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Asia » Vietnam
March 5th 2008
Published: March 5th 2008
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OK we packed up and are going on the night train to Sapa for 4 days. Hope we will be able to see something. We never cared when we were younger about the weather -- must be another sign of old age -- suddenly the weather is very, very important. Actually, when you have plenty of time, it really isn't important. Anyway, as I was saying they have eaten everything in Laos and Vietnam. So we went to the park to see wild life but unfortunately, nobody told us that because of the severe cold spell a lot of the insects had died and the birds were keeping a low profile -- if they have any sense they should always keep a low profile -- we did see one very beautiful butterfly but that was about it. (In Laos we saw many beautiful butterflys -- guess they don't taste very good) We stayed in the park and it was pretty horrible and we were alone and it was spooky. They served us this huge meal (same 5 dishes again in bigger quantities). Too much for us to eat and I think we already ate more or less the same thing for lunch. We didn't stay in the center of the park because they told us there was no electricity. It was our intention to get up at 6:00 in the morning and see the birds. The next day we met a nice English couple who had been there for two days. They did get up at six in the morning and they didn't see a thing. We heard some monkeys and that was about it. We went on a nice walk -- about 6 kilometers. I am getting wise now -- they always try and take us on these really long walks that involve climbing up mountains and millions of stairs and at the end (if you are still alive) you get to see something like an "ancient tree". Their plan for us was that we go on a 20 km hike to see the thousand year old tree and then follow that up with the 6 km hike to see the ancient tree. Anyway, as I said, we went on the 6 km hike which was just right for us and very pleasant. On the way back to Hanoi we did see some wild life (sort of) -- there was an entire street of shops selling barbequed dog -- they had their tails and everything, there was no mistaking them. I felt a bit sick and was thinking about my own doggy at home. They really do eat everything. Chickens are sort of dumb so I don't feel much empathy for them. I feel sorry for the pigs too -- sometimes we go to a village and nobody is very pleased to see us except the pig which comes running up to us, wagging its tail, obviously an intelligent creature -- and quite likable! Apart from the day at the park, it has been very interesting here. Fascinating even. The people are usually quite sweet. Not always -- today we went to the Museum of Ethnology. We ended up in a taxi with a driver that took a very long route and it cost us about $15 instead of 5 -- not a fortune but quite annoying. We were standing looking at one of the exhibitions and there were this bride and groom standing in the doorway of a hut and they weren't moving and we thought they were one of the exhibitions but they were not dressed like tribes people and I was very suprised that the mountain people are so modern today and that they were included in the exhibition. Suddenly they moved -- they were having their photos taken before the wedding and then we noticed that the whole place was full of brides and grooms having their photos taken. I had my hair done today -- I had a whole troupe of teenage boy hairdressers -- at least I think they were teenagers (and I think they were boys). Was quite nice really. We are leaving in half an hour for the night train to Sapa. Will post a few more photos and will check in again in a few days.

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5th March 2008

Get the feeling that Vietnam isn't quite as an exotic destination as you anticipated. That mandarin seems to be a well to do oldy. Well you seem to be doing lots. Sad about the food I am sure there should be far more than 5 dishes available there. Maybe next week will get better.

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