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One traveller's day-by-day account of a year-long journey through Japan, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada

The terraced hills of Sapa

streams and paddy fields. The first stop was at a Black Hmong Tribe village. It was like stepping back in time. Farmers guided water buffalo through the fields, and all around were ramshackle wooden houses. Apparently water buffalo are a bit of a status symbol here: the more you have, the richer you are - and they cost a few hundred dollars. Guess it's not too far removed from our view of the more cars per