Vietnam and the Benefit of Doubt
for shopping and weekend fun, isn’t that hard to get to- It’s just a nine hour train, two hour bus and a beautiful one hour motorcycle hop, skip and jump from Hanoi!
Our Escape-Mass-Tourism-Strategy dictates early starts for all excursions, so we took up a strategically ideal position in Bac Ha City on a Friday afternoon and tracked down a motorcycle for the ride higher up into the hills the next day.
Pretty quiet place Bac Ha….
(except on Sundays when a huge market draws crowds from near and far..)
We were entranced. There is nothing staged about Can Cau, little that caters to touristic expectations. These ethnic communities seem to be thriving- and willing to embrace modernity, while holding on to what makes them unique and special in a world of rapidly spreading conformity. The Sunday market in Bac Ha confirmed this impression. Though noticeably more touristic (tour vans started to pull up when we left at 10am), we were pleasantly ignored while browsing the market…..
from a banana leaf on a cool mountain morning. In the end, we wouldn’t trade our Vietnamese experience for the warm and fuzzy comforts* of anywhere. (*Yep, Laos here we come….)