Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa
16.03.2009 - 24.03.2009
Hi everybody (who is still checking my blog). Unfortunately I havn't been able to update since I began travelling in Nepal b/c of the poor internet connections, limited electricity, and my busy schedule. Anyway, I'm back now and will fill in the blanks.
After visiting the beaches of central Vietnam, we travelled north to Hanoi where life is a little less modern and cheerful. The streets are drab and colorless, but there is definitely an old school feel to the people and their way of life. Two things that aren't different in Hanoi are the number of motorbikes and the sound of phlem being cleared and discharged horizontally from throats into the air and onto...anywhere. THe government in Hanoi is a little more present. Everyday at 8am and 5pm they broadcast a commentary/lecture from loadspeakers every 50m on every pole in the city. They drone on and on about some propaganda and you cannot escape it. Much like AM talk shows except that can be turned off. The currency in Vietnam is 16,000 "dong" to 1 dollar. So we got really good at math. Beer was still like $.30 per glass so that was nice. After HAnoi we went to visit the emerald waters of Ha Long BAy where the limestone cliffs shoot up from everywhere and the foggy air make everything look very mystical. We toured the bay on a beautiful old "junk" boat that cruised super slow through the glassy water. I took a cool kayak trip around the cliffs and into some caves. Some people chose to jump off the roofs of the boats and came out with a nice greasy slick on their bodies. Unfortunately we never blue skies while were in Ha Long Bay which would have been stunning. Our next trip was up to Sapa, which is a small northern village whose residents wear these beautiful traditional all black outfits with head scarves and leg warmers to match. Sapa was Pia and my last trip before flying back to Bangkok where (sadly) Pia heade back to Germany and Erik began his solo trip. Pia and I covered alot of ground in our 10 weeks together-4 countries. We decided that we made a good travel team and can't wait for the next adventure together.