June 27, 2010
last stop vietnam
fellow travelers are giving me a tough time about leaving for China without a lonely planet guide. in Cambodia and Vietnam there is a micro industry of copying books and selling them cheap. so you can get a lonely planet copy for $1US - $3US. i have a whole list of excuses for them like i am too cheap or it is too heavy [lp china is 3 inches thick] or Chinese border officials are quite likely to take away a LP China and they have good solutions for every excuse. the truth is i am tired of relying on LP. i want to see if i can run the gauntlet of scams and the language barrier on my own plus i have the words Nick had written down for me.
throughout this trip i have used my instincts to guide me and it has served me well so i think i can rely on this to get me to Hong Kong. although when it's 1AM and i am still trying to book a flight from Kunming to Shenzhen i am cussing China before i even get there. i end up paying an extra $50US to book via Expedia because the websites for the Chinese airlines don't take credit cards. i am still pissed about the inflated price of Chinese visas for Americans and so if i hadn't paid for the visa i would skip China.