From Pac Bo, Ho Chi Minh's hideout when he returned to Vietnam in 1940, we began an eight day trek along the Chinese border, staying in the houses of local minority group families and walking an average of 20km a day. I was joined by my tour guide, Hoang, a local guide, Tung, and a porter and cook, Tu. And what a lot of fun we had!
DAY 1 Pac Bo to Nam Nhung
We're a sad old lot this morning. Nothing to do with the copious amount of alcohol drunk, which surprisingly leaves me hangover free. Our host finds some bee infused rice wine for breakfast and we polish off that as well. Then it's an hour or so walk to meet our car and driver. We drive to a nearby town where Tung and Tu jump on a bus back to Cao Bang. It seems weird to pass out the tips and say goodbye, they've become more like friends over our 8 days together. And yes I carried my pack the whole way.
photos from Day 8
The drive back to Hanoi is a sober affair, though we do share a beer over lunch. Hoang finds me some accommodation in Hanoi then it's goodbye to him too. Eight very special days are over but I have some great memories and photos from it.
I am staying in a dormitory in a backpackers in Hanoi, so very soon I am immersed back into western culture. It's happy hour from 5 - 6 and I too have joined the hordes drinking cheap beer. I just might give my liver a break in a few days, right now it's great talking in non-halting English with my compatriots. I've got to get a Chinese visa next so I'm stuck here till that comes through. Might as well enjoy the vibe while I can. Oh, and get a haircut!!