Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Quick update from Vietnam

I've been in Vietnam for a bit over a week now and what a week it's been! The time has just flown but we have managed to see (and eat) so much in that time.

I'm now in Hue and it is stinking hot, but then again, it has been stinking hot everywhere we've been. I will write more details later, but so far some excerts from my travel diary are;

Day 1 - Four Currencies in One Day and Lost in Transit
I had so much trouble getting my head around all the zeros from different currencies and could work out if things were costing me $1.20 or $12. We got an unexpected night tour of Hanoi when our booked transfer didn't arrive and then our taxi got very lost taking us to the hotel.

Day 2 - I See Dead People
We went to visit Uncle Ho in his Sleeping Beauty case and then wandered around the old quarter trying not to get run over by one of the millions of scooters in Hanoi.

Day 3 - Mee and See, my new H'Mong friends
The landscape in Sapa gives off such an amazing old energy. I could have just watched the mountains for hours with it continual dancing behind mist and clouds. Met many H'mong girls, a tribe that live in extreme poverty and continue to wear their traditional indigo dyed and embroidered costumes. We were adopted by a couple of the girls who told us a bit about their lives and showed us around the town.

Day 4 - It's a good thing my husband is not a jealous man...
I spent much of the day holding the hand of a man who wasn't my husband. We trekked from the township of Sapa into a couple of the villages. What is usually a good walk in the dry season was very hard in the wet, sliding down slippery clay slopes. We visited a Black H'Mong village and saw the poverty that these happy friendly people live in. We stayed overnight in a Day (pronounced Zay) village in a farmhouse.

Day 5 - Heaven, Hell and my Vietnamese Angel
The trek was harder than the day before due to more heavy rain and the fact that I had twisted my knee. The view was breathtaking but the hike was hell. My fabulous guide literally cared out mountains for me so that I could make it down the steep slippery clay slopes without getting covered from head to toe in mud. By the end, I was only covered on one side. We visited a Dao (pronounced Zao) village.

Day 6 - The Day that Wouldn't
One of those days when things just didn't go right......

Day 7 - Heaven on Earth
Halong Bay was truly amazing. We stayed on a luxury junk (is that an oxymoron?) and swam surrounded by ancient limestone pillars. The food was to die for.

Day 8 - Back to the noise
We woke up in Halong Bay and said goodbye to it as we ate our last meal on the boat. We headed back into the noise and craziness of Hanoi for a final time.

Day 9 - Hue
I had little sleep on the overnight train that brought us to Hue. We are about to head off and visit the old citadel

So that's all for now. Off to see more of this amazing country.


Yumi said...

Hey Melanie! What a exciting trip you made in Vietnam! You blog takes me to good memories of Vietnam trip... ummm, i've missed tasty foods... yum yum... After you will back to Japan, lets go to "Annan Blue" in Nagoya next time. They have delicious Vietnamese foods. :) Have fun and enjoy your rest of your trip, Melanie!

Mel & Seigo said...

Sounds fabulous!!

All is well back home, rainy season seems to have broken now. Went to The Joshua Tree the other day ;)

Mum's visit went well, but very predictably busy.

Love to you and Wayne,