As expected the first night in Hanoi got a tad messy. It all started off pretty reasonably, a few games of pool and a couple of cheeky beers followed by some less cheeky ones and before we knew it myself, Matt and a cracking fellow called Dan who met along the way decided that it was high time to dance like maniacs with some local people. Arrived at the club and proceded to do just that. After an hour or so we thought it would be rude not to have a sambuca or two and take in another club. Upon arrival I was told that I wasn't allowed in in shorts (obviously should have bought one of those suits) so I said no problem I'd go back to the hotel and change. Hopped on a moped and realised I didn't have the foggiest about the name of of the hotel. I tried to explain where it was to my moped driver but as my Vietnamese Vocabulary is limited to "thank you" and "can I have my bill please" and his English consisted of the words "Motor" and "Bike" it was proving rather tricky. Anyway I persuaded him to let me drive the moped as the roads were empty. 10 minutes later after getting totally lost I arrived at my hotel and shouted at the moped man to give me back the money he'd taken out of my pocket while I was driving, scolded him for being a naughty boy and told him I wasn't paying him as I did the driving anyway. Got back to the club a few minutes later and founf Matt, broken arm in the air getting down on the dance floor and joined him in throwing a few further legendary shapes. This was obviously thirsty work so we headed for the Bar and got into a chat with "Godfather" Ming, the owner of the club. I thought we could get a few free beers out of this guy so told him I was a nightclub manager in London and would promote his club to people in London (what the ...??), he liked what he heard and gave us a couple of beers, however by this point we drew the line at the crazy whiskey he wanted us to have.
Woke up the next day feeling pretty awful and decided to book a 3 day trip to HalongBay which was pretty amazing. It's a protected world heritage site and when you get there you can understand why. It has something like 2000 islands, clear still water and it's breathtaking. The first day was spent cruising round these islands on a boat stopping at one to explore some caves, followed by a night on the boat. The next day we headed to the only really inhabited island to do some trekking and kayaking. After a day of activity like this it would have been rude not to have a beer and me and Dears almost missed our bus and boat the next morning - oops.
Went back to Hanoi for one further night and booked our flight to Laos as didn't really feel like a 30 hour coach trip. That said Laos Airlines aren't recognised as by most aviation authorities so will probably be on some old military plane stuffed in with goats and chickens - should be a giggle and am really looking forward to chilling out in Laos after the madness of Vietnam.
That said Vietnam has been a superb experience. It's a fantastic country and I've loved every minute of it. Made some great friends who I'll be meeting up with to party in Oz, had some wild nights out, saw some wonderful sights and just had an all round excellent time.