Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 78 Mon 13/09 - Sapa (Vietnam) Downhill to Hekou (China)

Today Distance : 51.5 km        Total : 4042.0 km
Today Weather : 25 - 30C  Sunny
Time On Bike : 2 hr  47 min
Ave Speed : 18.4 kmh     Max : 51.0 kmh
Ave Climb : 2%        Max : 13%
Trip Altitude : 202 m     max : 1483 m
Today Spend : 109 rmb     Total : 109 rmb

After the bad fall from a downhill in Laos on day 55, I was a bit cautious at tackling this downhill from Sapa to Lao Cai. I knew several sections are really steep with sharp bends. I prefer to take it easy and ride safe as the distance is only 35 km. My front and rear wheels are using V-brakes,so it make sense to stop 3-4 times to cool down the rims to prevent overheating that can cause the inner tube to puncture.By 11.00am safely I arrived in Lao Cai, with no intention to stay here longer,I rode straight to the immigration house, convert all my remaining Vietnamese Dong to Chinese Rmb,no problem on my exit stamp . There are many trading of goods by trishaw across both the borders as I rode towards the Hekou immigration about 100m across the bridge. I was asked to stop by a chinese guard and was told cycling is not allow along the border. He told me in mandarin " Luckily you speak mandarin, if not you will be in trouble" For that I strongly agreed as the chinese officers were not only amazed at my bike but also the way I speak their language so well as a foreigner.With that I got my 90 days entry stamp with ease and before I left,one of the officer asked for permission to sit on my bike which I happily granted. From a country (Vietnem) of non-mandarin friendly to a country (China) of mandarin base, have greatly lifted my spirit to continue my journey ahead. As time is still early, I rode a few more kilometers to survey around the town, especially on the road leading to Kunming. The living standard here is much more cheaper than in Vietnam. A bowl of noodle 5 yuan , a bottle of sofe drink 3-4 yuan and a lunch of mix rice (eat all u can) only 8 yuan. A standard room for 20-30 yuan. Bought a Yunnam map 8 yuan. Bye-bye Vietnam and Welcome to China!
Across the bridge over to Hekou in China
 Hekou border house

20-30 yuan for a double bed room
5 yuan for a bowl of meat noodle
8 yuan lunch eat all u can

Travellers are friends,Station is your home
My bed room in Hekou
Chinese goods preparing to cross the border to Vietnam