Sa Pa is in the far north of Vietnam, very close to the border with China. Tourism has developed here over the past 20 years, so the H'mong people no longer confine themselves to simple village life but make clothing and other souvenirs to sell to the many visitors who come trekking.
It's pretty cold at night, being 1,500 metres high. To reach the town and surrounding villages I've taken an overnight train from Hanoi, followed by a bus, and am now doing two days of walking. It's nice to get away from the big city for a while. The largest mountain here is named Fransipan. The people look very different to other Vietnamese. They're similarly persistent, however, in offering motorbike rides and things for sale.