Vietnam Part 7: Waterfalls and Eating with Monks (Sa Pa Part 2)
After our short stay at the “Joy House” near Sa Pa, we decided to move to the town and enjoy the surrounding area.
We rented a motorbike (the best we had by then, by the way) and decided to visit the two waterfalls near Sa Pa: the “Silver Waterfall” and the “Love Waterfall”. We needed about 30 minutes until we reached the first one. The closer we came to the waterfall, the colder it got. We expected a stunning view over the rice terraces, but all we’d got was a wall of clouds and dust.
The “Silver Waterfall” is located near the street and already visible from there. For the permission to take the short way over steep stairs, you have to pay 20,000 VND (about 0.75 €) per person. We were truly impressed by the waterfall, so we needed much more time to pass the circular track than most other visitors. When it started raining, most of them left the place quickly and we were almost alone at this wonderful place.
Also the “Love Waterfall” was not as crowded as expected. We had to pay a fee of 75,000 VND (about 2.80 €) per person and were permitted to walk along the way to the waterfall, which was about 2km long and almost more beautiful than the waterfall itself. After the rain stopped, the forest and the mountains looked so mystic behind the clouds. After a few minutes of walking, a flock of water buffalos crossed our way. There were two men with them leading the flock to the next water hole. But they seemed to know the way exactly. It is such a great but also frightening feeling to be so close to these free-range animals.
The “Love Waterfall” falls over a cliff covered with luminous green grasses and mosses. We didn’t believe that we would be almost alone at this place and enjoyed the relaxing rush of the water while photographing the natural spectacle from all perspectives.
Some motorbike-minutes away from the “Love Waterfall” you find a viewpoint from where you should be able to have a stunning view on rice fields and a luscious green landscape. But like I’ve said: you should. Our timing was surely not the best, so the only thing we saw was dense white clouds. Besides, it started raining again. So we decided to drive back to the town and enjoy some delicious vegan food.
On our way back, we stopped at one of the fruits and vegetable booths to buy some fresh fruits. They looked so good! After some communication problems we understood that everything which was sold at this booth costs 70,000 VND (about 2.60 €) per kilogram. We didn’t have the guts to negotiate and bought some kiwi fruits, grapes and plums.
“Where the monks eat”: „Nha Hang Chay“
Having lunch and dinner at „Nha Hang Chay“ was possibly the best experience we’ve had in Sa Pa. When we first made a step through the door of this vegan place, we felt a bit unconfident. The “restaurant” did not really look like a place where we were expecting to find some delicious food. On the other hand, we were familiar with this kind of restaurant since we stayed in Cambodia. Hence, after a short look on the menu displayed in front of the door, we entered a room where – to our surprise – about 30 monks enjoyed the rest of their freshly prepared lunches. This was the moment when we started to feel more comfortable and trustful regarding the food which would have been served to us. Yes, it was definitely worth it and we couldn’t get enough of it! But first, back to the monks: when we were looking for a place to sit down and trying to get rid of our luggage, one of them was turning around and observing every movement we’d do. He was so interested in us that he seemed to forget to eat up his plate. Finally, he took out his smartphone and started to make selfies with us in the background. We were so amused about this situation that we intuitively started posing as he did. Luckily, we were able to capture this moment with our smartphones, too.
After the group of monks left the restaurant, we remained as the only guests and started studying the menu. We decided to have some food from the buffet which looked so amazing! We loaded up the plates handed out by the friendly owner of the restaurant, who was as amazing as the food. While we filled our plates, she kept her eyes glued on us, wandering that we seemed to be so hungry. Despite that she didn’t speak English at all, she let us know that we would get big bellies when we would eat this up. Nevertheless, she put even more on our plates and served a large bowl of white rice. Have I mentioned that it was sooo delicious? Finally, we had to skip dinner because we’d eaten so much!
Trying to escape the clouds
Our last day in Sa Pa was rainy as hell. Nevertheless, we made a try to escape the clouds. We took our motorbike, put on our rain jackets and started direction Ta Phin. 40 minutes later, we arrived there completely soaked through and still in midden of dense clouds and mist. At some point we were not even able to see our own hands in front of us, which made driving through the muddy streets even more difficult. It didn’t stop raining so we made our way back slightly frustrated but with a pleasant anticipation for a hot shower in the hotel. At the evening, we took the bus back to Hanoi.
Vietnam Travel Log