Five months passed like this, until they finally met in person on Cẩm’s 16th birthday.
They met once again a few weeks later at Tết – Vietnamese new year – and then, just as suddenly as he’d come into her life, her new boyfriend disappeared.
The four sat down at a cafe and, as the boys ordered beers for everyone, the girls went to the toilet together to freshen up.
Cẩm and her friend went back out to meet the boys and started chatting, sipping their beers as they talked.
Instead, she had a friend request and message from his younger brother Bình, asking if she was in Sapa.Today, as a result, the nation has what its own officials term “the most serious and prolonged” gender imbalance in the world.By 2020, there will be an estimated 30 million more Chinese men than women of marrying age.A street sign in Chinese characters came into view, and the bike stopped.Panicking, she dug into her pockets for her mobile phone and started screaming as fast as she could to her sister that she’d been trafficked, she was somewhere on the border with China.By 14, she’d dropped out of school to help support her family, and had taken a job at a hotel in Sapa town, a former French hill station now crowded with tourists exploring the nearby mountains.