Left Hanoi for Hue on the night train. It wasn't the comfort we had come accustomed to with intrepid. We shared a 6 bed cabin with some locals and many insects who liked to sleep under are matress. It took 17 hours, it was 5 hours late!
Arrived in Hue at 3.00 so we didn't really get time to see a great deal of it but much quieter than Hanoi as a lot less beeping. Had a couple of drinks that night and met up with some auzzies and french and spent some time talking to a local who was using us to practice his english. Subsequently we got up late the next morning leaving us very little time to investigate the area at least we had seen the outskirts of the Citadel the previous day.
Got on another bus that took about 4 hours to Hoi an stopping at lots of secret locations along the way to pick up and drop off some shady looking parcels. One thing that has not changed is that pyjamas seem to the in look for the vietamese what ever the occasion and time of day. It will be something I am sure to pack if we ever come here again.
Staying at a really nice hotel in Hoi an and we even have a swimming pool. It is a nice quiet place every second shop is a tailors, so a good place to refresh our wardrobes cheaply. Decided to hang around for a few days for some relaxation, heading to Myson tomorrow and the beach the next day while catching up with friends for the final time before they set off home.
Met up with friends the first night here at a resturant that we had arranged previously but unfortunately we didn't meet up untill after we had all eaten as we both sat at opposite street enterances hoping we would catch each other on the way in. We obvioulsy didn't think this through well enough!
Our early description about the Vietmanese was a bit harsh which we are feeling quite bad about. In hoi an they have been very smiley, helpful people but you still hear the words cyclo, moto muttered everywhere you go with the polite reply from the tourists answering 'no thankyou'.
Spent the first morning in Hoi an checking out the clothes shops (Aaron refused and slipped off to the internet). We all had some dresses made for less than a fiver whic was a bargain. I was a bit worried about the langugae barrier as I repeated several times I wanted it to be lose and they just politely smiled back. It turned out ok though. The rest of the day was spent lounging about the pool talking to a fellow yorskshire man, ending with an evening of drinking and chess (great fun!). We visited Myson the next day which is deffinately worth a visit some of the temples from the Cham people still remain but obviosly worse for wear and some of them were completely destroyed during the war. The Guide was very good, we learnt a lot and took lots of pics. Next day I got on a bike for the first time in 10 years and headed to the beach (the bike was very unstable which was a bit worrying) but we got there in one peice. Everyone was fooled by the sea breeze as even with the constant lathering of factor 30 there were some very unhealthy looking people leaving the beach. Aaron even managed to burn his hands which is something new. So the last evening with Caroline and Emily turned out to be one of a lot of discomfort ending in an early night for all.
On our way to Nha Trang tonight on a 12 hour journey on overnight bus, should be fun!