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    Vietnam's Stairway to Heaven: Sapa travel done right


    Posts : 6
    Join date : 2012-05-10

    Vietnam's Stairway to Heaven: Sapa travel done right Empty Vietnam's Stairway to Heaven: Sapa travel done right

    Post by susan1304 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:36 am

    If you have ever wondered if there was a place on earth where you can ascend to heaven, you might want to give Vietnam's Sapa a shot. Sure, there are many man-made stairways to heaven. The most famous of these buildings, of course, are Egypt's pyramids. However, many other cultures have their own versions of pyramids. In fact, it seems that walking up to the heavens has been one of mankind's oldest architectural obsessions. From the Babylonians' ziggurats to the Mayans' temples to the Aztecs' temples, people the world over have thought of ascending something to reach the sky. In Sapa's case, its ancient tribal builders and modern maintainers work on a more pragmatic goal-they want to eat. That's right-the Sapa terraces are structures that help local agriculture. They are flat structures that cut hills so they can hold water for rice agriculture. They truly are wonders of local agriculture and engineering. Your sapa travel itinerary will take you through the different points of the Sapa terraces so you can see the terraces from different angles and see different parts of its story.

    A way to grow food

    The Sapa terraces are, first and foremost, a way to grow food. You see, rice can only grow on flat surfaces. How come? It needs to be flooded. It is very hard to flood land that is on a sloping angle. Since the tribal peoples that built the Sapa terraces lived in hilly country, they were forced with a dilemma: move to flat areas in the low country and plains or cut up the hills. They chose the latter and the result are some awesome sights for your Sapa travel plans. These terraces are simply a delight to behold.

    Labor of love that took years

    Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, neither did it take a short time to come up with the Sapa terraces. In fact, the whole project took a long time and was passed on from generation to generation. It started out as a fairly small and limited project but as its success in hemming in water to make rice agriculture in the hills possible, many more tribal villages got into the act and the Sapa terraces grew organically from one end of its hill range to the other.

    A common challenge, a common design

    Interestingly enough, Vietnamese Sapa tribal folk are not alone in their use of terracing technology and architecture to coax rice out of hilly terrain. There are rice terraces in, among other places, the Philippines as well. This just goes to show you the commonality of human beings when faced with certain problems. We share certain commonalities in creative problem solving. This is reflected in the fact that many cultures also show basic design similarities when designing and building pyramids. Why is this? Simple. Regardless of the culture doing the architectural undertaking and regardless of how different cultures' art styles may be, the laws of physics or engineering restrict the variety of ways these cultures can tackle a problem. While a Mayan pyramid might differ from the pyramid of Cheops, they do share core engineering problems and that is why they look similar on an essential level.

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