No visit to Vietnam is complete without a visit to the hill tribes of Sapa. The elevation of the mountains, the distinctive clothing and appearance of the minority tribes makes this a fascinating excursion. The easiest way to get to Sapa is to take a train to Lao Cai. The "soft sleeper" is quite comfortable and economical. The train travels through the night and so the journey passes very quickly. When you arrive in Lao Cai take a bus to Sapa. There is lots of inexpensive accommodation in Sapa and if you take some time to explore the main street then you'll no doubt find something suitable. The main town of Sapa has a population of 36,000 people and is 1,650 meters above sea level. It can therefore get quite chilly at times.

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Sapa Vietnam: Hard seat carriages are only for the hardy traveller Sapa Vietnam: Boarding the train for Sapa at Hanoi Railway Station Sapa Vietnam: The hill-tribe people have distinctive features and clothing Sapa Vietnam: Lao Cai is the entry point for Sapa.  It is 340km north-west of Hanoi Sapa Vietnam: Early morning travellers arrive at Lao Cai Sapa Vietnam: Black H'mong woman with child in Sapa Sapa Vietnam: Over half million H'mong live in Vietnam Sapa Vietnam: Red Zao woman with distinctive traditional head dress Sapa Vietnam: Main street of Sapa Sapa Vietnam: Infants are carried everywhere and well protected against the cold Sapa Vietnam: H'mong sellers are persistent and charming as they approach Lorraine Sapa Vietnam: Everyone wants to get a piece of the action Sapa Vietnam: Lorraine purchased a traditional necklace from this H'mong woman Sapa Vietnam: Curious child views life in the street Sapa Vietnam: The Red Zao are easily identified by their bright red clothing Sapa Vietnam: The hawkers can be both charming and annoying
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