During the walk down the road from the town of Sapa, Vietnam, to the village of Cat Cat, we discovered another aspect of visiting ‘off the beaten path’ destinations on our own: being able to experience and enjoy the slower pace of life and the peaceful atmosphere.
Since Kristi and I went on our own, we didn’t have the ‘entourage’ of local women going with us to sell souvenirs. We pretty much walked alone, and once in a while we passed locals either on foot or on motorcycles (which seemed to be the preferred ‘public transport’ locally). But to the most part we could just walk and simply got ‘lost’ in the village environment.
When there was no other ‘noise pollution’ or visual stimulus that compete for your attention, you start noticing little things. For me, it was the gentle sound of water streaming down on the side of the road, as seen in the photo below. The foggy day added another interesting dimension to the sense of place. I think this is why people came to this area back in the French colonial days — to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and to slow down and rest.