A couple of weeks in Vietnam has been long enough to establish that the drivers are horn blowing psychopaths, the food is mostly forgettable unless you’re in a big city, and the constant need to negotiate or argue the price of everything you buy becomes draining. I guess it serves me right, I came here in 2002 for a bike trip and came to similar conclusions. For some reason I thought the intervening years may have brought some change to Vietnam or my attitudes to it.
Befittingly I witnessed two accidents on the ride west from Vinh yesterday. One of them moments after a young dickhead on a scooter flew past us doing about 90kmh in flip flops and no helmet. We came around the next corner and he was in a ditch as he deserved. Unfortunately a middle aged lady was motionless under her bike that he had ploughed into. We didn’t linger to see if she survived lest the locals try to pin some of the blame on us.
Yesterday’s ride was to a nondescript town about 30km from the Laos border. Being near the border the rip offs were in fine form. I couldn’t even buy an ice cream or a pho without someone trying to double the price.
And then today we rode over a decent sized hill to exit Vietnam and enter lovely quiet Laos. I’m still not quite over my bronchitis so 1200 metres of climbing in the heat was a reasonable challenge.