Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Day 182 - No Xe May Allowed
I got up early in the morning to visit the Khe Sanh combat base before driving to the border town of Lao Bao.
The base is very cool and definitely worth a visit, you can see some tanks, helicopters, a cargo plane, bunkers and bombs used.
The museum has quite a few old photos from the ware so it's interesting to see.
After spending more time than planned at the base, I arrived in Lao Bao and decided to have a coffee first. People at the coffee place were quite nice and a few came over for a brief conversation to practice their English. I even got some 'Li Xi' from a guy there as souvenir.
After enjoying my coffee, I filled my bike up and went to the border checkpoint where I was promptly stopped and asked to park my motorbike aside. No vehicles seemed to go through on the Vietnamese side so I went to talk with the border guys and see what I need to do.
Their English was basic but ok and with some help from Google Translate (a must have app and life saver for all your travels!) I was given to understand that they were not happy with my bike papers and there is nobody there to give me the right papers.
Only Lao people can cross on a motorbike but no Vietnamese motorbike, I am free to cross however but have to leave my bike there.
Since leaving my bike behind was not really an option, and after some back and forth with them making some phone calls, I had to admit defeat (for now) and turn around.
I will have to try and get the right papers but will have to wait till after the Tet holiday so people are back at work.
Khe Sanh is not the most exciting of places so after studying my options over a coffee, I decided to drive back to Hue for now before heading further south to cross the border at Bo Y or maybe try again at Lao Bao.
Should it all fail, I will just take a bus into Laos and rent or buy a motorbike there for travelling around. Don't feel like going back on long bus journeys across Laos at the moment.