Mini Itinerary

Blog

  • Grrr
    2 January 2012

    Today gets off to a bad start when the hotel rip me off on the room.

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  • Southbound Again
    1 January 2012

    Three days off the bike getting fat and now it's time to get going again. I'm going to head for the coastal resort of Nha Trang along highway 1 (QL1). It'll take five days.

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  • Passing South of the Divide
    28 December 2011

    Lang Co is just north of the Hai Van Pass, considered by many Vietnamese as the physical divide between north and south Vietnam.

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  • The Sea
    27 December 2011

    Including the day I entered, I've now been on the bike for four days in Vietnam. It's rained for all of them.

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  • Down to Sea Level
    24 December 2011

    This isn't going to be pleasant, this isn't going to be comfortable, but it is going to be. It's supposedly pretty much all downhill on good surface, so hopefully I should be in Hue well inside four hours.

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  • Grizzly, Grizzly, Wet and Drizzly
    23 December 2011

    My first steps into the cold and wet this morning take me to a banh my bakery. I wait for my baguettes to be filled as I bask in the warming glow from the baking ovens. A team of guys shape the dough on large trays, slam them in to bake, and then dump out the freshly cooked ones into a heap for the sandwich makers to mine into.

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  • Into Vietnam
    22 December 2011

    Today's main task is not the ride, but the border crossing into Vietnam. The weather is overcast, and unstable with it. I think there's a real chance of rain, and try to make quick progress.

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  • C'est Bon, Sepon
    21 December 2011

    A shorter day today, after yesterday's, umm, bonus kilometres. Breakfast is the remaining baguette. It's gone a bit soggy, but it still hits the spot.

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  • Going the Wrong Way
    20 December 2011

    Today I've gone pretty much due east, towards the Laos-Vietnam border. Savannakhet has a ferry and bridge border with Thailand. I could have chugged across, headed to the beach and skipped Vietnam and Cambodia in favour of sipping Singhas by the sea for a few extra weeks.

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  • Savannakhet: A Sketch
    19 December 2011

    Savannakhet certainly has the air of a border town. Plenty of people passing through, few staying. It's not unlike Hekou's China-Vietnam border. In Hekou's case, Vietnam's tiny Lao Cai is across the Red River. Here, Thailand's Mukdahan is across the Mekong, and it doesn't look small. Thailand's economy dwarfs that of Laos.

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  • A Brief Rant About Leaving China
    19 December 2011

    I've left Kunming after four years. I've left China after 13 years. It was time. It was not doing me good.

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  • Seno's Paradox
    17 December 2011

    Bit of an unconventional day, in many respects. After the last few repetitive days, today comes as the rest that they say a change is.

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  • When the Wind Blows
    16 December 2011

    Today's ride was a bit more interesting, if only for the road being less flat. Gentle ups and downs all day. There were some karst-like mountains to the east, which raises the spectre of climbs once I'm headed east after Savannakhet.

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  • A SoireĆ© at Lao Ding's
    15 December 2011

    Another flat and generally uninspiring day today, though fortunately a shorter one. It takes me through 2000km, though I barely notice.

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  • Flat Out Over the Flats
    14 December 2011

    It's going to be a biggie, so I'm out of bed at 7am. I'd gone to bed late because I was busy finishing Midnight's Children and getting in a last WiFi fix before heading to the boonies, but I sleep well and wake feeling fresh. Four days of getting fat in Vientiane, and I'm nervous about how today is going to pan out. It's also dawned on me that it could be late March in Singapore before I cross paths with anyone I know, which suddenly seems a long way off.

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  • It's About the Bike (And Some Other Stuff)
    9 December 2011

    A pretty uneventful ride into Vientiane today (aside from seeing a sign for a bar/karaoke called Crammy Valentine), so it's time to talk about gear.

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  • Bumpy Ride
    8 December 2011

    As it's only 85km today, and there are good breakfast options in Vang Vieng, I don't rush onto the road. The first place I seek breakfast has staff far more interested in clipping their toenails in the restaurant than noticing customers. Next door is cheaper anyway. Eggs, bacon, baguette, coffee, check out, bike, road, gone.

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  • There Are Downhills, and There Are Downhills
    7 December 2011

    Legs and morale still sapped from yesterday's outing, I rolled out of bed not too happy about having to get through 100km or so on the bike. It was chilly at first, but as it warmed up, thinking of the 44km downhill to Kasi, I get myself together. As it's a downhill, I decide to wait to eat in Kasi.

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  • The Queen Stage
    6 December 2011

    "The ones who are brave enough to face the mountains will not be disappointed." Jesse put in his GoKunming write-up of this leg. He's right, I'm not disappointed. I am, however, not far short of convinced that that was the hardest day I've ever spent on a bicycle.

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  • Luang Prabang: UNESCO World Tourist Site
    3 December 2011

    I wake with the lights on. This is happening a lot lately. Evenings I do chores, I read, I snack and then I fade out. I'm tired, and the two planned rest days in Luang Prabang are only a ride away. Ok, so it's still 110km, but there's no major climbs, and it's a net downhill.

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