Sometimes what makes a trip or tour even more memorable is the company you have during that trip. When we did the trek to the villages of Lao Chai and Tavan on our first day in Sapa, Vietnam, we went on a semi-private tour as our tour group consisted our guide May, Kristi and I, and a couple from Australia named Dave and Anna.
Dave and Anna were from Melbourne, Australia. They came to Sapa one day before we arrived. They stayed at another hotel in town which didn’t have tour services, so during their first day in Sapa, they went on their own to Cat Cat village nearby. Dave said that during his younger days he had done backpacking in many countries in South and Southeast Asia — his description reminded me to the British/Australian couple who started Lonely Planet. During our trek Dave and I talked a little bit about various topics — economy, culture, recent news — to compare between the Australia and the United States. I didn’t remember much on the specifics, though I do remember his comment saying that he could recognize my American accent just like I recognized his Australian accent. I didn’t realize that I speak English in American accent…
Later on during the hike I had conversation with Dave’s wife, Anna. Anna mentioned that they were about ready to become empty nesters as their older son was in college while their younger son was close to finish up high school and was ready to continue on to college. Anna also mentioned that she worked for an Australian government agency as a Public Relations person, whose job sometimes is to do ‘damage control’ when someone higher up in her organization said something to the public incorrectly or was facing difficult time dealing with the press. She said her older son seemed to be interested in a similar line of job.
They were both very attentive as well when May gave explanations about the local culture, and they were interested in learning about Indonesia and the United States as well. When we got back to the Sapa Rooms after the tour, we ended up spending a couple of hours hanging out at the hotel’s restaurant to have drinks and enjoy each other’s company. Later that day, they continued their trip back to Hanoi to spend a day in the city before continuing to Ha Long Bay. Before leaving, we shared contact information and they said that if we ever made it to Melbourne, we’re welcomed to stay with them.
The photo below was taken right after we got back from our trek at the Sapa Rooms. These were May, Dave, Anna, Kristi, and me.