Watch out world the Barkers are coming!
Hue was our first stop in Vietnam, an extremlely old town, unfortunately in the middle of the conflict with the north and south of the country and of course the american army. It was quite badly bombed especailly the mountains but Unesco are cleaning it up verywell. The hills are the sets for all those gruesum vietnam movies. We stumbled across a great hotel, very cheap with aircon! Dave and I went on the best tour yet! A moter bike taxi each, with our tour gide on mine. He was great and spoke good English. His tour took us through a very old village, rice fields being harvested, a buddhist temple where an extremly famous Monk lives, (sure we will all know about him more when he dies, sad isn't it) a beautiful temple and stalls where they make the insence, 5 hours in all, lots of history and beautiful sights. Leaving Hue the journey through the mountains and down the coast was amazing, lakes busy with fishing, small coves and golden beaches. Hoi An is great, very small, and again very historic, ancient buildings and architecture line the river and 5k away is a beautiful beach with warm, clean, wavy sea. Yep I even rode a very rickity push bike all the way there and didn't even fall off!! Unfortunately our first night ended in being woken at 4am by the smell of chemilcal smoke and no electricity. Dave and I, realising something was very wrong, left our room which was flooded with warm water to a stinking hall way thick with smoke. No one was around other than a little guy with a torch and a manager who still had the front doors padlocked. We made her open the doors and tried to suss out what was going on. They were determined not to wake the other guests incase they left!! So I rushed round in the smoke knocking on doors to wake people and warn them of the fire. A few people left immediately but the water in the room had soaked all our belongings so we hung them aroud to dry a little. It turned out the water heater in the room next to ours had caught fire, something which had happened before they said! Luckily no one was in there, Dave and me were the worst affected and felt pritty bad for the rest of the day. We couldn't believe they didn't wake anyone, they didn't seem to care about the danger only the money! So after trecking around at 6am for a new hostel the four of us packed our stinking bags and left. She had the cheek to try and charge us the whole amount for the room, plus the coffees we thought were complimentary and an apology! Seriously this race is unbelivable! No matter how much you're warned you can never comprehend how people can be so rude and greedy! Anyway, we survived, but I am sure it will haunt us forever. Dave and me decided to do what we came here for and that's have suits and clothes made especailly for us. Choosing material and design in a store reccommended by our tour gide in Hue we have come away with 4 suits, 6 shirts, two winter coats, a pair of linen trousers, a summer top, a pair of boots and a pair of shoes all spefically made, all for under 300pounds!!!! Unbelievable...lets just hope it all helps us get those great jobs we want, and keeps us warm in ol'blighty. This morning...again at 5am we went on a trip to some ruins in the jungle, very quiet and mysterious, all the more so as we wanted to beat the tour groups, therefore didn't have a guide and weren't sure why they were they. Worth it all the same. Anyway off to have some amazing Vietnamese food now, at least thats one thing, they can certainly cook and sew even if they do push it in your faces at any given chance. Much love El and Dave