21-Aug-2005 -- About 9 PM on Saturday 20 Aug, Tabalo, a friend of mine, and a big enthusiast of backpacking, dropped a call to me about to visit 21N 107E, because 2 weeks ago, he has been near this confluence (on the road back from 2 day trip to Ngoc Vung, one of beautiful small island of Ha Long bay), and I proposed to visit it, but in final, we decided to take this confluence some time later because it was getting dark at this moment ( nearly 7 PM).
Our plan is "go by the bus and "xe om"(local motorbike taxi)". So at 6:30 AM Sunday 21 Aug, Tabalo picked me up at me house near the Returned Sword Lake, we drove across Red River by Chuong Duong bridge to Gia Lam intercity bus station. While Tabalo took his motorbike to motorbike keeper, I bought the tickets to Bai Chay. Later on, I could be very happy, if the price for ticket was 50.000 VND, because I forget to get change while I pay 100.000 DVN for 2 tickets 35.000 each. We departed nearly 7 AM. On the way, the bus took a stop at Hai Duong, for letting passengers to take a short rest: have a taste of "banh dau xanh" Hai Duong, a local delicious specialty or simply satisfy his/her need in WC (not so clean and comfortable as in 4 star Sofitel Hotel).
We reached Ha Long City at 10:30. After long discursion with "xe om" drivers about the destination and price without success, we decide to walk, because, by our calculation, confluence is 2Km away. But just walking a 30 m away, one "xe om" drive agreed to take us to place we want with the rate 2000 VND/km, which we proposed them before. By studying the map showed by Google Earth and the maps that I have (and been calibrated in OziExplorer), we know, that confluence is in delta Cua Luc. And when the delta was appeared near enough, we left the "xe om" after paying 10.000 VND, including 5.000 VND as tip. From this point, we also left the road.
Walking across the peasants houses and small orchards by narrow paths, we reached to delta Cua Luc. My OziexplorerCE in my Loox 720 with my Fortuna Clip-on BT GPS receiver indicated that confluence is some where in water. From beginning, we think, that we can approached to confluence within 100m to comply the project condition, but this not reality, even we can go to the muddy river (at this time, tide was in low, so we can go very far from the riverside). This was our first attempt. Fortunately, there was a young brothers Hoan, who are aqua-peasants, they cultivate the shrimp, perch etc....And after feasting us a cup of green tea, Hoan agreed drive us to confluence in his fishing boat. But at this time, there was a tide in, and is very difficult to fixed the boat at some point because of strong tidal flow. Think about this very primitive fishing boat with one human muscle power! So, even landing Tabalo to make the boat lighter, we must satisfied with distant 18 m from confluence in one of attempt (fortunately, this time, with Tabalo on board!).
About 2:30PM, we left the Cua Luc delta. On way back, we took our lunch at Ha Long City. And intercity bus dropped us at Gia Lam intercity bus station at 6:30 PM. Because we took the bus by stopping it instead of in the bus station, so we insisted to pay only when we arrived at bus top at Hai Duong, this was due the experience of Tabalo.
As usually, the last 1000m is most difficult and time-consumable. One more confluence in Vietnam is taken to celebrate the Vietnam GPS Club.