Since I last 'blogged' we have travelled pretty far!! We went tubing in Laos which was amazing!!!!!! The idea is you pay about 5 pounds for a huge inner tube to float down a river which is lined with bars! At the end of the day when (and if) you return the tube you get most of the money back!! We Floated about 2km but it took us a good 6 hours due to the number of bars, slides, beer-pong, tug-of-wars in to huge mud pits and volleyball in huge mud baths. I also managed to loose a 'beer loas' vest in the river only to find a new one and then to loose that on because my pockets were pretty poor! At the bars along the war you could eiter get spray painted (with genuine car spray paint which stung to say the least) or a bracelet which got us free drinks in the corresponding bars in the town later on! There were also a few bars that had interesting offers for 'happy' pizza and a few bars that offered '1 drink 1 free joint'!! The next day we got up and caught the bus (at 9!!!) to go back to Vientiane to catch a flight to Hanoi.
Hanoi is mental. There must be millions and millions of scooters and no traffic lights and instead of looking or stopping at junctions its acceptable to carry on at the same speed as long as you beep your horn. At the airport in Vientiane a man came up to us and said he had a hostel in Hanoi and he would pay for a taxi for us to go and look at it before we said if we wanted to stay or not, it seemed a bit dodgy but Columbus wouldn't have found America without a little adventure and plus someone told me 'bad decisions make great stories' so it seemed like there was no decision to make... we signed up. It turned out to be really good it was a built as a hotel but half way hrough the build they decided to make a hostel instead but it looked like a 4 star hotel!! We stayed in Hanoi one night and booked on a trip to Sapa for the next 3 days and 2 nights. In Sapa we went trekking, probably loosing around 5k in sweat due to the heat. We stayed one night in a home-stay with a tribe which was interesting but not as 'tribey' as i would have liked it was more like they had built a barn on the side of their house and about 15 of us slept in there but we still got to see how they live etc. In our trekking group there was about 5 other people all of whom were dutch and 50+ so we had to keep waiting for them which wasnt too bad because we got to do some climbing up waterfalls untill the guide made us come down becasue apparanly people fall and die or something we were almost at the top so im pretty sure she was just being dramatic. We got an overnight train back to the hotel in Hanoi and arrived at 6am went for a shower and breakfast and got on a bus at 8am to go to Halong Bay, Here we had booked a 2 day 1 night trip o a boat around te bay! Bot places were really beautiful but I think Sapa just wins!During the time on the boat we went swimming and kayaking and visited some caves around the bay! We were really lucky because the day we were leaving Halong Bay a huge storm was forcast so te rest of the trips were cancelled! Following the boat trip we got on another bus for 4 hours to travel back to Hanoi. We arrived in Hanoi at 4.45pm and left at 5pm to get our first 'sleeper bus ' to Hue - scheduled for a 12 hour journey!!! This turned out to be anything but a 'sleeper' the bus was fitted with beds made for the vietnamese (5' 6 and below), strobe and laser lights and the drivers presonal seletion of hardcore dance music played at full blast. If this wasnt enough we stopped of after about 20 minutes of being on the road to pick up about 20 huge boxes of LIVE ducklings whic were literally thrown on to the bottom of the bus where all the bags were, we then made about 15 stop offs to sell boxes to local shops. We also made one other stop which was enforced by the police who gave the driver and workers a fine for transporting the ducks. The bus journey ended 18 hours later...
We arrived in Hue and found a cheap hoel to stay in and got changed etc and went for a walk around the town and to get some food. It turns out Hue is not very exciting so we decided to rent some motorbikes and drive from Hue trhough Da Nang to Ha Noi!! This was really good even though it raied more than ive ever seen in wales for about 1.5 hours! but we drove along the coast and a long a lare section of road which was shown on the top gear vietnam special! We Have now reached Ha Noi safe and sound and our bags have just been delivered, so all went to plan!!!