The Red Zao people are very freindly, and colorfull. They were very willing to invite us to see their homes. It was TET so we participated in the Tet celebration. Food alcohol and a lot of loughs.
Our fondest memory of Vietnam is the night we spent at a local TAY family house in TaVan village. The house was prety nice, close to the river. The people were very welcomming, and dinner was superb. We slept in the gallery, on matrasses.
I realy recomend the experience, not just for backpackers!!!
One of our best experiences in Vietnam. Trekking to, and around Tavan is easy. Even if you are not a backpacker, as we were not. Even if you generaly prefer the limosine ride and the 5 stars hotel, it's still worth to leave it all behind and go trekking in this area.
We had a great dinner at the family house where we were staying. They prepared french fries for Dany who didn't eat anything else, but the rest of us enjoyed the tasty home cooking. After we spent the afternoon by the river, we enjoyed very much to help with the preperation of dinner. That was our chance to learn from first hand, how to make spring rolls
Favorite Dish: Spring rolls
Seems like every female you will meet from the age of 5 and up, will try to sell you hand crafted goods. (Why only females?) After a while you'll stop wondering about all that goods, cause you see them doing it, whenever they sit down for even one moment. They are very nice and colorfull and make great presents when you go back home
What to buy: Hats are great. We bought a few of them and the make a nice colorfull collection on the wall
What to pay: 1-5 us$ depends on how much you are willing to bargain and how nice is the lady you bargain with
Luggage and bags:
Take the minimum. You don't need much. If you stay with locals, you don't need a sleeping bag.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The best hiking shoes you can get, waterproof of course. when you deep your feet accidently in the full of water rice terrace, you better be protected
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Be prepared!!!
Toilet paper - don't get caught without it.
Photo Equipment: all the films you'll need for the hike. No chance to find films here
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: It might rain. Cary a rain coat
Miscellaneous: Other then that, most of the local houses you'll sleep in will provide you with all the things you need for sleeping
TaVan is one of the villages where you can stay when you go trekking from Sapa. We were trecking with a local guide called Viet who made the arrangment for food and lodging on the way. The village is not far from the river, and some families has facilities to accommodate even a larger group. The house we stayed, in had sleeping places for at list 15 people. The facilities are very basic, but clean and comfortable. there was a toilet with running water, and we slept on matrasses with muscito screens hanging above
Fondest memory: The dinner they cooked us was deliciouse