Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Frontier Zones

(PICTURE: A border belt.)

As I've mentioned many many times, a couple years ago my friends Long, Nicky and I were detained overnight for accidentally motorbiking into a "Frontier Zone." A frontier zone is basically anywhere close to another country's border. In the case of our detainment we were apparently very very close to Laos.

On our motorbike trip, Huyen and I spent A LOT of time near frontier zones. One of the few places we didn't need to have a permit was to visit the cave where Ho Chi Minh's snuck back into Vietnam from China. Ho Chi Minh specifically chose this cave because of its proximity to China in case the French found out where he was he could sneak back across the border.

Well, at the cave, there's a few signs pointing to different sites. The signs were slightly confusing and apparently Huyen and I went on the wrong path. As we were walking, we bumped into this lady:

(PICTURE: We were very close to China...and birthplace of those sweet blue rain pants Huyen is wearing.)

The lady told us that we were pretty darn close to crossing into China and should turn around. She added that "there should be someone at the border to stop you" but she wasn't sure.

Anyway, the cave was mildly interesting. More interesting to me was Ho Chi Minh's desk where he wrote poetry next to "Lenin Stream." I'm pretty sure there is no cooler desk in the world:
(PICTURE: The seat is on the left, the table on the right.)