From our location at BaBe Lakes due north of Hanoi our route today took us eastward to the town of Lang Son near the Chinese border. Lang Son itself was not a destination, just a way point on the way to our next stop.
We had constant mist and light rain the first half of the day. It was nothing like the poor visibility we had experienced a few days earlier as we headed south from Meo Vac though, and the road conditions were good. We found that the further south we got the better the roads.
The area was a verdant green. Lots of agriculture, the usual rice paddies and corn. The entire area was replete with the rounded limestone karst hills that are the signal feature of north and central Vietnam. Small villages dotted the road, and we were riding alongside rivers for large parts of the journey. It was hour after hour of pleasing scenery. As we passed through one small village, within a 200 yard stretch, it seemed to me like a microcosm of rural village life: there was a lady chopping wood, here was a man tending his chickens, over there was a kid leading some water buffalo, over here was a lady carrying a load on her back, over there was a man tending his rice paddy, here was a man leading a pig. It just struck me how much was going on in such a small area.
We stopped at one tiny village for coffee and this brought the usual response of a crowd of locals coming in to the store to look at us and our bikes outside.
As we neared Lang Son we rode through and had a great view of a beautiful mountain range. The mountains were not on the scale of the grandeur of the mountains in the far north, they were smaller but they, together with the ever-present karst formations, made for a lovely scene.
We found a decent hotel in Lang Son, this was the view from our room level:
Over dinner that night Zach commented to me that as we rode through one small village today he had seen many rural village sights in one short distance and it struck him how much was going on in just that one small area. This brought such a smile to my face as he was talking about the exact same location where I had experienced the same aha moment. We had independently marveled at the very same thing. Nice moment
Total distance for the day - 250 kms (155 miles)