Well its been a little while so here we go......
Since the last blog we went back to Hanoi and then straight to Sapa, a small place up in the mountains, on the night train (about 11 hours) not a bad experience on the train, it was us and an Israeli couple (who we met in Halong Bay) in a cabin together, managed to get a reasonable sleep, although did wake up a few times feeling like I was about to fall out of bed (I had top bunk!). Bit of a shock in Sapa, it was really cold and raining on and off!!...Just like home! So we should be used to it, but its a bit different when you only have your summer clothes with you! I had 3-4 layers on the whole time, I can honestly say I didn't care what I looked like (Tom wasn't too keen to walk down the street with me!!) I just wanted to get warm though! Anyway it was well worth it Sapa is really beautiful. Lots of H'mong tribal ladies around town selling things they had made. They were so friendly and funny it was hard not to buy their things.. I ended up with 2 bracelets and a bag! The first night we had to find somewhere to watch Man united v man city.... then wished we didn't!.. anyway the less said about that the better!!!!!!! Next day we got a motorbike to explore a bit, very adventurous (but safe of course!) We saw some of the local villages and 2 waterfalls. There were lots of children around all very friendly, they all loved Tom (as children do!) and he was teaching them to high 5 which was very cute! the next night we headed back to Hanoi on the train, slightly posher cabin so we were happy!! Once back in Hanoi we hung around for the day and then got another night train down to Hue.........
Knowing we didn't have long to spend in Hue we went straight out once we'd checked into a cheap hotel. Went to see the main sight in Hue, the Citadel. On the way it rained so we went inside and had a cheap beer sitting on the usual mini plastic stools! The rain stopped after a short while but then started again when we were on the way in, so it was poncho time!!! The rain kept on and on the whole time we were looking around the Citadel so it wasn't the best experience but still good.
Ok the next day the weather was better and we went on an organised tour. Started off travelling by boat down the Perfume River to see a traditional Vietnamese house, a pagoda and a temple (I think we are close to being templed out now!!!) We had lunch on the boat and then visited the tombs of 2 emporors, very grand and our guide was telling us how a lot of people died while making it. This evening we went to find some local food, feeling adventurous again!!.. We sat down at a 'local restaurant' ie. your average mini plastic tables and chairs on the side of the road. They came out with 2 beers for us and a plate of small eggs!? The girl next to us started showing us how we had to crack the shell and eat what was inside, basically a slimy duck foetus we worked out!! Like Gordon Ramsay ate on his programme, except he seemed to make quite a fuss about it and we just though it tasted like egg!!!!!!... still very odd to eat though. Then my main course came out, chicken pieces, various body parts including the chickens feet!!! Most of you know my problem with eating meat off the bone but this was just ridiculous!!!! I couldn't do it, Tom had a go and ate a bit but I don't think he even enjoyed it too much.
Saturday morning we got the bus to Hoi An, about 4 hours so a nice journey compared to what we're used to now! I finished another book (the third in 5 weeks). Once we arrived we both fell in love with Hoi An straight away. The Old Town is very traditional and very laid back and quiet. You could see along the river where its been flooded, the water was still coming up over the pavement a bit. Something that made me love it even more was the shops!!!!! So many shops I didn't know where to look first! We went into one and I was given a Next catologue to look through! The lady said I could pick any style of anything and choose my own material and have it tailor made for a very good price (cheaper than what you can buy things for straight from the shop at home) I really was in my element with this! Tom got a pair of light trousers for the evenings here, very sensible, and I got a winter coat and a pair of jeans!!!!!! hmm. The coat I will post back (not sure what thats going to cost!!). We also bought a few other bits and bobs, including a silk painting, table mats, a table runner and chopsticks for our house......the house that we don't even have!!!!!!!!!!!! haha, I think its safe to say we got a little carried away.
Just as well we weren't planning to stay too long in Hoi An as we'd be broke in no time! On to Nha Trang next.....
Miss you all loads xxxxxxxxxxxx