352km brings me to the end of my journey in Vietnam, with only 7km to the border in the morning, this is the first time I have ever made a land crossing. I believe it’s not too difficult as long as you are prepared to pay the $5 “express” money or expect to wait a while. I followed along a canal today, Cambodia was on the otherside it was strange to think I could easily cross one of the small bridges to the otherside and be in Cambodia.
It has been pretty special the last few days, despite the heat, and it is bloody hot, its been brilliant passing through villages, stopping plenty along the way. I have seen things I would never have the chance to if I were on one of the tourist buses, barrelling through villages at break neck speed causing everything in their path to run for cover.
The villages were very rural, livestock was penned on the sides of the road, cattle, ducks, cocks, pigs and buffalo. I have ridden past many duck farms, and there are always hundreds of ducks, not caged particularly. This morning I saw what looked like hundreds of flamingoes, off in the distance, strange, i never thought there were flamingoes in Vietnam. As i rode a little further I noticed hundreds of pink ducks, surely not! It seems the farmer has worked out a way to identify his ducks and painted them all pink, is there such a thing as a pink duck?
If you can’t work in Vietnam, you won’t survive. There are people with deformed legs getting around on all fours, thongs on their hands to protect them from the heat, selling lottery tickets to make a living. Elderly men and women stooped over with the most impossibly hunched backs from years of back breaking work, still out working in the fields. Life is tough here.
But despite that, the people have been wonderful, always calling out hello, some days endlessly, to ride past a school yard is a chorus of “hello, hello, what is your name, where you from” and when I answer they erupt with laughter. It truly has been a pleasure to come back to this country.