Beer And Scooters

March 18, 2012 - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Right, now where were we? It's been a while since the last blog so here's what I remember...

10th March - Hoi An, Vietnam

Quaint, pretty small town on the river and close to the sea. Weather still hot. We cycled 4 miles to the beach along scooter-infested narrow streets. The ride was very scenic. Beach was lovely.  Sarah got off her bike on the way back as the traffic was even more mental - the highway code doesn't really apply here. Parts of the old town were closaed to scooters which made it particularly pleasant. And the beer in Hoi An was incredibly cheap - fresh beer (draught) less then 10p a glass (330ml)!  We stayed for 4 days and spent nearly a fiver on beer!

14th March - Hue, Vietnam

Got a taxi to Danang (30 mins, five pounds) from where we caught a train to Hue (3 hours, 1.5 pounds each). The train journey is incredibly spectacular (particularly the first hour). The train runs along the South China Sea, snaking from cliff to jungle-covered cliff past beaches and islands, then heads through lush green mountains. Not forgetting the women who hang on the outside of the train (as they can't get inside), trying to sell their wares to people on the train. They jump on and off the train as it slows down.

We spent the night in Hue as we couldn't get the next and only train to Hanoi as it was full up (which was about all the place needed). And it was cold - socks and trousers needed for the first time since we left England.

15th March - Hanoi, Vietnam

Caught the overnight sleeper from Hue to Hanoi which took 12 hours. We were in air-conditioned soft seat, which means we had a seat that tipped back slightly. To facilitate some decent sleep, we drank some beer and two bottles of delicious Vietnamese vodka. We crashed out for the last 3 hours and arrived in Hanoi at 5am a little worse for wear. Sarah was so bad she couldn't even manage a coffee, or move her head off the table in the cafe were in. Fortunately we managed to find a hotel at 8am and crashed out for a few hours.

Spent 2 days in Hanoi - cold, hectic, full of scooters. Went to see Ho Chi Minh's embalmed body in the mausoleum. He looked pissed off with the place too. Can't blame him. If you're thinking of going to Hanoi, don't bother!

17th March - Halong Bay, Vietnam

Another 8th wonder of the world. Probably merits it too. Unfortunately the 2 nights we spent there were foggy, rainy and cold so we couldn'y really appreciate the 2,000 or so limestone islets rising from the sea (Google it and see what it can look like). We sailed through the islets on a junk and spent the night sleeping on it which was good. Two cockroaches shared our cabin, one of them in the bed with us (until I realised it was there, on my leg!).

 

And now we are in the Philippines where it is warm. Some of the above did happen, some may have happened and some probably didn't. I have had a few beers and some local rice wine whilst sitting out in the sun so my memory is a little fuzzy.

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