Published: July 8th 2010July 1st 2010
So me, Shaun Pudney has been commsioned to finally have some imput into our big trip blog. So here goes...
We caught a flight from Vientiane to Hanoi the capital of Vietnam. As we couldn't handle the 36 hours of bus over the mountains with a overloaded bus and half a chicken farm sitting on our laps. We arrived into Hanoi city in the early evening with our taxi driver trying to rip us off (and succeding) and droping us a few blocks away from where we wanted to go. It was only about 43c so walking the extra 15 minutes with our backpacks really wasn't too much of a bother........We finally made it to our hotel in between all the millions of motor bikes and maddness of the city. A bowl of pho later and a cold beer and all was good except we didnt feel comfortable in our smelly dorm room of 6, so checked out and found something next door for the same price but 1000 times better. Same same but different!
Hanoi, the crazy city, sounds of bikes and people trying to sell you everything under the sun can be a little intimidating at first
but after a while the sounds of the city is like a sound track to an asian dream. Beautiful art gallerys line the streets, noodle stands and friendley people around every corner. Welcome to Vitenam where the colours seems brighter and the noise seems louder and everthing feels like you living life in fast forward.
After a couple of days of roaming around and taking in it (and figuring out the currency where 1million dong sounded like a shit load), we booked our trip to the famous Halong bay, close to the border of China. We got picked up the next morning for our trip to amazing Halong which is a massive bay with lime stone cliffs jagged across the horizon. Story goes a dragon came down from heaven to save the people from a chinese attack and loved it so much he decided to stay and in turn got punished for not coming back to heaven and was turned to stone hence the lime stone cliffs. Halong bay was so beautiful and was definately one of the highlights of our trip.
The next day we returned back to Hanoi to get straight onto a 12 hour overnight
bus down south to a place called Hue. The bus was awesome a sleeper bus with nice beds so was perfect for the long journey. Managed to make a few Aussie friends on the bus so it really wasnt a bad trip at all. Arrived into Hue the following morning and spent the afternoon just strolling around a much more relexing city, having a look at the local attractions and just taking it easy. We booked our trip for Hoi An the follwing day as we wanted to get down south and had already done what we wanted to do in Hue.
The trip to Hoi An was a easy relaxing ride down the east coast of Vietnam with excellent beach scenery. I never imagined Vietnam to have such lovely beaches. After relaxing for most of the day and taking advantage of the pool in our hotel, we met up with our Aussie friends Brad and Stu and watched a the world cup over a few cold ones.
Hoi An is famous for it's tayloring. Basically you can get anything you want made to order - from suits, to dresses and even jeans or shoes or hats. We
were lazy and didn't think it was that great, until we started seeing everybody elses outfits made for next to nothing. Anyway for the first two days after we arrived, we hired motos and jetted around the city with Brad and Stu. We headed mainly for the beach, which was awesome - except the giant jellyfish the size of prehistoric dinasors. Jess was freaked out so didn't go in the water much but me being half man half fish tammed these rare creatures. We drove back into town and got horribly lost but ended up being the best day of my life. Seeing real Vietnamese people going about there day to day lives, tending rice patties and eating dogs (just joking).
The next day was much the same, except our friends said goodbye and so long until we see them again in Melbourne, and so we finally got our act together and went off to the taylors. I got a few shirts made which were awesome, and Jess got a top and dress and after a slight altercation with one of the taylors (we spread the love) who was trying to rip her off - she was finally happy
and all was good. So after 5 nights in beautiful Hoi An, where the architecture is something like old France with a mix of Asian influence, we had to say goodbye and leave toward our next destination of Nha Trang.
There are more photos below