Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bangkok - Hanoi - Sapa...

I'm now about 10 days into my vacation and it's going great. I think I am going to do a proper post about the whole trip when I am get back because I've picked up a few tips that would be helpful to anyone who travels out to this neck of the woods.

So, what I've done so far...

Originally I'd planed to go to Tokyo for 2 days before I met Mel in Bangkok, pretty much at the last moment I changed this and I'll now be going to Tokyo at the end of my trip. (I guess I missed Mel too much :))

So, I arrived in Bangkok and spent 3 nights there with Mel wondering around the streets and doing various touristy things. One of my favorite things was taking the water taxi along the canals. It costs 8 Baht (0.16euro) and was a very cheap thrill. These guys are just like the crazy moped/tuc-tuc/taxi/van drivers in Thailand except that they are on water. The funniest thing is that the bridges are actually lower then the boat, so the whole roof collapses around you as you near a bridge. Tons of fun :)

We then flew with Thai Airways (very nice airline - I'd use them again) to Hanoi in Vietnam. All I can say is that place is crazy. Just think of the crowd coming out at the end of a foot ball game out a tight alley, put everyone of them onto a scooter, then tell each of them that if you don't beep your horn every second you will kill them... Welcome to Hanoi. There was a lot of interesting things there and it is much more of a culture shock then Bangkok. Basically, Dublin is to Bangkok as Bangkok is to Hanoi... We stayed in a hotel called Sunshine (which was in Lonely Planet). They are a really nice group of people and I'd recommend the place to anyone staying there. We also booked most of our trips (that I'm about to talk about) with them and throughout they were great.

So, next we did a 3 day, 4 night trip to Sapa. Sapa is in the mountainous north west of Vietnam and is right beside China and Laos. There are a lot of minority Hill tribes there and the scenery is great. The 3 days there where spent trekking through the hills and, one of the nights, staying in a Tribes (Red Dzao) village. One of the highlights was playing a local card game with some of the people from the village (and a police man for some reason...) I was doing quite well until they took out a bottle of rice white (a.k.a. petrol in a bottle) and announced the the loser of each game (lasting about 4-5 minutes) has to do a shot... I slept well that night.

Currently I''m a few locations on from Sapa (Hoi-An) but I have to leave this cafe now - so I'll update this sometime over the next few days...

2 comments:

annie said...

sounds like a lot of fun :-)

Seán said...

Tell us about the AK-47's!!! I didn't know you had a blog btw, tis cool! Nice to read yet another blog and what is a uniquely-Ryan account of life :)
Hope being back at work isn't too painful :) Talkcha later