Vietnam: Along the Chinese Border. Real Time Report

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mb300, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Day 10, Saturday 6-April, Day trip from Cao Bang to the Ban Gioc Waterfall and Nguom Ngao Cave

    Another day trip, although today there was no scenic route. We did do a couple of cool offshoots though.

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    The waterfall was pretty but who cares about that - - there was a pony! For some reason this pony has a broomhandle mauser:

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    Here's the main waterfall. BTW that's China on the other side:

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    BTW there was also a speedo guy on top of the waterfall:

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  2. Dillard

    Dillard Seeker

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    The driving advice in that article is spot-on, and funny. It reminded me of a PJ O'Rourke line about Middle Eastern driving where he refers to the Horn as the Egyptian Brake Pedal.

    The Cone of Awareness explains an unwritten rule I've noticed; If the front of my vehicle is one inch past yours, I'm merging over in front of you.

    Great stuff, keep it coming.
  3. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    More waterfall insanity:

    There were girls dressed in their traditional ethnic outfits, but one of them had a selfie stick with her.

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    Closer inspection that the one with the selfie stick wasn't a girl at all, she was one of the girls moms.

    "I'm still young and cool!"

    Check out the look on the daughter's face, this was one of the more mild looks of disdain / embarrassment she had:

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  4. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    The tour boats had a cool outboard motor setup:

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    Electric three wheeler:

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    If someone can read Chinese please translate the writing on the fork legs for us:

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  5. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    After the waterfall we headed to the cave - it was really cool.

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  6. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Great ride report and fantastic pics - thanks for taking the time and sharing with us
  7. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    We did a couple of offshoots on the way back to Cao Bang.

    Stop #1 Ancient Chestnut Tree

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    It was not a major tourist destination:

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    We had to walk on top of an irrigation canal to get there:

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    There it is:

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    Wafer took a video of the ride back to the main road, thru a little village. Unfortunately she didn't start it until after we rode thru the mud, but since we didn't crash you didn't really miss anything.

    If you can make it to the end there are some peeps:

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  8. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware Supporter

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    Fun RR, you two sure are having a good time of it. Thanks for posting.

    I've read that those types of outboards are called rat tails. Some are extremely long.
    The Mauser is probably of Chinese Shansei manufacture and is .45ACP.
  9. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Our last offshoot was one of the best - thru a tiny village and up pass to view another village:

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    Another video, this time descending the hill then passing thru town:

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  10. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware Supporter

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    Beautiful...
  11. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Some final random photos of the day:

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    Taste test - the hand sanitizer wins:

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  12. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    This captures modern Vietnam in a nutshell.
  13. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Day 11, Sunday 7-April, Cao Bang to Lang Son

    Today is just a travel day as we head towards the coast.

    We tried to find POW Camp Dogpatch but there was nothing at the location where google indicated it would be, just a small village. We rode to the top of a nearby hill and couldn't see anything in the area that looked out of the ordinary.

    As our elevation dropped the temperature and humidity climbed quickly.

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    Attached Files:

  14. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    We got off the main road (the main roads up here are just 2 lane roads that are a full 2 lanes wide and have a dividing line down the middle) and tooled along a river for a while.

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    Found a narrow bridge and had to cross it:


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    Videos:




    Shorter, off bike shot:

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  15. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Arrived in Lang Son early in the afternoon and had some tea and cake:

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    Check out this sweet Toyota minivan:

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    Uhhhhh, why so excited about a minivan? This is why:

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    Because it is a Hilux underneath.

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  16. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    We went to the old fortress that overlooks the city. There were many steps and lots of sweating:

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    Also there were lanterns:

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  17. LookingHard

    LookingHard Been here awhile

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    mb300,

    Great report and I really appreciate your taking the time to write it up and post it here......

    That said, you seemed to have passed a lot of partially built cinder block, (CMU), buildings and I wondered if you thought those were abandoned or just no work being done while you guys were passing through?

    Not sure why I ask beyond wondering if the villages are on an upswing or a downswing.

    Hopefully you will not mind, but I would like to relate a story from the VFR thread. There is a Vietnamese guy who posts his ride photos and one day he posted a photo of a string of round fish ponds and commented on how much effort it must have taken to dig them. One of the other posters gently chimed in and said it was bomb craters from a stick dropped from a B-52. The Vietnamese rider said that they are not taught much about the war and most of the folks are too young to remember.

    The reason I posted this was in part because someone mentioned resilience and these people have been through soooo much and it is great to see the smiling faces you have shown.

    Looking forward to updates and I hope this was not out of line..........


    LookingHard
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  18. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Day 12, Monday 8-April, Lang Son to Ha Long

    (Back to actually being a real time report)

    Breakfast at the hotel was phenomenal:

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    I'm a connoisseur of pho, and this was one of my top 3 of all time.



    Every day it says there is a 40pct chance of rain. It has never said anything less than that.

    Every day we get a couple of sprinkles and that is it, we've only had one really big downpour.

    Today, for some mysterious reason, the forecast called for only a 5pct chance of rain.

    5pct chance of rain = downpour.

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    The rain has stopped, but we're chilling out in the hotel room because the patch of rain is heading in the direction that we're going. If we leave now we'll just catch up to it.

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  19. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Not at all out of line, but I'm going to wait until we're back home before I post anything that could be regarded as sensitive regarding certain topics.
  20. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    They can spot her a mile away, even with a full face helmet and sunglasses. No one asks me where I'm from, they only ask if Wafer is Vietnamese.