We went because: To mountain-bike in the beautiful and ethnically diverse part of Vietnam near the border of China, and to explore northern Vietnam.Ellen Swain Veen & Bill Veen in Sapa, Vietnam.Don't miss: The local markets, where the women butcher the meat and sell produce and handicrafts.
Don't bother: Driving anything motorized. Consider keeping your eyes closed when someone else is driving on the busy roads - it's a chaotic, terrifying sight.
Coolest souvenir: A hand-embroidered bag.
Worth a splurge: Having a Vietnamese guide, who introduced us to members of the hill tribes, including Hmong.
We wish we'd packed: Long biking pants. A woman came up to me, slapped my calf, giggled and said she'd never seen such a big or white leg.
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Thread: Just back from: Sapa, Vietnam