Colourful hill tribes
Colourful hill tribes
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Propaganda poster
Propaganda poster
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Dao Tien hilltribe girls
Dao Tien hilltribe girls
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Rice transplants
Rice transplants
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Ziba Cranmer from USA

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Ziba Cranmer

Every day was better than the one before, and more of a challenge. On the trip, we told each other it was like a video game (Donkey Kong..since we all grew up in the 80s), you conquer every possible obstacle and then move up to the next level. Just when you thought you had seen it all, large trucks, zero visibility, persistent rain, the extra day would bring an entirely new set of conditions. By the end, I craved more: more challenging terrain, more extraordinary people, more unidentifiable food. And it no longer mattered to me whether I got a hot shower, if a shower at all - I got a kick out of being covered in mud! 

But the physical challenge was only part of the fun, we found our way to the far corners of Vietnam where we saw people and places that more cautious tourists miss. The people, for me, were the heart of the trip - whether it was the fabulous Mr. Xuan who insisted on emptying at least one bottle of rice whisky while we dined in his wife's restaurant or the hoards of kids who skipped classes to play football and frisbee with us when we stopped in their village for a rest. The best advice I have for people who chose this mode of travel is to embrace the unknown, trust in the Minsk of course, and have a blast!

 

Ziba Cranmer from USA
March, 2002

 

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