Solo travelling

29th of August – Phanxipang and the end of my trip

Today is my last day in Sapa. I bought the bus ticket at 1pm so I still had the morning to do things. I was thinking a lot about going somewhere but since yesterday I was exhausted by scrolling around the mud, I wanted to sleep as long as possible. Of course things weren’t that easy. They said once you are in Sapa you should go up to the highest mountain of Indochina, especially since the cable car is already built.

To be honest I hesitated a lot about it. After all the price was 700.000VND. The station was near my place and from there I had to take the train to get on the cable car. That was plus 80.000 VND. I had to spend that much to get to the top. Since the cable car was operated, getting to the summit was much easier, therefore many tourists go there everyday. I simply hated the idea. Moreover, the weather wasn’t that clear. If it’s cloudy it isn’t worth going up.

The cloud over the mountain

At the same time I couldn’t bring myself to stay in the hotel until 1pm. I was thinking: “OK, I’m here this time. Who knows when I would come back. So just spend that much to get to the top, at least I don’t have to listen to people nagging.” In the end I went up there.

The train was 5 minutes until it took me to the cable car station. From there I got on a big cabin with many other people. After it got out of the station the first thing caught my eyes was the golden rice field down there. The whole are was covered in yellow. It was wonderful. For that part it was totally worth riding the cable car. Then the jungle of the mountain was under me. Even though it was beautiful, nothing could beat the rice field.

In 15 minutes I arrived to Phanxipang. From there I could take the train to go to the summit. But it would cost 70.000 VND more. I didn’t want to spend more. Moreover the summit was only 600 stairs away. Wasn’t a lot to be honest. So I decided to climb. If I couldn’t climb the whole mountain I had to do at least this much. It was much easier than I thought. 50 stairs were together, I walked a while then another 50 stairs. On the way there was a Buddhist temple and a big Buddha statue. Vietnam was totally full of temple. So the way up wasn’t hard at all.

Giant Buddha
Part of the temple

Of course since the cloud covered the area, four direction was all white, it was windy and a bit rainy. Sometimes I felt as if I arrived to the heaven. It looked exciting. In 20-25 minutes of walking I arrived to the top. I really wished to go down right away. It was crowded with people. I thought to symbolize the summit, they would put a triangle there to show the top. Turned out there was at least three different triangle only for the people to take picture that they were in the highest peak of Indochina.

I felt terrible. The facebook is full of pictures where people take selfie saying they conquered the highest mountain. In reality they bought it not conquered it. In my opinion, a mountain should be climbed not getting there by cable car. Out of curiosity of course I bought cable car ticket as well. But I immediately regretted, the moment I reached the top. I vowed to myself that one day I have to climb up to the mountain.

One of the summit triangle

I tried to find a beauty and appreciate the scene. But it couldn’t happen. I wanted to go down as soon as possible. On the way down what frustrated me even more was a group of young boy. I mean they must be at least 18 years old. They were going down like me and one of them suddenly said “Going down is still fine, but taking the stairs up would be totally impossible.” I didn’t know where I was. I took the stairs as a solo girl and nothing happened to me. These boys were together and they dared to say this. I suddenly just lost hope in man and in human in general. We became much lazier than ever. Everyone seeks for a quick method, quick answer and everything has to be quick. For a memory there is a camera in our phone. Just took as many pictures as we can and later we don’t even look at them again. People spend a lot of time in a place only to take pictures not to enjoy the scene.

Gate to the heaven

I realized I was turning to be that kind of person too, that’s why I had to train myself to slow down during my offline week. After that I had to learn how to balance the technology and nature. I’m still practising but there are things I just couldn’t agree with, like this case of climbing.

There was still a case that made me frustrated during this journey but I will let you know in the next post.

Then I went down and took my belongings from the hotel. I walked to the bus station and when it arrived I headed back to Hanoi. I stayed 4 days in Hanoi which I mainly spent with meeting my friend and relatives. I didn’t get a chance to visit the sights there. The adventurous part of my trip literally ended here.

I still have few more posts where I share my experience about Asia, such as how they communicate, the expense, the airport…etc. Stay tuned for the next one! 🙂

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