Bonjour, Hello, Ciao, Dober dan, Dobar dan, Mirëdita, Geai sou, Merhaba, Barev, Gamarjoba, Salam, Salom, Nihao, Xin chào, Sabai dee! Welcome in our series of travel stories which traces, chapter by chapter, our great hitchhiking travel. You are now reading chapter 17 of our travel stories: “Discover the peoples of Indochina” – Roadtrip in North Vietnam and Laos.
South East Asia
By March 2020, the world is on lock down: coronavirus epidemic is spreading, hospitals are filling up and political measures are becoming tougher. Overnight, everyone is called upon to isolate themselves – sometimes on the other side of the world, with limited resources. Here, we will talk about our confinement abroad, from our choice to stay to our disrupted daily life.
Leaving the mountainous region of Sapa, its tourists and rainy weather, we continued our hitchhiking trip to another mountainous region, in the provinces of Hà Giang and Cao Bang, located in the North-East of Vietnam, on the border with China. On the spot, we did not only find good weather and few tourists; we also found much more authentic, captivating and impressive green landscapes!
At the beginning of March 2019, we came to Cambodia by land, via the Vietnamese-Cambodian border post of Moc Bai/Bavet… By hitchhiking, and especially without going through an agency! As a result, we got our tourist visa for Cambodia quite quickly, and at the right price – i.e. without paying baksheesh to corrupt customs officers. Here, we give you a feedback on our experience!
When we finally crossed Thailand border, we knew that the next step of our trip was going to be much harder: we soon had to find a boat to continue our hitchhiking adventure, a sailboat on which we could learn how to sail; while crossing the oceans to reach other continents… With zero experience and a bit of nerve, we finally got on board to hitchhike a sailboat for the first time!
When we went to Laos by land with our French passports, we hadn’t taken any steps to make our visa for Laos in advance: indeed, it is quite possible to get your visa directly at the border – which is a big saving in time, energy and paperwork!