Colombian photographer and architect Juan Carlos Sanchez travels to the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains in Vietnam, beginning at the mountain town of Sa Pa…
I had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam for business a couple of years ago. Before coming, I had heard interesting stories about the northern part of the country, which led to a deep interest to discover the region. Aside from that, I was also inspired to make the long journey by my passion for photography.
Travellers always point to Sa Pa as a must when exploring Vietnam. I finally had my chance to experience this amazing region for myself. The Tonkinese Alps were a cultural treasure, home to different hill tribe minorities, lush mountain ranges, rice fields, and overall breathtaking views. Once there, any explorer would understand what the hype is all about.
Sa Pa is the perfect place for hiking. You get to escape the country’s more touristic areas and delve into the way local people there live.
Would I go back? Without a doubt, the place changes completely with the passing of each season. It’s worth returning to more than once in your life as you will be rewarded by something vividly different each time.
It was very touching for me to see the local people and lovely children all around, always smiling, wearing clothing with beautiful colors and distinctive patterns. I also loved seeing their art, unique to the Lào Cai Province.
Getting to Sa Pa, I would recommend taking a train from Hanoi. For me that’s the best way; an overnight trip of seven hours. Getting on the sleeper carriage and travelling as they did in the old days made me feel as if I had gone back in time…
Juan Carlos Sanchez is a Hong Kong based photographer and architect from Bogotá, Colombia. You can visit his website to see more of his work.