An unforgettable trip to Sapa PART 4

Sapa, Day 4:

Luckily, we didn’t feel sick during the night which is a surprise and a miracle considering the events of last night! we stayed at the celebration something like 30 minutes and must have had about 7 or 8 shot each, if not more.

I can’t imagine how all these people must feel today! We heard them celebrate until early in the morning…

Today the celebration continues. This morning, Mai’s husband sacrificed a buffalo. There is a lot of buzz around the house, a lot of people cooking, bringing food, chairs, tables…

Mai wants us to wear the traditional Hmong outfit. It seems to make her happy to get us dressed. I am afraid to go back to the parent’s house, I don’t want any more happy water today! But Mai says it is safe to go in the morning because people don’t drink yet…

We are now all dressed up. Adrien is lucky, he only put on a traditional men’s jacket. All the other clothes were too small for him…. It is very cold outside, so I keep my jeans and jumper underneath the dress and feel squeezed in the tiny clothes Mai is dressing me up with, without saying that I feel quite ridiculous now. I feel like a giant next to her that’s been dressed for circus…

When we are ready, we head to the street and back to the parent’s house. When we enter the house, all the ladies turn to look at me. One of them grabs me by the waist and squeezes me. She speaks Hmong, touches my belly and starts laughing. Mai translates: apparently she thinks that I am fat and beautiful! Adrien laughs as I try to explain that I am not fat but wearing a lot of layers under the dress which does not improve my figure…

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Hmong Lisa is also here, and Mimi, and Sang. At least now we know a few faces. We don’t stay long, we have a look inside and everyone seems busy with preparing food. When we see some people starting to pour shots, we decide to leave the party before it is too late.

Back at Mai’s house, another couple of tourists has arrived, they are very excited to be able to participate to the celebration too. It is actually a relief to see other foreigners, it takes the pressure of from us! We still warn them about the drinking though…

Mai is already tipsy and tells us that she will organise for some people to drive us back to Sapa town with motorbikes after lunch, but we tell her that we would prefer to order a taxi. It is probably safer for everyone! It makes her laugh…

There are so many people that several rounds of lunch are organized. Most of the party is at the parent’s house, but Mai is also hosting a few people on her terrace now. A few more tourists have joined now and we wait until a table is free to have lunch with Mai, her husband and her cousin. We taste the Buffalo that was killed this morning, it is not bad and not as strong as we expected.

There is also a soup on the table that Mai insist for us to try: It is a mix of the Buffalo’s insides and pieces of dried blood. Adrien refuses, but I feel rude saying no for the third time. So I take a piece of blood, swallow it, and smile back at her. I don’t ask for more…

Finally the taxi has arrives, but Mai doesn’t let us leave the table without 2 or 3 shots of happy water again, and it is time to say goodbye.

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We say goodbye to her husband, to Sang, to Mai. We’ve had such a good time with them it is a little hard breaking to leave them…

Back in Sapa, it feels really nice to be in an isolated room away from the cold! It’s like coming back from a different world…

We’ve spent 4 incredible and unforgettable days in the remote villages of Sapa. During this stay, we’ve been blown away by the friendliness and generosity of people, we’ve felt welcome and at home every day. Learning about Hmong traditions and daily life has been a unique experience we can only recommend.

Leave behind the comfort and ideas you are used too and dive into a cultural experience!

A big thank you to Mai and Sang, the best possible local guides we could have hope for! Thank you for making our journey through Sapa unforgetable!

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