Country roads between Yen Bai and Lao Cai (02 oct 15)
For the first time, I was riding on country roads and not continually subject to loud honks. In the countryside, these noises only occur when a construction truck driver comes round a corner and sees a group of schoolchildren spread out across the road. I met an Australian miner on a motorbike with his dog, and he told me the next town was Thi Tran Pho Rang, where I stopped. He also told me to get a SIM card to put in my old Samsung phone so it would work in Viet Nam.
The phone shop required me to get my passport back from the hotel, since the government wants to know to whom they are selling these cards, but the people in the hotel couldn't understand what I was asking, even when I showed them the words for passport in Vietnamese: "hộ chiếu". The hotel was OK, apart from the thickos who run it. It's called "Nha Nghi Ha Thanh". I'm now eighty Km from Lao Cai, a day behind schedule. I'll spend the weekend in Lao Cai, not Sa Pa.