Rach Gia and Ha Tien

Flames on the Bike

Flames on the Bike

Subtitled:  How to Make Your Motorbike Faster

I left Tra Vinh feeling very positive about the town.  Situated right in the heart of the Mekong Delta, this town has a nice vibe.  And strangely enough, it’s almost completely ignored by the major travel guides.  There’s quite a bit to do and see; it’s very relaxing as well.  I suppose it’s too far away from the Saigon day-trippers and other places closer to “experience Delta life”.

I’m headed for the southern coast.  There’s not a lot written about this area either.  But my goal of going edge-to-edge in Vietnam mandates that I take the bike to the sea.  And I really liked the town I first stopped in when I crossed into Vietnam, so I’m headed to the fishing town of Rach Gia and Ha Tien on the Cambodian border. Continue reading

First Night in Vietnam

Cambodia / Vietnam Border Crossing at Ha Tien

Cambodia / Vietnam Border Crossing at Ha Tien

I publish this first day’s account of Vietnam as an exercise in judging how different first impressions are from well-informed ones.  Later on, there will be many follow ups in which I probably retract all my initial observations.  I also want to share with fellow travelers my experiences at this border crossing.

First of all, I have to say that Vietnam has impressed me (mostly from the view out a bus window today).  I am generally impressed with the infrastructure and the hale, hearty look of the people I saw on my rural journey today.  For a country with such a large percentage of its population well below the (government idealized) poverty line, most everyone appeared happy and healthy.

I also feel like a child.  I know what I want, but don’t have the words to get any of it….so, I point, I pantomime, and I laugh.   Continue reading