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Lai Chau, Viet Nam

Written on: Tuesday March 22nd, 2011

A journal entry from: S/E ASIA March, 2011

From Dien Bien Phu we had another 6+hr. local-bus ride (8am - 2:30pm) to the northern province capital town of Lai Chau -a ride once again punctuated by the incredible juxtaposition of the old and the new -the beauty of the rice paddies and the river people and the hill tribes versus about a 30 or 40 km stretch of other-worldly construction of a mega-project to build a power dam, contain the river-side, build new, higher roads, and replace the existing city when this whole valley will be flooded in the next few years. On we went as the road started to climb and climb again (after we'd already thought we'd reached our destination -where are we going now??) and we came to the recently re-named city of Lai Chau. This is the new Provincial Capital where they've built a whole new city, complete with 10-lane highway across town, to replace the old city in the valley which is being flooded.  We spent the rest of the day exploring in the old part of the city and connected again in a little local restaurant for dinner with some great people we had met on our travels. The next morning as we checked out we were met by a motor-scooter "taxi" rider who took us, our packs, and him all on one scooter out to the bus station for our trip to SaPa.