Took the night train up and it wasn’t so hot, as a result I’ll try my luck on an $11us night bus from Sapa to Hanoi, Vietnam. Been in Sapa about 5 days, I think 2-3 is plenty and if you’re in the area, COME VISIT.
I’ve done a lot up here and to think, I didn’t even know it existed until some people mentioned it to me. The people are are insanely friendly, the accommodation is reasonable. I’ve heard prices as low as $5us a room. Split it and well, do the math. There is a plethora of fine dining opportunities, tones of hippy garb for you hipsters and cheap winter jackets of decent quality.
Yesterday was pretty cool, hung out with some of my new local friends and even went back to one of their places for dinner. I’ve never had pig intestines or shaved pig ear salad before. I won’t be having it again but it was “ok”. The intestines weren’t as bad as you’d assume. I went back several times until I got overzealous and eat a really big cartilage filled one, tough to swallow.
Later we hit up karaoke and then I went back to that bar I hit up on Saturday to say farewell to the owner. There was a large private party and he introduced me to the crew, we all hung out for a while it was a sick time.
If you have more time, don’t book your ticket home before you get here. The weather is nuts and can go from intense sunshine to monsoon like rain. It rained so hard today that the streets were flooding and staircases looked like waterfalls.
I’m going to hang out in Hanoi for a day or so, pick up some black Air Force 1’s and head to China, if my visa worked out alright. You are aware that Nike used to have a factory here, yes? Regarding the visa, I recommend you put a rush on it before you go to Halong bay so you can pick it up when you return and come to Sapa. From Sapa you can get to China very easily, now I have to go back to Hanoi then back up, egh.
The Chinese visa is ~$45US for a Canadian. If you put a rush it’s an extra ~$30-35. What’s weird is most of the visas for foreigners are done out of Saigon aka HCMC and not Hanoi, weird, yes?
If you’re going from Vietnam into China, Nanning is a logical first step and you can get a bus direct from Hanoi there. I have no clue how much it will cost. China is huge so doing SOME planning is necessary. I’ve heard stories of ~5 day buses to cross ~600km due to the rugged terrain.
I’m excited about China as I’ve been in Vietnam now for ~2 months and SE Asia for ~6+. I’m kinda done with these places. They are wonderful but hey, it’s a massive world out there, lots to see, lots to do. China should be a trip in itself, if you’ve been let me know some places to check.
In true SHABL style, I haven’t done any research but know I’d like to visit the “Special Economic Zone” for obvious reasons. Frankly, the less you know and expect the better it is. Expectations often lead to dissatisfaction, a gregarious demeanor and a fist full of fiat currency is usually all you need.
My bus leaves in 30 minuets, I need to hustle.