A Travellerspoint blog

Trying not to be road kill in Vietnam

vietnam_an..dia_043.jpgvietnam_an..dia_056.jpgvietnam_an..dia_068.jpgvietnam_an..dia_079.jpgNext stop Hanoi and four nights at the backpackers hostel which had a great atmosphere and excellant western food , our double room was the best yet . We explored the city by foot and the highlight being the Hanoi prison which housed captured American pilots during the Vietnam war and renamed the " the hanoi hilton " tongue in cheek , the propaganda inside was very anti-american and quite laughable in an english context . No visit to Hanoi is complete without a visit to Fanny,s ice cream parlour and Sandra was envious of my lotus flower creation it was delicious . All the locals use scooters and motor cycles to transport their wares and we have seen pigs , cows , table and chairs , 50 or so live chickens , a 4 foot block of ice and a king size double bed mattress all unbelievable .

Everybody excited today as we are going to the seaside at the famous Halong Bay and some sailing around the weird rocks poking up from the sea bed , we also spent the night aboard and shared a bottle or two of red wine under the stars with Sylvia and Russell . Most of us made use of the Kayaks and paddled around the rock islands for a couple of hours .

The food situation has now started to improve for Sandra (gluton -free) as a lot of the dishes are now rice based and not spicy like China , she has discovered a savoury rice pancake made with rice paper and filled with prawns, pork , mushroom and vegetables and she orders them every meal . Now in Hue after an excellant overnight sleeper train with six of our group and we left the rest to the bovernight bus (not spelling mistake) . Thought Hue was nice and we both bought new prescription glasses with frames for under £10 the guy took our old glasses put them in a machine and copied the lens contents and had mine ready in 15 mins and Sandra,s 45 mins great service . Today its the DMZ tour by bus and the good local guide gave an insight to how the Vietnam war had effected the local population the highlight for me was visiting a part of the Ho Chi Minn trail and going into the tunnels where the locals lived for 7 years .
Its the 21st August and its off to Hoi An which is famous for its tailors and dressmakers . The streets are crammed with shops offering you that new creation , measure up now and it will be finished in the morning . It proved too tempting and all the ladies appeared for dinner in their new finery and a few of the guys too . Hired motorcycles and eight of us cruised around the countryside all day and had lunch on China beach and had our first swim in the ocean the water was so warm and clear with the beach deserted .

Its now 3 nights at jungle beach resort owned by Sylvio a crazy Canadian who has been here for 17 years . Sandra had her birthday (25th Aug) on the middle day and we had a cocktail party / competition on the the beach , every couple or truck pair had to make a cocktail with a story and each had to judge the merits and taste, unfortunately Sandra took the task to much to heart and when we returned to our room at six o,clock to prepare for her dinner/birthday cake she passed out on the bed and did not wake until 5.30am next day . Her postponed party resumed the following night and Sylvio presented her with two cakes , after the usual "happy birthday to you" the cakes were cut but CJ recieved his own surprise when Sylvio explained the jungle beach birthday tradition and pushed a plate of creamy sponge cake into his face , you could not explain the surprise he received priceless !
On to 28th August and its Ho Chi Minn city (Saigon) which we found very busy so Sandra and I decided to go on a three day Mekong Delta Tour and meet up with the group again in Phnon Pehn (Cambodia) The tour was excellant and it is incredible that 18 million people live on the Delta with all that water , we visited bee-keeping farms , coconut candy workshops , rice noodle making factory , fish farming , crocodile farming and rice husking(rice separation) plus much more , a great 3 days and a excellant way to get into Cambodia and meet up with everyone again on 31st August

Posted by palaceboy1 17:32

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