(PICTURE: My new pants.)
I'm not much of a souvenir buyer but I ended up getting something up in Sapa.
After exiting the cave to China we were confronted by an old Hamong woman who invited us into her home. We knew that she just wanted to sell us stuff but the desire to see inside her home outweighed the annoyance of more harassment.
The women basically lived in a big barn where she slept, cooked and raised a dozen or so pigs. She told us that we could buy a pig for around $3. That was for one of the big adult pigs. Strangely the smaller baby pigs were more expensive. Apparently they are more delicious. Ryan asked the woman if we bought a pig could she cook it for us. The woman said no but that she'd put it in a bag and we could drive it back into town and have someone cook it at a restaurant. We passed on transporting the pig in a bag.
It only took a couple of minutes before the woman's girl friends came over and started to try and wheel and deal. Nothing interested me except the clothes they were wearing. I asked, "Do you have any pants?" Huyen translated my question and moments later the woman was handing me a pair of hand-made pants from her closet. The pants actually fit and despite -- a) the fact they they have no pockets b) I'll never actually wear the pants -- I bought them. They cost me about $15... or roughly 5 large pigs.