After trekking in the baking heat, I stood on top of a mountain staring at the terrace fields as they went on for miles. The sundried grass, the puddle of water on steps, the small homes occupied with hay, the women working was all a sight to behold. The view was captivating, the effort to make it uphill and the long bus drive, was beyond worth it. Our tour guide told us that the steps are made by man, they start uphill and it could take about a year to be finished with just one. The steps go all the way to the bottom of the hill, the years and effort put into these fields, was astonishing. People who still live off the land are deemed primitive, backward and etc. Prior to coming to the rural mountainous area, you hear a lot of dialogue about their backwardness and most of the conversation surrounding them
While the others decided to soak in the hot springs, I walked around the village that we were staying by. There were homes on stilts, small children passing yelling hello. I peered inside of some homes and I saw televisions and yes, I was surprised. A lot of people talk about the mountainous people as if they are far from the modern world, which they are, but they have
The dewy morning moisturizes my skin and I was awakened by the loud crow of a rooster at 6 am.
And then we reached Sa Pa. I didn’t know what to expect out of Sa Pa, I knew the place became a tourist attraction because of all the signs advertising trips there, even my YouTube videos started having commercials encouraging a trip to Sa Pa. But when we got there, it was beyond my expectation. A
I woke up around 7 am and rushed to get breakfast before we headed to the market. Breakfast was on the top
The Sunday Market at Bac Ha was lively, filled with women and men from the mountainous areas selling their products, homemade or homegrown. These people started their journey from their homes at 3 am in efforts to get to the market early to set up and stay until early afternoon. Young girls dressed in colorful traditional attire paraded around the streets, while young boys played with their animals, sold goods, or watched chicken fights. Babies were holstered on backs, young children walked barefoot, and a water buffalo took a dump in the middle of the road. Old women sat on the steps selling their produce, laughing, bargaining. Others sold hand-embroidered tapestries, blankets, bags and etc. They hollered at you if you tried to pass them without buying. There was a place where water buffalos were being sold, a space for dogs, horses, ducks, chickens you name it and Bac Ha probably was well equipped with essential living items. The best part of the Sunday market at Bac Ha was watching the locals as a lot of them watched me. Interested at my hair, I had a lot of hair touching that day. But I was more curious about them and their survival on top of a hill.