Asia Photo Essays Vietnam

As the Sun Rises from the Clouds | Discovering Sapa, Vietnam

July 3, 2018

By Cristina Guixeras Corominas

I was trying to escape the noise and pollution of the big city, and so was thrilled that when I arrived in Sapa, I found myself touching the clouds of Vietnam. The dreamy landscape was immersed in fog, and every morning as the sun rises from the clouds, and you can watch small villages appear in the mist as If by the art of magic.

Sapa, located at 1650m, is famous for its landscapes of rice fields, which shape the landscape of the Hoang Lien Son Mountains. Even though I didn’t visit during the best season to see it in all its splendour, when the rice terraces are a lush green or in fall, gold, it was the perfect time to explore the area without tourists.

I spent a few days trekking through dense forest and rice fields, hearing the sounds of the fauna and admiring the flora and meeting local people. I became totally fascinated by the local hill tribes that live in these hills, and it was such a privilege to be able to observe their traditional lives in villages like Leo Chai, Cat Cat or Ta Phin which are home to ethnic minorities like the H’Mong and Red Dao.

On my first day, two H’Mong women joined me on a 10km hike, both with little babies on their backs. It was incredibly hot, and the path was very difficult with many ups and downs made slippery by the wet ground. As it was low season, they didn’t have much work in the fields, so they make their living by guiding travellers through different villages and selling local crafts like bags, scarves and jewellery.

There will always be a place in my heart that makes me smile and bring me unforgettable memories. Sapa is one of these places for me.


Cristina Guixeras Corominas, also known as crisguco, is a photographer and writer from Girona, Spain. Her work is based in their passion for travel with a particular love for the cultures, people and the colours of Asia.  Her first big trip was just after graduating, when she knew he had to travel to India. She fell in love and since then she has travelled around Asia, living also in Japan and Thailand.

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