De Bishkek au KIRGHISTAN à Hanoi au Nord VIETNAM - du 4 juillet au 2 septembre 2007

Hello my dear readers,

About 2 months and a half I did not give any news. Because a lot of things, a great adventure through Tibet, the way to Vietnam, it was difficult for me to find the time to stop enough days to write on a computer.

The last 2 weeks, beginning of September, I was with my mother in the north of Vietnam, but I will write about this trip in the next message. So, here, you will read the part of my travel from Bishkek, in Kirghizstan, to Hanoi in Vietnam, almost 2 months on the road.

Well, beginning of last July, I met my young brother in Bishkek : our aim is to travel to Tibet, by hitchhiking sure, and to make a movie about a traveller, Adrien. Seriously, the idea is to show the way how I travel in a new country. My brother is the realisateur, he has a video camera and we go on the road !

We entered in China by Irkechtam pass and we arrived in Kashgar, the city of ouighour people, at the crossing of silk roads in west of the country. Few days on the road to Pakistan and we began our trip to Lhasa, far away, about 2750 kms from Kashgar, the most on the road 219.

Well, it will be quite difficult to hitchhike, first because ouighour drivers not very nice and second because not a lot of cars on the road. Anyways, we arrived to go, in the middle of huge places, so beautiful. Now we are more than 4000 meters above the sea level and it is very exciting to enter in the area of Tibet (part of China but which wants to be independent you know).

We had quite stress in us during all the trip because we travelled without any permit and maybe we needed one. Sometimes, in the night, we crossed some gates of police in fields to go further. One day we were stopped at a control but after one night it was possible to go free. So everything was good without permit. Also, it was uncomfortable to see so many Chinese military people everywhere.

I resume the next to Lhasa. We had few days in the valley of Purang, near Nepalese and Indian border where we saw some monasteries. The next step was the way to Tingri, near the Everest peak, on the road to Kathmandu. We spent also few days (without forget the time to hitchhike) at the bottom of the roof of the world : mount Everest, 8848m, totaly crazy to be here. On our side, we climbed a summit about 6100m, very easy.

Tibetan people : it was a surprise to meet this civilisation and not so easy. We were rarely invited in houses or at least to eat with them. It was strange and we were observed all the time. We know it is difficult for them because of the presence of Chinese people and maybe they have learnt to look at a foreign person like a tourist who is here to visit and that is all. Well, it is not easy to explain this fact, and more difficult in English…

We arrived in Lhasa, totally lost in the middle of a new Chinese city, after almost 4 weeks from Kashgar, and a way of 3300 kms. From Kirghizstan, we made more than 4000 kms, totaly by hitchhiking.

Lhasa is the capital of Tibet, where Chinese people arrived in 1950. Here, we saw a lot of tourists because we were quite alone up to know, except the area of Everest. Well, we slept in front of the Potala, in the grass, without any problem. 12th of August, my brother took a plane to Kathmandu and then to France, with more than 40 hours of videos. Maybe in one year it will be ready to see the movie on a channel or at least in some festivals or other manifestations.

But the message is not finish here. I have now 3 weeks to go to Hanoi in Vietnam, more than 3000 kms. My mother arrives at the end of the month and it is forbidden to be late. Brother, mother, family forever, hahaha.

New way of travelling, I buy a city bike in Lhasa ! 4 days near the Brahmaputra river, so exciting and not so easy because the road is often very bad. Moreover, after 270 kms on this way, the police stops me because I enter in a restricted area, closed to India. Fu… the only solution is to go back to Lhasa and to take the main road, the road 318 to Chengdu. Argggghhhhh, I go back…

A second time in Lhasa and now I do not have enough time to continue by bike, I go by hitchhiking. And it is not so bad because 5 days later I arrive in Kunmimg, capital of Yunnan, after 2900 kms in green mountains. The area is amazing. It was impossible to take always the direct way because some parts of roads were closed because of rain, so more kilometres to do by small roads.

Kunming, big Chinese city, I am not far from the Vietnamese border, I mean about 500 kms. And to not lost time I travel by bus by night, 3 times on the way because I though it was possible to get the Vietnamese visa at the border, it was not the case, way back Kunming.

Welcome to Vietnam where it is so warm (300m here and not 4000m above the sea level), totally different place now. I begin a new part of my travel. I take a train from the border to Hanoi, by night. I have a friend who lives in the city where I stay, so everything is good. We are at the end of August. Next in 2 monthts…

Bye bye, see you tomorrow and have a good time in your place, dans ta place quoi !!

du 4 juillet au 10 août

> Bishkek à Lhassa

> Trip à vélo

du 21 août au 2 septembre

> Lhassa-Kunming-Hanoi

Portraits du TIBET

> Résumé in English