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Sapa and the H’mong people

July 29, 2011

Tourism in Sapa is certainly on the increase. It is a charming highland town situated in the northwest of vietnam, not too far from the Chinese border. It is surrounded by the Fansipan mountain range. The H’mong people are one of the local hill tribes, with the boom of tourism in the area the H’mong people have been given many employment opportunities particularly as local guides.

Many of the older H’mong people have little formal education but the younger generations have the availability of schools in many of their villages. At this time of year the children are on summer holidays. At school they are taught Vietnamese and English as well as educated in the traditional ways.

We spent three days hiking to some of the local villages. The first village we visited was Cat Cat village. Like everywhere in Sapa the 3km decent into the valley is very step… we both have sore legs from our hiking LOL!!

We also visited dragon mountain which has a beautiful view of the township of Sapa.

When you roam the streets of Sapa be prepared to be escorted by groups of the H’mong people practising their english and trying to sell their goods. They are harmless and very friendly people just trying to earn a dollar. It is difficult for the H’mong people as tourism and development brings both positives and negatives, with one of the negatives being the cost of living has greatly increased for the local hill tribe people.

During our time in Sapa we only had time to explore the villages of the Black H’mong people. If we are able to return to Sapa we would love to visit Bac Ha which is home to the flower H’mong people.

Here are just a few of the images from our time in Sapa. Thanks so much to our lovely guide Co.

Amy

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