1 2 3 »

China Border Crossing

Entering China seemed somehow different from crossing any other country border we’ve crossed to date. It might have been the tenuous relationship between the US and China, the difficulty acquiring a visa, entering a country with a, ehm, strong central government or that the guide book warned that it might be taken from us on crossing because of its depiction of Taiwan as a separate country. No photos were allowed, as is custom at every border,... Read More

Markets, Motorbikes and Moonshine

We’ve been to a lot of markets on this trip but the Bac Ha market in the north west corner of Vietnam, close to the border of China, is at the top of my list. Our pictures will give you a taste, but the Bac Ha market was an amazing fiesta of business and color added in large part by the dazzling clothing of the Flower H’mong people. Apparently Bac Ha is a sleepy rural town during the week, but on Sundays it busts at the seams when... Read More

Accessory to a Hit and Run

We disembarked from our Sapa to Hanoi train just a few minutes shy of 5 AM. We made our way in the darkness through the crowds to the street to hail a taxi. After dodging a couple of offers that were about three times the going rate, I stopped a taxi in the middle of the street. His price was fair and he knew the location of our hotel, so I called to Sasha who’d been guarding the bags. I put our first bag in the trunk while he was still in the... Read More

Cheeseburger: No Cheese, No Burger

With an hour and twenty minutes before our train. Sasha and I joined some new friends for one last meal together. We ate at a place called Fan Si Pan — fitting because I met them climbing Mt. Fansipan. Before we ordered, we made sure they could get us our food in time, since there isn’t any food on the 9 hour train ride. We had to be across the street at the train station at 7:35, so we asked for our food by 7:10. It seemed simple enough. At... Read More

Climbing Mt. Fansipan

When we entered Vietnam, I had never heard of Mt. Fansipan (or Phan xi Pang). At 3,143 meters (10,312 feet), Mt. Fansipan is no Mt. Everest. But it does rightfully claim the superlative of the tallest mountain in Indochina. Since I am hoping to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a few months, I figured this would be a good start to my training regimen. When we arrived in Sapa, I shopped around for a tour operator in town and, in the process, found two folks... Read More

Next Page »