Sa Pa Town

Street market on the steps. The steep hillsides on which Sa Pa sits, add an extra dimension to its street markets Sa Pa lies on the border with China in north-west Vietnam at a height of 1,600 m (5,000 ft). During their occupation in the 1880s the French developed it as a cool retreat from the heat of the valleys and plains below, and it also provided an important buffer for the newly established border with China. Street in Sa Pa. Morning mist clearing from a Sa Pa street BAlcony view of hotels. Many large hotels now line the hillsides with fine views... Sa Pa is set amongst hills. ...while others nestle in the shelter of the hills Lake and swan pedalos. Sa Pa Lake near the town centre Sa Pa Lake and French villas. The Lake in Sa Pa with its line of grand villas originally built for the French, although nearly all destroyed by the French war of the 50s, and then the Chinese invasion of the 70s, but now rebuilt Sa Pa central square. The central square with the Catholic church which dates from 1930 Clouds in the valley by Sa Pa. Evening mist creeping up to the town Sa Pa's growth since the middle of the last century has been rapid, and it is now one of the two main tourist destinations outside Hà Nội. Sadly it follows that it is one of the only places in northern Vietnam where the local people take too much interest in tourists. Pannier of a common type. One of the woven panniers seen in many parts of northern Vietnam Red Dao women. Red Dao women in their best hats Black Hmong women. Black Hmong vendors laying out their goods in the central square Red Dao women. Three Red Dao women walking to the Sa Pa market Embroidered goods for sale. The staple trade of the town is selling a range of embroidery to tourists Black Hmong people. Black Hmong with some examples of the jewellery worn One of the main tourist attractions Sa Pa has is its diversity of ethnic groups. The largest of these groups are the Hmong people who account for just over 50% of the population, the Vietnamese (or Kinh) are less than a quarter mostly having arrived in the last 40 years. The other major group are the Dao (pronounced zow). Black Hmong girls. Black Hmong girls being entertained Hens and compound. Hens with house and compound beyond Buffalo and calf. Buffalo and calf The domestic animals catch visitors attention, most especially the buffalo with their gentle eyes and calm disposition Goat grazing. Domestic goats graze with some freedom on the hillsides Buffalo head. Doe eyed Buffalo with the soft ear hair that looks like feathers; in Vietnamese animal hair and birds feathers have the same word Pigs rooting. Pigs are left to root along the fallow terraces Sow and piglets. A sow and her piglets beside a house Sugarcane family. Children eagerly receiving a sweet treat - sticks of sugarcane The next page goes to the approach to the Mã Pì Lèng Pass - some 200 km to the north-east of Sa Pa Karsts before the Ma Pi Leng Pass. line
Saturday 20th August 2016 Murphy

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