find out you are pregnant!

Wow! How do you ask for a pregnancy test if you don't know the language???????

Sharnanigans  – (January 22, 2010 at 6:25 PM)  

Interesting really, went in to a chemist armed with a translation book and pointed to the word. THEN! deciphering whether we were pregnant or not included pulling out translation book to see that two lines that meant "VUNG" meant Yes or NO. It was highly nerve wracking time. Turns out VUNG was affirmative. Oh and we did the test during a blackout in Sapa by candlelight. Good story to tell the son or what :-)

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