Sunday 17th April
We arrive in Dien Bien Phu after the most horrible bus journey.We are so tired.We check into the hotel across the road, as we are too tired to walk anywhere.After checking in we start to notice a few things in the room.First of all there is no glass in the window and no net, the sink is not connected to anything and the water comes pouring out, the toilet seat is broken and the toiled it blocked - BRILLIANT!!We go out for a walk but we do not get a good feel for this place.Nobody speaks to you and if they do they are trying to sell you someone.We walk for miles trying to find a restaurant.Not a very good first impression of Vietnam for us, I hope it gets better.Back to room as we are up early tomorrow for the bus to Sapa.It is a minibus and should only take 7 hours.
Monday 18th April
Today we get the bus to Sapa.This bus is a lot better.Can't wait to get somewhere nice.We arrive 8 hours later and the sun is shining, it's beautiful.On our way to find accommodation we are followed by the Mong tribe.The Mong women follow you in a hope that you will eventually buy something from them. They follow us to our hotel and wait outside for us (apparently this is quite normal).We check in to the Queen Hotel.The room is 160,000 dong a night.The rooms are lovely and have big bathrooms.We have a balcony with a table and chairs and have an excellent view, it is so romantic so we go out and buy a bottle of wine and chocolate and sit on the balcony watching the sunset over the mountains.
Wednesday 20th April
Today we have booked a day trekking.We start at 9.30am and go first to the Lao Chai village.As we start our descent down to the village all the tribe ladies start following us.We have been told that they will follow you all day hoping you will buy something at the end.We walk a few km's through the village and come to this bridge.As every one walks across it starts to shake and sway.It feels very unsafe.We then go to a primary school and watch the children in their classrooms.We head up passed all the rice paddies and stop for lunch.I was expecting some Vietnamese food but we got bacon baguettes!We then start heading uphill through the bamboo forest for what seemed like ages, the view was fantastic across all the rice paddies and the villages.The tribe women were still following us.After more hiking we came to the waterfall.There is not much water in it.Nothing like the waterfall we saw in Laos.It's now all down hill to the end of the trek.The Mong tribe tried to sell tings to everyone on the trip.We didn't have any money so couldn't buy anything and they were not very happy. Off to Hanoi on the night bus tonight or tomorrow.