it's been i while since i last posted, sorry.
i'm having a great time in vietnam. just came back from a 3 day boat trip to halong bay. it was amazing. although i was a bit concerned since this particular tour has the reputation of being a booye cruise, it was not that bad. we were a great group of people and even the cold weather (yes we were freezing for 2 days) couldn't keep us from partying. i finally was wakeboarding again, after neglecting it for 5 years. surprisingly i didn't have any problems and even learned how to do a 180 switch!
what happend in the last 2,5 weeks? my vietnam trip started in saigon, where i only stayed for 1,5 days. i couldn't stand any big cities anymore so i made my way up to mui ne. i took the bus and that was a real adventure. our journey should have taken 4,5 hours, but lasted 7 hours because the bus broke down twice (both tires in the back exploded!). when we finally arrived in mui ne, i was just glad to get to my hotel. mui ne is a very nice town, though a little bit quiet. just found out there that it is low season... but i enjoyed the quiet time (and my private bungalow with sea view) and relaxed at the beach and took a cooking class.
nha trang was next. total change of scenery - finally a "real" hostel and tons of people. met up with james again (met him in saigon) and we had a great time at the beach, waterpark and the famous boat trip to islands around nha trang.
the night bus to hoi an was just terrible - they booked us on a local bus instead of an open tour bus that only tourists take. so our bus was full with vietnamese people, which in itself is not bad, unless your bed is in the middle and people sit in the aisles on both sides next to you. one could get a little bit claustrophobic, so i switched to a bed "upstairs". as if that was not enough we stopped about every 5 minutes in the beginning. we also had tv screens with a vietnamese movie running. unfortunately those aren't really good. the driver seemed to have it on the highest volume so my ipod wasn't able to drown out the noise. when the screens were finally turned off, vietnames music played all night long... poor james was sleeping directly under one of the speakers so he had a pretty bad night.
but surprisingly we arrived in hoi an on time in the morning. the first thing we did (after getting some more sleep) was of course going to the tailors to order clothes. two canadians recommended a very good tailor - bee (it's good to have a recommendation since the whole town seems to consist of tailors only). i ordered quite a lot of stuff - just downloaded some pictures and bee made them. to my astonishment everything fit perfectly the first time i tried it, only little alterations needed to be made. in the end i paid 235 dollars for 13 pieces!
hoi an is the nicest place i've been to in vietnam. the little town is really pretty, probably due to the fact that it is a world heritage site and the houses are well kept. we rented bikes and just cruised through the streets. i also did another cooking class, which was even better than the first one. i'm starting to like vietnames food now, at least when i prepare it myself ;)
due to the floods north of hue, we decided to take a flight from hoi an to hanoi. so far i haven't seen much of hanoi, since i arrived in the evening and left for halong bay the next morning. will explore the city in the next couple of days. but what i've seen so far, i like it pretty much. way better than saigon!