Sa Pa Viet Nam 2014
In April, 2014, I finally made the trek (8-hour nighttime train ride) to Sa Pa, the home territory of several ethnic groups in Viet Nam, and, because of its astonishing, haunting beauty, a bit of a tourist Mecca.
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Sa Pa, Viet Nam: the town of Sa Pa, from the road south. It can be a tad misty! You can shop for hiking gear till the cows come home here. Why anyone would show up in Sa Pa without it is beyond me.
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Sa Pa: the lovely Cat Cat View Hotel, in the SW corner of the town of Sa Pa. A little expensive, but the owners support some programs for the ethnic people of the area. Cat Cat is a town west of Sa Pa inhabited by H'Mong (I think Red H'Mong). Despite the name, you can't see Cat Cat from the hotel.
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Sa Pa: Detail, Cat Cat View Hotel
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Sa Pa: Detail, Cat Cat View Hotel
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Sa Pa: Detail, Cat Cat View Hotel (and some more mist)
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Sa Pa: Detail, Cat Cat View Hotel
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Sa Pa: looking west from the town, toward Cat Cat.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa. Asians are remarkably inconsiderate to the world`s photographers (;)), stringing hydro/phone wires hither and yon, disturbing many otherwise beautiful scenes. I thought these ones worked better in the photo than most.
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Sa Pa: I loved the homes in the Sa Pa area. I'd love to live in one. The crane in the background is a little jarring.
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Sa Pa: H'mong woman working field outside Sa Pa. Farming methods are very traditional.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.
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Sa Pa: I think buffaloes are the coolest. Unfortunately, I don't speak buffalo, so I couldn't get it to turn toward the camera.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.This photo commits what is normally considers a photographic error: the path leads off the upper left corner of the photo. But I don't think it's too bad.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.Imagine the labour that went into these terraces!
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.Working party transplanting rice in the centre.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa. Terraces, small dam, no hydroelectric here (though there was elsewhere on this creek).
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa. Creek above the forebay of the small dam, waterfall.
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Sa Pa: Totally cool run of the river grinding system (much more eco-friendly than the coal-fired one—a little electricy industry humour there). At the top of its oscillation, the lever's cavity begins to fill up with water. This drives it down with force to the bottom of its oscillation, where the water runs out. The weight of the rest of the lever then drives it back up, where it begins to fill up again. At the other end is a mortar-and-pestle affair, in which the owners grind things. Very little supervision required.
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Sa Pa: Totally cool run of the river grinding system. At the top of its oscillation, the lever's cavity begins to fill up with water. This drives it down with force to the bottom of its oscillation, where the water runs out. The weight of the rest of the lever then drives it back up, where it begins to fill up again. At the other end is a mortar-and-pestle affair, in which the owners grind things. Very little supervision required.
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Sa Pa: Totally cool run of the river grinding system. At the top of its oscillation, the lever's cavity begins to fill up with water. This drives it down with force to the bottom of its oscillation, where the water runs out. The weight of the rest of the lever then drives it back up, where it begins to fill up again. At the other end is a mortar-and-pestle affair, in which the owners grind things. Very little supervision required.
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Sa Pa: Totally cool run of the river grinding system. At the top of its oscillation, the lever's cavity begins to fill up with water. This drives it down with force to the bottom of its oscillation, where the water runs out. The weight of the rest of the lever then drives it back up, where it begins to fill up again. At the other end is a mortar-and-pestle affair, in which the owners grind things. Very little supervision required.
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Sa Pa: Farm dwelling outside Sa Pa.
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Sa Pa: Farmland outside Sa Pa.
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Sa Pa: Outside Sa Pa, carvings hanging in a H`mong shop, youngster minding the store.
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Sa Pa: Looking back up the valley toward Sa Pa. I`m looking forward to coming back when these terraces are full of rice just about to be harvested. It must be stunning!
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Sa Pa: Outside Sa Pa, semi-naked kids at play.
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Sa Pa: Outside Sa Pa, kids at play.
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Sa Pa: Outside Sa Pa, one very unhappy pig. Unfortunately, many Asians don`t have much empathy for their food.
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Sa Pa: Outside Sa Pa, a bridge over the creek we saw in earlier photos, though there have been some additions, and there`s a run-of-the-river hydro generator upstream.
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Sa Pa: Outside Sa Pa, a stunningly gorgeous old H`mong woman who was hanging around the area where tourists wait for their buses back to Sa Pa (after hiking 18km to this village). She accepted 40,000 dong (2 dollars) to pose.Though she seemed hunched over and semi-crippled, every time you looked up she was somewhere else.
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Sa Pa: My tour guide, Jin, a H'mong woman who is among the many employed in tourism in the Sa Pa area.
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