Still blinking hot!!
27.07.2007 - 31.07.2007 37 °C
Had a good last day in Hanoi, visiting the Perfume Pagoda, which entailed a 2 hour bus ride, a 1.5 hour boat ride and a very steep mountain climb. We were rowed up a river on a tiny Vietnamese boat. We were 4 overweight Europeans, rowed by a young slip of a Vietnamese girl. She put in so much effort we felt obliged to give her a really good tip. At the foot of the mountain we decided to take the wimps way out and use the cable car (well it was really hot and wet, and the path looked very slippery). It was all worth the effort as the pagoda was a very special place and of course we had a wonderful lunch of local Vietnamese food.
On our return to Hanoi City we packed our bags, had another lovely meal, said our goodbyes to our lovely hosts and boarded the train to Hue. It was an overnight train and we found we were sharing a cabin with Patricia and Christophe, a really nice couple from Paris. We wished we'd really listened more at school during our French lessons, as their English was perfect and our French was awful.
On the first night in Hue we decided that we needed some home food, so we found a curry house and had a wonderful meal. We had a full day sightseeing at the tombs around Hue and we spent the afternoon wandering around the Citadel, which still bears scars of the American (or Vietnam, depending on which side of the fence you are) War. In the evening we sat by the river in an open air restaurant and had the most wonderful hotpot for 2. It was served in a big steel bowl, sat in the middle of the table on a Hexi burner. The bowl was full of fish, prawns, clams, squid, beef, pork and vegetables, all bubbling away in a tasty broth. There was so much we couldn't eat it all, but managed to wash it down with a couple of Huda beers.
On Monday morning we took the open tour bus down to Hoi An, via Danang. We stopped on the way for the most amazing banana/pineapple pancakes. (This eating is becoming a bit of a theme don't you think??!!)
Hoi An is a lovely town, real "olde worlde" seaport with loads of french colonial charm, with the most gorgeous beach just 2.5km down the road. We've spent today just lazing on the beach and needless to say we had a lovely lunch of fried beef noodles, vegetable spring rolls and local fried potates. (We'll be as big as houses by the time we get home - but the food in SE Asia is truly wonderful)
We're here for another couple of days before heading south to Nha Trang. We've put more photos on the blog and there'll be more soon.
Will catch up later.
Love to you all.