Listing down some Sapa activity recommendations for my a friend of mine, the memories of the area kept flowing back. The period volunteering in Sapa Hope Center, when I moved out to stay in Cat Cat village and be a frequent guest of chi Lan and anh Chien in their peaceful cafe.
Mountain, clouds and a drip of caffein
Sapa may lack something but definitely not cafes vith views. As a town embraced by vast valley and mountain ranges from all directions, business people soon found out that they can just set up a simple cafe or hotel and name it a “view something”. From every corner, you can either see a lake, a vibrant market, a part of Muong Hoa valley. The higher the better, where drinks are devoured with a panorama.
What makes Gem Valley really special to me is of course, it used to be part of my mountain home. But had it been not so good, I would never set foot there in the first place. Located not very close from Sapa Center (at least for a lazy walker ) and close to the entrance of the touristy Cat Cat village, not many people discovered it because they are already satisfied with not-too-bad choices in town.
As a cafe and a Homestay, Gem Valley is nearby entrance of Cat Cat, with first floor used as cafe and 2nd floor used a homestay.
The unlimited balcony gives a 160 degree view to rice paddy fields, villages and part of Hoang Lien Son range
Drip, drip, daydream while clouds float nearby
By artists, for artists, and us
The place was set up by a couple named Lan and Chien. Chien moved here from Ha Noi because the area gave him inspiration for paintings and after years, Lan gave up the idea of convincing him to go back to the city.
With just a bunch of regular guests every day, Lan and Chien can maintain a sustainable income aside from art, and always look calm.
The cafe has an interesting collecting of mountain life art, following impressionism.
Chien is highly interested in mountain patterns.
Guests can drink and borrow some great photo books on the tables to see.
“You will like it here. It is fresh and peaceful, good for your health and mind“, Mrs. Lan told me, when I told her that I was so confused about future.
And even though still confused about future as always ^^, I cannot agree with her more about health part.
How can you be stressed when life is so simple and nature is all around you, holding you from all corners?
P/S: The pictures were taken from their Tripadvisor site. I did not have a phone or camera when I were there, which is even better. I can just immerse in the landscape instead