Stop 5.5: From NanNing to Hanoi

I travelled from Guanzhou to Naning, spent one night in a hostel and took the bus to cross the border.

Without expecting much I checked into the hostel after the train ride from Guangzhou. Nanning seems to be a modern city with clean and new metro. The cars are even stopping at zebra stripes to let pedestrians cross the road. In the hostel, I met the crazy guy from New Zealand.

He was doing interior design in London and has decided to move back to NZ. However to reach NZ he is cycling through! He started in May and cycled across scandinavia, russia, mongolia, and went into china from beijing to xian to chongqing, along the yangtse to shanghai, took the boat to japan and came back, went down the coast line all the way to HK and ended up in Nanning to get the visa for vietnam. With 13k pound budget, this is just all sort of crazy. He is camping his way though in abandoned houses, in the bushes, even in monus degrees on the fuji mountain.

He also met some people who helped him in extreme situations and seems to enjoy his travel in his own way. I would never do such crazy things. Even your fund would be limited, it should be doable when budget travelling to come to same amount of budget (if you would calculate the equipment cost)

There I also met 2 people helping out at the hostel. 1 is 18 (she didn’t seem 18 at all) and another grad student wanting to take her postgrad exam in Nanning. It feels actually inspiring that young people nowadays would do such things in their holidays.

There was also an English teacher from Greece who is teaching Eglish in China. (Kind of funny that her background qualifies her, not saying thought that she is not good enough) She is teaching kids and one sad thing that she told me about is that, when the kids get asked what color the sky is, they actually say grey.

There was also the outdoor designer who went travelling in Vietnam. She was saying how finding interesting people on the way was a nice way to travel. Did not have time to ask her though what she considered interesting.

On the bus to the border, I got to know a guide who lives in Nanning but sometimes has to pick up tourist groups in Hanoi and guide them. There was also another young uni student who studied sport marketing. She sort of is alike the girl I met in Guilin 3 years ago. Without any fear and chats whatever is on her mind. We ended up taking the taxi together from where the irresponsible bus driver sent us off to somewhere close to the city center. The uni sport marketing student ended up missing her flight to Danang and had to spend a night at the airport and booked a new one next morning. We took another girl as well and had 4 large luggages within a tiny taxi. The last girl ended up almost hugging her luggage within the taxi. More on her later in the next post.

The Vietnamese border crossing also was an interesting experience. After the chinese check point, we had to walk 10 minutes to the Vietnamese side. The interior looked actually nice with beautiful stones as building material. We heard that they sometims ask for a tip of 10 RMB at the border. When it was my turn, the guy was not able to scan my passport and another guy just completed my process without asking for the tip. (there was also 3 guys who had “business” tickets, that are supposed to be picked up from one border crossing to the other and not having to walk, they ended up not taking a business van but was travelling with us on the same big bus, they were not amused)

I slightly feel that my person descriptions are getting not precise enough … but it is getting increasingly hard to catch up with the posts …

Me, spending a night in Nha Trang and am about to go on a 2 day 1 night easy rider trip tomorrow.

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