I have missed adding entries for Thailand and have only just added Laos but it really difficult to find internet that is fast enough to upload photos to here so this has taken ages even.
I liked Hanoi, it is a really busy, smoggy city, but much cooler than what I have been used to in Laos and Thailand so felt quite freshing. The city has an old quarter with lots of narrow streets and many, many shops selling anything you could possibly want! There is gernerally a street fro each product too which makes shopping easier, so a street full of craft shops, one for clothes, one for toys, one for computers, electronics, paintings.. All the streets look the same so really easy to wander around and 'get lost' in the streets.
There are a couple of really good museums in Hanoi. The museum of Ethnology is defintely worth a visit. It is quite comparable to the museums in New Zealand and New Zealand has some really good museums. It has loads of infomation of the different Vietnamese tribes and how they live, including an outside section with lots of full size moc houses.
The Ho Chi Mihn
Mansoluem and museum are really interesting too. I can see why they idolise him so much after visiting. He was so humble amd dedicated his whole life to to helping fellow Vietnamese, well according to the maybe slightly biased museum. Even if half of it was true, he was still a pretty amazing guy.
I spent my time in here Hanoi with some people I met on the bus from Laos and also went with some of them on a boat trip around Halong Bay.
Halong Bay is really beautiful. It has made me think that it may not be the best plan to visit so many countries all one trip though. It reminded me a lot of the sounds at the north of the South Island of New Zealand so I don't think I appreciated the beauty of Halong Bay as much as I should of.
I was put of a little by the rubbish that litters the area and I think Vietnamese have a slightly misguided idea of what tourists want to see. Part of the trip was to visit one of the many caves. This cave would have been amazing, massive with so many stalagmite and
stactite rock formations but... I couldn't really concentrate on the cave itself because of what they'd done to it.
It felt like being in the foyer of a 5* hotel. The rocks were lit up with bright, blue, red, green, purple lights everywhere and there was a lovely paved walkway with handrails etc leading us through the whole thing and out the other side. I didn't take any photos in it beacuse couldn't stop laughing most of the way around but now wish I had just to show what it was like!!
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