Traveled from our friend Anh’s hometown of Bac Ninh to visit our friend Thao in Lang Son. Trip took about 3 hours by train (soft seat air con class). Comparing our bus ride to Sapa to the train ride to Lang Son we decided that train travel is the better way to go. More comfortable, you can get up and walk around, and there’s a WC so you can use the facilities on your schedule rather than the bus driver’s. Also, if it’s not too crowded you can scrunch up in two adjacent seats and get some sleep.
Spent two days with Thao and her father and mother. As per Vietnamese custom we were treated like royalty. Thao’s father drove us up a winding, narrow road to the top of a nearby mountain (1600 m) called Mau Son, which is the highest point in the province and a former French hill station. From here you can see Lang Son city to the west and China to the east (the Vietnam-China border is only about 20 km away. We also saw the local market, and some fabulous temples and caves.
Thao’s Mom is a wonderful cook and she kept us well-fed the entire time. Below is an example of one of the great meals we had.