As we continued our descend to the valley on the way to the villages near Sapa, Vietnam, we reached an area where there was a logjam of many hikers with their guide and local women entourage trying to go through a narrow and steep descending path. It was getting uncomfortable stopping and waiting on the incline, though finally there was a flat area with a couple of houses where we could take a break before continuing the descent.
At this area, there was a local lady opening up a little shop selling souvenirs and handicrafts. She also had some bottled and canned drinks — a welcome sight for many of the hikers who by then had gone through at least about an hour or two into their trek. No one from my group went for those, however. We just stayed there for few minutes waiting for the group in front of us to walk through the path. While waiting, I noticed a group of several local kids, mostly under five years old, hanging out and sitting near the souvenir stand. I guess the kids came there with their mothers who were selling souvenirs, or they probably live nearby? In any case, it was interesting to see these little kids at a spot in the middle of a steep trail between the main road to Sapa and the village in the valley. I wondered how they got there… either they came with their parents, or somehow they made it there on their own through the rough terrain that made us the visitors who came with our fancy hiking gears looked like rookies when it comes to navigating through there. I also wondered what these kids think of the strange-looking people going through their ‘neighborhood’ every day; I suppose they’re used to seeing foreign tourists after a while.
The photo below was taken while we’re waiting in that area and when I observed these local kids hanging around there watching the tourist traffic passing by.