Friday, September 3, 2010

Vietnam re-cap

We've been on the road for almost a week now, apparently just in time to miss the typhoons hitting South Korea. I wish that I could include pictures, but I won't be able to upload those for a while.

The first five days of the trip we were in Vietnam. Since we had so little time to work with, we spent a day and a half in Hanoi, then headed out to Ha Long.

Hanoi is a really interesting, fun city. There are so many people and so much traffic (crossing the street was an adventure in itself), but it's nice because there are so few people who bother you. There is a lot of interesting architecture, too. The day that we left was actually the beginning of the 1000-year anniversary of the city and the 65th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh coming into power, so the city was decorated and there were a ton of events going on.

The highlight of Vietnam was definitely Ha Long Bay. We went on a three-day, two-night boat tour of the bay, and it was even more beautiful than it looks in pictures. The first day we went into one of the many caves, then went kayaking. We went swimming and watched the sunset over the islands.

On the second day, we went to Cat Ba Island. We did an unexpectedly demanding trek to the top of a mountain - it was muddy and steep, and kind of dangerous in places because there were more people than should have been allowed. After slipping a number of times and falling (hard) once, I had a nice afternoon on the beach at Monkey Island.

I was really surprised how much I enjoyed Vietnam. It is accessible and easy to navigate by tourists, but it's not overly touristic. I kind of wish I had more time to explore central and southern Vietnam, but we're in a time crunch so we had to move on to Cambodia.

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