Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mystic Misty Charm of Sapa

The touristy town of Sapa in northern Vietnam is a well-known and popular destination. With cheap travel costs, easy and convenient access via train, beautiful landscapes and interesting ethnic tribes, it's certainly formula for mass tourism.

But it was exactly it's popularity that had somewhat kept me from visiting Sapa for a time. Tales of incessant hassling from the ethnic minorities had put me off, and scamming of independent travelers are common. Nevertheless, I finally made a trip, and it turned out to be quite a pleasant experience, especially photography-wise!!

While the hassling by the local Hmong ladies are indeed a tad annoying, the charm of the place was hard to deny. I love a good landscape opportunity, and I was not disappointed. September was rice harvesting time in Sapa, and the fields are covered in glorious golden green. But surprisingly, what actually fascinated me was the mists!! I had 2 days of complete misty weather and it gave a different feel to the photos.

And the biggest surprise was when Sapa revealed glorious sunlight amidst the mysterious mists within a short window of time. It was exciting and truly spectacular. As shown in the timelapse below, towards the end of the video, the land was again shrouded in mists.

Thus the tip of the day is, whatever the forecast or outlook is, rise early to try to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. You never know when you would be treated to a show!!

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