Back in Vietnam – 009: Ruck Sapa

Sapa Valley, Northern Vietnam

The final stop in Rich’s journey through Vietnam. Sapa is a frontier township along the Chinese border, home to the northern highlanders and hundreds of miles of trails. It’s the perfect place to field test MACV-1 prototypes.

Sapa is considered the trekking capitol of Vietnam and we all know trekking is just rucking in the mountains.

The secret to the best bowl of pho in Vietnam? Serve it with plenty of Tiger beer halfway through a 15-hour ruck.

And of course you need to pack a few Tigers for when you get to the top.

“First impressions?” asked Paul.

“They’re comfortable, they’re lightweight, they’re versatile…and you can drink in them.” said Rich.

More stories from Rich’s Return to Vietnam, 45 Years Later
A 10-Part Series Through History


  1. Terry Ogle says:

    Thank you for your stories about going back to Vietnam! I served in the Delta region in Rach Gia as a Navy attack helicopter pilot with the SeaWolves! Love your boots! T

  2. Arthur H. STAVDAL says:

    Served in USN 68 to 72. Gulf of Tonkin 69 70 71 and 72. USS Chicago CG11 we lived in gulf PIRAZ Plane guard in Yankee station plus fleet escort. My son Alex finished GORUCK Selection in Jackonville in 2017.

  3. TL says:

    I recommend Sapa. Where the French colonists went to escape the heat. You get much cooler temps once you cross the ridge from Lao Cai which has some of the highest temps in Vietnam. I did a 3 day trek with guides up Fansipan. Good times. This was 15 yrs ago. Looking back I’d tell you to bring a lifestraw. You can’t haul enough water to summit unless you’re just busting hump up and down and not stopping. The guides solution was “boiling” the river water on a campfire. Somehow my stomach survived but hell I already had dysentery from a year in SW and SE Asia.

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