Sapa is probably best known amongst tourists for the opportunity to be in the midst of a diverse mix of tribes who come to its busy markets. But at some point they have become so used to tourists treating the place like a human zoo that they have decided to exploit the phenomenon to their own benefit.
They probably get stared at so hard that they’ve decided it’s much better to follow tourists, allow them to take pictures and then earn some money by getting them to buy their crafts.
So anyone going to Sapa even for a simple trek through the hills simply cannot shake off the Black Hmong women who just attach themselves to tourists.
Three Black Hmong women stayed with us throughout our trek and like most of the other women, they spoke a few English words and were really sweet and smiling throughout. One of them, (in the picture) for no apparent reason sat down in the middle of the trek to do some sewing as part of a bag she wanted me to buy afterwards. In the end, I bought a pair of earrings, like the kind she has in her ears, along with a few other things I have no use for. I didn’t have the heart to tell someone who had walked 5 miles with me to make that sale, that I wasn’t interested.