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« Saturday Stuffs: Oven Shoyu Chicken and Fresh Mangosteen in San Diego | Main | Cali Baguette Express - A First Impression »

Sunday, 04 May 2008


Jeff C

Kirk, Amazing trip. The funny thing is that many new American urbanites and suburbanites are wanting the same life as the Dzao and the H'mong. Living simpler and knowing where the food is coming from. But I think they, the ruralists, discount all the conveniences we have in this country and how a lot of the people in these areas would like to have a better life without the day to day grinding physical labor and economically better existence. The new ruralism that is being explored here in the USA is really just old ways being lived all over the world .

Wandering Chopsticks

I can't believe you and the missus hiked all the way to Ta Phin! I was a wimp. We rented motorbikes and cruised all over the place that day.

Some of the guides have been doing it since they were really little. One the one hand, the tourists bring in more money to Sa Pa that they can possibly make farming, but it also seems to be eroding their culture. Many of the kids end up missing school b/c they need to make money as guides to support their families.


Hi Jeffrey - As usual you hit the nail right on the head. Any of these people would give they're right arm to live the kind of life we do....of course, it is the, grass over the cesspool is always greener. Running water and real toilets are wonderful things.

Hi WC - The hardest part is hitting the right balance. More children can be good, more hands to help with the harvest, but it also means more mouths to feed when times are rough. We had spoken to Mai and later other guides about preserving the culture; but as long as they are left to their own devices, it is human nature to try to advance oneself.


I would hate being harassed by the local like that. Come on 15Km is a walk in the park you're barely building up your appetite for the evening ;-) Thanks for the adventure and I am surprise the Missus hike in those sandals/shoes without socks, yososmelly ;-)


Wow, this was incredible. That's all I can say. Well, except thank you for sharing it. :-)


Hi Billy - They're just trying to make a living. You don't want to mess with the Missus, or at least Her feet!

Hi Carol - It was very nice, the scenery is much better in person than photos.

ed (from Yuma)

All these posts just open new worlds. Great stuff!


Wow what a view. Lol love how you got dragged along on a "little" walk by the missus.
So the burning question is .. did you cave in and buy anything from the women??
Thanks for sharing that day as well as a bit about Mai. It can certainly be hard to earn a living in a poor country but she has had so much resilience.


Hi Ed - I'm glad you're enjoying!

Hi Rachel - Not this time we didn't! You can get caught up in the beauty, without realizing how tough life is for these people.


what a great hike and amazing views! thanks for sharing!

Oishii Eats

"Hi, wut yier nem? You buy sonthing from me? Please?"

OMG know I luuuuuuurve Vietnam...but I'm sorry...I was going crazy in Sa Pa. We couldn't walk anywhere without being hassled.

And don't get me wrong I don't mind being hassled. In Hoi An the whistle kids were hilarious..."Excuse like buy whistle...woooooooo....wooooo...woooooo!" Having a whistle blown all up in my face while I eat dinner...haha...freakin' hilarious.


Hi Kat - It was a wonderful hike...well most of it was.

Hi Miss Oishii Eats - The Missus just cracked up reading your comments! You gotta live through it to fully understand, reading it, might be funny, but being there.... Whistle Kids??? I may just have to cross Hoi An off my list! ;o)

Captain Jack

Awesome post.

Captain Jack

Awesome post.


Hi CJ - Thanks! So nice, you had to say it twice, huh? ;o)


Wow. What a gorgeous world. And what everybody already said about the tradeoffs of all that beauty vs. all the drudgery of that way of life. And sigh about the classic "tourist trap" behavior of those young peddlers. I guess it's inevitable, but still ... sigh.

(Oh yeah, and that was a danged fine-looking omelette.)


Hi Mizducky - The Sapa area is very beautiful. You really can't blame the people for trying to make a's when they're a bit too persistant.....


wow, great post and pictures! That sounds like a great experience and so interesting. The landscape was beautiful too! I love the pictures of the everyday scenery going on...


Hi FH - Funny thing is, you just can't beat being there!

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