They kept saying: « You must go to Sa Pa! Go! Go! »
I went. And they were right.
And I will go back.
With its landscapes of verdant rice paddies, rolling hills, Vietnam’s highest mountain, and trails in overgrown valleys, Sa Pa is a paradise for trekkers and photographers. And for Instagramers, of course.
Before going to Sa Pa, you may feel like you already know this unique place: there are tons of beautiful pictures to see everywhere on the Internet. But when you reach there, you realize that if Sa Pa is a unique place, its' also a diverse place. Unicity and diversity, that's the exciting feeling you get when riding its sinuous roads.
Diverse micro-climates, diverse harvest seasons from a valley to another, diverse costumes, diverse ethnies, diverse languages, diverse shades of colors, diverse lights. And still a unique landscape fractionated in hard-reached valleys and villages.
Fractal beauty of a wildness reshaped by centuries of human activities.
And that's the intriguing aspect of the region and a challenge for a photographer: capturing this relationship between a « tamed » bulky nature and humans who look like commas, characters encrusted on gigantic walls of green and mud.
Une grammaire des hauteurs - grammar of the heights - to compose pictures with. At least to try.
An attempt that asks for many trips.