The sun was beating down as we approached the furthest point north in Vietnam, On the 50m tower the flag was hanging limp in the still morning air, the town was empty and cafe's deserted, we would have to look some place to get out of the sun. As I drove around searching for life out of the tired looking government buildings I noticed a map of the are on a sign next to the road.
"Lo Lo Village 3 km north", that sounded good to me. We headed off along the border knowing any wrong turn would put us into the People's Republic and a heap of problems from the local border police, we came to the end of the paved road and wondering if we should continue up the dirt track that snaked its' was through the black craggy hills.
Just as we were discussing our next move, two men and a small child come driving up the road on a battered scooter. The man jumps and staggers over with a plastic bag full of tobacco and 2 liters of local liquor, completely drunk, he swayed and laughed at our group sitting by the side of the road. he did not speak Vietnamese only Chinese and local languages. he offered me one of his Chinese cigarets and a dink of his bottle of corn liquor. After a few pleasantries and wild hand motions he headed up a small trail over the border back to his home village with his supplies of tobacco and liquor, it must be better in Vietnam than what they have in China.