Only 18km away from busy Sapa Town, Topas Ecolodge is a completely different world lying deep in the Hoang Lien Mountains – an ideal place for visitors seeking a quiet, fresh and peaceful escape.
We arrived at Topas Ecolodge in the morning. After a night on the train, we were all a little bit tired at first but then the breathtaking views along the road sides made us all feel excited again. And it turned to a feeling of great surprise combined with pleasure when we got out of the jeep. The location was beyond our expectations – the stunning surrounding scenery, the bungalows – a great way to start our 2 – day and 1 – night stay here.
We were warmly greeted at the reception and after a brief check-in, we went on to explore our bungalows. The Lodge consists of 25 bungalows constructed from locally quarried white granite and thatched with palm leaves. Each bungalow features either a double or twin room and a private balcony with magnificent views over the valley.
While I and my roommate were still lying on the comfortable bed admiring the decoration and furniture, we were called by other friends to go for lunch. It was nearly 1pm and I could see a big lunch waiting for us in an unique restaurant which is build from two old Thai minority stilt houses. With a seating capacity of 50 guests at a time, the restaurant offers a wide range of Asian dishes as well as local specialties. The foods were really fresh and tasty.
After a quick but deep nap after lunch, we decided to visit the Tay’s Village, Ban Ho, which was only a few hundreds metes down below in the valley. This is really a beautiful village where home-stay service has already been developed for a long time. We returned to the Lodge when the sun has set and the air became pleasantly cool. The walk had made us all tired but I was soon recharged with energy again after a warm shower heater by solar heating system.
Topas Ecolodge is well-known for its environmental friendly way of doing tourism. The lodge is built based on ecological principles, including a solar heating system to supply each bungalow with electricity and hot water; wastewater facility to avoid pollution of the local area; local staff from surrounding villages and supply to ensure economic benefit to the local community. This is truly an ecolodge!
The night fell rather fast here. The afternoon full of activities really made us enjoy our dinner. After that, we were entertained by local folk dances and songs performed by young Tay people until late at night.
The next morning we were all rested after an undisturbed night’s sleep. We all got up early to explore and admire the wonderful scenery under the sunrise. We all went wild taking photos to make sure we could remember this precious experience for years to come.
For more information about te Topas Ecolodge, contact 54 To Ngoc Van, Hanoi, tel: 043.715.1005. Or their Sapa office: 24 Muong Hoa, Sapa, Lao Cai; tel: 0203.871.331. Website: www.topasecolodge.com