Vietnam (#16 a road less traveled)

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Driving down the road from Meo Vac I saw this guy just enjoying the view on this slightly raining morning and drove up a little dirt path to get this picture and of the nice scenery.

I am going to miss so much these quiet roads and seeing everyone out working away. 20180503_09194320180503_093821

Well not everyone… : )

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It is hard a lot of times to really capture so much of the experience in this blog but I do try. Driving these extremely quiet roads and then coming into very small villages, avoiding the chickens, being waved too by the kids, and seeing the classrooms with kids studying away is truly an incredible experience.

I am going to miss this so much when I do head onto the next thing. It’s fun seeing kids just be kids. They always shout out hello to me, and I see them doing funny things like dragging a stick back and forth for a long long time behind them. (And it makes me so happy to see it.) Takes me back. No special reason…maybe because its fun, maybe just because.

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Check out this naked little kid waving away at me with some type of machete. 😀

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So many gorgeous sweeping views too.

Cute dogs are everywhere roaming around and its fun to stop and pet them.

Lots of little local rest stops come up and this one convinced me to stop to grab a snack and drink today.

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Pool is a big thing here! 

I eventually reached Cao Bang, and decided to press on to a home-stay closer to this waterfall I had heard about.

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It started to get dark and I went to the place I would be sleeping. What a cool dynamic it was in this home-stay. It was a really neat experience with the grandmother watching the grandchildren and the mother and father cooking for us and pulling out extra beds when others showed up. They made us an awesome family dinner.

It was a very old raised wooden house with tons of mosquitoes and other insects. The family set up bug nets for us at night but I turned a fan on, allowing a small space at the bottom of the net to be blown away from the bed. : /  The girl that was sleeping to my left saw a cockroach and was doing her best to get it away, and then it went between her mattress and the wooden floor. She was freaking out jumping everywhere on the mattress to try and squish it so she could actually fall asleep. Eventually, she found it again and moved it outside after it stopped moving.

At around 4 o’clock I woke up to something that felt like a gecko on my neck!!! I love geckos and didn’t want to hurt it so moved my hand up to this wet feeling thing on my neck! IT jumped away! I grabbed my phone and turned on the flashlight to see that it was a frog that had climbed on my neck! 😛 I was able to maneuver the cute little guy out and fall back asleep.

In the morning, after a breakfast provided from the family, I headed to Ban Gioc waterfall.

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Gorgeous! Sadly, it is right on the border of China.. The other side of the water is China… You are not allowed to swim or go up to the awesome pools in the middle layer of the waterfalls. : ( There is barbed wire preventing you from even trying to get up there.

Pius had a drone and got this cool shot showing the crazy pools halfway up. His instagram is “s.pi.rit.us”. Thanks for the cool shot Pius! : ) Great to meet you guys.

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Can you imagine if I could have gone up there!!?  Ahh!! So cool.

On the way back I was hungry and stopped at this local lady selling something in banana leaves. Feeling adventurous I tried communicating to ask for two. She ended up giving me more than I paid for, a cucumber, and insisting that I have some of this chicken she had in a bowl.

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I have really been so overwhelmed at the warmth of the Vietnamese and their kindness. She would say some stuff to people passing as I sat there smiling and some other guys showed up to smile with me. What a beautiful place Vietnam and its people are.

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It had like a ground beef in it, and was very gelatinous. (And good)

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I ran into some other american travelers who I was able to help a little bit in putting on a patched tire, and stayed the night In Cao Bang.

Check out this cool row of outside barbers who tried to draw me to trim up my luscious locks!

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From Cao Bang, I headed to Bac son on very off the beaten path routes and enjoyed the road to myself for a good long time. The locals would look at me and it felt different than my other trip so far. I really felt out of place but still welcome.

It was so peaceful out here. Potholes all over the road and lots of road to slowly enjoy the green quiet view everywhere.

Much further down the road I stopped to check out a view on this bridge and some friendly kids wandered over to practice their English and pointed enough to the pennyboard for me to pull it of the back rack for them to try.

 

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So green. So great.

I stopped for a water and ended up having a beer with some locals while waiting out some rain. 20180505_144734

The family that owned the little store even offered me to stay in their house that night but I had already picked out another homestay. I met 5 slightly older Czech guys that night and then headed on down the next day to Halong bay.

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Gotta stretch out sometimes 
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Wedding! : ) 

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Love my coconut drink stops.

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Banh Mi lunch stop.

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These guys (pictured below) stopped at the same place and we chatted with google translate for a little bit and he gave me some wet wipes as I was a little messy from the sandwich and sweating a bit. I was very thankful and he insisted on giving me the rest of the little pack. I asked to pay and pay for Thanh and his brothers sandwich but he wouldn’t let me! As I tried to hand the lady the money he spoke to her in Vietnamese and even payed for my sandwich! He said welcome to Halong and gave me a huge smile as he set back off on his bike.   20180506_122714

I set off amazed.

Further down the road was this great sight! The head of the pig is stuck in the middle. You can just see it’s snout. 20180506_130924

I am gonna really miss the roadside fruit stands too.

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And to finish us out for the night.. Here are a few pics of Halong Bay.

Hope you enjoyed. : )

Have a good ones guys!

 

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