Hiking to Ta Phin village
After the 9 hr train ride...Sapa is very hilly, terrace-rice-patty central. Although it was December weather had been mild and so the fields were still green. Usually it can be around 40 degrees in Sapa but for us it was around 60.
We hired a guide named Pham who comes from the Red Dao tribe. Her English was really good because she learned from TV sitcoms, so her jokes were hilarious.
The first day she took us on a long 12KM (7.5M) hike to her village (Ta Phin). It was a bit muddy but had amazing views. (Reminder to writer: lose weight, 12KM hike is NOT far)
At the end of the hike we ended up at her house where she cooked us lunch. Yes, I was afraid of getting sick but it was probably the best meal we had in all of Vietnam. All fresh beef and pork from that day. Cooked in a wok with garlic, salt and some herbs. Amazing what some people can do with so little, yet my dinners are crap even with all the ingredients coming from Whole Foods.