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Published: September 6th 2010
Vietnam has a wonderful invention-The "open Bus" or sleeping bus which is a bus like first class in airlines. When you are ready to sleep ,you recline the bed to almost flat and wake up next morning fresh at the destination. This is how we left HCMC en route to Nha Trang. Arriving we were taken to "nice Hotel" by a motor cycle tout. This was a great choice-down backpacker alley on the 8th floor-all the extras and a beautiful sea view. Nha trang is the beach resort for Vietnamese. Thousands of hotels and restaurants and families galore. We spent 2 days here trying out seafood joints and enjoying the sunshine. We had the 4 island boat trip on one full day which was fantastic if a little bizarre. Heading off with hundreds of others we were almost the only non Vietnamese on board and we stopped at Mun,Mot,Bai Tranh Beach and Thuy cung tri Nguyen. We preogressively had snorkelling,sumptuous seafood lunch,floating bar and a strange Karioke concert (during which Philip performed Waltzing matilda-pictures to prove) while parked at a paraglider offshore jetty.Off to Hue for 2 more days where we did the usual run ,with a twist-an afternoon tour to
Karioke Island trip
the citadel with the imperial enclosure Thien Mu Pagoda and the compulsory dragon boat trip-all in blinding rain. This was followed the next day by the Royal Tombs,Tu Doc,Minh Mang and Khai dinh. Hue is the centre of ancient Vietnam and the citadel especially is well preserved.Following the sleeping bus trip we arrived at the Elizabeth hotel in the old city of Hanoi. This time the tout got us before we left Hue and supplied the transport from bus to hotel. This cute little hotel had a nice outlook to the street below and we spent our time exploring the city and eating Pho and drinking the Bai Ha at local stalls. Spending a couple of days at Halong bay was great with millions of limestone islands,caves and boats. We had 2 days 1 night -time for sights, swimming etc.Food and company were great.
After only slightly less than 3 weeks it was time to go-but we will come back as Vietnam is a wonderful place .
The infra structure is amazing everything works,Everyone is very friendly and appears occupied and happy.
We joined Tiger Airways for the trip to Singapore and pushed on towards less welcoming destinations
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