Chinese Border

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
1
17
23
Trip End Dec 06, 2011


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, October 7, 2011

With more than enough time in Sapa so we took the early bus to Lao Cai (where we meet the train) to see what there was to do there. After 11 hours we have come to the conclusion: nothing.

We walked around and hung out at a restaurant for most of the day. Locals would see us and would ask if we needed a ride to Sapa. That would have been great if we hadn't just come from there.

We walked to the Chinese boarder which was neat since I have not been there yet. We went back to the restaurant and people watched. The town came to life in the evening as they prepared for the buses to bring in a new set of tourists. A market was set up and locals start asking us to buy things.

We tried to get our train tickets again, but we couldn't do anything until after 3pm. All we had to do then was give our voucher to a lady at the hotel where they kept telling us to go and she gave us our tickets. If only we knew that beforehand.

At the station, we waited for our turn to board the train and ran into the group of Americans we had dinner with the night before. There was a boy, maybe about 13 years old, at the station that had a crowd around him. I didn't get the full story but this is what I understood...He had gotten in an accident and badly hurt his leg several months prior. It still had an open wound and he was not able to get treated because he did not have enough money. He was at the station trying to get money to take back to his family since he was not able to work and provide for them. He had already been told that he would lose the leg, but with how long he had gone without medical help, he would probably have bigger problems like infection.

We boarded the train and found our cabin. We shared it with a couple from China. For me it was a much better way to travel than the night bus, but not much sleep was gotten by the rest of the cabin. In the morning, I knew we were close to our destination so I got up to use the restroom before the rush. There was already a line and we waited there for quite a while. I tried to get around the guy waiting in line in front of me to go to another restroom but he insisted that it was also occupied. I kept thinking, how much longer could this person be in there? Which turned to, I don't want to go in there after this person has been in there for so long. The other restroom opened up and the guy in front of me ran to it. I finally gave up on the first one and the guy finally come out with a cloud of smoke. No wonder he took so long! And I was right, I did not want to go in there after that.

We arrived in Hanoi and we tried to exit the station and they asked for our tickets. I had left them in the cabin...
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