01 Oct I have a cunning plan…
It’s a clichÃ© but life rarely goes to plan and the same can be said for travelling.
Having recovered from my tubing injuries I made my way down to the capital of Laos, Vientiane, to catch a flight with Laos Airlines to Hanoi, northern Vietnam. Most travel agents would laugh when they gave me the choice of Laos or Vietnam Airlines and I choose Laos (it’s cheaper!). This of course filled me with so much confidence.
I can’t say I have been on a plane where it’s had propellers or when they have been pumping up a flat tire as the passengers boarded. I think what clinched it for me was the signs that said “You’re safe with us”. I was thinking… are you sure? Despite that, Laos Airlines was rather pleasant and even better than some of the low budget airlines back in the UK. It definitely beat the alternative 36 hour bus ride which came complete with no leg room, bags of rice and animal feed.
Something I have always wanted to see was Halong Bay. Google it, it’s beautiful. I booked on a three day boat trip where you stay on a private island in luxury bungalows on a private beach. Sounds amazing right? What was also great to hear was that 5 people died doing the same trip a few days ago due to a typhoon. Even though it is clearing up now another typhoon is on the way and I just thought is it really worth the risk. I’m not that strong a swimmer…
I am pretty much stuck here in Hanoi which is the worst city I have ever been in. I am sure it has its beauty somewhere but I am yet to find it. I’ve been hit by a moped once and it’s hardly surprising considering that they drive like nutters and there are thousands of them around. What also worries me is that you never see a dog here where as anywhere else in Asia there are loads of them. Either they all have got run over or they end up in peoples dinner. I’m sure I saw one on a spit when I was driving in to the city…
The storms have royally messed up some carefully laid plans. There are reports that parts of Vietnam are under 3 metres of water and it can take up to two weeks for things to clear up. There are no buses or trains going south at all. My trip to Vietnam has ended before it had really begun. It’s a shame that my impression of Vietnam is based solely on this one city.
Weighing up my options I have decided to fly back to Bangkok and head south in search of beautiful beaches and weather. This does mean that I won’t get to see the rest of Vietnam and I won’t be going to Cambodia now either. It’s a shame that it has come to this but there is nothing I can do about it. Maybe I’ll come back here later in life, who knows!
This does have a knock on effect for the rest of my trip but I can’t really think about that now. I’ve got a Full Moon Party to look forward to!
As there is a strong French influence here (for example, you can’t get bread only baguettes) I’ll simply end with this.
Erm… wait, what…?
That’s what happens when you travel with a German…