Friday, 10 August 2007

Turn left for Laos


Circumstances (heavy rain disrupting the train line, and limited time left on my Nam Visa) have convinced me to postpone my northern migratrion and instead I'm going to head east to Laos. So tomorrow it's off to the town of Dong Ha, which I'm intrigued to see after the review in The Book "Today, there is no conceivable reason to visit".
My last night in Hoi An was spent playing pool and trying not to drink whiskey shots with Charlie (quite an appropriate name for this locale) from Glasgow, who had been on my tour to My Son. We also had some fantastic Vietnamese food at Bale Well - theres no menu, they just keep bringing you loads of stuff which they make into something like spring rolls till you cant eat any more. Fantastic. Next day, I managed to make the afternoon bus up to Hue. It's another colonial city with much of the older parts preserved, but unlike Hoi An, where most of the buildings are occupied by functioning vendors, its more divided into the "real" town and the museum bit that you just visit. The two are seperated by the river, the Citadel and a moat. Much of the old Citadel walls remain, and although a lot of the town was flattened during the Tet offensive, Hue's designation as a world heritage site has meant the restoration of many of the buildings. It's nice to stroll around, but even better explored on a claped out bike, as this way you are pretty much pleasantly immune to the constant attention of Cyclo/Moto drivers, postcard sellers and tour vendors.

On the bus to Hue I met up with Simon and Frederic, two German guys who I had met before on the way to Dalat (we had met while observing an unfortunate Swiss guy's repeated fainting through severe diarahoe induced dehydration) and Jill from Canadia, and we hung around for much of the time in Hue, unified in our defense against the ubiquitous cyclo drivers. To escape the streets, we hired a local boat for a short trip on the somewhat inappropriately named perfume river - judging from the "crew" I'd say there pretty bored by the whole experience.

4 comments:

Mary said...

Beware of the bandits! Will you be near the Plain of Jars? Wat Phou Temple? Still raining here.
mandm. Joey says wuff.Whatever that means.

seanmullins said...

I think the bandits are taking it easy at the moment (unless youve heard otherwise?)
Everyone here seems to be taking it pretty easy:)

michael said...

NO, HAVENT HEARD ANYTHING NEW ABOUT THE BANDITS... TODAY WE HAD A DAY WITHOUT RAIN...WEIRD...
YEA, LAOS SEEMS TO BE PRETTY EASYGOING...J BARKING AT THE DEER

Mandy said...

Hey - I felt I should join in on all this weather chat!
Well we've been in NJ 4 weeks today and only 2 days with rain! This week has been gorgeous - temps in the mid/late 20s and no humidity! Ally has started to say "Hi" and "Right" like an American!
She has also become obsessed with Joey - I have a picture of him on my screen saver and she demands that it is left on all the time. She calls him "Dotey"!
Sean - the photos are fab.