Post # 41 Chou Doc

Day 47 1033 days to go. Distance: today 76km total # . It’s 6.30pm Monday 16/1/2012 Chou Doc. I think south east Asian travel has finally got under my skin in a dam good way that is. I must say its got a quality all of its own that’s more a good buzz as opposed to a good time. I’m currently sitting in the street literally in my best Asian squat position trying to give the gps tracker a clear overhead which is a bit tricky in down town Chou doc. The lonely planet describes it as a quiet riverside Vietnamese town . Holly hell it’s so busy and full of people bustling and hustling and beeping to buy road space. It’s definately the size of a town but it’s jammed to the rafters with local folk. I could hear the town coming this afternoon I kid you not. Comparatively speaking it was a quiet ride in from the border and then about half a km out you could hear the quiet town. Love it. The population density and difference of Vietnam is felt immediately and it’s a next level of saturation up. Like
I said south east Asia is its own brand of travel and particularly now I’m feeling so much better I’m really getting a buzz put of it. It was about 50km to the border this morning. Im not exactly sure as rubes speedometer is busted from the bus trip or at least the sensor on the front tyre is. I love that bit of kit so after an indecent swear word or two I got on with it on the basis that it’s about 20 per hour I average with breaks. Our little porter boy from phenom phen will have burning wars for a day or two that’s for sure 😉 the last 20km saw a real change of scenery with rice field wetlands and stilted homes it was great it kind of post card rice field country. This area is not passable in the wet and you can see why with there being so much ground water even now in the dry . Perfct rice growing fields and they stretched for as far as the eye could see which in my case isn’t that far but you get the idea. i stopped off at this town about about 2km out and got an extra special welcome from this little thing that let out the biggest string of ‘hellos’ yet and that’s saying something because I’ve heard some doozies through Cambodia particularly. I stopped parked Rube pointed at the little knee high and ran straight over to her still pointing right up to her belly which I gave a gentle poke and said ‘hello’ back laughing. She loved it!!! Actually thinking now in hindsight I could have terrified the little thing and given her cyclist psychosis for the rest of her life. Not the case. Her and the family loved it and I joined them for lunch or at least sat with them while I ate my banana sandwich and coffee. Fun. I headed to the border and was following these two women chatting away on their bicycles unbeknownst Rube and I were behind so I snuck a photo which I love cause it shows the green rice field countryside beautifully. The border crossing was another experience. It was ‘let the tourist wait’ o’clock and took 2 1/2 hours of waiting at the Vietnamese immigration window before someone decided to let me in. Maybe I smelt really bad which is highly likely. The dodgy stinky aussie no wonder they were probably drawing straws ‘no you go’, ‘no you go ‘alright we’ll draw bamboo straws’ Anyway whatever the reason the actual processing took less than 5 minutes then it was a 25km ride to Chou Doc. Signage was again non existent and I went through heaps of towns with road junctions so that meant allot os stopping and checking but the locals were really helpful and clear in their directions not necessarily friendly but hey after yesterdays ‘help’ it was just good to get clear pointers. It also means I got to stop and ask for help and I like that. Theres a Chinese dragon procession of ‘kids in-training’ that just came past cute and loud they’re having so much fun. I think Chinese new year is in February some time. I read about Chou Doc that it has a large Chinese community evident in the markets with lots of decorative lanterns etc. So after I arrived I pretty much found a hotel $6 straight away which was kind of a relief as the ride in the full on. I cleaned up and headed out for a recky ride finding the river front and getting some initial picks of river life which will be the theme of things over the next few days. Its a real different look and feel even evident even in the short intro today and I’m excited. OK language lesson. Hello ‘sin jow’, thankyou ‘kam em’, goodbye ‘dum bee et’, please ‘lam em’, excuse me ‘sin lo-ee’, yes ‘vang’ or ‘ya’, no ‘kom’. They are the phonetical spelling in the guide book thank goodness as the actual word looks very different. I’m in Vietnam for a good month so I’m going to try to pick up the common phrases. languages are not my forte I don’t know why. I don’t really hear the sounds well some may say I don’t listen well but they clearly don’t appreciate the unique qualities of a virgo 😉 It’s time now to try and scam some hot water from the hotel for a 2 minute noodle fix. I sitting outside the hotel at a alfresco table and chairs with my sars I found in the markets, all my IT toys and the flask ready to scam some water. What a combination. The money here is dang and 20 000 = $1. I’ve bought the hugest bunch of bananas for 50c bargain and will grab some bread tomorrow morning as it was too late this evening for the bread vendors. They always smell so good first up in the morning. Alright mouth watering moment, time for dinner. Talk soon x

Published by shecyclesolo

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

2 thoughts on “Post # 41 Chou Doc

  1. Finally found you. Will follow closely now, love to catch you somewhere and ride for a couple of weeks. Stay safe you are awesome.

  2. Hi maree,

    Looks like you are having a fantastic time!! hope you are well. Just this email from my sister this morning.. see what you think! all the best!

    The Sunshine Coast Daily are really interested in doing an inspirational story on your friends journey if she’s interested.

    Kristy is a journo who also happens to be a super lovely lady

    Her details are:

    T 07 5430 8074

    If you wouldn’t mind forwarding them on. Apparently she’s tried to email her but not sure if she got it/checks it regularly.



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