After walking through the center of the Cat Cat village near Sapa, Vietnam, we continued our trek on the loop path. It was a continued descent to the lower part of the valley, and before long we walked through a bamboo forest. Going through the bamboo forest in a misty and foggy day on a mountainous region — it felt like we’re in a scene of a kung fu movie…
Bamboos are plants that are perhaps identified with the Asian culture, even though they are grown in more regions of the world. This is because in many parts of Asia bamboos are widely used for various purposes due to its versality. You can find bamboos as food (bamboo shoots are used in many Chinese dishes), cooking instrument (there are dishes in Asian culture that are cooked inside the bamboo), construction material (in some places like Hong Kong you could even see bamboos used as scaffolding in the construction of tall buildings), weapon (one famous weapon used by the Indonesian freedom fighters during the war with the Dutch colonialists was the ‘bambu runcing’ — sharpened bamboo made into a spear), and even musical instrument (a national musical instrument in Indonesia is angklung, which is also made with bamboo tubes as material). Some of the reasons why bamboos are so widely used are because it’s among the fastest growing plants in the world (it can grow 100 cm / 36 inches in 24 hours) so it’s easy to cultivate, and it’s strong but also somewhat flexible property that makes it suitable as raw materials for many products.
As we walked through the villages near Sapa during our visit, we did see patches of bamboo forests in many places, and we could tell that it’s an important part of the local daily life just like what you hear or might expect from an Asian cultures.
The photo below was taken as we walked down through the last descent of the trek through the bamboo forest. I had to stop walking to take this photo as the steps down were getting quite steep and I was afraid of falling down due to a misstep. These were a couple of other tourists who were walking slightly in front of us. You can see the bamboo forest around and the foggy atmosphere that gives this photo its sense of place.