Sapa Highlands Rice Terraces
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Climb the Terraces, Thanh Kim Commune, Sa Pa District, Lao Cai province, Vietnam.
That compound in the distance - the one at the top of the terraces to the right of the frame - is the Topas Eco Lodge, one of Vietnam's great rural escape destinations. We were staying in Sapa town proper and had rented motorbikes to explore the countryside. We rolled up and over the hills, trekked through the mountains, and traversed endless rice paddies, rubbing shoulders with local folk along the way, when we came upon this slice of throwback heaven in the hills. We stopped in for a coffee (splashed with a bit of rum to cut through the chill) and toured the grounds. The lodge is powered by solar energy, and offers a relaxing break from the modern amenities of the everyday world. The next time we visit Vietnam we'll be staying here for sure. The view is just the icing on the cake.
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