A Short Warming Up Trip (Northern Vietnam)
After a long silence, almost a year of living the normal routine life in my homesoil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I’m now preparing for my next long exciting journey, of course, on a bicycle! Again, I’m writing this from inside my room at home, sweating under the hot weather and still…. my aircond isn’t working! (I already gave up on that). Up to date, its already been 4 years since I decided to live my life on the road, traveling to see the world only with my bicycle, alone. That risky decision that I made 4 years ago has really changed my life. That decision I made, has made me a homeless person, always short of money and living a simple life. But somehow, I feel peaceful, since I live without debts, no bills to pay at the end of each month. Plus, I realized that I’m a happier person, I successfully travelled over 14 000 kilometers crossing China, Tibetan Plateau, Lower Himalaya, Taklamakan Desert, southern part of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iceland, Scotland, Sweden and Northern Norway. I learned so many things, see so many beautiful things on this planet, make hundreds of new friends from all over the world, experience so many things and many many more! I learned and still learning to be grateful and thankful for everything that comes in life, the good and the bad…
Its been 9 months since I came back to KL from Norway, Im now finally preparing for my next journey. Since I took a very long break from the nomadic life, I then decided to go for a short simple trip, the idea is to get to somewhere alone by myself, mountains, high altitude, above the clouds, exotic, nearby and cheap. Also, as usual, my style, not so much research or planning, just pick a place and go… and let everything comes as surprise everyday. I first planned to climb a volcano in Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. But timing bad, since its monsoon season, its not a good idea. Then I plan to go to the forest of Borneo, also the same since its monsoon. I then ran out of idea and plan to just drive around the peninsula, but since its Chinese New Year, I dont want to spend so much time on the road inside my car. Finally, I came across a very nice mountain area in Northern Vietnam while browsing travel pictures on 500px.com. Small place called Sapa… perfect! Quite high altitude, beautiful scenery, mountanous, cheap and exotic!
I then flew to Hanoi, stayed a day there and took a night bus to Sapa. I arrived early morning and was shocked that the temperature there was around 5c early morning. I was not prepared since I didnt know the temperature can dropped until that low, I was just wearing a tshirt and a thin sweater lol! So I was shaking until the sun rises. Its a quite busy tourist place. I then joined some other tourists from various countries to trek together to the Hmong villages around Sapa using a Hmong guide. Hehe, thats one good thing about traveling alone. Its so easy to meet another traveller and team up to travel together for a while… and ended up exchanging contacts. We then stayed overnight together in a homestay in one of the Hmong village which I forgot the name, before went trekking back to Sapa. It was quite tiring since the area is very mountainous… but the view is amazing up there.
After we reached Sapa again, we finally split. Some back to Hanoi, some stayed for a another night in Sapa and I… as usual… still deciding on what to do. One of the tourist from our group suggested that I go to Ha Giang, northwest since its even more mountainous and less tourists, since I told him that Im filming. But after a while, I decided to just stay in Sapa and relax there. I dont want to go to so many places and spend most of my time inside a bus/train, since it was only a short 10 days trip, so only 1 place will do. Since I will be going for a very long cycling adventure soon, I decided that this time, I just be lazy, stay up here and do my travel photography/filming only around Sapa. It was a good decision somehow, I woke up very early every morning and managed to film/photograph the beautiful sunrise at this high altitude place. There are many tourists here and some Hmongs seller here will bother you to buy things but its peaceful up here. The local Hmong people are very nice and accomodation and food is supercheap here. And I spent most of the days hiking and trekking the mountains and villages around Sapa by myself, filming the areas and even doing the editing on my laptop in the mountains. It was good. And I guess I’m now ready for my upcoming trip which will start soon, and surely, I will be filming my next journey, the second season of Dengan Basikal Aku Menjelajah… :)