Recently undertook my trek to Sapa which is a mountainous area situated in the north of Vietnam.
I chose Sapa for my first trek because reviews on travel forums mentioned that it was a relatively easy trek and ideal for a first time trekker. After an overnight train ride from Hanoi, our trek began in the town of Sapa. We had an English-speaking guide, Le from Eviva Tour, and a porter, Su, to carry instant noodle and water. Here are important tips that I have gained after completing my trek
1. Prepare right backpack. The backpack should be large enough to carry everything you need. Only bring things for your basic needs and pack your things neatly. Keep in mind that the more kilograms you bring, the more pain your back have to suffer.
2. Bring a first-aid kit. You cannot foresee what will happen during the trip so you had better prepare well for it. Small cuts, blisters, diarrhea, allergy, sunstroke, chill and insect’s bites are the common problems that trekkers often meet on the trail.
3. Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Trekking is a long journey. A bad pair of shoes will slow you down considerably and every step you take will be extremely painful.
4. Wear light and long clothes to prevent insects bite and sunburn.
5. Bring food you like. Local food generally tastes good but some of them may be weird and make you sick. Sausage made from horses’ blood and feces, do you dare to try?
6. Bring personal stuff like toothbrush, toothpaste, facecloth, shampoo and soap. Do not expect that your home stays will have these stuffs for you. Remember that you will spend your nights in the local villages with tribal families, not hotels.
7. Weather in Sapa is unpredictable. In a blink of eye, it can change from cloudy sky to burning sunshine. Thus, remember to bring hat, gloves, raincoat and waterproof shoes.
8. Keep pace with the group and do not wander alone in order to avoid uncontrollable risks.
9. Most importantly, go with a positive attitude and you will be able to enjoy the trek to the fullest. In fact, the trek was more difficult than any gym I have ever experienced but repay me with stunning scenery, local delicacies and a closer look into a very different way of life.