The road from Ha Long to Viet Tri (29 sep 15)
It's a long road, but when I get to Viet Tri, I'll be halfway to Sa Pa. Unless you are a really good navigator and have the right maps, it's difficult to avoid roads with a lot of traffic. You get honked at by trucks and buses - in Vietnam, the rule is, if you have the larger vehicle, you honk, and the smaller vehicle has to get out of your way.
I saw plenty of evidence of the rise of a substantial middle class. Lots of big houses in clusters like the California suburbs. I also came across poor but amazingly cheerful people like the young woman in the picture, who lives in a shack and sells chips and soda to passing truckers, at a crossroads which is noisy and polluted 24 hours a day.
The rest of the picture is various random hotels and cafes along the way.