Village people of Sa Pa
Sa Pa is a quiet mountain town in Northern Vietnam that is home to a great many ethnic minority groups that have been living in the region for thousands of years. It is a pretty special place in Vietnam for many reasons. The most obvious difference from the rest of Vietnam is that it is cool and mountainous while the rest of the country is very tropical and low lands near the ocean and water. Sa Pa is a place where the climate is very similar to that of France and so when the French were occupying Vietnam earlier this century they would send soldiers for vacations to the region to make sure that they didn’t leave the country. When French soldiers left back to France for their vacations they sometimes didn’t return so the French Military created Sa Pa as a vacation destination for those soldiers.
Sa Pa is beautiful, but the ethnic minorities are very poor. This is the place where you get to see how people lived thousands of years ago untouched by all of the modern amenities like TV, transportation, internet and IPADS. One thing that was obvious to me when I was there was how much happier people seemed to be even though they had almost nothing besides each other. It was a very transforming experience for me to see these people and the way that they live. This woman was wearing large earrings. They say in their culture that when the earrings fall off the ears that they are ready to go to heaven. I saw many elderly ladies where the earrings were just centimeters from coming off their ears. I bet that they were pretty happy to see that. Just another thing that makes this place so special.