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Hitchhiking Vietnam
DESTINATIONS
The loop

map DIRECTIONS:
Start in Hanoi. Go to: Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Lai Chau, Sapa, Lao Cai, and back to Hanoi.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR:
  1. This loop will take you through some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Vietnam - waterfalls, high mountain passes, picturesque villages, hanging bridges... keep your nose glued to the windowpane.
  2. South of the mountain passes the native houses are generally up on stilts with polished bamboo floors. Further north they hit the ground with a thump and acquire muddy dirt floors.
  3. As far as I can tell, only the French think Dien Bien Phu is worth the trip.
  4. There are Sunday markets in most of the little villages. They are so spectacular that they are worth arranging your trip around.

SURVIVAL TIPS:
If the words "provincial capital" bring to mind thoughts of hot showers, cheese, chocolate, or any of the minor luxuries one usually associates with large towns and cities, think again.

The passes are verrrry cold in the winter. Bring warm clothes.

The passes are very high at all times of the year. Bring a durable motorbike, car, or jeep. If you are mountain biking bring a durable pair of legs. If you are busing it bring a courageous soul - the buses often burn out their brakes on the way down.


Central Highlands

Halong Bay

Hanoi

Highway 1

Mai Chau

Mekong

Saigon

Sapa

Sapa Valley

Son La

Tafin

The Loop

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