WARNING! SICKNESS AND TRIBAL LIFE UP AHEAD! - Ha Giang, Vietnam
Well, up in Northern Vietnam we were in a mountain Vietnamese tribal area of sort and the water was clean...So my mother thought. The result ended in about a week long diarrhea and feeling like what was coming from her reacting body. The scenery was nice though. We hiked a lot, i ate a lot, the food was delicious to me and the loveliest thing was the constant traffic of water buffaloes. My mother wrote about her experience in another blog so i'll tell you about mine.
They would walk and eat grass on the way, drink up water from other people's property and the people were totally chill with it. In the photo above, our host would throw any banana peels or watermelon crusts into the pond to let these little fishes eat them up. The leftover rice and meat, they would leave out for the cats to eat. Normally i didn't have any leftovers because it was really good.
Surprisingly enough the weather was pretty cool and i wore my rain jacket/wind breaker for protection against the biting cold. (Being the proud Canadian i am, i wore this with pride. Myka laughed at me because the weather was only 15 degrees celsius.) Well as far as "biting cold" goes to say in Vietnam.
One day we tried to hike towards a waterfall and ended up climbing through an enclosed palm tree forest. Then taking wrong turns made us run into dirt that had a ton of quartz minerals. We asked a local who told us it was wayyy over there to wherever he was waving his arms. Thanking him we just got muddled up and found ourselves on the outskirts of the village. So we returned home.
Our hosts kindly took Alvin and Lucy on the back of his motorbike because Eli and I already had a chance to ride it on our last hike. So he drove them to the waterfall so that next time we would know the way. I ended up returning twice even though it was some ways to walk. First time with Lucy and Dad as a guide and second time with a determined mother forging inwards.
The trek was mostly on paved road, through a nearby village and along a trodden path before you hit a ton of rocks. You think wow this looks fun to climb along. So when Myka, Eli, Lucy and my dad went up the path i went up the rocks. I can't really explain to you how the rocks are or how they are placed because i was just running and jumping over them like a monkey. IT WAS REALLY FUN. At some places i would dip my feet in smaller waterfalls between rocks or challenge myself by jumping over other rushing water chasms.
Eli made three good friends around his age here and they would run around with sticks and "shoot" people. Typical boy stuff but also they played with fire just like how we like to do it while camping. Except that Eli could burn the whole wooden house down if he wasn't careful. Good think he tripped and fell inside the pond instead. I'm joking that didn't happen, he was with my father.
One morning, the host took us to a local market. They had everything. Baby chicks to machetes, leafy greens to raw chopped up pig. Almost everyone in this area slung an empty rice sack over their shoulder to act like a bag to accompany a knife by their side. I guess in a way it's their essential to cut food, to cut large branches in the way, to threaten children from riding on the water buffaloes. Kidding, but i see almost 98% of these people carry those items. I would fit right in!
All the same i wanted to continue my travels and to pursue my ambition to visit Italy so therefore i didn't stay. We took another nauseating sleeper bus back to Hanoi before instantly jumping up at 6:00am to take a bus over to our Halong Bay cruise.
If you thought my poor mom's stay here was terrible well...*ahem* Halong Bay wasn't as was expected either.