Hello all, heres the latest update.
Went for 2 days trekking in the high mountains in the north of Vietnam close to the Chinese border. Visited some villages of ethnic minority tribes (oompah loompahs) who lived there among the rice paddys which are carved into the landscape. They midgets guided us through the mountains and showed us around thier villages, the views were stunning, the weather was gorgeous and we were well looked after - although I think they were only being nice because they wanted us to buy some tacky souveniours from them (lookout for them around xmas time).
Overnight train back to Hanoi, then after a quick nap we were straight onto another bus heading for Ha long Bay which consists of over 2000 limestone islands. It has just been voted as one of the official '7 natural wonders of the world' and rightly so. We spent a night on the boat after crusing around the bay, exploring a cave, swimming and kayaking. After a brief stop off to feed monkeys a can of coke and other rediculous items we got a small bamboo boat which took us to the island where we were staying for the second night. It was a beautifull little island with a sandy beach and we had it basicallt to ourselves, along with some other very random but interesting tourists. Got up at 5am for an amazing sunrise. While swimming or wading perhaps, Richard stood on a shell which which impailed itself into the ball of his foot - very painful. Parhaps a chance of a tropical infection (cue Helen Scott panic) but Dr Sally sorted him out with a compeed.
Helen Scott Richard, what is it with you and your feet !!!! Just as well you packed the Compeed and Dr Sally was on hand! What great times- the 'oompah loompas' looked like fun people! Ma xx