Doing a trek through the hills and rice paddies of Sa Pa is really incredible.... unless you're a clumsy buggar in which case you'll get latched on to by a hoarde of little hill-tribe women who carry you about before guilt tripping you into buying everything from belts to fabric-covered whistles.
I for one had to be helped along by an 80 year old H'mong lady in crocs with an enormous wicker basket on her back who was skipping about the place like a spring lamb while I fell on my face and sat in puddles.
The second we stopped for lunch we got absolutely bombarded by our little helpers, asking us to buy from "the three lady carry you.... TWO HOURS!", which makes you feel guilty and retarded in equal measure.
The same goes in Sa Pa town itself- there are beautiful handicrafts to be had everywhere but you can't go out on the street without an iron resolve. You take a sideways glance at a bedspread out here and a hundred H'mong grannies come and smother you with them.
It's a terrible place to come if you're a softie or a magpie, even worse if you're both- I've somehow found myself in possession of enough hand-woven cushion covers to blanket a football pitch. This is despite the fact I have not got a single spare cushion at home. Be afraid.