I have probably covered 1,000 km in Vietnam so far and the only grace weather-wise was a clearing of clouds for some sun and blue skies a couple of hours this morning. Anyways, I decided to give up on Vietnam and move on to Laos tomorrow morning. I am taking a bus early in the morning for Savannakhet.
I have some nice photos, met some cool people to chat with as well as spend a day or evening with, so it was all good but I also won't be missing Vietnam very much, nor am I in a massive hurry to come back. I guess it's a spoiled traveler's issue, but I much prefer China - I'd recommend going to Szechuan or Yunnan over Vietnam any day.
I certainly don't want to just sound sour, so here are a few highlights of my time here, with a few photos.
|Now you see what I mean when I said Sa Pa was in the clouds and had bad visibility.|
I decided to give Halong Bay a miss. They closed the site to most tourists the day before for fog reasons and most of the people I talked to who had just come back from it said it was not worth it given the bad weather. It was also a considerable expense for my budget, I decided to keep that money for some other attraction another day.
|Busy traffic in the Old Quarter of Hanoi|
|The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum|
|I played around with reflections in the photos|
|I met some cool people to have dinner and drinks with, including Ralph, World Traveller - his business card says so.|
I went to Ninh Binh instead, with Tam Coc close by and many karstic rock formations considered to be an inland Halong Bay (actually these sort of rocks cover most of the country a I saw during my train ride later on). I spent a nice day cycling around with a Danish chef who showed up - which was good because I think I might've gotten bored by myself and he is a cool guy. I was going to go to Cuc Phuong National Park but the weather still wasn't great so I headed south on the train the following day.
|Nice views of the rock formations, though limited by weather.|
|It doesn't look amazing but it was a bit difficult to take good photos on the train. And it didn't actually look that great either. I enjoyed the train ride nonetheless and had an awesome book to read.|
After a short and random stop in Dong Hoi for a night, I decided on a whim to stop earlier than planned on the train, in Hue rather than Danang and Hoi An as I originally planned. I might have wasted about $5 changing train tickets and destinations, so not a huge deal.
Still cloudy weather yesterday in Hue, I spent a nice afternoon with some English people walking around the Perfume river and the remains of the old imperial palace. Had nice food for lunch, local sort of roll'em yourself spring rolls with a good peanut sauce.
|In the old Imperial palace of Hue.|