I'm sat on a bus on the way to the Cambodian border, doesn't feel that long ago that we were on the 22 hour bus to Vietnam and now we're leaving. The good news is I've finally had the brace taken off and had the world's best shower, honestly, hosing me down with white spirit wouldn't get me any cleaner! I'm learning to lift my arm again, feel like a right invalid!Anyway Vietnam...we've had to rush it a bit and definitely missed some cool things but the main problem has been the weather. Right now it's glorious but the floods the UK had last summer are an everyday occurrence here during rainy season. The photos I'll put up in a bit show people pushing motorbikes waist deep along main roads, you can barely see the bike in one. We walked knee deep to the bus. A few miles into the journey we hit the worst of the floods, 4x4's were turning round but our driver got out had a look and went for it! In England buses, trains, planes you name it would have been cancelled for the day, guaranteed! Vietnam without the rain and with a bit more time would be a great place to visit and definitely worth doing if doing Laos and Cambodia but I wouldn't say I love it. Halong Bay was fantastic, 3000 islands (mainly rock formations) and amazing pristine blue water. We went on a wooden boat (called a Junk) for a 2 days and a night. We went to a massive cave (photos don't do it justice) and then a floating village where we took a small boat ride through the rocks where the big boat couldn't go.Before Halong Bay we saw Ha Noi...I wasn't very impressed but it was raining and I was in a fair bit of pain after the 22 hour bus ride so I didn't see much to be fair to Ha Noi. Next stop was Hue, the night sleeper buses were fantastic; they were almost beds and with my feet stuck out into the isles I got a decent amount of sleep! Hue was famous for its Citadel which was incredible and made even better as it was not overly touristy. The rest of Hue however, offered very little, especially knee deep in water! Hoi An was next...a fantastic little town, incredible French/Portuguese architecture (bright yellow buildings with shutters) and an atmosphere to match. Beer for 15p a pint and fantastic food combined with the architecture made me absolutely love Hoi An and I really would go back but I feel it is a unique spot in Vietnam. Then on to Nha Trang, (literally 2 days 1 night in each place before a night bus to the next place!) this is the place to dive, do watersports and chill out on the beach. Not quite up to doing backflips on a wakeboard I opted for chilling out on the beach, the first day in the rain but the second was baking. The setting with the palm trees, mile long sandy beach and islands out to sea, was incredibly relaxing and picturesque. I'm hoping the Islands of Thailand and Malaysia will be better still but it was a great place to get away from the beeping horns and crazy Vietnamese lifestyle. That night we thought we'd have a hotpot before getting on the bus to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). This was possibly the best meal I've had in years! Prawns the size of small lobsters, squid and something like swordfish cooked in front of us in the hotpot with veg and noodles. The best bit however was that rum & coke was free and unlimited! We stumbled onto the bus a few hours later after 4 rum & cokes, a beer, the hotpot, garlic bread and spring rolls, a mere £3 each poorer! Saigon...a cool city with a hideous 'Grand' Palace, a cool War Remnants museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels close by. The tunnels were particularly good, we saw the traps used by the Viet Cong, the incredible network of underground tunnels and learnt a lot about how they made the Americans look ridiculous!All in all I now realise that I like Vietnam a lot more than I thought I did and that the speed at which we're seeing these places firstly meant I haven't had time to reflect on it but also there's so much more to Vietnam than we've seen on this trip. It sounds stupid that writing this blog can completely change my opinion but it really does give me the chance to properly think about where I've been and what we've done. Being constantly on the move is bizarre and means you often forget to do or can't do so many of the things that are part of everyday life at home, luckily showering shouldn't be one of them anymore!
We're now in Cambodia and immediately I love the scenery, it's similar again to Laos with the luscious green trees and fields and little wooden shacks that are the majority of the population's homes. We are going to Phnom Penh where we'll see the Killing Fields and S21 where Pohl Pot massacred up to 100 people a day in a school that had been turned into a torture prison. From there we head to Siam Reap for possibly the most incredible man-made wonder I'll see on my trip, Angkor Wat and the other temples of Angkor (putting the Great Wall aside of course!). Look it up on google, it's incredible, type in tomb raider temple too. I'll leave it there for now, so much more I could say but I'm sure you people have some work to be getting on with or something!