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The Vietnam Visas

In a stunning display of forward thinking, we decided to go to the Vietnamese embassy to get visas. Ideally we would have gotten them for China as well, thus enabling us to take the train all the way through China to Hong Kong, but there wasn't time for that.

We went on Friday. It takes four business days to get the visas, so we'd have them the following Thursday morning. The train through Cambodia runs only once a week. To catch it we'd have to leave on Saturday.

Submitting all of our info for the visas was no problem once we found the embassy, which was inexplicably on the opposite end of the road than we expected.

Crossing the Chinese/Mongolian Border by Land

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

What a fascinating trip. I just did this route -

Beijing -> Erlianhaote -> Zamyn Uud -> Ulan Bator

Why do I choose such circuitous, crazy routes? Well, lots of reasons.

I want to understand as much as I can about the world, and taking out of the way routes - especially through important border towns - teaches a lot.

Often, you can manage a route like this in a way that's much less expensive than direct flights. Yes, time is money, but money is also money.

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