If you've planned to explore the mountains in the North during your trip to Vietnam, you'll split your time between discovering typically pretty markets and going on walks meeting local people in the countryside around Sapa.
You will need to leave early in the morning to get to Bac Ha's marvellous market. It's the most beautiful, most picturesque and most authentic one that you'll be able to see in Asia. There you'll find almost everything that's sold in Vietnam. Dog, cat, snake: just the usual things! Walking aimlessly in between the stalls you'll come across men smoking tobacco out of bamboo, and others drinking a 60% rice liqueur. The jerry can barely needs to be open before the smell of alcohol crosses over the rows. The market is often visited by masses of Flower Hmong people dressed in their radiant multicoloured outfits. Usually tourists like to discover unusual products in markets, but today it's the finely embroidered clothes which will catch your attention. You'll love taking hundreds of photos of them. The Hmong people are very photogenic and the children love posing and looking at their image on the screen.
For the walk that you'll do in the Sapa Mountains in amongst wonderful scenery of terraced paddy fields, simply enjoy the moment in this always magical atmosphere. Don't be discouraged if the weather is foggy or even raining. You'll be given wellies to wade through the mud and go in the paddy fields. Fog often covers the region but even if you can see the landscape a little less, the atmosphere doesn't become any less magical. You will come across several villages in the depths of the countryside. Life is tough here and working in the terraced paddy fields is difficult and tiring. Throughout this amazing day, you will meet local groups of people like the Black Hmongs, the Red Daos and the Days. There's the strong possibility that this day will be one of the most beautiful of your trip to Vietnam.