When it comes to Sapa, tourists can not ignore the trekking to visit villages, go to the forest or cross the mountain to learn the nature and life of the indigenous people, discover the majestic beauty of these Terraced fields, mountains or waterfalls. The itinerary is often combined with the night program at the village (Homestay). If you join the journey for the first time, you will surely encounter many surprises. And, if you are an adventure lover, you might want to go for Sapa trekking on your own. So, here are some tips that you should pay attention.
1. Preparation for Sapa trekking on your own
Knowledge: Going to treckking is a kind of experience that you can explore the unique cultural space of ethnic minorities living here so to have a fun and impressive trekking, you should learn the information about that village, customs – practices, things to do and should not do when visiting villages.
Itinerary: Besides, you have to study the cadastral and topographic map of the planned area to plan accordingly for the trip, calculate the distance you have to finish so that you can deal with dangerous situations and call for help when you need because you will go for Sapa trekking alone, so this step is essential. Preview weather forecasts to prepare options. Prepare a referral paper if the trekking area is border area or protected area with the management of specialized authorities.
Clothing: Because the trip is mainly walking, you need to prepare clothes neatly, sweaty and airy. (One suggestion is: Clothes should have multiple compartments – bags for storage)
Walking shoes: You should prepare 01 pair of flat shoes, bata shoes or sport shoes. This is a very necessary tool and it decides whether or not the trip is convenient (absolutely not: high heels , new shoes purchased for this walk because it will be very uncomfortable) the material of the shoe also ensures airy, cool, waterproof and fast drying.
Backpack: you will have to bring your own luggage during your trekking journey so please choose for yourself a backpack that is suitable for storage. Should prepare backpack with belts to tighten on the back, backpack must have a foam mattress to create a smooth feeling and comfort for the whole journey to wear backpacks. You can go for Sapa trekking on your own but we recommend you to go with your friends. At least, you guys can support each others for food, drink, etc.
2. Taboo when visiting villages in Sapa
When visiting villages in Sapa such as Lao Chai – Ta Van, Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho, Ta Phin … inhabited by the Black H’Mong, Dzao, you absolutely must not sit in the middle of the house or the middle space . You must follow the homeowner’s instructions. The front seat is the seat for father and mother (if they are gone, no one will sit there) When visiting Lao Chai village – Ta Van, Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho, Ta Phin … H’mong people see black. Red Dzao is doing rituals or exorcism, you are not allowed to attend by yourself because they do not want people to participate (the identity feature when the ceremony is: there is usually a bunch of green leaves hanging on the tree before the village gate). High columns are built in a solemn place so everyone can see them and avoid them. You decide to go for trekking on your own without a local guide who can show you all these things, so it’s better to know to avoid these taboos.
When visiting a village to meet children, it is absolutely forbidden to rub their heads or kiss them on the heads of children because ethnic people think that such actions will make them panic and sick. When visiting the village, there was a nice, cool place, but there was a rush to stop and eat there because it was probably the place of common worship of the whole village, this is a very sacred place for them. The most insidious thing is not to whistle when walking around watching the village. Relatives thought the whistling sound was to call the devil about the village. These information will keep you safe during your Sapa trekking on your own. Ethnic houses are often divided into different sections, in which the middle space is always a place of worship and guests are not allowed to sit there. The house usually has the largest, tallest pillar called the mast, where the ghost resides, visitors do not hang their clothes, sit leaning against that “soul” pillar. When communicating with the local people who are invited by the landlord to drink or drink, if you do not want to use it, you should refrain from letting the landlord understand and sympathize. Strictly forbid acts of bowing down because only a shaman can do so to evict evil. Besides, when you talk to your landlord, you can’t just talk while pointing your finger forward. Hmong people believe that the behavior is to express the attitude of dissatisfaction or disregard for the person who talks.
Here are something you should prepare for yourself before join in a Sapa trekking on your own. Have fun and finish the trekking safe and sound.