06 2014 Dec

One thing to be aware of is that the train takes you into Lao Cai. It’s another hour ride up to Sapa through some windy roads. Not to bad to endure if I weren’t so grumpy from a night on the train. By the time we got to the hotel, businesses were waking up. Our room wasn’t ready so we had breakfast, which was included in the tour package. Actually, a lot was included and being the foodies we were, we passed on a few of the hotel meals and ate at outside restaurants. What? So I want to give you some interesting eats to read about. Really. Okay, not really. I didn’t want to eat hotel food. Yeah, my tummy works only with high octane food.

We had a good hike down to Cat Cat Village with our private tour guide. Oh man, our tour guide was awesome. As you may not know, the Hmong villagers try to tag along with hiking groups. They eventually try to get you to buy things at the end. However, our guide yelled at them not to follow us. It was pretty funny passing up other groups with hordes and hordes of villagers swarming foreigners. Thank goodness that wasn’t us.

What we learned was the majority of Hmong there part of the Black Hmong tribe. The other ones we would see are the Red Hmong and the Flower Hmong. I’ll let you pick them out in the pictures (in the next post as well). It’s pretty obvious who’s who.

On our way back from Cat Cat Village we decided to climb back up. You’ll get plenty of people offering to give you a ride on their motorbikes. We wanted to build up an appetite. That’s what I told myself. Not sure about Vicky’s reason. I looked ungentlemanly saying no to all the motorcyclists. They must of thought we were fighting since we looked pretty drained.

By the time we got to the top, we were ready to eat.

The guide brought us to a place and we gladly ordered away. The store owner was nice enough to bring us a space heater. It cold outside and the place didn’t have the best insulation. Our orders took a little time to get to us, but that was a good thing. The meals were prepared fresh and it was apparent when we ate. Oh it was so nice to have a wholesome meal. Very cozy as the cold drizzled streets awaited outside.

Viet Cuisine Restaurant
004b Muong Hoa Street
Sapa, Vietnam
+84 203.873345

Verdict: For some good home cooking the Sapa way, get yourself in here. Fresh ingredients. And yeah, I recommend a small hike to Cat Cat Village too.

Our Guide Buying Snacks

We should have bought some of that sticky rice, especially the banh chung, or what I'd call "foot cake" because that's my own literal translation. As you can tell my Vietnamese is really really bad.

Start of the Hike to Cat Cat Village

Not pictured are the Hmong villagers our guide told to stay away. We weren't worried about any repercussions. She seemed to have clout among everyone there. It was all about a personalized experience for us.

Hiking Through Cat Cat Village

There were plenty of other groups. The weather didn't scare anyone away. Expect heavy traffic through these narrow side walks. And if you happen to be on the road, be ready for cars honking there way by. Pretty annoying.

Waterfall at Cat Cat village

At the bottom of the hike, you're greeted by a wonderful little waterfall. Wish this place was more undiscovered than advertised. You can see remnants of tourism in the water. By that I mean the trash that's just thrown in the water. Booo to us tourists.

Vietnamese Soup @Viet Cuisine

We wanted a soup to combat the cold weather and keep our core warm. There's no official name for this. I asked the owner for a canh and she put this together. A soup with local greens and ground pork. I always seem to need a soup when we eat like this.

Ox Impressions: 

Black Chicken With Sapa Mushrooms @Viet Cuisine

It doesn't look appealing, nor was the meat plump and plentiful, but it didn't take away from this dish. If you haven't tried black chicken, have it here. It's free ranged and flavors well with the local mushrooms. I wanted to order another dish if I had room.


Ox Impressions: 

Chayote Shoots @Viet Cuisine

Sauteed veggies with garlic executed like mom would have made. The stems held up their crunch under the light sauce. A perfect pairing with the black chicken.


Ox Impressions: 

The OxPosted December 6, 2014 by the hungry ox

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