Trekking to the Hill Tribe Villages.
We traveled north from Hanoi to the mountain village of Sapa in Vietnam. This is home to numerous indigenous hill tribes, including the Dzao, Red Dao, H'Mong and Dzay tribes. The people of these tribes, with their colorful costumes and simple ways, are keeping many of their traditions alive. We trekked to the villages and met a 98-year-old H'Mong woman who was the picture of health, despite their lack of heat, running water or modern medicine. (When we toured her simple wooden dwelling, I thought I spied a jar of Nivea Age-Defying Skin Cream.)
We'll take another overnight train back to Hanoi and on to Halong Bay for a two-day cruise among the giant limestone rocks that jet up dramatically from the sea.