I recently learned that Vietnam did a very good job of the pandemic. I was unsurprised. Of the four countries in South-East Asia I visited in between leaving school and starting university (all members of the veritable ‘Gap Yah’ circuit), Vietnam was the most demanding of information about where I was going and when. As I prepared to enter Laos at the end of my three-week stay, a border-guard impolitely informed me that the exit I had designated on my visa was three hundred miles southward. My bus left me unceremoniously dumped at Border Crossing 113, and I had to cry over the phone to a Hanoi official in apology for my administrative error.