Early Morning Stop in North Vietnam

What a great motorcycle tour through North Vietnam. My guide  (Ngoc) and I left Hanoi, and traveled over 405 km together through the mountains of NW Vietnam to the town of Sapa. I had been to Sapa about 15 years ago with a group of students, and I hardly recognized the place. What used to be miles and miles of trails has turned into small roads crowded with cars, trucks, tour buses and motorbikes. It was still nice, but it was kind of sad seeing the area turn into a major tourist destination.

Having said that, the road on the way to Sapa still has its charm and remoteness. We passed through some incredible rice terraces that few are seen by the typical tourist. Being on a motorcycle was liberating. It made it really easy to go off onto back roads, and stop to take photos. This photo below was one of those “off the beaten path” places. After seeing it late in the afternoon, I wanted to see it in the early morning. So, after a 4:00 alarm, we drove our bikes in the dark, and hiked up to the same spot. Totally worth getting up.