April 3, 5 a.m.: Left Providence, RI.
April 4: Arrived Ho Chi Minh City at 1 am.. Slept in a taxi cab in an alley waiting for the train station to open. My train was scheduled to leave at 6am.
April 5: Took the train to Nha Trang as a side trip to consult with my cousin Tuan who visited Vietnam highland several years ago. He didn't know where Hop Tien is, but suggested to take a tour bus to Ha Giang, a tourist favorite, then hire a "xe om" (translation: hugging motorcycle, you sit on the back and hug the driver, no seat belt required) to take me to the village, given he knows where it is.
On my early morning walk along the beach, a caravan of fishing boats returned to the village. The women in the village would sell my cousin Thanh their fresh catch a few hours later. Have you had freshly caught fish and squids? Amazing stuff. I gained two kilos in one week. Thanh's being a great cook didn't help.
Emailed people to ask about Hop Tien....
Philip emailed people, too.