I'm busy and I need something to look forward to come July/August. Although I would love to head to Manado and dive. I've been told that I should not resume diving this year and I thought for a change I'd just be superstitious. Having seen too many accidents in my years of diving. So I'm thinking of packing my bag and cameras, and heading to Vietnam or Laos.
If I stay with my original plan of covering all the Indo-Chinese states, Laos should be the last on my list before I begin covering the highlands of Indo-China. But I am thinking of heading Hanoi for food and to buy some art. From there I'd head on to Sa Pa, a frontier town and district in the Lào Cai province in northwest Vietnam by train.
Sa Pa lies at about 1600 meters above sea level. The climate is suppose to be moderate and rainy during summer. I'd like to spend time with the highland minorities of the Hmong and Yao groups, as well as by smaller numbers of Tày and Giay.
My usual travel agency for Indo-China is tempting me with a ride in a Russian made jeep to Lao Chai village, which is inhabited by the Black Hmong hill tribe. A trek through the villages of Lao Chai to Ta Van - the only village in the Sapa valley where the Giay lives.
In Ta Van a delicious lunch awaits me, prepared by the guide in a local house. After lunch continue trek through the bamboo forest before reaching Giang Ta Chai, to meet the Red Dao minority people. It all sounds good to me.