Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Martin's Travelling 1

A bagpacker friend, Martin Bristow, traveling abroad sent me his diary letter. It’s a fantastic one. It should be shared on the blog. He’s now traveling in Asia.

Dear all,

After five days in Hanoi I decided to move on. I was strong again after my fever and China was beckoning. After the trouble at the Chinese embassies in Sydney, Wellington and Kuala Lumpur, I was half expecting something to go wrong at the border. Fortunately everything went smoothly.

The night before I left Hanoi I checked my wallet and saw that I had just enough money for some breakfast the following morning and the train ticket to the border. Actually, I didn't cross the border into China with a single dong. The train took me to Dong Dang, a town three kilometres from the Vietnam/China border. I had 10k dong left, about 35p. I was a little hungry at that point, having only eaten a few items from a bakery before I left Hanoi. Also, I hadn't eaten much over the previous few days due to my fever, so I was generally trying to catch up. I found a small local shop and bought some bananas for 3k dong. I then offered a motorbike taxi driver the rest of my money to get to the border. He laughed when I said I only had 7k on me, and initially refused to take me for such pitiful pay. However, as I started to walk off he called me back, as is often the case with offering money for a service/product. So I jumped onto the bike with my big backpack on my back and my little backpack on my front, and off we sped.