We are in Hanoi having arrived in Bangkok, gone to Kachanaburi (where the bridge over River Kwai is and where those two Backpackers were murdered last year!) then on to Ayutthaya, originally the capital of Thailand and then on a overnight sleeper up to Changmai in the north, my favorite place so far.
Spent four days there. Aimee and I did a on day cookery school so we now have a certificate to say that we are qualified in Thai cooking.
We also did a two day trek which involved riding elephants 'the Indian variety' climbing a mountain for two hours, swimming in waterfalls, climbing more mountains and and then gate crashing the Karen tribe - at this point may I point out that this is a remote tribal village as described in the broche........WELL ...............having trekked up this thin winding path in the jungle for another two hours we descended on this poor tribe. As we walked up the hill to where we were staying I noticed that one of the huts had solar paneling outside, then I saw a TV aerial, then a car, then two motor bikes and just to top it all off the village shop.''Remote tribal village''' We on the other hand (three young Brit girls, two Canadians Aimee and I and our tour guide by the name of PUMPKIN - his brother is called coconut!! not joking. Stayed in the only hut in the village with none of the above mention perks. Dinner traditional Thai was great, cooked by Pumpkin so he says although we saw others in the hut. We were then joined by a 75 year old toothless man who resembled Yoda and was smoking some weired sh#t. Bombed would be the best way to describe this man!! We started a game of black jack (cards). Pumpkin had not said anything all day but by now had nailed a bottle of Sam sung (cheap hallucinogenic whiskey) and was slowly getting through the second became very loud and very funny. Best quote of the night '' Its the SAME SAME but Different'' what the hell does that mean? Anyway slept in hut, now I know what it must be like to be African!! Never again, local rooster cant tell the time. Start doodle doing at 2am and didn't stop.
Next day Climbed down the mountain, 2 hours and then went swimming in a river. Got taken for lunch and then onto Bamboo rafting. This was great, I was steering at the back and had no control what so ever. Luckily small Thai guy at front saved me. On to home after this.
Have found a new beer that I have no control over at all. At least with Stella I know my limits, Yes thats right no limits!! Now there's this beer called Chang.......The declaration on the bottle says 6-12% vol. Its like drinking roulette beer, I reckoned it depends on when the Thais remember to stop the fermenting process. Well this stuff kills me, it could be 2 or 5 you just don't know but the effects are staggering, slurring and wife hating you!!
The next day we got an over night sleeper train to Bangkok airport and then a flight to Hanoi.
Day two in Vietnam and it is everything I hoped it would be.........Crazy. Three million people and two million motor bikes. Everywhere you going the are bike horns heared. Crossing the road is complete suicide but you just have to go for it, Some how they swerve round you. If you waited for a gap you would still be there tomorrow.
We went to Ho Chi Mins house and museum where you can see him embalmed shame this only happens on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Off to Ha Long Bay tomorrow. Apparently over 3000 small islands off the coast of Northern Vietnam. Meant to be stunning.
Currently we are killing time before we go and see a water puppet show.
We have booked a hop on hop off bus ticket which goes all the way down to Saigon from Hanoi and stops in about 8 different places. Total cost of this...wait for it $23!
Dad I have found a place 5 times cheaper than Africa.
Accommodation is usually around the $10 - $15 a night and thats going mid range!!
So tomorrow night we are off to Hue which is Central Vietnam