What to do if you are followed by Hmong sellers women in Sapa when you trek

What to do if you are followed by Hmong sellers women in Sapa when you trek

Sapa is the leading trekking destination in northern Vietnam. A former colonial-era health resort situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters, Sapa is the gateway to the mysterious world of ethnic minorities and grandiose landscapes of rice terraces.

Easily accessible by train from Hanoi and via the new freeway, Sapa has fallen victim to its own success in recent years.

The town has happily been concreted over, and at weekends it’s overrun, jammed and noisy. Many footpaths have become tourist boulevards, and the atmosphere on the roads and in town is one of a mercantile fair, which can sometimes be unpleasant or even annoying.

Why these sellers ?

During the trek , we always notice that many Hmong ladies follow you then try to sell some handicrafts

Most of Sapa sellers are very poor and their life is very hard .That’s why they choose to make a choice to become seller which is not what they do every day in their village.

They choose to follow tourists many kms during their trek , help out people in some difficult and risky places , talk to tourists in friendly ways, make alot of beautiful things to offer you during the trek , and all of theses, make your trip very pleasant at the begining. They are very nice and smiling and willing to help

But they do all of it   in hoping that you can help them to buy some things from theirs stocks.

Buying thing from local and poor people directly are encouraged as that help local people to improve their daily life. But for some reasons, some sellers are trying hard ans sometime that make a bit annoying

Very commun Hmong house in Sapa
Very commun Hmong house in Sapa

Some useful advices from novices travellers

If you buy things from them, that help people to earn their life .

If you are looking for some souvenirs from Sapa , so it’s the occasion to find out nice things from these sellers. But before making a decision , follow some advices from novices travellers

  • First thing : Don’t buy to any kids . There are many kids in Sapa are selling the souvenirs to tourist. It’s not recommended  to buy to them.  Imagine, kids must be at the school to learn and at home to be safe, but more people buy from them, they are going to be all the time in the streets and no more school , no more beautiful chilhood to enjoy. Please, you thinks kids are cute and want to help them out of their difficult situation and their poverty, keep them at school, the school will change their life better
  • Negociate the price : In Vietnam ervery thing are subject to negociation, if you want to buy anything in Vietnam in places that the price are not showed , at the proposal of the seller, better to negociate . I recommend to start at 50 % of the proposed price
  • Any trade must be free : I mean there are no any obligation to buy from any one . If you are not interested in souvenirs, if your luggages are too heavy to carry during the long trip, if yiou don’t thinks these souvenirs are greats stuffs to buy, or if the price is not your budget, then don’t buy ! Feel free to buy or say no
  • Nothing happen if you don’t buy:  If you don’t buy from them, and choose to buy from another shops, it’s also a good free choice. For sure, if you refuse to buy no any seller harm you. They are looking for opportunities to make some moneys, in their local and special way, but their are not looking for any trouble too as if the trouble come to any tourist in our area, the authoritie will work hard  to fixe it
  • You can buy from fixed shops in Lao Chai and Ta Van villages instead: Nowaday many shops are arounds in many villages and their provide the same stuffs and souvenirs as Hmong sellers ladies. More you buy from fixed shop, more easier for you to check as there multiple choices and the price are always better . More you buy from fixed shops, Hmong mobile sellers will think about to change their way to make their commecial activities in the correct ways, no more sollicitation and begging again
  • Try to say No in Hmong language immediately and here are the way to say no in their language

Some words you can use in theses situations

No – Chi

No buy – Chi zua

So i hope that some advices are helpful to help you to understand the situation and find out what to do if you want to enjoy the trek and what to do if you have some new local friends that want ot sell

What the Amica house team has done is to ensure that you can explore this magnificent region in the best possible conditions, away from the hustle and bustle.

We’ve put together a range of hiking itineraries to suit all levels of walker.

But for each of them there’s the same pleasure for the eyes: spectacular rice terraces, bamboo and pine forests, women bent double in the rice fields transplanting the rice, men maneuvering their buffalo for ploughing, steep villages reached by suspension bridges.

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