the online guide to...: Hitchhiking in Vietnam
Sunday 17 May 1998
She ignored the dark warnings of one countryman ("You'll be raped," he hissed. "The place's still littered with bombs. Malaria'll eat your guts. Snakes and Commies, snakes and Commies in the grass. You'll disappear and no one'll ever find you.")
It's a beautifully written and presented page, packed with anecdotes, tips and tricks, such as a list of ten reasons you can be arrested:
1. Spending the night in a sugarcane field.
2. Taking a picture of a bridge.
3. Owning a Western video.
4. Owning a motorbike
5. Not having a local driver's licence.
6. Having a local driver's licence.
7. Looking like a wealthy foreigner.
8. Blundering into a restricted area.
9. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time (like the Central Highlands at any time).
10. Breathing ... (ie looking like a wealthy Westerner and bumping into a policeman who needs a few extra bucks to pay for his daughter's wedding).
Essentially, she says, travelling around the country is a game. The rule being that every brush with the authorities is likely to leave you with a slightly emptier wallet. Just how much emptier depends on how well you play.
For basic advice about travelling in Vietnam, try Excite's travel page on the country, which also includes a number of useful links.
The Hitchhiking Vietnam page
Excite's Vietnam travel page
A cautionary tale for ambitious would-be authors
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