Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Leaving for Halong Bay, Vietnam

Tim: We arrived in Vietnam via the 11 hour bus from Laos. The bus was the most dilapidated bus we have ever been on. It smelled of urine and rotting fish. We were fortunate as the first people to load onto the bus to get the best seats. I have never seen a horn used so much. Crossing from Laos into Vietnam went without problems. The scenery once we hit Vietnam was amazing! Beautiful idyllic terraced rice fields covered the hills. The weather also changed quite drastically after we went through the mountain pass. The weather on the Vietnam side was cool, foggy, and rainy. The temps are still getting close to 80 degrees during the day though. Right nơ w we are in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The traffic here puts the traffic in Bangkok to shame! The number of motor scooters is overwhelming. Intersections are a chicken match of vehicles trying to push their way through. We haven't taken too many pictures so far as we have been traveling so much.

Our first bus ride took us from Sam Nea, Laos to Thanh Hoa, Vietnam (11 hours). We stayed the night in Thanh Hoa which is a large city but with no tourist infrastructure. The next day we took a 4 hour bus from Thanh Hoa to Hanoi. On arriving in Hanoi we were told to exit the bus in the worst traffic I have ever seen in my life. The bus did not even stop.We had to jump off while it wass still moving. Our luggage wass in the back luggage compartment ò the bus.

We went to a Vietnamese Water Puppet show... Interesting. Vietnam also has the cheapest beer in the World, Bia Ha Noi. It comes in a 16 oz bottle and we have found it for as cheap as US $0.75 in some restaurants. It is a little more watery than we are use to at 4.1% alcohol. 

Yesterday we purchased motor scooters to ride through the country. They are being outfitted for traveling right now and we will pick them up on our way back through Hanoi. Our motor scooters cost us $315 each and hopefully we can sell them for $250 when we reach Ho Chi Minh or Cambodia. We are a little bit nervous about riding in Vietnam traffic, but it should lighten up after we get out of the big city. The plan is to ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh or beyond over the next three weeks or so. We are very excited about the trip.

Getting ready to jump on our bus now, so we will sign out for now. Be in touch soon!

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