hey all, so took the night train from Sapa train station to Hanoi, it took 10 hours in total but this time had a bed...well it was called a bed! it was a plank of metal and just abnout small enuf space if u lie still for the whole 10 hrs. if u sit up u wud break ur neck lol and if u wanted to get down there were 3 bunk beds to climb down below u. not good fun! the toilet on the train was a worse experience tho. i decided not to drink all that day to try and escape the horror of the fly infested loo but i guess no one can go 10 hrs wuithout peeing lol so i had to bear it...getting out just about quick enough before i wretched. ewww. arrived into hanoi at 6am not much fresher and longed for hoestl bed to sleep in for the whole of saturday! but couldnt check into hostel in hanoi until 10am so had to find a bar that was open at 6am...sat and made a few drinks last from 6 til 10! think i fell asleep on the table at one point! lol. didnt help when the bar decided to play dance and funk music to entice the locals for drinks...lol. no respect! haha. neway eventually got into hostel and had a kip till afternoon then spent eve wandering through hanoi and taught a few vietnamese girls some english! they just came up to me and asked for some homework help! i cudnt get away tho! went in the eve to a waterpuppets show, famous in hanoi, it originates from the workers in the rice paddy fields making puppets as their form of enterntainment. was fun but kinda hard to understand when all the narratiuon is in vietnamese! hehe.
spent sunday in the vietnam prison. no not me. just wandering thru it as a visitor, was fascinating the conditions they had to put up with. not v nice. learnt alot about the vietnam war that day! lol. i thought i better learn a little seeing as i am visitn vietnam! lol. oh dear. neways the rest of sunday i sat by the lake in hanoi reading and just chilled by myself! was nice to be honest.
monday set off to halong city, took 4 hrs drive and then arrived in village called bok choi. they were dressing up the boats for a huge festival which happens this saturday - floats and everything was poretty cool. took a boat to Cat Ba Island and on the way visited some v pretty caves. really beautifula dn the piccys dont do them justice. when getting back int he boat the heavens decided to open so the journey over to the island wanst as i had hoped...cocktail in one hand..sunbathing etc! lol. instead got out my pac-a-mac and braved the rain coz wasnt going to miss the view. halong bay is really pretty, in the pic above it kinda shows what its like, cliffs almost emerging form the sea, the vietnamese myth is that a dragon (v good luck over here!) swished its tasil and made 200 islands of rock form. hmmm i think im going for the erosion theory from greography but hey the dragon thing is cool all the same! since then ive spent the week dodging the monsoon rains and then stripping into my bikini the minute the sun decides to shine! have done some kayaking and visited monkey island, gibbons etc and done some trekking on that island too. has been v relaxed week apart from getting seafood poisening :( ewww u dont wanna know! but a few packets of immodium and sickness tablets later im fine! just wont be able to go 4 a no.2 for a month i reckon..hahah, nice! karaoke one night was cool, there was an ozzy and american dude who cud actually sing so i decided to give that a miss and just sit back and listen! the cocktails were v tasty tho! hehe. today is the end of halong bay and tomo morn i depart for hanoi airport where i will then fly down to southern vietnam on my own to Ho Chi Mingh City, to explore the south for a week! will keep u all in the loop of how that goes later in the week. take care, love to u all, missing u lots mellyxxxxxx