Published: May 15th 2009May 15th 2009
We got to Hue in Vietnam, after a pretty tough 16 hour journey from Pakse. We decided to get a local bus to help save some kip or two! There were us two (Lynne and me) and one Israeli guy, the rest of the bus were locals and not one single person spoke a word of English! Half the bus was filled at the back with random cargo - they tend to transport things, bags of rice, pigs, anything in such huge amounts from one place to the other so the transport is always packed to the max! The seats were broken so either didnt recline or reclined so much, lynne was sat with the israeli guy pretty much in her lap the whole way!! We finally set off about 1hour late, only to stop after about half an hours journey for ppl to eat or something, we couldnt quite workout what was going on - abit of a communication thing going on, or lack of!! We pretty much managed to sleep the whole way though we had an incident where the driver (we t hink) took only our (falang) tickets from us and walked off with them, we got abit worried about the border crossing and this somehoe being an issue so we tried to locate them only to be laughed at by all the locals sat at the front of the bus and the ticket thief not understanding what we were saying (though he probably did really!!) anyways, so somehow, even now im not sure how we managed it, and everyone we told look at us like we were totally bonkers - we managed to make it over 16 hours, through the border into Hue in central Vietnam! although at the border Lao Boe - we have to sign papers to say your healthy, then have your temp taken, whatever mine was caused some upset and i was promptly sat on a chair and told i had a fever before having an thermometer shoved under my armpit - well obviously its going to be hot under there after all that time on a bus with no windows or air con???? he seemed happy with the outcome anyways!
Got to Hue and were taken on motorbike taxis to a guesthouse which was reasonably priced, Binh Minh 11 and offered brekkie and free internet - yeyy! Went to a cafe called 'cafe on Thu wheels' and had the most amazing vietnamese food ever! Spent the rest of the day finding our bearings and tooting around really, the journey pretty much wiped us out so we were out for the count quite early that night!
On Wednesday 13th we spent the day sight seeing, went to the Citadel which is really worth a good walk around and to spend a good few hours taking it all in! We went to a little cafe nearby which is ran by a deaf family, recommended in our guide book and again the food was to die for! - we all know what im like with my food! :).
We had booked ourselves on yet another over night bus but with a tour company ths time! to get to Hanoi, wed booked sitting whcih is cheaper but were put at the back of the bus with some other random travellers, think they like to keep the locals and us wierd foreign peopl seperate! so we got a good deal really as this was sleeping, though dont think the people we were with agreed, theyd paid double what we had to get sleeping!! I never seem to have a problem sleeping in transport which is obviously a bonus! The only thing that is reall y beginning to slightly get on my nerves now is the frequent beeping of horns when they over take, even if nothing is there they lean on the horn, im sure they do it to annoy us all, haha everywhere you go in Hanoi / Hue so far they jist love to beep that horn!!!
Anyways, so again bus journey wasnt too bad, wev taken to trying to travel over night to save our time and money on accomodation! we were pretty much dumped in Hanoi with no idea where we were or where to go but tried a guesthouse from a guy in the bus station, another motorbike taxi later and we get a good price for a room inc brekkie and free internet.......only that night we realised wed been told all day the net 'isnt working but it will be ok later' and that we hadnt heard breakfast mentioned even by the time we got in that evening! So not one for letting a meal go amiss, we went to investigate and were told, not breakfast, one extra dollar for breakfast included!!!! we were not amused by this point, its like taking a bone from a dog!!! so we somehow finally (shook) on it for us to get brekkie as agreed at 8 the next morning - that morning came and no brekkie or people insight, we see one of the family members give some dong to her daughter and she returns with a loaf of sliced bread, dumps it in the middle of me and lynne and walks off - that is our breakfast!!!! so we finally get hold of the guy we shook hands with the evening before (shaking hands is a signed contract you know!!) and he gets us a baguette with marg and condensed milk which seems to taste like honey or something.....so not the best but by this time we were wanting to get out and see the city so we ate and decided we would speak to our 'guide' this evening - he was the one who could speak english and had dropped us off at the guesthouse in the first place!
So our first day in Hanoi again spent the day finding our feet, looking at where we want to visit and mosying around, we visited some markets and bought a thing or two but have been met by quite rude people really, both on the stalls and generally walking around, we feel they are only after getting as much money aspossible out of us, deceiving us where possible and i have been short changed so many times if i didnt keep checking it i would be well out of pocket!!! Second day here Friday 15th we walked around the Hoan Kiem Lake, found some people from Hawaii so we all decided to see the Ho Chi Min museum - he was president some years back, then we ambled along in the french quarter before deciding to find the prison of war, this was really interesting actually reading about the full history of Vietnam! Also bumped into a couple from yorkshire who are doing the same route as us down to southern vietnam so thats pretty cool.
Saturday 16th - we go to Halong Bay, three days two nights on a boat around the bay, kayaking and fishing and things so looking forward to that, heard some good reports about it so watch this space!