So back into Hanoi for me and an introduction for calum...the traffic and bustle took a bit of getting used to after the peace and quiet of Laos. The old quarter held a place to eat temples and a place to get all our clothes washed! We visited the market which turned me veggie and intrigued calum! We adapted to city life by sipping strange iced tea and beer on the road side with locals.
We visited the mausoleum in the morning to see ho chi Minh in his resting place, well it turned into an experience in its own right with calum trying to take a photo and getting us both escorted in a small back room, the photo being deleted and calum having to write his name in the naughty book! After that we visited the very calm one pillar pagoda to settle our nerves!
We hopped on an overnight train up the north of Vietnam to visit the hilltribes of sapa. The stunning breathtaking beauty of the area is incredible with high mountains, low cloud and rice paddies stepping up the side of the mountains. We trekked with our local guide (in her flip flops, us in our hired camo wellies) through the hills, paddies to waterfalls and villages with the local girlfriend including the hmong and dzay. Their dress was beautiful however their souvenir selling a little tiresome! After trekking for the first day we and a group of Dutch, Israeli, Kuwaiti, Swiss folks hopped on motorbikes and whizzed up the hills to another nearby waterfall. Calum love driving the bike and it was great fun just enjoying the views without any walking! The second day of trekking was unfortunately missed by a poorly calum. It was hard going but amazing...no one to share the views was sad but I have lots of photos.
We are sat on the train back to Hanoi...back to slightly warmer climates to give our feet a chance to recover. We have a few days left together and I have only a few days left in Vietnam....Speak again soon!