Good afternoon blog followers and welcome to the deathdefying yet factual adventures of the Ro Ro's (Robins and Roche).
Well after the bus of death and the journey of which we can not speak, we decided that buses were not the way for us and we kayaked from Vang Vieng to Vietianne. Which in turn meant, of the three hour journey, we drove in a death truck for an hour, Kayaked for two and then went the last two hours in a different death truck. So bypassing the death bus was assured but unfortunately it was replaced by the death truck. Don't worry everbody it was no quite as bad as the bus, no cliffs you see.
This brought us to the Capital of Laos, Vientiane. Which in country where over more than four people who happen to put up a tent near each other is town, could be classed as a gigantic city. There is only one thing to see in Vientiane and that is the Victory Gate. Now as splendid as the victory gate sounds, there is a sign on the side that openly states, "This is the Victory Gate. It was going to be a a lot better than it is but we all got bored and when it looked like it was going to be rubbish, we kind of gave up on it." Which is quite funny really because the concrete that was used to make this wonderous structure, was donated by the US to make a runway. After gazing on this feat of engineering we got our Visas to get out of the aptly named Laos. One thing they do have in Laos is cheese and bagettes, so one of the Ro's Ro's was very happy. Cheese costs more than gold here by the way.
Getting across the border on a friday as a tourist is not easy. To get the tourist safe, nice and a little bit ripped off bus, we would have to have waited till monday. To get the local, falling apart, playing Laos pop music very loudly till two in the morning, dropping of beds/animals to the towns on the way to the border bus, we would have to walk around Savanaket untill 10 that night. We decided that because we could deal with anything thrown at us and we had no time, to take the local bus. This is now known in the annuls of time as, the journey of which we shall not speak two. The bus drove until half twelve at night and then unloaded all the farm animals and rice. We slept there on the bus, until the border opened at six. We were woken by a man banging on all of the doors at five forty five, he wanted to take our passorts and a sum of money away from us. Having just woken up and not having had time to freshen up we were taken slightly unaware,, neverless we were pretty adamant we were not going to let him have our passports without some sort of id. To cut along story short this is con to make money. All the leg work is done by this guy and you pay him for the service. The bus driver pointed in a direction and we had to negotiate the border ourselves. It was not as if you could see it either, it was 2k down the road. At six in the morning having had barely any sleep and in a town/country you have never seen. Did I mention that no one spoke any English and we had to take out an insurance policy with the bus company to safeguard us against death. The advertising slogan for Loas is, "Stay another Day". Well it is apt because it is so hard to get out. To the point where one guesthouse lady poisoned Hannah and our friend Amandine to make us take her tour and stay at her guest house for another day.
Anyway got out and for Hannah's birthday we stayed in probably the only five star hotel in the whole of Vietnam. The Imperial in Hue. The receptionist said I had a signature like Tony Blairs. I laughed and thought this guy is either a bit wierd or our Tony had stayed there. He said maybe I should become a politician I laughed again and thought this guy is not a good judge of character or slightly blind.
Anyway from there we travelled down to Danang to see the marble mountains and China Beach and then onto Hoi An. Hoi An is a beautiful little town and how you think a little town in Vietnam would be like. Plus the food is great and we have spent most of the day eating, talking of which someone is hungry again....
Love the Ro Ro's (Robins and Roche).