Determined to fit in as much as possible we are up early and go to see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The queues waiting to see Uncle Ho are quite extraordinary and as we are not really ardent admirers decide to pass. His body is sent to Russia for 3 months every year and cynics believe Madame Tussauds has the contract to keep him preserved. We attempted the Museum of Literature, typical 11th century Vietnamese architecture but we are seriously templed out. On to the Hanoi prison for a lot of very biased information about the cruelty of the French during their rule and some serious propaganda about how well American prisoners were treated during the Vietnam War and a very interesting perspective on all the demonstrations across the world, apparently supporting Vietnam in their war effort. We haven't really warmed to Vietnam much despite seeing quite a bit of the country. The expression 'same same but different' really sums it up, rice fields the whole length of the country with some really lovely countryside and beaches but cultural dull. For what it's worth our little bit of home spun philosophy is that you can tell a lot about a nation by the way they treat their dogs. The country is developing fast and the cities are like enormous building sites and socialist ideals seem forgotten.
We have visited three countries, used four different currencies and travelled by bus, truck, canoe, speedboat, ferry, minibus, coach, plane, cyclo, tuk-tuk, bicycle, motorbike and train. We have met lots of lovely people travelling from Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Israel, Malaysia and Singapore as well as meeting some very friendly locals. We travelled approximately 2854 miles (16,983 miles including the flights). Our highlights are trekking in the mountains in Laos, exploring the temples of Angkor Wat and riding through the central highlands of Vietnam on motorbikes. It has been an amazing experience.