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Rating: 0. I spent a bit of time in Lao Cai hanging around to see if my package brake pads sent by my boota from NZ were going to arrive. Seems the post up here isn't so hot! Heading to the border was a bit sad. Although Vietnam has been full of lots of challenges and a people I don't really understand, I will miss the place. It seems like such a reborn country coming out of years of problems and strife, the young generation not really caring about it while the older still remember and are deeply affected by it.
This comes through in many interactions and is what I will really remember Vietnam for - its great people who have managed to forgive and move on within a single generation. Powerful stuff. Having been here for 2 months as well I had some serious nerves about entering a new country. Everything was about to change, the people, culture, language, geography I realised quite soon after something about myself - I don't think I am an "adventurer" or "explorer" at heart, I am more of a "pioneer".
Which I define as an adventurer with a nesting instinct! I also was a little concerned about my Chinese visa which said I had to enter before the 17th. I was entering on the 16th I hope not! To the border it was then! Approaching I spied 2 other westerners on bikes! More cycle tourists, this couple from the Netherlands, yay. I stopped for a chat with them and a couple of pics, they had come down from Sapa to try and sneak into China without a visa.
But the Chinese didn't want to let them in the Vietnamese didn't mind them leaving and re-entering though! Fair enough I suppose and rather brave of them to try! Lao Cai in all its glory. Nice middle of the road traffic islands Check it out! Not bad touring bike Though I suspect panniers may be an issue My hotel bathroom, back to squat toilets!
Which I actually prefer now, much better position for Purchase 1: Big red jujube. OK, but taste a bit weird. Purchase 2: Peanut and milk protein drink? OK, I am up for it. Contents of milk drink Taurine, OK Chlorine though? And some ASH for good measure My huge dinner. I almost ate it all because I had only a snack for lunch. The nice public spaces in Hekou. First night there I watched a whole group of ladies dancing in this area and a really cool old group of Chinese people playing in an orchestra Topic: Bicycle Touring [ change ].